New Beers Resolutions
December 31, 2009


The Beer Chicks have asked us for our best and worst beers of 2009.  There is a tie for best– between the sublime BrewDog Zephyr, and Pete Brown’s traditional Burton IPA– the same beer brewed for his voyage which he documented in Hops and Glory.  After fermenting for two years, it took on all sorts of mysterious, vinous, lambic-like characteristics.  Really haunting and complex, made moreso by its role in such a marvelous narrative.

In 2009 this blog turned one.  It started as a whim and has now become central my lens on life and London.  The days of the lone blogger are over; I’m part of a community.  It’s introduced me to fascinating people, many who are now friends.

My biggest leap of faith in 2009 was investing in BrewDog.  Why did I do it when so many in the blog-o-shire put forth compelling arguments not to?  When it’s not really an investment? When the Equity for Punks promo material was clearly sexist? When the guys at BrewDog went one stunt over the line and reported their own beer to the Portman group?  I confess the lifelong 20% sweetened the deal but really, I believe if anyone can inject new life into brewing in the UK and turn on a younger generation to craft brewing, it’s BrewDog.  Their beers excite me and capture my imagination. James’ sincerity and passion have won me over. I want them to do this thing– the new brewery, the brewpub, everything. It’s going to be amazing, the kind of thing that is already alive and well in the US. The Equity for Punks scheme is a bit crazy, but it just might work, it might be this kind of craziness that’s needed to ring in this sea change. What a coup it will be if they pull this off. These are exciting times in terms of craft beer, especially in Scotland, but in the whole of the UK.  I don’t want to miss it and I want a front row seat.

My big mistake of 2009 was not brewing enough of my own beer, not finding enough time, bottles, gumption.

The Beer Chicks have also asked us what kind of beer-o-phile do we want to be in 2010.  For me that would be a home-brewster beervangelist of a higher order.  Brewing stronger, bigger, tastier.  I want to take the beer message to the people.  And by people I mean non-beer drinkers.   In 2010 as in life, I want beer to dictate my travel itenerary and season my travelogue.  I want to eschew the role of foodie in favor of beer bard and alethropologist. I want to have a green knees up in Hastings at Beltane. I want to be my own surveyor of a beer map of Scotland and hunt for booze in Bruges.  And all this I can do, provided the Border Agency sees fit to keep me.

Happy New Year, beer-0-sphere!

Beerversary
April 21, 2009

2433560912_60e29d1dd0_oA year ago I started this blog after the prompting of my friend Milla.  At the time I thought I would only be documenting my beery adventures in Europe and the UK for a few friends back in the US.  I hadn’t yet considered brewing my own beer.  I wouldn’t have forseen the possibility that a year in, an international group of beer hounds might be reading.

Daily I’m amazed at the traffic this blog receives, and the wonderful people I’ve met through it.  Though it was a rocky start with some surprising hostilities, I’m grateful to the beer blogging community, most notably Jeff/Stonch and Pete Brown who originally pointed readers my way.  Beer lovers remain in my mind a group of eccentric sensualists who pursue their strange love in fascinating ways.  Just when I think I’ve run out of things to say about beer, I’ll read Boak and Bailey, Mark at Pencil and Spoon, Ron at S.U.A.B.P. (He might hate this acronym) or Wortwurst and they will renew my wonder at the ways we can talk about this simple drink.

I never wanted this blog to be a list of tasting notes, or some kind of culinary meditation on the good life.  Other people do that much better than I. Beer is a forbidden fruit, something some would say that as a woman I’m not supposed to like or be seen drinking.  It’s the contrarian in me that has continued this blog even when it was unpleasant to do so.   In searching for the infinite variety of this ancient brew I’ve ventured to places I never would have found otherwise: pagan pub crawls, dodgy taverns, village fetes and even the desolate cliffs of the Outer Hebrides.  Along the way I’ve met many kindred souls who’ve made a life drinking, making, and chasing the stuff. I’m glad to know you.

Cheers!

DNFTT
September 20, 2008

Since around May of this year this blog has received countless comments basically telling me I’m stupid and that I should just shut up.

Some friends have said publishing these comments exposes the commenter as the jerk they are.  Some fellow beer bloggers have even implied that not posting comments is censorship. But this assumes these comments are part of a discussion, which they are not.  Trolls never want to discuss anything.

I’ve considered shutting this blog down a few times because I’m tired of dealing with it.  But then I realized this is the state of the blogsphere: comments give space to small people with typing skills, cowards who are threatened by the voice blogs give to people they normally don’t have to deal with, and though the “controversy” may make the hit count soar, I’m not interested in that.

Apparently this is not an isolated case:

Internet Harassment of Women

Feminist Bloggers Face Online Harassment

Misogyny Bares its Teeth on the Internet

How the Web Became a Sexists’ Paradise

This is my blog, and it is public, but it is also private: it’s about me, an actual person– a woman who likes beer and who’s going to keep writing about it.

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