Jay Brooks -- Human Being Extraordinaire

Also long as I'm praising wonderful people, I've got to say something about Jay Brooks. He's the guy behind the Brookston Beer Bulletin, which I've mentioned more than once in my own blog. I don't have much free time to surf the 'net, plus I spend all day staring at a computer, and don't WANT to spend my free time staring at it then as well. So I'm not one for visiting websites and reading blogs. But I try to read Jay's blog every day. He covers the beer industry and things/ideas/events related to beer and alcohol. And he does a very very good job.

What's amazing is that this isn't his full-time work. He's a stay at home dad, caring for two small kids, and anyone who's ever done that knows how exhausting and time-consuming kids are. Anyway, somehow Jay manages to juggle all this work and responsibility and crank out the best beer blog in the country.

So my hat's off to him for that. But I'm writing about him today because he's also an extraordinarily generous and kind human being. I know that firsthand. In late October, I'll be in San Francisco co-hosting with Fritz Maytag a book party at Maytag's Anchor Brewing Company.

But that meant I needed to come up with a guest list. The problem is that I don't live in SF and know a grand total of four people in the Bay area (most of whom I know because I interviewed them for the beer book).

So I wrote to Jay, with whom I'd exchanged maybe two emails total, and asked him if he could look at my guest list and make some suggestions as to who else I could invite. (As near as I can tell, Jay knows half the population of northern California and 100% of the people living there who are involved in beer.) He said sure! Glad to help!

Now remember, this guy doesn't know me from adam. I'm just some email address out in cyberspace. But he says Sure! Next thing I'm know, I get a lovely email from him apologizing for taking so long (a grand total of what?, eight days has passed since I'd asked for some guest-list input) and a list of 107 names, complete with addresses and broken down by category (eg, brewery owners, bar owners, journalists).

Holy COW! I was speechless and nearly in tears that this stranger would spend so much of his obviously limited free time to help me out. But I've said it before and I'll say it again now: beer people are very very special people. Smart, lively, passionate about their work. And incredibly generous. And Jay Brooks, human being extraordinaire, is yet another example of that truism.

Jay, thank you! And everyone else, please, read Jay's blog!