Boston is known for many things. It is a city filled with stories and historic landmarks everywhere you turn. I knew it would be a great place to live before I moved here and that there would always be something new to see or do. What I didn’t know was how much passion Bostonians had for one thing in particular: beer.
Now, before I continue, I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating for anyone to go out and drink. Alcohol can be a dangerous thing, especially if it becomes something more than just a casual beverage. It’s all too easy to give in to temptations when faced with stressful situations. That’s why I feel it’s important to remind everyone to be responsible and to consider the consequences of their decisions.
With that said, let me now tell you about the cultural phenomenon of craft beer. Most people who drink beer are used to products offered by the largest breweries in the world, otherwise known as “macro-brews.” Brands like Budweiser, Michelob, Natural Light, and Miller all come to mind. They are often lighter on the wallet, but also lighter on flavor.
After coming to New England, I realized just how different things were here. There is a lively and passionate craft beer scene in the northeast, and the people here are very proud of that fact. When I talk about craft beer I’m referring to smaller, often independent brewers. They are sometimes called “micro” or “nano” breweries, depending on their size. They are not only distinguished by their independence, but also by the care and dedication they put into brewing their beers.
Samuel Adams is a craft brewery that many people would recognize. Run by the Boston Beer Company, it has grown a great deal over the years. Yet, today it still only captures about 1% of the beer market in the United States. Its founder, Jim Koch, came from humble beginnings selling his brews to restaurants and bars. Today you can find Sam Adams almost anywhere you go to buy groceries.
I guess that’s what’s so appealing about craft breweries like Sam Adams. They put a great deal of effort and creativity into producing a superior product because they care about the people that will be buying it, not just their bottom line. Those who live in New England have a great deal of respect for brewers like that, and are often inspired by them to try their hands at brewing themselves. The feeling you get from making something your own and presenting it to the world with your label on it just can’t be described.
It is this admiration for the little guys that makes Massachusetts, and Boston in particular, such an interesting place to live in. You don’t have to travel far to take a tour of one of the local breweries such as Samuel Adams or Harpoon. It’s easy to make a day of seeing the sights, tasting the brews, and learning the craft. Perhaps the most difficult thing is not falling in love with it all after your first experience.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you’re still in law school. Beers are best saved for when you have finished your work and have some time to relax. Still, there’s actually a lot that can be learned from the craft beer scene in New England. It can even contribute to a better understanding of the legal field in general.
I believe the most valuable lesson comes from the art of brewing itself. What makes the best brew is not how cheaply or quickly it can be produced, but the quality of the ingredients. Likewise, no matter what size law firm you work in one day, what makes you a good lawyer is how well you are able to serve the interests of your client.
It will take hard work and long hours, but the end result will be something that will make you proud. It really comes down to the choices you make. You can choose to take the fastest and most lucrative route, but you can’t ever forget who it is you are representing. Your reputation is a powerful thing. You get to decide how to develop it. In the end, it’s going to be your name that is on the label.