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While we in Buffalo are pulling out our boots again, Ethan — as though having been warned by some supernatural force — has skipped town. To warmer climes, certainly, but also to beerier ones: he’s at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco.

Hobgoblin elf

No no no, I said hob NOB, not-

So yes, while I shoveled my driveway yesterday he was rubbing elbows with brewing luminaries. He hasn’t let it get to his head, or at least he hasn’t yet taken to adding Michael Ian Black’s ‘(Very Famous)’ to the end of his name, but it seems like he’s having a lot of fun, and learning quite a bit to boot. If you’d like to keep up with his adventures, our Twitter account has been more active than usual (and the #cbc2011 hashtag will let you see what others at the event are saying as well)

Now for something completely different: the small brewer excise tax bill that we reported was going to be reintroduced but hadn’t yet? Allow us to introduce S534, the Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief Act of 2011. Again: this is very important, not just for CBW but for all producers and consumers of beer.

So, you.

Well I suppose you've got me there.

No matter where you are, write your congressmen and let them know you want them to support this bill. Chuck Schumer is already a cosponsor of it, but what of Kirsten Gillibrand? If you’re not from New York State, here’s a list of senators: have at them.

And finally, back at home: you’ve RSVPed to the CBW at the Blue Monk event, haven’t you? We’d be ever so grateful if you did. Great beer, handsome brewers and a crowd of fun people. We hope to see you there.