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, or to ask to host, go to the home page.
For the first The Session: Beer Blogging Friday of 2016, Dan Conley of Community Beer Works, a nanobrewery in Buffalo, New York, was the host. He asked this:
To which beer writer Alan McLeod at A Good Beer Blog responded:
And then Mr. McLeod wrote this:
See, beer is joy juice. Makes you happy. Makes you think you are a better dancer, that your joke is funnier than it is. Makes you set aside the rules once in a while. I once knew a couple that only seemed to get along when drinking. The solvent, as I quipped, was the bond. Like any thought altering drug, alcohol can make you think you are engaged in a friendship when you really aren't. "Good times, good friends, great beer" is the promise. How much more the risk when the beer is free and the friend is the brewer? Careful relationship management is required to walk safely though that potential minefield.
To which he perorated:
Are brewers my friends because I follow them on social media? Not a chance. They are not even my acquaintances. Doesn't mean they are not worth respect and attention. But in this business, that's just business. Friends are rare. Worth more than just respect and attention.
What is the nature of friendship? What is the purpose of beer drinking? What are beer goggles? What are professional ethics?
Mr. McLeod has plumbed those in a mere eleven paragraphs. Which is why I've simply quoted the pith of his essay for January 2016's The Session: Beer Blogging Friday, rather than contributing myself.
Beer is joy juice, Mr. McLeod says. With more of that, may the goddess bless us all in 2016, every one.