The past few years have been tough for everyone. Our social lives have been thrown into upheaval. Our businesses have been challenged like never before. I think, collectively, we just need to get back to some semblance of normal.
All of the changes have given me the time to reflect on the past 12 years. When we started Prud'homme Beer Certification in 2009, there were only 2 other major programs in beer education. Now, there are a handful globally and we all take a slightly different approach to helping people get to know beer a bit better. Clearly, classroom sessions have taken a huge hit in attendance but I am optimistic, we can get back to a place where learning with other like minded people is desired. Of course, online and distance learning is here to stay and may even become the preferred method of learning about beer.
With the rapid growth of breweries throughout Canada, the focus and interest in beer has never been stronger. New consumers have found beers that they love and breweries that are fascinating to visit and explore. Now... we need to help people (consumers and staff) to understand how to provide the best beer experiences for all of us. That means, we need to understand what makes a beer good. This includes acknowledging the concepts of pouring and serving beer and also grasping what that brewery intended when they crafted their particular brand.
In the past few months, I have been reflecting on the past of our industry and have seen such tremendous growth in so many different facets, that it boggles my mind. It's also time to be grateful... grateful to work in such a vibrant and fun industry, grateful that I get to do what I love - help people to gain a finer appreciation of beer and grateful to all who have supported Prud'homme Beer Certification since 2009.
So... thank you to the thousands of beer enthusiasts who have enrolled and graduated from our courses. Thanks to all of the breweries, hospitality providers, retailers and schools who have embraced our programs for your staff and students. We promise to continually innovate and create programs that are dynamic, fun and informative.
In 1997, I was fortunate enough to find myself at the doorstep of a great opportunity.