A History of Beer
As one of the few men on the leadership team at English Rose Suites, Zach Parlier, Employee Relations and Knowledge Coordinator, leads Men’s Group every other Friday. This gathering, specifically catered to the gentlemen of English Rose Suites, provides a wonderful opportunity to form connections and relationships with other like-minded Residents.
“It’s an opportunity to come together as men with similar life experiences and interests and bond through snacks, coffee, and conversation,” said Parlier.
The discussion topics during Men’s Group often vary. They have covered a wide variety of topics such as baseball, World War II, Lincoln Logs/toys of yesteryears, football and the history of beer. Yes, you read that right, history of beer! They will discuss almost anything that is suggested by the group.
“We have an eclectic group of guys from such varied backgrounds, but we always have some sort of connection to the topic of discussion,” said Parlier.
During a recent Men’s Group gathering the topic was beer: the history of beer and how it is made.
“One of our Residents shared, during a prior group, that his favorite beer is Grain Belt. We obliged and picked up a six pack of Grain Belt. We had a smaller group that day which allowed for many stories and memories to flow,” said Parlier.
Parlier poured each gentleman a frothy glass and started the discussion.
“I suppose that if we’re going to drink, we might as well do something productive,” said one Resident.
The men reveled in having a beer together, sharing their memories of their first beers. They provided such quick and clear answers. Parlier started the discussion with the history going back to how the people of Mesopotamia many, many years ago, would drink mead from a communal bowl using reed straws.
One Resident chimed in, “We’ll have to try that next time!”
The two men bumped glasses and “cheers-ed” to that.
“I took a moment to realize this is normalcy. This was two guys having a beer together in the late afternoon after a busy day. THAT is exactly what Men’s Group is all about. Being men together,” said Parlier.
The benefits from Men’s Group start from the basic principle of just being together as men. The Residents’ demeanor and overall way of carrying themselves instantly change when they gather. Posture is a little taller and straighter, voices a few octaves lower, and there is a shared respect for their peers.
It’s always interesting to see how they initiate discussion each time. There are never any requirements or expectations to start Men’s Group. Usually they go around the table introducing themselves and they will always state their name followed by something else… an occupation, how long they served in the military or their rank, their relationship to the group, or goals from attending the group. The camaraderie that is created is almost tangible.
By just being surrounded by other individuals at a table with a scheduled agenda and purpose, there is a sort of “return to the board meetings/conference rooms” type feel. These men enjoy each other’s company and stories.
“Through the subjects chosen being so relatable, many of the stories that are shared are told with such vivid detail that accesses these men to memories that they have not connected to in perhaps years. Even those who may not be able to verbalize at a high level, will listen intently and comment here and there,” added Parlier.
It’s the little details and personalized meaningful engagement that makes English Rose Suites and b♦home Home Care a special and unique place to call home.