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Session #94 – The Round-up

Dec 6, 2014

As usual with The Session, some posts are more interesting than others. Here’s the round-up for #94 in no particular order.

Miguel gives us this post at Amante De La Buena Cerveza. Unfortunately I don’t speak a word of Spanish, so I literally have no idea what he said and cannot comment on it.

David at Beer Tinted Spectacles describes himself as a Zealot! At first that sounds a little negative to me, with a danger of getting into beer evangelism (something that I am not keen on), but the tone of the post seems less alarming than it did at first – I also remember Lamot Pils quite well – well, but not necessarily fondly.

Jeff at Make Mine Potato (?) describes his interest in cultivating a culture of writing about beer. This is something that I am interested in, since a lot of my professional life involves writing. Unfortunately, because I spend so much time writing as part of my work, I have found it increasingly difficult to write about beer on a regular basis. A shame, and another beery frustration for me.

The SessionOver at Our Tasty Travels, Brett offers this post. He touches on a few roles, but seems unconcerned with such definitions and simply describes himself as a ‘beer lover’ – I’d imagine that would be something that ties us all together.

From Ireland, The Beer Nut is JUST a bloke with a fiver in hand looking for his next pint – again, probably something that binds most of us, unless you get your beer for free!

Also in Ireland, Steve largely ignores the subject of The Session, and simply promotes a new brewery (is he in advertising?) at Beers I’ve Known.

Velky Al at Fuggled touches on a lot of things (homebrewing, writing, running his own cask ale based pub), and also tells us of this dislike of beer evangelism (me too). I think Alistair and I may have a few things in common.

At Tale of Ale, Rueben tells us of an evolution of his role (common to many of us), but then lays it one the line by declaring “I see myself at the forefront of the craft beer scene in Ireland“! So, any questions on beer on that particular island and he’s the man!

The Session

Alan at Growler Fills tells us about his role as a story teller and about his blog as a consumer information conduit, each relating to the beer scene in Montana. He also touches upon the nasty reality that getting into blogging (in whatever form), tends to change ones relationship with beer, and I believe that he intimates that’s not always for the best – I agree. Alan also has a pop at breweries who are less than helpful with providing information, or just simply lie!

Douglas is in Baltimore and at Baltimore Bistros and Beer he reflects on some really interesting things for me. He tells of the fact that complaining about things that are wrong in the beer scene can be very tiring – I agree completely – and goes on to say that he didn’t like the cynicism that it brought. This is followed by him saying that he is, ‘not writing to call out breweries for throwing candy into casks’, and that he doesn’t, ‘care about the incorrect labeling of beer styles’. That’s where we are at 180 degrees to one another, and while I agree that it IS tiring to focus on the less than positive, I actually see it is as absolutely CRUCIAL to do so. As such, I wish people would do it far more often.

The Session

Derek at Ramblings of a Beer Runner hits on some interesting things, too. As a science writer myself I fully appreciate his reference to Samuel Arbersam’s book, but the analogy falls down a little for me since I don’t believe that an increasingly large volume of beer artifacts necessarily means that there is an increasingly large body of relevant knowledge or product. He goes on to say, “I imagine most of us continuing to blog feel an increasing challenge to keep up with the rapidly expanding beer scene, lest we fall into a similar obscurity” – actually I don’t feel that way at all, since my blogging is largely for my own peace of mind, and falling into ‘obscurity’ is not something that I am concerned about.

Oliver Gray’s Literature & Libation blog focuses on storytelling. I find this angle (generally) a little too romantic for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been guilty of such things in the past too, but it seems to be a theme for Oliver. Mechanically, I think that Oliver writes quite well (probably much better than me), but I sometimes leave his blog feeling as though he is trying a little too hard to make me fall in love. That sounds a little harsher than I want it to be, but I hope that Oliver takes it in the spirit it was meant.

In the Beer Search Party blog that Sean Inman writes in LA, he describes himself as (amongst others things) an occasional influencer. Interesting, since I would think we’d all be happy to accept such a role even if we never sought it.

Stan at Appellation Beer decides to step back and observe more than participate, which I think is easier for him to do since of all of the people mentioned here, his role is perhaps one of most well established and easily defined. A luxurious position to be in, and one that avoids the angst of wondering where one fits.

The Session

Alan (whom I don’t always see eye-to-eye with – shocking, I know) at a Good Beer Blog, recognizes that earning a living by writing about beer is next to impossible, and that he got over that a long time ago. He also says that the ambition to do so left him long ago, but at the same time says that he might, “perhaps direct others down a better path towards the way of good beer” – so he at least (apparently) still feels the ambition to have some influence even if it is not paid.

Franz at Tempest in a Tankard lines up nicely with me in suggesting that he wants to broaden the horizons of American, craft beer drinkers beyond the cliched extreme monikers and beers – good luck with that, mate – don’t hold your breath!!!

Aaron at watchudrinkin also strikes a chord with me when he describes himself as a critic. I like that role and analysis, even if I am unconcerned with some things that bother him, like sexist marketing.

Ray at The Barley Blog comes back to The Session after some time away, and I am glad that my questions provoked him into action once again. It seems that Ray’s blog has origins much like my own, in as much as I see my own beer writing in purely selfish terms. It does appear however, that Ray does even better at being selfish than me, since he seems to get a lot more beer sent his way for free!

That’s it. If I have missed you, please drop me a note and I will correct the oversight.


Joan chimes in from Barcelona on his Blog Birraire. He describes another, very fast evolution (quite common) and one which ends with him earning some money from his beery interaction.

Glen chimes in a little late at Beer Is Your Friend.


  1. Oliver Gray

    Taken in the right spirit, Ding. I make no apologies for being romantic, while also acknowledging that it’s a bit much at times. Just doing what I enjoy as a wild-eyed youth ;)

    Thanks again for hosting.

    • Ding

      So my observation is a fair one?

  2. IPA Beer

    When it comes to beer, who can describe themselves any more “zealot” than the other?

  3. Oliver Gray

    Yea, I think so. I write how I write; I know it’s more ornate and entrenched than traditional nonfiction, and I’m fine with that. I want to have fun when I write something, so that a reader can potentially have fun when they read it.

    Am I trying to make people fall in love? Possibly. I’d honestly never thought about it like that, so I appreciate your perspective. It’s not a conscious goal, but I guess all opinionated narratives have to sway a reader someway. Perhaps I’m more honey than vinegar, generally, as a person.

  4. steve

    You somewhat missed the point of including my blog…my (main) role in the beer scene locally and further afield is to make people aware of beers and breweries we have here and my blogging about them furthers that goal, as does getting it to a wider audience via the session!

    • Ding



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