Monday, December 30, 2013

Was 2013 a wasted year? 14 ways it wasn't.

I believe most people want to make a difference with their lives.  After all, if there is no reason or motive for your existence, then what is the point?  Right?

I recently found myself bemoaning another year gone by without doing anything worthwhile.  Another wasted year.  I didn't conquer the world in 2013.  We are still in this same house, same job, same city, same school, same routine.  (About the only thing different is that the Gators aren't playing in a bowl game this year...ugh.)

Then my wife stopped me in my tracks.  "Wait a minute, you sold over $1M dollars at work this year," she began.  "Yeah, I guess.  Plus I started the Brew Club," I continued.  Maybe it wasn't a complete waste.  I got to thinking some more.

If we don't stop to count our successes, we will never now far we've come.  Here are a few successes from 2013...somewhat in chronological order.


  • In February I met some great people while volunteering for the Deland Craft Beer Festival.  I shared homebrews with the guests at the event.  Seeing people enjoy your creations can be quite fulfilling.  Check out these posts from earlier in the year.  Part 1 and Part 2.
  • One of my beers won the Valentines Inspired brewing competition.  This was a partial collaboration with a Twitter friend form Australia, who supplied the original recipe on which the beer was based...though this had different hops, yeast and was all grain (and in English units rather than Metric).  More of the story can be found here.
  • I took the brewing on the road for the first time and brewed on location at the Sanford Homebrew Shop for the AHA Big Brew.  There I met some additional new friends.  More of the story here.
  • My son had a dream a few years ago of bringing Archery as a sport to his small private school.  At the time, I didn't think there was a mechanism to make this happen.  Long story short, our family is now all certified coaches with OAS (Olympic Archery in Schools) and our little school will have a team in this year's spring session.  And only because a 14 yo (at the time) had a dream and desire.
  • I started a homebrew club.  In August, the first meeting of the Brew Club of Seminole County was held.  Each month we've averaged about 20 people per meeting and participated as a club in three public events and held two group brewing sessions.  Check out the Facebook Group and the story here.
  • The Belgian Dubbel I brewed in July won Bronze at the Sunshine Challenge competition in November.  This is one of the largest homebrewing competitions in Florida.
  • I also was able to participate in the judging at that competition (though not for the styles my beers were entered, of course).
  • In November, my wife brought home here metal for the 5K event, my son brought home a metal from a State Archery Competition, and me with my little bronze metal.  We are all successful in the things we set out to achieve.
  • My son and I began making our own cheese.  Just a few batches of Mozzarella so far, but we are getting better.  And the important thing is we do it together.
  • At work, I exceeded my sales goal for the year by more than 10% and sold over $1,000,000, with profitable margins. 
  • This year, I brewed 15 different beers, at roughly 4 gallons each.
  • We've been able to have "Family Time" on multiple occasions at Disney this year.  Some of our favorites are the Food and Wine Festival and the events surrounding the holiday season.
  • The Facebook Page was created for Dunerbrew and this blog has been maintained (to a decent extent).  Check out and "Like" the Facebook Page.
  • I realize this list is very beer-centric.  Well, that is what this blog is all about.  Perhaps better than than the beer itself, this hobby have given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, whom I now call friends.  We help each other and are better as a result of knowing each other.
Am I just patting myself on the back?  Not really, rather reminding myself that things do get accomplished when you set out to do them.  We may not have conquered the world, but are on a pathway to making some sort of difference in the world.

What will 2014 bring?  Hmmm.  We'll see.

Cheers!