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've been quite lucky in that the people for whom I write or have written for have contacted me and I must say it's great to get paid, at least something, to do what I basically do as a hobby (the book, on the other hand, was a bit more than a vanity project). Now I want more, I'd love to be a full-time beer writer, but, even though I have the advantage of knowing three languages, I don't think it will ever happen, as you say, there's no market, so, in the meantime, I feel fortunate (and a bit flattered) that my hobby has allowed me to earn a bit extra every month.

Bailey -

We don't get to be overlords? We're just pointers out of the obvious? Aw... [throws away elaborate Darth Vader style costume]

Jeff Alworth -

Alan, I forsake any connection to flavouristas--or actually, any knowledge of them. I am willing to become an overlord, but someone needs to send me the job description.

In seriousness, I write about what interests me, as I have done for the last six plus years, and flavor is getting its day. I'm a blogger and that's what I do. Every subject has a massive gaggle of people blogging and tweeting about it, from knitting to grammar to beer. Is our interest in our hobby unseemly? Almost certainly. But we're humans and we obsess over small things.

olllllo -

I see the sense of detachment from homebrewing as being one of the reasons why the idea of nanobrewing has taken off.

It's a pendulum swing back to an ideal of simple. What is simple? If I can take a snapshot of your brewery and get all of the pieces in the frame, that's simple.

Alan -

Maybe the new boss or trend is inevitable, natural. But if we notice them passing by at least we'll recognize them next time they come around. Today I want access and simplicity. Tomorrow?

Gary Gillman -

On the point of homebrewing, I think it had a big influence on commercial craft brewing.

It's true not all craft brewers started as homebrewers, although many did. There were and are all kinds of people who get interested in craft brewing, they come from different backgrounds. (Not sure I'd include Fritz Maytag as a craft brewer since he started before the modern craft era began and in a brewery that dates from the late 1800's. Also, part of his approach is old school, e.g. pasteurization). But the market for craft brews found ready acceptance amongst those who brewed at home because they couldn't find anything better to buy. People who never would have dreamed of going into business for themselves started to buy the commercial equivalent to what they made at home which in many cases was superior, this at a time when e.g., malt extract was still used in a lot of homebrew recipes.

I recall attending early beer festivals and beer events where many of the attendees were homebrewers, they were supplying part of the market as mentioned above.

I agree that today though the influence of homebrewing is less than it was, simply because the craft brewing business is so much more established and successful at making reliably good and interesting products.

But I still feel that the experimentation with "strange" ingredients and that kind of pushing the envelope has its roots in homebrewers' intrepid and even carefree (of tradition) approach to their hobby. I'm sure the first guy to put chipotle pepper in beer was a homebrewer. Today the craft beer movement is a kind of river sourced from many tributaries: homebrewing, the influence of good imports, the importance of Belgium, the importance of Jackson. But at the beginning the homebrewing side played a big role in providing both many (not all certainly) of the entrepreneurs who started up in brewing and certainly many of the first customers.


Lew Bryson -

I've actually always felt this way about homebrewing, Alan...but I'm also willing to admit it's a personal prejudice, and often offered a bit tongue in cheek (which is why I make my point about "unpublished" work). Homebrewers, in my experience, tend to overstate it: I feel a need to pull it back a bit. But it's nothing new for me; I've made my statements before.

In other words...don't take that post too seriously.

Alan -

I know - but it's more the UK home brewing experience before and supporting the US home brewers / crafters that I don't want to get dropped off the radar. Now I would say you are pretty much on the mark as so many new brewers are no hobby obsessives first.