The last of the page proofs of Upper Hudson Beer went into the publishers hands this week. That's the third book I've been involved with and handed off, leaving my control in about half of a year. More are actually now being written already - but this is all an unexpected turn of events. I hadn't planned it anymore than I feel like I have accomplished lifetime goals through the undertaking. That is the thing. This burst of creative energy followed some hard but still, in their way, good experiences centering around the passing of my parents over the last few years and the doing what one does when doing what one can and ought to. In a way, the response of writing was as if butt told me to go off into this direction, it having had enough time over there dragging in the heavy going for a while. So, given that weight, it is utterly gratifying not that someone bought one of the books so much as that something I wrote made them just have a laugh:
They cover a lot of ground. Beer styles, tasting vs. drinking, beer history (imagined vs. reality), corporate greed, marketing, beer vocabulary, and more: all provide grist for the authors’ mills, in an engaging and constant way. I laughed many times, which is the main reason I enjoyed the book, even if I do not feel as jaded and cynical about the scene as the characters Alan and Max do in the book.
To top it off, I read that review tonight - this night - after almost ten days of a bastardly rotten deep cold whose passing I shall to celebrate with steaks, mowing, naps and other treats for myself tomorrow. I am bagged but it reminded me again that when I reviewed Brew Britannia last week I forgot to mention how pleased I was that Boak and Bailey took the time to honour the late and certainly great Simon H. Johnson who passed in May 2013. He created far more humour in good beer writing than anyone. B+B gave their respects by including his rules for craft beer, aka the Craft Beer Manifesto, at the outset of one chapter of their book. Fabulous. As their book shows, things come and go. But there was something in his message that was both rare and lasting. That made folk laugh.
All of which, reading what I just wrote, is pretty personal, even pretty close to melodramatic yet how things have been. I suppose I wrote this to tell you what's been up. Or at least to set it out for myself. Which is pretty much what I did when I wrote my bits for this and this and this. And this.