I'm too busy to blog. Hardknott is fairly busy these days and we are at capacity with brewing. There are many reasons for our success, but it is very clear to me that the on-line beer world has a significant contribution to make to the success of many small breweries and we are for sure no exception to that.
I started this blog way back in the autumn of 2008, four and a half years ago. Things have moved very quickly since then. We had a pub then, we don't now. We had a tiny brewery then, ours is a little bigger now. We only sold beer in our own little pub then, now our beer makes it to several countries as well as all over the UK.
There are many people I have met through the on-line blogging and twitter world. Many, many people who have helped our passion blossom into a growing business that now employs 5 people full time and is likely to increase beyond that in the near future. I've made many great friends in the name of beer who I'd never want to lose touch with.
So, it is with great sadness and shock that I hear Simon Johnson has now left for that great bar in the sky, where no doubt for him Orval flows in a constant waterfall and bits of pig will be freely available roasting, grilling and frying. He will, I imagine, have a whole experimental factory playing with confectionary which he can inject with whatever liqueur takes his fancy.
Somedays I get far too serious about beer and business. Somedays I know I work too hard and forget to have fun. Simon reminds me that beer is about fun, happiness and friends. I will never forget that he, more than anyone, has taught me that. And that lesson has been taught to me, by Simon, on many memorable occasions including the very first twiss-up at Sheffield, several GBBFs and random meets in The Sheffield Tap.
I doubt he'll rest in peace. He won't in my mind, he'll live on as one of the greatest pioneers, in his own way, with his own contribution, to the continuing success of a very vibrant and wonderful UK beer world.
Today I have to blog, and forget for a few minutes that I'm too busy to blog, because I'm too busy, at least in part, because of Simon.