When I heard that Beeritz was no more this morning as I sat down to work, I was genuinely gobsmacked. Of course, such sudden news is bound to do that, but it also felt very personal. Given that blogs are for this sort of thing, I thought I'd string a few words together this evening. I've supported Beeritz since I began drinking beer in 2005-ish, and that only ramped up since I started blogging about it in 2007. It's no hyperbole when I echo the sentiments of many Leeds beer fiends that without them, TGS would be nothing.
I'll illustrate this with a simple tale. Last Saturday, I had been stuck in the house for two days straight. My Border Terrier, Wilson, had been neutered and I was getting pretty bored of house-sitting an equally-bored, doped-up, tired and frustrated puppy. I decided on Friday night that this simply would not do, and resolved to go to Beeritz on Saturday.
I was actually excited - not only to be leaving the house, but to be indulging in my hobby with the old credit card primed and ready for action. The clock ticked down to 12; and off I was, dog-sitter arranged, in the car and riding the ten minute journey to Headingley.
When there I was greeted by Ghostie and Tom, and we spent the next half-hour chewing the fat: Dogs, Beer, Homebrewing, Marketing Strategy, and finally Beer Label Art. I left the shop much later, £50 worth of sweet ales clinking away in the boot of the car.
So although I can go online and buy beer now - in fact, I'll have to - it's this connection with the shop and the staff that I'll miss the most. Beeritz was much more than a shop - it was a hub,
simple as that. What's more, the loss of it is massive for Leeds; a real black hole.
So I'll take this opportunity to say Thanks Zak, Ghostie (Can we reveal your name, yet, mate?) and Tom - and all previous staff. God knows I owe you all a few pints. Best of luck to all of you for the future - and I really mean that.