What I've Learned From My Book Tour (Part 1)

After spending the last five days promoting the heck out of Brewed Awakening, I can safely say that my bloodstream is at least 12 percent beer—largely composed of imperial stouts and other delicious treats of the craft beer world.

From Brooklyn to Portland, Maine, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Boston and back home, I've met hundreds of beer drinkers that reaffirm my one core belief: There are no jerks in craft beer. Everyone has been wildly friendly, rolling out an IPA-soaked carpet everywhere we go. Yet I've learned a few core lessons that have helped me survive:

* Bring more pins! I'm a button fiend, and I decided that it would be great to create pins for the tour (see above). But I had no idea how many pins people would snap up. We burned through nearly 300 in just four days. But never fear! We will make more on the double. And perhaps some special-edition pins t00.

* Eat dinner. Going on a book tour is a lot like a wedding. Everyone is so eager to chat that food sometimes falls by the wayside. One day, I had a single fried egg till 7 p.m. Strangely, there's never a shortage of beer.

* Sleep in. The evening book events sometimes stretch deep into the night. An extra hour of shut-eye makes me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—and eager to have another beer, then another.

* Enjoy the ride. It's easy to get caught up in the crazy stresses and constant travel. It's a bit like riding a tornado. But I'm happy to endure sleep deprivation and minor morning hangovers. After 11 years of being a freelance writer, I'm finally in charge of my destiny, writing about a subject I love best and spreading the good-beer gospel. Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.

P.S. This week, I'll be hitting Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Orleans. Phew! Check out my schedule and come say hey!