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Superior offers genuine welcome

On Oct. 2, I rolled into town to speak about the impact of craft beer throughout Wisconsin, the topic of my recently published book "State of Craft Beer," at Superior Public Library. Prior to Oct. 2, I had been to Superior two times in my life. Once in 2016, to take photos and interview employees at Thirsty Pagan Brewing, and once this past May, to deliver copies of my book to Thirsty Pagan's taproom.

In those earlier trips, the only parts of Superior I knew beyond Wisconsin's "sour beer and pizza mecca" (my coinage) were limited to the drive in and a fill up at the Kwik Trip on my drive out. This time, I made a point of scheduling an entire evening, and that in and of itself was worth taking some time to reflect on.

From the wonderful people who showed up to my presentation, and the ones who joined me at the reception afterward, to the Monday-night bar crowd I rubbed elbows with early into the next day, it was a true pleasure meeting the fine people of your city.

In the craft beer industry, there's a sense of community that transcends knowing someone. You get the Cheers-type atmosphere where comments from strangers on the opposite end of the bar are always welcome. It's a community I've immersed myself in for the past two-plus years, to the point I forgot this simple act of humanity can exist beyond brewery walls — not in all places, that I can verify. But in Superior, it existed everywhere I went.

The six-hour drive from Milwaukee now feels a whole lot closer to home. For that, I know I will coming back to get to know you even better. Thank you, Superior.