Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. Hipster Brewfus was in charge of this month’s and he chose Beer Fight Club.
Round 1 – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
Beer is a wonderful thing, there’s no denying it. The elixirs created with just grain, hops, water, and yeast are bordering on sorcery at this point. The breadth of styles and flavors now available is unprecedented in the long history of our favorite beverage. And the internet has made it easier than ever for anyone to communicate their thoughts on all of it, including myself.
Rounds 2, 3, and 4 – Coming Out Swinging
Das Ale Haus initially got its start as a place for me to log my homebrewing experiences for future reference, and with the hope that someone would find my writing useful. As my brewing got more in depth and my understanding of beer grew I expanded the blog to include beer reviews, the likes of which you’ve undoubtedly seen on 100 other beer blogs. I joined great people who shared my hobby, both in person and online. I was checking out #beerchat on Twitter, frequenting /r/beer and /r/homebrewing, becoming a Congressional doctor, going to events, really doing anything I could to get involved. Every time I had a beer I found myself taking notes, adding it to the mental queue of posts to be written and published. I was taking a critical look at every sip, analyzing every drop, for better or worse. The times, they were exciting.
Rounds 5 and 6 – Overexertion
As my palate and Untappd list expanded I began hunting beer, searching out one offs, calling stores to see what was in, beginning to remember delivery schedules. The “to be written” list grew to an unmanageable size, and my daily beer reading began to eat away at time spent on life. Beer was gradually becoming more than a hobby – it was a job, and one I was paying to go to.
Rounds 7, 8, and 9 – Exhaustion Sets In
So I slowly backed off. I wrote about not doing traditional reviews, or any reviews, anymore. I stopped trying to post on a schedule, cranking out content for content’s sake. I stopped buying every new beer I could get my hands on. I stopped taking notes on every single thing I tried. I cut back on the reading and even discussion to an extent. I dropped the silly notion of trying to make it in beer, whatever the hell that means. I had to separate myself from the role beer had begun to take in my life. And now, I’ve begun to really enjoy beer again.
Round 10 – Don’t Call it a Comeback
Though I hate using the term “beer community”, I really love the people involved in it. As a beer blogger, by the loosest definition of the term, I’m excited to be involved. However, the work behind the scenes was starting to take a toll on the enjoyment of the process. It became a mental fight to get work done, with a nagging thought in the back of my head whenever I did anything beer related. Did I need content for the blog? How could I make the post original, not just another dull review? Is what I write even going to be worth reading? These questions have been coming at me for months, hitting me to the point that I wanted to tap out. It’s not my style to quit though, there’s still fight left in me. The bout between hobby and work is an ongoing one, but one I’m finally starting to turn back in my favor. A change of tactics and fresh ideas were needed to reverse the flow of the fight, and it has given me the advantage I was looking for.
Beer is fun again, the way it always should have been.