Monday, July 27, 2015

Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference 2015 and Inspiration for Tomorrow

I love beer. And I relish the peace writing brings to my life. So why have I had such a difficult time putting these two things together the past few months? In the early days of this blog I felt like I could write three posts a week on the subject and read thirty others, but just like an IPA that sits on the shelf a little too long, slowly losing its’ hoppy potency, I’m not the blogger I once was.

I’m content with the change, but before I decided which direction to take on my blogging journey I decided to make a trip to Asheville, NC for the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference hoping to discover anew that which made me want to write about beer in the first place.

Debates about Macro vs Craft, discussing metaphorical bubbles, tracking brewery growth…all of these things intrigue me in their own way, but they are dreadfully boring to talk about on a weekly basis and only serve to take me further away from what I truly love about beer. I found myself trying to write popular posts I’d find elsewhere on the web. You know the posts I’m talking about. The ever more popular amateur hour analysis of marketing in beer, artwork dissection of labels, or market saturation of certain beer styles (select IPA if you’re seeking out the hot take). And why not? It makes sense to insert myself in the hot and relevant conversations. I’m just a blogger looking for page views like the next guy or gal. However, focusing on the business side of things, I forgot what I loved about beer and began trying to fit my circle into the larger beer blogging square.

And you know what?  I can’t trick myself into having fun writing about these tangential topics and it shows in my work when I’ve tried. You guys deserve better than that and I owe it to myself to stay true to what makes me tick. Beer isn’t the label on the bottle, ingredients (okay, maybe it is), market share, or philosophical argument about the appropriate size of a company for me. Beer is the rocket ship that takes me to places I’ve yet to discover and helps me get to the places I want to go. I might have taken a trip to Germany once upon a time in hopes of finding Heaven at the bottom of a Helles, but sitting next to Lake Titisee in the Black Forest witnessing the world’s most perfect sunset is the experience I’ll never forget.  And yes, the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference was filled with awesome trips to Oskar Blues and an Oktoberfest in July at Sierra Nevada. I could break down a brewery tour for you or describe the flavors in Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest, but it was furthering friendships and starting a few more that made the trip worth it in the end. The beer got me to Asheville. My friends will take me into tomorrow.

These are the things that matter to me and the stories I want to tell the most. I know that now thanks to the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. When you visit Baltimore Bistros & Beer in the future, you might not always walk away with a technical understanding of what beer is or where the industry could be going, but I hope that every once in a while you’ll find a story here that will help you slow down and remember why we all love beer in the first place.

Time to crack a beer and see where we’ll take off to next.