Oh, the angst flows like a river in the world of craft beer. The Big Bad Company (read: Anheuser-Busch InBev) has bought a couple of small breweries, most recently the [mostly] revered Elysian of Seattle.
The hand-wringing and howling is interesting. Although typically not as fury-laden and righteous as this take.
But thus far, I’ve not seen any mention of what was, I’d bet, a significant factor in the decision to sell: Age.
Most of the hand-wringers are, I’m guessing, under the age of fifty. The owners of Elysian are closer to sixty. (Even I, bad as I am at math, can figure out this one: When they founded Elysian twenty years ago, they were "in their thirties," according to the news reports I've read. Which means they're now in their fifties now. Of the pair, I've only met Cantwell, and I'd put him in the vicinity of 55-57.)
So here, friends, is a a fact about aging: Hit age fifty and as if by magic, time's speed accelerates.
Or so it feels. At first imperceptibly, and then with more intention, more intention, the mind sorts and sifts through the options each day delivers:
What’s this task worth to me and my limited time? Is this worth my effort? Do I want to hang out with assholes or is life too short? Is this TV series worth my time?
And the big one: "Damn! I’ve always wanted to do X. If I’m gonna do it, I better get on with it."
I’d wager solid money that the owners of Elysian are familiar with time's post-age-fifty pace-change. Perhaps they felt . . . not restless, exactly . . . but eyed with envy the busy world beyond the brewery. They'd devoted their adult lives to building this company but now, as time ticks more quickly each day, the urge to pursue other interests may have proved irresistible.
After all, these are smart, talented, creative people. There are, I’d bet, zillions of things they want to do and enjoy and experience.
And with the sale, they've acquired that which they'd lacked: The time and leisure to look beyond the brewery walls.
Yes, they're staying on with the brewery. But I'm guessing their stay came attached to a time-frame: We'll stick around to get you through the first two years, then we're outta here. Or something like that.
Aging: It’s more interesting, rich, and satisfying than you might think.