If we think of our personal family histories, the stories told are fragmented, pieced together from photographs of the events and the memories of those who were there. Or, more often, told by those who were told the story, who heard the story from someone who was there. Does this sound like your family? Perhaps your business as well?
As an archivist, I’m lucky to have a lot of those who were there during “the good old days” to tell me these stories. Just like our own fragmented memories – and, let’s be honest, we’ve done a bit of drinking – those stories can be blended and shifted. It’s one of the important reasons to have an archive: it serves as a factual reference to our memories. It solidifies what we colloquially know or it proves the story was embellished, as is often the case.
As we see the newest statistics this year in The New Brewer‘s Industry Review, those stories are grounded in facts. They have been documented in The New Brewer since 1988 when the first ‘Industry Review’ was issued. We relish the May/June issue for its reporting of the previous year and how it will guide us into the financial year ahead. This particular issue’s cover story is especially close to my heart because some of my family members lost their home in the Camp Fire. Having the support of breweries around the world to eventually help them back on their feet will be a family story we pass on for generations to come.
With these new reports come new opportunities to learn. Where will we go from here? What is the next big thing? I can’t tell you the future, but I know whatever stories we tell, we can reference what was and they will help us to know what will be. The stories and statistics agree that breweries have created some of the most innovative solutions to challenges we faced in the past. No matter what the future brings, I know you all will shape the industry into a better and more prosperous present.