• Joel

Working in Boots and Booze

So here we are on lockdown during the Covid 19 pandemic. Many of us are out of work and suddenly finding more time to think and reminisce. I was working at a local brewery a half hour walk from my house here in San Francisco. We are usually a very busy and packed taproom full of people with about twenty or so craft beers on tap. It is actual physical labor as I try and keep up with the younger crew of mostly men that I work with; lifting kegs, pouring beers, and mopping up a giant warehouse after a busy night. But we made decent tips and I love the beer and crew I get to work with everyday. Then on Sunday March 15th all bars, taprooms and vineyards and restaurants etc. were forced to close because of the virus. Suddenly every bartender and waiter in san Francisco was out of work. The schools closed and other businesses followed.

The city has mostly shut down and the streets are basically empty. I was devastated about losing my job and freaking out, as many of us were, about how we were going to pay our rent and bills, etc. How do we survive with no work: anxiety was high. It took a week or so for most of us to figure out what to do next or what was to become of us in our assorted situations. I got lucky, my work figured out a way to stay open and keep us bartenders employed. Because we made the product right there on the premise, we could still sell our beer, but To Go only. Some came pre-bottled and in cans, but we could also sell 32 oz crowlers of whatever we had on tap, which we then canned by hand while the patron waited. So now we each get 1-2 shifts per week doing that, and can also pick up an occasional extra shift by working on the production line as needed. So I wear boots for work and work in the booze industry.

So now that I got over my initial panic of how I was going to get my rent paid, and relieved to know that I am one of the lucky ones who still gets to have a job (although of course I will still be broke and struggling, like many of us during this time) I at least know now that I can hopefully survive though this troubling time. Now it is time to try and relax a bit and start working on creative projects and begin to reminisce about past times and the innocence of youth.


Back in our younger days we made our own underground pub in Santa Cruz. We called it The Dover Arms. My house was built from a garage at the end of a long driveway, just over the bridge from the downtown area. The pub was built out of a tool shed that was right next to my bedroom. It was our club house. My crew and I hung out and drank many a beer there, illegally of course, as none of us were old enough to get into bars yet. We were a bunch of board teenagers in a small town. My crew was almost all guys, made up of my boyfriend at the time, Joel, and about ten to fifteen of our close friends. We wore boots and liked to drink booze. That was our thing back then in the days of our youth. Soon after our pub project where we all congregated, Joel started the magazine Boots-N-Booze.

And yes I find it somewhat amusing that after all these years I am once again working in boots and in booze, as well as the new format of Boots-N-Booze magazine. So happy reading you all. Time to reminisce.

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