Friday, January 01, 2016

Beer is joy juice. (The Session: Beer Blogging Friday.)

Session 107: Holiday Beers 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:

The topic I want you all to write about: “Are breweries your friends?” To be in business nowadays you pretty much have to have a social media presence. This is especially true in the beer world, where some breweries have basically built themselves on their personality. And yet, at the end of the day, we’re also selling you something. I believe this is the first Session to be hosted by a brewery rather than beer blogger. How do you feel about that? Do you want your feeds clear of businesses, or do you like when a brewery engages with people? Can you think of anyone who does it particularly well, or poorly?

To which beer writer Alan McLeod at A Good Beer Blog responded:
What an excellent set of questions. They ask us to look in the mirror a bit and think about how beer affects relationships but they also ask us to consider the meaning of friendship. I am a lucky guy. I have friends. Friends are people who you have known a long time, have been with you through good times and bad, folk who you can rely on without any thought of doing something in return. When they let you down the relationship is not undermined. Friends are rare.

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.


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