I’m a couple of days late getting my latest edition of the Session blog carnival posted, but at least I shot it on the right day, right?
This month’s session is all about drinking alone, namely, going out to pubs for a pint by oneself. I’m a bit wishy washy on the subject, as I have been known to do it from time to time but for the most part I do all my drinking from bottles in my house.
Check out the carnival host here.
And a full list of all past Sessions is here.
This month’s Session is all about Pale Ales. Hosted by The Beer Babe: She asks:
“Your mission — if you choose to accept it — it so seek out and taste two different pale ales. Tell us what makes them special, what makes them forgettable, what makes them the same or what makes them different. Then, share it with us.”
I had a bottle of Fuller’s London Pride and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I also talk a bit about pale ales in general, why we as beer geeks tend not to take them too seriously, and why we perhaps should. Check out the video below.
(Any beer bloggers watching this video should definitely check out the Youtube beer community if you haven’t already. There are some great channels out there doing some pretty incredible beer reviews. Likewise, any beertubers out there who haven’t plugged in to the beer blog community are missing out, as well.)
Pete Brown’s topic for this month’s Session is “The Beer Moment.” Here’s how Pete describes it:
So in that spirit, my choice of topic – with 62 topics already covered – is this: simply, the Beer Moment.
What is it?
Well, what is it to you? What does that phrase evoke for you?
That’s the most important thing here. Switch off and float downstream, what comes to mind? Don’t analyse it – what are the feelings, the emotions?
I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, because I’ve been talking about it to various people who are working hard to try to improve the image of beer in the UK. Because whether we articulate it or not, whether we drink vile, sunstruck Corona or barrel aged imperial stout brewed with weasel shit, it’s about the moment far more than the liquid itself. The only people who disagree with me on this are people I wouldn’t want to share a beer with.
The moment – for me – is relaxation, reward, release, relief and refreshment. It’s a moment to savour, a moment of mateship, potential, fulfilment, anticipation, satisfaction, and sheer bliss.
It’s different from the moment you drink wine or spirits – it’s more egalitarian, more sociable. It’s not just about the flavour, nor the alcohol. It’s about the centuries of tradition and ritual, the counterpoint to an increasingly stressful life, and the commonality, the fact that it means the same thing to so many.
At least – I think it does. What does it mean to you?
I might have gone slightly off topic here, but the whole point of the Session is to get a kind of shaggy dog feel for the beer community at large, so I think it’s okay. And as a way of fostering connection between the beer blogging community and the Youtube beer community, I have done my answer on video:
I hope those of you who are visiting from the blog world will check out the wonderful beer community on Youtube. You can find my channel here, and there’s plenty more out there if you look. And those of you who are fans of mine on Youtube, I hope you check out Pete Brown’s blog linked above and read some of the other bloggers covering this month’s topic.
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.