I read this year someone arguing that brewers needed to support good beer writers. I agreed. Then I found out that what that translated to was buying more ads in established periodicals. I didn't agree. Point missed. One of the great things related to beer I have experienced not only this year but since I took up this interest was spending a weekend with Ron Pattinson. That is him above in a picture that just popped up on Facebook. I presume it is from an event Ron wrote about today where he spoke at the relaunch of two entire indigenous but largely lost beer styles from what is now Poland, Grätzer and Grodziskie. What bugs me - and Ron can be as disappointed with me as he might be for pointing this out - is the line at the end of his post:
Disclosure time. Obviously, as I was involved in the making of this beer, I have an interest in it. I had a few free beers at the launch; one free beer and a hamburger at Jopen when it was brewed.
The saddest thing for me is that this may well be the person thinking more intelligently about good beer in the English-speaking world today. He's been doing it for years. But, while I would like to be his business manager and get him full value for what he knows, what shocks me is how brewers of good beer are not lining up to be his patron, to ensure he has the income necessary to draw out all that he can from brewing history and brewing today. Sure, some entrenched by-liners may offer a suggestion that folk might want to struggle along in the world of freelance writing and scrape by, too. But that misses the point. This is beyond the lack of interest by those making good beer in those writing about good beer. Were ten clever brewers to align themselves and pledge less than they offer a counter clerk in their retail outlet, Ron could do this full time. You know, the brewers for whom he makes money and builds reputation. Just imagine what that might mean.