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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Pivní Filosof -

I think all this can be said about pretty much everything that is being blogged about.

There are "professionals" writing about a topic for one sort of "mainstream" media or another and getting paid for that, and there are the bloggers, most of them people who have something to say about a topic they feel passionate about.

Of course, there are great blogs and there are really abominable ones, there are blogs written by people giving their honest opinion about a given topic and there are those that are no more than shill. The same can be said about professional journalism.

The thing here is that people like Mr Lenker feel threatened by "hobbyist" who write for free about the same topic, many of whom perhaps do it better than him.

And there's one thing about blogs that you rarely find in the mainstream media, backlinks. Most good bloggers will put links to other blogs, etc. And that is a great way to discover other authors that, otherwise you would have never heard of.

I also write about beer in Spanish and follow many of the Spanish beer blogs out there. And believe me, I am really glad they exist. If it was for what is written about beer in the mainstream media, people would believe that "Lager is a kind of pale beer very popular in America" (I swear to all the gods that I've seen that written in a Colombian newspaper).

All this rant is to say that there is enough room for everyone.

Southern Fried Scientist -

Honestly, his article reads like dozens of others written by "professional" writers who get pissed because people are paying attention to alleged amateurs instead of listening to him. Beyond being an infinitely useless complaint, it shows a profound lack of respect for his own readers. He's basically saying his readers are too stupid to decide what good beer writing is. Anyone with that attitude doesn't deserve an audience.

ed gayos -

the guy who had to spend the night in the garage for taking one glass too many. the experience alone does not make him an authority but what the heck, it's his hang-over he would be writing about.

Prof. Pilsner -

Well written, Alan (hope that compliment is not seen by 'professional' beer writers as a threat to the fabric) Maybe it's just me, but reading this piece, does anyone else picture Bart Simpson leaping around the room desperately vying for the attention of his loved ones?

Prof. Pilsner

Steve -

"I don't believe everyone should be publishing his or her opinion with abandon".

Wow, I actually had to pause and read that again (and then again). Putting aside the whole issue of free speech, how different would the craft beer scene be if we had to rely only on "seasoned reporters" such as Mr. Lenker for news and information about beer? Would the craft beer market have grown as fast if there wasn't sites such Beer Advocate, Rate Beer or any of the thousands of amateur beer blogs? This "amateur beer writing" creates buzz and awareness of new breweries, beers, festivals and has raised some brewers to rock-star status. I don't get paid for posting items on my blog and I'm not limited by an Editor on what I can say and how much space in which I can say it, so does that mean the information I'm conveying is not valid? I look forward to learning next week how to ensure that *my opinion* does not do more harm then good.

E.S. Delia -

The article mentions the presence of editors, but I can certainly spot mistakes in several newspapers and beer-related publications (print or otherwise), so these people may not be worth the money they're paid. Besides, there's the whole content issue.

I have in fact glanced at Mr. Lenker's column from time to time. More often than not find that I can extract very little substance from his "Beer Nut" articles so I have largely ignored them. That's honest criticism, which doesn't "help the cause." At least not one beer writer's cause in particular.

But that's just the opinion of one unpaid blogger. Thrown at you with reckless abandon. How long does it take before I can become a "seasoned" blogger? What spices are required?

Joe -

Alan, thanks for a very thought-provoking read. I've been both a print journalist and a blogger, and IMO the issue long ago ceased to be about medium... i.e., print writers versus online pundits versus whatever. The much bigger issue is now, and has always been, quality. It tends to rise to the top, even while there is limitless room for passionate amateurs.

ed gayos -

i agree with joe. the issue is all about quality, both of the writing as well as of the beer being written about. qualitative writing enlightens, and is addressed to the mind; beer of quality refines one's preferences, and is addressed to the taste buds. In the final analysis, though, beer is meant to be drunk, not written about.

Eugene -

Wow, I think anyone should be able to write about anything.
Sure there are some reviews out there that make little sense.
But that is the point let the person reading it decide.
This is the internet hitting a back button or another link to get away from a bad article is damn simple.

Alan -

Apparently, these things can get ugly.