This weekend seems to be quiet on the North American beer blogging scene, perhaps with good reason - and a reason beyond the change in weather that saw a blizzard move though a week ago and the low 20's C here at the east end of Lake Ontario that might drive any sensible person away from the computer. The annual Craft Brewers Conference is on in Austin, Texas and many of the pro beer writers (a category not in a way unlike pro bass fishermen) are there. Many are attending including Jay who is posting from the heart of continental fine brewing.
It makes me think, this Saturday night, about the place of me and he. You see, I am not there. He is. And, just as much as he ought to be there, I shouldn't be - however pleasant the company would be, however attractive the scene. If I am anything, I am only the sound of one beer being sipped: one a day, day after day, week after week. That is only how this particular art is received. I only have met a few of the people who brew this craft beer we love and even fewer of those who write about the brewing and the drinking of the craft beer we love. So, if I could be with anyone, it is not really those folk I want to first be with. I am more interested in who is Stonch, Knut and Donavan and our ilk: those who open and then experience what others have created.
I think of we happy few from time to time, we writing beer fans, and I think of us not as part of the trade. We are not so much as the target in the market sense but, really, as ultimately the fundamental point of it all. We are the audience before whom the play is played out. The people who think not so much of how to fill the glass but are necessarily there to experience and judge the correct emptying of it. I may be a fan but I am also the guy with the opener.
The more I think about it, the more I think we are all at the Quinte Hotel, the sensitive ones aware that there are flowers in the glass.