The Strategic Monk 2011 Craft Brewery Pilgrimage arrived at its final destination over the weekend.
One Saturday each month from May to October, a thirsty band of pilgrims, and designated drivers, braved the freeways and surface streets of Southern California in search of the best craft brews. Inspired by the historic connection between brewing great beer and monastic life, and by the explosive growth of craft and home brewing in Southern California, we visited six great examples of the craft brewing the region has to offer.
We began in May at Eagle Rock Brewery.
In June, we headed north to Ladyface Ale Companie in Agoura Hills.
In July, we turned south to Noble Ale Works in Anaheim.
August took us to Hangar 24 in Redlands.
On October 1, our first Craft Brewery Pilgrimage culminated at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido.
Not only did we sample excellent craft brews. At each stop, we highlighted a locally-based nonprofit organization. For example, we heard from people who are passionate about leadership development in Africa, advocating for those affected by human trafficking around the world, peacemaking between Christians and Muslims in Egypt, and planting trees to plant hope throughout the world.
While we are taking a few months off, we recognize that there is still work to be done. There are craft breweries we were not able to visit this year, and there are new opportunities opening every week. There are nonprofit organizations going unrecognized which need our support. There are people throughout Southern California who have yet to appreciate the beauty and importance of an excellent craft brew.
I vow that I will never give up this quest. I am already busy researching potential sites for next year’s pilgrimage, and I will continue to report on my efforts in the months to come.
If you know of places I need to explore, especially if you would like to meet me there, please tell me about them. If you know of nonprofit organizations that deserve our attention, please tell me about them. I look forward to hearing from you.
How will you help make next year’s Craft Brewery Pilgrimage even better than this year’s?
[Image by MacKinnon Photography]