Life is short. Make the most of the time you have.

Curtis 1The best thing about the craft beer community is not the beer, it’s the community. Yesterday the Nashville beer community gathered to celebrate and remember our friend Curtis McArthur, who passed away on New Year’s Day after a tragic accident. There was noted absence from our gathering because Curtis was the heart and soul of the group. But he was there in spirit, having made a lasting impact on everyone who was privileged to call him friend.

curtis 2We toasted our friend yesterday with a 2004 New Belgium La Folie. While it wasn’t Curtis’ favorite beer, it was his sour beer epiphany. The toast was streamed and watched by friends across the country. Here’s a link to the toast (you’ll need a livestream account.) Curtis had an astounding cellar, his collection was one of the best I’ve seen. It was featured on Draft Magazine’s website in April 2012. Curtis was the Tennessee Sale Manager for SweetWater Brewing.

We all heard the news the evening of New Year’s day. It was a horrible way to start 2014. June and I were stunned and speechless and our hearts hurt. Trying to make sense of it, I wrote this Facebook post on January 2nd.

curtis 4Started 2014 with dreams, goals and plans for the New Year. Standard stuff, really. Get healthier, manage my finances well, improve my work skills, learn German and
pursue my hobbies. But about 7pm on New Years Day, I got news that a friend died in a tragic accident in Atlanta. He was only 28 and full of life. He always had a smile on his face, a generous heart and was a friend to all he met.
Today I’ve been thinking about how short and fragile life is. While I want to do all those things I resolved to do, I know now that most of it doesn’t matter in the long run. What I really want to do in 2014 is be more present in the moment with the people I’m with. To smile more, worry less, be joyful and make others happy. To spend good time with family and friends, and treasure each of those moments. Deep down, isn’t that what we all want, to love and be loved?
Keeping Sara and the McArthur family in my thoughts and prayers. Here’s to you, Curtis. You taught us all a lot about how to live. You’ll be missed.

There will be a celebration of Curtis’ life this Friday, January 17 in Maryville, TN at the Maryville College Alumni Gym at 5pm. In Nashville on January 18th, friends will gather at 4pm at Soulshine Pizza.