I have to admit it. Had I had more space for yesterday's headline it would have read "Thing #2597 To Not Give Rat's Ass About? Fretting About Wine Fans." It was an imprecision on my part. The whole fretting thing is the fault, not those wine fans oblivious to how some beer fans crave their passing notice. I need to be more precise. I might even want to be a precisionist one day, although that has certain connotations. If not, how am I ever to improve as we all now know we must given the current state of affairs beer bloggy:
Over the last few months I have attempted to spend more time reviewing the work of citizen beer bloggers. The result, sadly, is not a more profound understanding of the medium but a reinforced confidence and parallel to my views on beer writing as a whole. I’ve simply not come across many unique or distinctive voices in this new online community of writers. It tends to be more of the same sort of repetitive and highly personalized content experienced in the wider market of beer writing available to consumers.
Now, I suppose some may say what does it matter what Andy thinks. I might be one of those people except I am not. Beer writing is very odd stuff that gets caught up with who you know in the biz, what life has made available to you, what gets sent free in the mail and what misconceptions you have been brought up with.
Yet, the only way to get better at it is to write. Look at Jordan St. John and where his diligence has gotten him. Starts his blog last spring, pays attention to having a voice of his own and now he's getting paid to write for the Toronto Sun. Like that's going to happen to every beer blogger. By definition, the rest of us are at best lucky to be minor league and maybe semi-pro. Maybe a sample box now and then, maybe a sponsor or an ad.
Does this mean you need to interview a brewer, must quit writing reviews and stop republishing press releases? For me, only the last is a crime against humanity. Write whatever you like as far as I am concerned. Just don't be boring, fawning, abusive, repetitive, a stooge, a thinly veiled search engine optimization vehicle, a drunk, a self-proclaimed expert, a bad photographer, riddled with historical error, be the second beer blogger named Pete or Knut or Jay, use adjectives like malty or hoppy, poach posts, fail to give hat tips or fail to search on Google before calling your blog or column "The Beer Nut." Avoid that and you'll do just fine.