Gonna start your year on an existential note: what is happiness?
Some would say security. Some might say love.
Charles Schulz would have us believe it’s even simpler than that.
Here at Foothills, our happiness – professionally yes, but in many other ways as well – is inextricably linked to the craft beer we make.
In fact, that’s kind of what we like to think we do – we ‘craft’ happiness.
But hey, happiness is sort of intrinsic to everything we do. That’s the case when you work in a job that’s almost always fun. It’s like training dolphins. Or being a weatherman in Hawaii.
As we debated what to do with our “of the month” series for 2017, we looked back (fondly) at the previous three years of beers; IPA of the Month in 2014 and ’15, and Hop of the Month last year.
We all agreed on one thing: IPAs are what we make, what we love and what we drink. So dance with the one that brung ya.
But what to do thematically? Our IPA of the Month labels went from vintage pinup girls (popular) to dogs (VERY popular). What should succeed that? North Carolina landmarks? Historical figures? Sports legends? (MJ IPA, anyone?)
The discussion became a rambling coalition of random thoughts, musings and laughter. That’s often the case here – simply because, in addition to making beer that makes us happy, most of the time we tend to make each other happy as well.
That’s how the ‘Craft Happiness IPA Project’ thing came to be. That’s kind of how everyone on the planet spends their lives – trying to craft happiness. In doing so, we each (hopefully) experience the epiphany that crafting happiness for others is a great way to achieve it ourselves.
So this series will have, as its central theme, our ongoing desire to make others happy.
Yes, we’ll do that with the beer – or so our track record would indicate.
But we’re calling it Craft Happiness for a bigger, more ambitious reason. There are people, animals and places that, for one reason or another, often due to circumstances beyond their control, are not happy. There are causes – locally, nationally, globally – that are in constant need of increased compassion and awareness. Even the most basic of needs — access to food, clean water, and shelter — are as alarmingly prevalent as they are uncomfortably close to home for all of us.
So this series will endeavor to bring awareness, attention and generosity to some of those needs. Each month, we’ll focus on a human, animal, or environmental cause in our world. The label copy will highlight and define that cause. The beer’s name will reflect that cause. And a portion of the proceeds every month will go to help that cause.
Example: our first IPA, to be released in February, will highlight the cause of homelessness and the dearth of affordable housing options for many in our community. The beer’s name? Domicile. Based on sales of the beer, we’ll find a charitable organization (perhaps several) where we can contribute a portion of the beer’s overall proceeds to help alleviate that particular need in our community.
Further, we’ll encourage all who enjoy the beer to increase their awareness and support of that cause.
Each month we’ll bring attention to a different need – a different opportunity to craft happiness for those in our community and in our world.
Being happy doesn’t mean everything is good. It simply means you see the good in everything. That possibility exists within each of us – and hopefully, within each new beer we create for the Craft Happiness IPA Project.
These beers will be available in North Carolina ONLY to start with; we’re working on federal approval for other states.
Regardless, we hope you’ll raise a pint with us – or more specifically, eleven pints – in the coming year.
And help us craft a better world while we’re at it.