Friday, October 02, 2015

Beer blogging: beating that drum to the emptiness of the universe.

Session 104: Quick! Write... And Make It Good!! The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community, begun in March of 2007 by Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin.

On the first Friday of every month, a pre-determined beer blogger hosts The Session: Beer Blogging Friday. He or she chooses a specific, beer-related topic, invites all bloggers to write on it, and posts a roundup of all the responses received. For more information, view the archive page.

When no potential host stepped forward to host October's edition, the 104th, The Session's co-creator, Jay Brooks, seemed to suffer an existential pang of doubt:

Way back in early 2007, Stan Hieronymus had an idea, one he’d borrowed from the wine bloggers, who at the time were further along in both numbers and longevity. That idea was Beer Blogging Friday, the monthly Session that takes place on the first Friday of each month. The plan was simple. Beer bloggers from around the world would get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic each month, on the first Friday.

Lately, however, it’s been hard finding hosts and fewer and fewer people have been stepping up. For the last year or so, we’ve limped along, and we’ve been able to keep going only by the skin of our teeth. There have been more than a few months when someone stepped up just in the nick of time and offered to host. Should we keep the monthly Session going, or put it out to pasture, and declare it past its prime and no longer of any enduring interest? Certainly beer blogging has changed in the eight years since we started the Session. When I asked Stan [Hieronymous, beer blogger, writer, and co-founder of The Session] yesterday — since it’s really his baby — he wondered if we should “take the philosophical approach, that the Session has run its course,” noting that “it lasted longer than the similar wine project” that inspired it.

To the rescue came Alan McLeod —beer writer and author of blog A Good Beer Blog.
I was going to tell you to write anything you feel like whether it makes any sense or not... but then I realized that's what you do anyway. Especially you. Yes, you!! So you are going to write about this: if we just "take the philosophical approach, that the Session has run its course” aren't we really admitting that beer blogging is a massive failure? I say no. I say this is a fabulous way to cover up problem drinking with anti-social internet addictions. Maybe you know of another reason we should keep writing and try to make some sense of the beer and brewing world. Well, goodie for you. Write about it. Explain yourself. Because if you can't you are really admitting (i) you've wasted the best part of the last decade or (ii) you live in a fantasy world where think you are a beer writer and not a beer blogger and that's soooooo much more important.

Alan, you've asked:
If we just "take the philosophical approach, that the Session has run its course” aren't we really admitting that beer blogging is a massive failure?

Well, in three words: I think not. In more words: you're foisting a false dilemma upon us. Or a claim to beer-blogging exceptionalism.

As I write this, Hurricane Joachin is bearing down on me —or maybe it isn't.
The weather Sunday and Monday remains highly uncertain with heavy rain…strong gusty winds…tidal flooding and erosion remaining a concern…though it could just turn out to be a partly sunny and breezy day.
—The National Weather Service

That's a C.Y.A. hoot.

To be well-prepared —for either contingency: emergency or autumn life as normal— I stocked the larder with an ample supply of batteries, pet food, toilet paper, and bottled aqueous extract of hordeum vulgare —that last item fortified psychotropicly by my friendly neighborhood brewer— minus extranea.

Before doing that, I posted a not-in-any-way-storm-related Facebook rant against corn syrup, modified corn starch, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavor, and artificial color (aka marshmallows) as having any place in 'kraft' beer. Smores extranea. As a reward, I was quite wonderfully 'trolled':
No one cares. But keep beating that drum to the emptiness of the universe.

And that's a hoot I'll accept as a challenge. Why not?

I'll continue banging that good-beer drum into the void, confident that, somewhere, good-beer SETI will hear me. But better with the companionship of The Session: Beer Blogging Friday.

  • The troller equated actual significance with virtual Facebook 'likes.' That's an unsettling view of validation, a commentary for another day.

  • For more from YFGF:

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