I recently met up with John Greenfield, an old high school friend of mine, who has recently chosen the path of the wise: beer-as-a-way-of-life.
Earlier this year I was at the Chicago Green Festival doing a talk about drinking beer and saving the world. After the presentation, I was loitering around my publishers booth, signing autographs and fending off the screaming fans, and suddenly John Greenfield appeared! Hadn’t seen him in years but it turns out his life has taken a turn for the decidedly beerier. He’s involved in a Chicago group called Bring Back the Draught.
The group has four (and counting) neighborhood-based chapters dedicated to draft beer. John’s group, the Ukrainian Village Draught Beer Preservation Society, has a saying: “Yak pobachu pyvo, ne proidu mymo.” Translated, this means “I will not walk past a beer, when I see it near.”
The group says they:
“will work to support taverns in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village community. There are 29 bars in the neighborhood, liberally defined as the area bounded by Division St., Ashland Ave., Grand Ave. and Western Ave. To pursue the goal of drinking in every bar in this (roughly) square mile, the Society will meet sporadically at various watering holes.”
This past summer, John combined his dedication to draught beer preservation and with his commitment to bicycling and set off on ambitious journey. He biked from Portland, OR to Portlan, ME. He visited dive bars and brewpubs all along the way and blogged about it at Bars Across America. Now he is working to turn this adventure into a book. I can’t wait to read it!