A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Alan -

It appears one may have been attempted in 1998 at Berkley...but what wasn't.

Beered -

The structure of such an enterprise is critical. At the core, where drinkers/thinkers would congregate in a more cerebral sphere, would need to be a journal of sorts. This could very easily be electronic, solicit work by it members, have issue-wise themes or foci, and be published not on a rolling basis (like out blogs) but bi-monthly or so.

Around these would/could be smaller groups, regional perhaps, of drinkers/thinkers, whose gatherings would be micro-conferences, where presentations, drinking would take place.

Larger conferences, where chunk of cash and organizing need be, could be, exactly as you suggest, Alan, called for when critical mass of thinking/drinking been done...what?...bi-yearly.

Father Baldeze -


A commendable idea. I recall once reading an anthropological essay on beer consumption patterns in America and their relation to the industrial revolution, and it was something the gist of which I will not soon forget. (I do, however, forget nearly all of the details and even the venue). Consider me intrigued.


Alan -

I have started to sketch out a web-based thingie called <i>The Journal of Culture and Beer</i>. Too pretentious?

Beered -

I have read the proposed thingie. I believe the title is apt. Apt as hell.
Not pretentious.
But, I would suggest a significant conversation. First off. Perhaps, Alan, through your own site, this fine site, you could solicit proper essays, notes, thinkings that would populate a journal. That would be the first step. To ask for submissions, and then assess (sp.?) what you/we find.

Alan -

I was actually thinking of doing a little research on academic departments that might be interested, sending some letters. I think that the only way you are going to get a lot of submissions is a prize. And a prize takes some academic legitimacy to induce donations so you have to start rough and build. So it takes a bit of word of mouth.<p>I think you could write beer and literature article, for example. Something along the lines of survey of references to beer. I recall that Hemingway had a great reference to Heineken in the morning in <i>Islands in the Sun</i>, his postumous novel. And Anne Dillard's <i>The Living</i> is set in the US NW's hop growing region at the outset of European settlement. References that are not <i>Strange Brew</i> nuttiness or a tale of alcoholism.

Knut Albert Solem -

I may not have the academic credentials to write on that level, but I would certainly be interested in contributing, covering the Scandinavian scene. I think we should aim for a balance between what is a good read and what is more scolarly, and include book reviews etc.
I think it is critical to recruit someone from Germany and Belgium to make sure we cover these countries, I think there are lots of stories to be told there - at least they have not been told in English.
I think CAMRA and others are doing a fair bit in the UK, for excample by documenting the history of beer, pubs and brewers.

Alan -

We exist administratively as a publication. Got the email this morning for "ISSN 1715-7811: The Journal of Culture and Brewing".

I have to work on the masthead.


Donavan Hall -

Alan- Excellent idea. What can I do to help? I've been involved with a few academic symposia in the past and the real scut work is filling out the grant proposals. I don't think academics are used to being paid for published papers, in fact in some fields it's the other way around, the academic foots the bill for "page costs." But there are certainly cultural differences. I was for a brief period involved in yearly symposia not directly related to my professional research interest. In both cases, I and the bulk of the attendees footed the bill for travel and whatever else. Only a couple of the "keynote" speakers received honoraria. As for the resulting publication, issues can be sold to the attendees and other interested people. What about as a first step find that meeting place in upstate New York and have a round table with some beers on it and discuss this and other issues of high cultural import?