Consider this: There are something like 1400 non-brewery affiliated beer bloggers around the world, about 957 of which are in North America. I am taking these numbers from beerbloggersconference.org. I assume that the majority of them are unpaid. I am lucky to work for a newspaper syndicate. Above all, the thing that constitutes success for the bloggers and beer writers is readership. In order to be relevant, you have to be read. One of the best ways to do that is to write glowing reviews of products made by craft breweries who will then likely link to your review. Other bloggers will also spread your observations. This becomes a self-fulfilling echo chamber of feel-goodery. Eventually, bloggers write fewer negative reviews overall because no one will end up reading them unless they are particularly entertaining in their bitchiness.
I think I must be particularly entertaining in my bitchiness by that standard as I don't think I am an evangelist for anything. I do not write about crap beers all that much but I also do not post all that many beer reviews. I look at The (One and Only True) Beer Nut as one of the few who is writing consistently strong and credible beer reviews out there. Me, I am driven by a desire to write something five or six times a week. I have done that for almost nine years. I like samples and I like ads but I think I really like writing. I like readers whose existence I track via stats on Twitter, Google Reader and the comments on this blog. I've been referenced in a couple of newspapers and a couple of books and, according to an email I got years ago, I am also being archived by some wing of the Canadian Federal Government as an example of the format that is blogging.
Why does that all drive me? Because it is all so weird. Not a lot of narrative was being written about the personal experience of a beer fan when I started writing this thing in 2003. I had no idea there were as many pro beer writers as there were when I started. I had no idea others would take it on as their own hobby, too. Weird. I have no real idea what drives others but I really really have no idea why I do this other then I must like writing about something that is not ultimately all that important. Is that all there is to it?