It's been a good weekend. More good feeds than household chores as well as a number of 17th century tunes to belt out when standing in the pew, even if the Victorians needed to mess with the lyrics. After last weekend's beer book tour, staying close to home provided some time to think. Kept coming back to one thing. What to do with this beer writing problem I have over the next half year or so? I remain quite heartened at the upswing in value based discussion even with the unending pressure from craft PR and consultancies. It got me thinking a little like this in one comments thread:
Sounds good. Maybe I will do my own version based on my ecosystem in which the LCBO does not play the defining role. My market also includes NNY and western Quebec. Plus growlers need to be taken into consideration not to mention incremental costs of acquisition. My drive to Watertown NY is half the gas than to, say, Beyond the Pale in Ottawa. Have you seen the Portland six pack index? It would be good to also track inflation over time.
It would be interesting due mainly to the decade's worth of receipts that I have sitting around the house. Looking over some 2004 posts for that photo above, I realize that I used to include price on many of my posts about a particular beer. It would be interesting to track prices over time to see how craft beer inflation outpaced actually inflation and how particular breweries are leading that sprint.
I am not sure that gets me very far, however. I am more keen on the history of brewing than ever but need to gear down or at least regroup. 2014 has been the year of co-publishing books and articles to the tune of around 150,000 words. Less might be more for the next bit. One book I would really like to write is The History of Beer and Brewing in North America - Volume 1: First Contact to 1700 AD. That's never been written about. I figure there's at least 100,000 words and 200 footnotes in that but I am informed by Ms. Ogle as well as my own experience. One does not due such things for the cash. One might not even do it for publication.
What I need to think about is a new way to think about my interest. As big craft gets more and more outlandish not to mention less and less in touch with both small brewers and consumers, the need to remember integrity has never been more important. That is the good thing with ecosystem economics and dusty shelves of primary historical resources - they attach to reality. The job of judging on a panel for the NAGBW awards also pointed out the most interesting work is done by those who seek new ways of investigation. Sham celebrity claims, self-proclaimed expertise and tepid pairing propositions are getting more than tired.
What is the better more interesting exploration? Not sure. But there's no rush. Autumn's here. Soup weather. Sweater time. If you have any ideas let me know.