The Session Number 62: What Drives Beer Bloggers?
The Session is a beer blogging group roundup that I’ve done from time to time in the past, but seem to always miss posting for because I’m continually a week or two behind. So it goes.
This month’s topic is “What Drives Beer Bloggers?” I encourage you to read their explication in full as it’s difficult to excerpt and I don’t want to quote the whole thing.
I don’t have any particular handle on other beer bloggers, so here I’m going to have to talk about my own reasons for blogging. Besides the far-off dream of one day amassing enough of a following and establishing enough of a “name” in the field to do this for a living, it basically comes down to two reasons: communication and education. The first is easy: for most of my beer-geek life I’ve had few if any persons who were also interested in the intricacies of beer in my immediate area, and so sharing what I’m drinking online is a go-to substitute. I’d hazard to guess that through websites like BeerAdvocate and RateBeer that most budding beer geeks have some kind of hybrid of online and personal interaction about beer, especially when first starting out, and starting up a beer blog (or, at least, posting beer-related content on a personal blog, as I’ve been doing since August of 2005) is the logical next step.
Sure, as Brewpublic notes, there’s plenty of narcissism in the “let me show you what I’m drinking,” concept, and the very conceit of a blog in general tends to be self-focused and navel-gazing, but I think it’s ultimately about communicating a love for something amazing. Or not so amazing, for plenty of beers out there. It’s about reaching out and sharing with like-minded individuals.
The second reason I listed above is education. When I started getting into beer, it was in one of the most restrictive alcohol states in the country, with a six percent ABV cap on beer and a sixteen-ounce container size limit. (The former, thanks to Free the Hops has since been lifted; the latter has not.) There were maybe two hundred beers available in the entire state when I lived there, and about the most exotic were beers like Old Speckled Hen and Spaten. There was very little understanding in the culture around me that there even existed such a thing as “good” beer, what different styles were, et cetera. A common understanding of beer in that area (and among many people everywhere today) was that “better beer” just meant something like Michelob Amber Bock or Negra Modelo, i.e. that all beer is pretty much the same, but some beer is made of higher quality ingredients and more expensive. Many major beer producers Corona rely on this kind of marketing for their very existence.
So why blog? I spent so much time trying to navigate the world of craft beer with its dizzying array of styles that I decided to try to give a little back, to provide my hard-won knowledge to anyone with an internet connection who could find it. Which is why even to this day on my Youtube channel I take all the beer review requests I can from viewers, and have even read aloud viewer emails on my podcast. It’s about sharing, sure, but it’s about paying it forward, trying to share the knowledge that makes this stuff easier for those who come after me than I had it, and knowing that there’s a perfect pint out there for pretty much everyone.
Highfalutin’ words, I know, but that’s why I blog about beer.