I once stumbled across the term “hugging the bar” in a list of historic slang terms for being drunk. I mysteriously can now find no proof of this to link to, so pretend this is Twitter and blindly believe me.

I dig the phrase because it doubles as an expression of loving the bar, as a third place, as a hub in your community, as a place where you see people you like, as a place you go to blow off steam or relax or meet friends. All of that feels especially important to remember and hold on to tight now.

With that in mind, Hugging the Bar will cover news, trends, people, places, and events in the craft beer, bar, and drinking world, but with more personal context and more of an examination of what these things actually mean to us. I love hop innovations and I can talk about them all day long, but here, we can wax a little poetic and raise a glass to the things we love.

This will all be happening with an emphasis on New York City, as I live here and think the beer and bar scenes here are the bee’s knees. But sometimes, we’ll wander, as I like to do IRL in non-pandemic times.

If you’re a dude who doesn’t believe I have the mental marbles to write about beer because I’m a woman, lol please see yourself out, but also, for anyone who’s interested, I’ve been writing about beer (plus food, other drinks, travel, history, and heavy metal, baby) for outlets like October, VinePair, Good Beer Hunting, Craft Beer, Hop Culture, Grub Street, Edible Brooklyn, Fodor’s, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Kerrang!, Loudwire, HuffPost, and more. This I can substantiate with a link. I’ve also been a mean little craft beer fiend since I turned 21, which was…let’s just say long ago enough that in my day, we walked 15 miles uphill both ways barefoot in the snow to track down craft beer from the very few spots in NYC like Rattle ‘N Hum, Spuyten Duyvil, and Spitzer’s Corner.

The only other things I think you should know is that these newsletters will also include beer tarot readings (trust me!) and dog photos, from brewery pets to my own pug, Darby, who is the crankiest animal you ever did see and also the center of my universe. Can’t wait to hang here with you!