Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson
It started with a walk around the Rose Bowl
a few years ago.
A Facebook group called Walking Pasadena
invited people to walk around the Rose Bowl on a Saturday morning.
Their event was apparently scheduled early for most people, because
only four of us showed up, two men and two women.
I was wearing one of my collection of craft
The other guy, Tom, and I walked together
and started talking. He commented on my shirt and we started an
extensive conversation about our shared appreciation for craft beer.
We talked about the various breweries we had visited and beers we
enjoyed the most.
Some, but not all, of our favorites
About a third of the way through our walk
Tom mentioned he was active in a local church and he and his wife
had just begun a four year program called EfM.
I said, “It is like we are the same person!” I am an active member
of another local congregation and had also recently started my first
year of EfM.
Tom and I have quite varied background
experiences, but we have arrived at some of the same kinds of
places. By the time we finished our walk around the Rose Bowl we
We knew we wanted to find a way to combine
our passion for craft brewing and interest in spiritual life.
Getting together once a month to try new beers and talk about our
spiritual adventures sounded like a great way to bring them
Our schedules bounced around a little, but
eventually our Third Wednesdays were born.
While there were several strong candidates
for where we would get together each month, we quickly settled on
Company Store near the Del Mar stop on the Gold Line in
Pasadena. We started getting together with a variety of people each
Some months brought quite a few people
together, while other months Tom and I had to ourselves. We could
talk about what was going on in our respective EfM experiences
or at church or in our spiritual life in general.
It was a great opportunity to ask questions
or share ideas or sort through things in a relaxed way.
Last June we reached a milestone which
sparked our thinking. After four years, Tom, his wife Shannon, and I
all completed our EfM program. We graduated on a Saturday morning in
June, and we invited people to join us at the Stone
Company Store in the afternoon to celebrate. People from both of
our churches joined us.
One of the questions we thought about was
what we were going to do after we completed the program. We decided
it would be enjoyable and interesting to turn our Third Wednesdays
into a sort of ongoing monthly community where we could continue the
reflection we had started during the program.
We have had a couple of months to sort
things out and it seems like this is something we want to continue.
Some of us seem to be more attracted to the
opportunity to try some great beer each month. Other people might be
more interested in the conversation and reflection.
As far as I am concerned, the two fit
together really well.
Our Third Wednesdays are examples of the
spiritual life of beer. We can sit and relax with a few beers and
reflect on what is happening in our lives. None of us has all the
answers and we each ask insightful questions.
Please join us on the Third Wednesday of any
month at the Stone
Company Store. We get together at 6:00 PM. This month, the third
Wednesday is September 19.
Bring your questions and experiences. We
look forward to sharing.
Greg Richardson is a spiritual leadership
coach and spiritual life mentor in Pasadena, California. He is
passionate about craft brewing, listening, and monks and monastic
life. Greg is a recovering attorney, executive, and university
professor. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com and
he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk.
You can email Greg at StrategicMonk@gmail.com,
and he writes a blog for the Contemplative channel