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Years ago I tried a beer, and to say it was not for me is putting it mildly; actually, nasty is the word that comes to mind. It took 3-4 sodas to wash the taste out of my mouth, and I can still taste how bad it was even today: clearly I’m not a beer guy. Since then, I have had many people try and convince me that beer is good. Is beer good? In my opinion, it’s not, but drink what you like; I don’t judge.

A couple of years ago, I met the owner of a local brewery who was convinced he could change my mind. He asked me what I didn’t like about beer and after hearing what I had to say, he told me he had some beers I should try. I sighed internally and said to myself, here we go; really…I don’t like beer, you can’t change my mind, you are wrong! I can be a tad stubborn on occasion, but I wanted to keep an open mind. I also didn’t want to offend my friend, so I made one rule: he could not get upset if I did not like it; after all it’s a product he made and is very proud and passionate about. His response? “You’ve already decided you won’t like it, you’re too close-minded, so never mind.” I let him know that was not the case, but I really am not a beer guy, bourbon on the other hand is a different conversation.

The next time we met he brought beer for me to taste and before we started, I reminded him of the rule. I’ll admit, I went in thinking that while this would be a crappy way to spend a Saturday afternoon, at least the company would be good, the cigars would be enjoyable, and I would leave with a deeper knowledge about what I already know: beer sucks! 😊

As my friend walked me through the beer, he explained the flavors and what I should be tasting (I got many of the notes); he also explained he picked these particular brews based on our last conversation about my disdain for beer. Bottom line, he listened, and then selected these beers based on what he understood I did not like about them. In turn, I kept an open mind while I listened to what he said, and surprisingly I liked the beers he brought; so much so that I bought a case of one of them!

Since that experience I have tried other beers, some were from my friend’s brewery, and some were not. Here is what beer taught me: if I keep an open mind and listen, I may learn something new, enjoy the conversation and broaden my horizons. Imagine what we can accomplish if we listen to understand and keep an open mind.

“An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.”– Mark Twain

Enjoy your weekend,

V-

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