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  • Writer's pictureMcGoo

It's Been A Year

It’s been one year since I started Hop Happy, hard to believe. If you’ve taken the time to read a blog post, like one of my photos or roll your eyes at one of my jokes, thank you for the support, it means a lot to me. I had no idea what I was doing when I started this endeavor one year ago and thankfully I still don’t. That keeps me working to improve my writing, photography and learn more about the beverage we love.

If you are thinking of starting something (hopefully not a fight) but rather a passion project, the best time to start is will learn and improve as you go. I’ve told myself "I can't" and talked myself out of almost everything I've wanted to pursue. But learn from me and give yourself a chance.

Hop Happy was created as a personal venture in optimism; I needed to find some positivity in a life I had filled with negativity. A year in and it seems to be working! The feedback that we have received from breweries and readers has been incredible and we are so grateful that people enjoy our content. I owe everything to my incredible wife who has whole heartedly supported me and pushed me to drink more craft beer. Wait, I mean to write and pursue this passion. Visiting breweries, making silly TikTok videos and setting up photos has brought us joy and even closer together. I have enjoyed watching her tastes in beer evolve and love that we can talk styles and flavours together.

Patio beers in parkas!

The future for Hop Happy is bright. When you keep it positive and exude goodwill the potential seems endless. There will be more brewery visits, blog posts and much more spreading of cheers. This year we hope to start building a Facebook craft beer community. A community based on positivity and goodwill towards Ontario breweries, beer bars, small businesses and its members. Some of our readers have expressed their desire to get involved with Hop Happy, this is your opportunity. We need your help to build this community and start the conversations. We envision a group where people can post pictures and thoughts on beer without the fear of being criticized. I think it would be great to see an Ontario centric beer group where breweries and beer drinkers can interact in a positive way that benefits all. Oh, and field trips!

With over 300 Instagram posts and 21 blog posts, here is our top 7 favourite Hop Happy Instagram and blog photos. These are not the most popular pictures deemed by the almighty Instagram algorithm. These are our faves!

As always, stay positive and drink good beer.

7. Big Family Mersey Backbeat English Style Bitter

We're big Beatles fans in this house...I mean, we named our son Jude. When I saw the label for Sarnia's Big Family Mersey Backbeat bitter, a Beatles inspired photo was a must. Luckily we had kept our collection of Beatles CDs and I was able to use the covers for an overhead shot. The photo isn't overly inventive, we just love the Beatles and the shot turned out nice. Mersey Backbeat has also been my favourite offering from Big Family. We are planning a return visit there soon, but until then check out our blog on Sarnia's craft breweries here.

6. Sir Fuggled Doublebottom, GLB Pompous Ass English Ale

It was Great Lakes Brewing's birthday, and I'd had a few of their delicious Canuck IPAs when an idea struck me. Within 10 minutes I had gathered a Willy Wonka hat, suit jacket, tie, pipe cleaner monocle and a bemused wife to take the pic. Here you have a proper Pompous Ass.

5. Collective Arts Good Monster

Capturing this picture of our cat Gus was pure luck. Cats aren't well known for picture posing or really caring about anything. I set up the beer beside him while he was sleeping, and stepped back to take the picture just as he was just waking up. He moved into a stretch and I took only one shot, one and done. Gus is a 10 year, delightfully plump Norwegian Forest cat that is incredibly gentle and loving. He's a good monster.

4. London Brewing Work from Home Golden Ale

This is basically a snapshot of my Monday thru Friday for the past year and a half, minus the beer unfortunately. This Golden Ale from London Brewing was brewed in collaboration with the Dad Club of London Ontario. The Dad club is a group of London and surrounding area fathers who raise funds for charity and help raise each other up. It's an incredible group of guys and one that I am proud to be a member of.

P.S. those are my son's shark slippers...but I want a pair!

3. Refined Fool Cabin Jeans Cream Ale

Sometimes I get a little crafty. The packaging for Refined Fool's Cabin Jeans provided me the idea to construct a tiny cabin complete with a smoking chimney. The smoking effect eventually resulted in the cabin burning to the ground. It wasn't like I was moving in. For this pic I had to scale a fence, swat away ticks and sneak by an assumed killer groundhog named Murray....worth it.

2. Chronicle Brewing Star Destroyer French Vanilla Emperial Stout

Beyond being my most liked and viewed post on Instagram, this is a special picture to me. I had been saving this delicious stout for when a Star Wars themed picture idea came to mind. My 6 year old son really wanted to help me with a beer picture and this label design was perfect. He thought up the idea and the layout and we got to work making it happen. Afterwards I got to enjoy the stout, he got a popsicle and we will always have this picture.

1. London Brewing Graffiti Wall

Couples that drink craft beer together, stay together. London Brewing Co. is a great place for not only excellent beer but also IG photos. All the exterior walls along the patio are adorned with colourful graffiti art. This was one of the first posts for the blog and it continues to be a favourite of ours together. So much so, that we plan to return to London Brewing every year and retake this picture. Because we age like a fine barrel aged stout.

If you've made it this far.... you deserve a beer! Cheers and thank you!

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