Here I am, back at it again. And yes, I can hear the collective groan. Stop it.

As many of you know from our Facebook page, we here at Frederick Beer Week received a brief note from one of our beneficiaries; Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley. For those of you who have forgotten, several of our FBW events, including the Beerfest at the Farm, are used to raise money for local causes. This year, for the first time ever, we provided funds for two organizations – the aforementioned chapter of Goodwill and the local chapter of Team Rubicon.

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GIMV gave us a a rare peek into where our donation went…

The monies raised from this year’s Beer Week supported the summer activities for one of Goodwill’s new youth programs, Opportunity for Success. During the final two years of high school, Opportunities for Success offers services such as vocational assessments, employment tours, job shadows, training opportunities and internship placement for students with development disabilities. The goal of the program is to help the students recognize their areas of interests, necessary accommodations, and individual strengths so that Goodwill can eventually assist them with obtaining competitive employment geared towards their individual talents and interests upon graduation.

Over eighteen youth participated in this year’s summer programming and were able to experience different careers options through a variety of industries such as cosmetology, farming, cooking, the arts, and park services. Local business from Frederick and Carroll Counties graciously donated their time and energy including but not limited to The Delaplane Arts Center, Seeds of Life Nursery, Monocacy Battlefield, Habitat for Humanity, and the South Mountain Creamery to offer the youth these hands-on experiences. This fall, each student will complete a 5-week training and assessment period before beginning three different internship assignments that will be completed during the course of their senior year of high school. The goal is for each student to obtain employment after completing their final internship in June of 2014.

One young man, Tyrone Black, completed the Opportunity For Success program in June of 2013 and received assistance from Goodwill to obtain employment. After expressing to Goodwill’s staff that he was interested in exploring careers where music and cooking were involved, he visited local businesses that fit within those criteria and the skills needed to succeed in those jobs. Over the five week course he finished the program on top and Goodwill started looking for job opportunities that would be a good fit. Goodwill’s staff continued to work with Tyrone to learn the skills needed to land a job at both the Frederick Wine Company and Giant Eagle. Tyrone is currently enjoying the feeling he has when he gets a paycheck and looks forward to going to work each day.

Hybrids, and I’m not talking cars…

I like hybrids. They don’t always work, but sometimes putting two good things together results in something better. Of course it works the other way as well. There is something I would like to talk about happening this weekend that isn’t a bad illustration of the former. Over in Brunswick is the Wine and Chocolate Walk. The event which pairs wine and chocolate at different stations throughout the small burg’s downtown is in its third year and is one of the town’s premier events. But it’s not just wine and chocolate.

The event also includes a beer and barbecue tent where individuals can sample smoked meats and a variety of craft beers. Some of the styles on the menu – pumpkin, saison, very likely a porter, and an India Pale Lager (yup, there we are, right back at that whole hybrid thing). So, if you’re not doing anything between 1:00 and 6:00 PM this Saturday, come hang out with us down in Brunswick, sample some beer, wine and chocolate, and hang out with me at the beer and barbecue tent.

Besides, if you’re looking for a place to open a business, now is the time to explore opportunities in Brunswick. It’s the county’s second largest municipality, it’s growing rapidly with the new Brunswick Crossing development (before the development went in there were over 6,000 people there, and projections put the little city at over 12,000 within the next two to three years), and there are some nice, little commercial properties available for rent or sale right in the heart of town, including a church.

See you on Saturday.

Philosophical Questions…

Throughout the years language has changed in regards to the industry. While language has lingered, right now the popular term is “craft beer.” Previously the moniker was “microbrew,” and you see a few brewers refer to their beers as “artisinal.” What’s the next step in the changing terminology? Haute? Prêt à boire? Or in the case of beer, would that remain prêt à porter?

We’ve recently seen a proliferation in mole beers, chili beers, sessions, beers made with flowers, and peanut butter and chocolate. What do you think the over-under is on someone making a fluffernutter beer sometime within the next twelve months? And would it be morally wrong to make this beer?

Finally, what religion are you? Brewddhist? Brewish? Aleslamic? Porterstant? Does it matter? It is, after all, all about the beer.

Tapped and Uncapped

Go give the 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat beer from Boulevard a try. Unfiltered with that mellow wheat beer base combined with a nice, complementary hoppy finish (citra?), this is an easy drinking beer. Hovering at 5.5 percent ABV, this beer won’t kill you if you have a couple in the afternoon while watching the game.

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.