I’m Shipping Out from Boston (whoa).

♪ Hey, Beantown,

the Puritans found you.

Hey, Beantown,

water surrounds you.

So let’s watch the Sox play ball Play ball!

Hey, Beantown, you’ve got it all ♪

Adventures in Radlering

After a grueling 2 1/2 weeks of panic, shoveling, anxiety, shoveling, packing, crying, drinking and shoveling, the only thing that stands between Erica & I and our new life in San Diego is 4 days (minimum) and 3000 miles [insert ‘warranty joke’ here]. If you’re reading this then you probably already know, and we’re grateful for the tremendous support (read: Facebook ‘Likes’ & taking things out of our house) from all of our friends & family. Over the last few days, I haven’t been particularly emotional (‘snow rage’ doesn’t count) about our move or my time in Boston, but since I’d rather blog than vacuum, now’s as good a time for a little reflection.

My first visit to Boston was in the spring of 2010. My friend Jon was in his second semester of law school, and I shelled out for tickets to watch the Cavs v. Celtics on Easter Sunday at The Garden. Cavs lost a close one, and I don’t really remember much of the visit other than a delicious sub from Montrose Spa, a stop in at the Queen’s Head Pub, and I’m pretty sure we made it to one of Publick House/American Craft in Brookline. (Yeah, Jon’s friend definitely ordered a PTBAP Fluffy White Rabbits. Memories…) It was the second time I’d visited Jon in his ‘big city’ home (DC previously), and he was clearly getting his good beer legs under him. Being in the home of BeerAdvocate and the BA festivals helped!

A few months later, I started a new job for a company out of Cleveland doing outside sales/sales training throughout New England. My homebase: Boston. More accurately: Malden. The job was an amazing opportunity to see everything New England had to offer, and my passion for craft beer & ‘the finer things’ (welcoming input on a better term here) grew, even if I wasn’t getting the full ‘Boston experience.’ Note: No ‘Full Boston Experience’ euphemisms, please. My roommate in Malden, Regis, was an inspiration, an incredibly hard-working entrepreneur, first-generation immigrant, big heart bad-ass. GET SOME! (This is his company.)

While I never found a great rhythm socially, romantically, or professionally during my first stint in Boston, I did develop a tight-knit group of friends, principally centered around, you guessed it, beer. Many of them contributed to 8 Stories from Maine, and there are so many more who I knew less well then and better now, or vice versa. I was a coin-flip away from staying in Boston, but I left in the summer of 2012 to return to Cleveland. I never left in spirit, though, and cliché or not, you really don’t know how much you love something until it’s/you’re gone…

Cleveland is was my safe place. My family is there, I have job(s) I can go back to, and a network of people I’ve know for a decade or more. I’m excited to spend tomorrow night there, and it’s just occurred to me now that I’ll do well to let those people know I’ll be in for an evening. But as fall turned into winter turned into spring turned into summer of 2013, my life there was going nowhere quickly (overwhelmingly my fault, for what it’s worth). During the aforementioned trip to Maine, I was approached by Kate Baker and Suzanne Schalow of Belmont’s Craft Beer Cellar for a position there. Fortunate doesn’t begin to sum it up; on the heels of an offer, I packed up and moved back to Boston, initially ‘crashing’ with my ‘girlfriend’ Erica to start an amazing new position. A year-and-a-half later, we’re living together and, so long as we don’t kill each other in the car, we’re wicked (+1 Boston point) excited about our new lives in CA.

I’ll always relish my time at Craft Beer Cellar. I feel privileged to be included on an unbelievably talented and driven team, and I’ll owe founders Kate and Suzanne a debt of gratitude that I’ll never be able to repay. I am proud of the work we all accomplished together (have you seen our YouTube videos?), and I expect big things from the CBC Family. However, I’ll be exploring new opportunities in San Diego (hopefully with some more details to share soon).

So here’s where things get rambly(er). Boston will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve said that, after the last few snowstorms, I’ll never live here again, but the truth is you never know. There are so. Many. Memories. Most good; some really difficult. In the end, I’ll miss the people. Even in the age of social media (oh man, who says, “Age of social media?”), there is no substitute for a smile from our favorite bartender(s), drinking a local brewery’s beer with the brewer who you’ve known for the entirety of their professional brewing career, and everything else that constitutes the feeling of familiarity, expertise, and “Tourists, am I right? [rolls eyes]” that makes someplace ‘home.’

Don’t blame me, I’m just following Dunks.

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