Good morning all. The sun is shining here in Devon and I've got beer-related plans over the Easter weekend that will cause me to be away from the blog for a couple of days, so I thought I would participate in my first Session. How it works is a particular topic is chosen or a question is posed three weeks in advance of the first Friday of each month, then on the day beer bloggers around the world are invited to post their views on that topic. I've seen various posts over the last year or so but never felt like participating until today, as I feel this month's topic is a very pertinent one in the world of blogging- what drives beer bloggers? I read a couple of interesting and succinct perspectives when I signed in earlier (here and here), which has given me the motivation to comment on this issue. This month's Session is hosted by Alan at Brewpublic.
I started this blog in July last year with the intention of posting about various interests and hobbies that preoccupied my time. I had been introduced to the joys of "real ale" during my second year of uni after spending my formative drinking years necking pints of mass-produced adjunct lager, but I still wasn't so enamored with the stuff that I would happily devote hours to seeking out different beers, attending "meet the brewer" events and determining what made each beer so interesting. Fast forward to late June last year and my first visit to London solely for beer. I had devised a nice route taking in all the pubs that would soon become firm favourites (Cask, Craft Beer Co, Euston Tap, The Draft House Tower Bridge, The Dean Swift, The Rake, not in that order though for obvious geographical reasons), and once I had returned from that weekend, I knew I would never look at beer in the same way again. It sounds incredibly clichéd, but after I found out there was that much flavour and variety on offer I realised I had found a new pastime. Since then a relatively short amount of time has passed, but my passion for beer has never waned. I actively seek out new offerings from my favourite breweries and rising hopefuls, I enjoy reading about brewing processes and I always seem to find an excuse to talk about beer, regardless of whether or not people actually want to listen! I used to use social networking sites like Facebook to keep people updated on beers that I was trying, but it wasn't until December that I decided to take the plunge and start reviewing them. I used the format of the advent calendar to discuss a new beer each day in the run up to Christmas and enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to continue the reviews.
I have no delusions about my blog- it's my own personal account of beers that I'm fortunate enough to try and it gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions with others in a friendly and honest worldwide forum. I know there are thousands of people out there doing what I'm doing (and doing it much better), but that's more exciting than daunting as it shows just how many people are willing to go against the grain and defy the blanket adverting of large breweries trying to convince you their product is in some way superior. Breweries like Mikkeller, BrewDog, Magic Rock, The Kernel and countless others don't need billboards to attract people, they know the beers will be enough to bring dedicated drinkers to the pubs. If you brew it, they will come, so to speak. I'm not trying to be the next Pete Brown or Mark Dredge, I just enjoy beer with a genuine and unending passion, and that's why I continue to blog about beer. What continues to drive me to blog is how much I learn from each beer, and how much I can learn from communicating with others about their own experiences and perspectives. Tasting is such a subjective process despite each style having characteristic flavours and aromas, so hearing what other people get from a beer and trying to find that yourself is part of what makes it so rewarding. I'd also like to do more posts related to the brewing industry or the business side of brewing as it's an area I'm not particularly well-versed in, but at the moment I'm simply too busy to get into it fully.
Apologies for the long post, I didn't realise I would have so much to say on this matter! I'll definitely try and do more of these Sessions in the future though as they help to clarify my obsession and might help others to understand why I'm so crazy about beer. Thanks for reading!
Until next time....