Beer blogging has ______ my relationship with beer.

Beer blogging has __________ my relationship with beer. I sit here thinking about this prompt that me and some fellow Mid-Atlantic Beer Bloggers are supposed to write about and have no clue where to go with it. Can you humor me and let me work this out as I just type my thoughts?

Beer blogging has ignited my relationship with beer. This is 100% true. Before blogging I wasn’t as interested in brewing techniques and ingredients of certain styles. I’ve become a Certified Beer Server and started studying for BJCP. I care about who brews my beer and strive to meet the folks who do.

Beer blogging has enhanced my relationship with beer. For a long time I didn’t feel like a part of the craft beer community. I’m still an outsider in the industry but nearly two years into writing my thoughts on the subject and making some dear friends along the way I feel like I’m finally a member of the larger community. The relationships I’ve built through beer are priceless that could only have been created through beer blogging. Beer, through these individuals, has been enhanced.

Beer blogging has jaded my relationship with beer. Yep. I get pissed sometimes when I see people drinking Pliny like I drink Bell’s Two-Hearted (even though they are viewed roughly the same on each coast from what I hear). I get upset when I’m out and want to pair my dinner and my only “craft” option is Sam’s Seasonal. I get angry when the manager’s “special draft” is like Shiner Bock. Without blogging I wouldn’t know about Pliny, I’d be happy to pair any fish with Sam’s Summer Ale and gladly pay $6.59 for that Shiner Bock.

Beer blogging has pledged my relationship with beer. Not sure if that makes grammatical sense but let’s run with it. Beer blogging has made me make a pledge to beer. I pledge to respect it (think about who brewed it, don’t drink and drive, that sort of stuff). I pledge to improve it (channel my inner Hipster Brewfus and call out things that aren’t up to the quality they should be). I pledge to help grow it (help out my local craft beer community and the larger craft beer industry as an ambassador).

Out of the examples above if I’m to choose the most dramatic/important one in my life it has to be enhanced because of the relationships I’ve made. In the post-college world it is extremely difficult to make friends outside of your existing social and work circles. Beer blogging has made that possible and in turn made my relationship with beer more enhanced because these like-minded people teach me about beer and push me to be a better blogger/community member/person/etc.

So bloggers I ask you, beer blogging has done what to your relationship with beer? If you’re not a blogger or a new blogger, what do you think beer blogging would do to your relationship with beer?

This post is part of multiple essays from Mid-Atlantic beer bloggers focusing on how we feel blogging has impacted our relationship with beer. Make sure to check out these posts, too:

Douglas Smiley of Baltimore Bistros and Beer

Bryan Roth of This Is Why I’m Drunk

Jake Scholan of Hipster Brewfus

Oliver Gray of Literature and Libation

Liz Murphy of Naptown Pint

Adventure Awaits

Down 14th Street in DC there are still Washington Nationals “Welcome to October” banners hanging from lampposts. They remind me of heartbreak each morning and afternoon when I see them. Each one has a different player on it. This afternoon a woman looking for Bryce Harper stopped me. Her 11-year-old son, Big G, is writing a paper on him for school. He is apparently a superstar little leaguer in Fredericksburg, VA. If somehow by the grace of the internet gods Big G ever sees this post I want him to know that he has a good mom. She saw the banners and wanted to get a picture of Bryce for his assignment. We walked nearly two blocks passing Ian Desmond, Denard Span (my personal favorite), Jason Werth, Wilson Ramos, Adam LaRoche and finally Bryce Harper. She thanked me and I continued my walk to the bus. This whole time I kept thinking of my long forgotten Beer Missions and my upcoming trip to Japan.

I leave for Japan in what feels like no time. Between going to a baseball game (which it so happens Bryce Harper was supposed to play in), Mt. Fuji, eating as much sushi as I am able to and a ton of other activities I plan on hitting up some local craft breweries and bottle shops. Here’s a premature shout out to Diana who sent me some recommendations.

I have never been out of the country. I’ve spent 27+ wonderful years within the borders of the US of A. I’ve never had a beer outside of America. I’ve never had an American beer in another country. I’ve never had a beer brewed in another country other than the USA in that country. I feel like I should get some sort of Life Achievement Badge once I touchdown in Japan (I guess that’s what my passport is for). I have no clue what to expect. But I hope I take some lessons learned from Beer Missions and explore.

Beer, among its endless list of qualities, creates bonds between people. It extends beyond the bounds of language, borders and culture. I have no idea what to expect, but it should amount to a good time and new memories.

I’ll be back in a couple weeks with a new post about my Japan journeys. Until then, I hope you break out of your comfort zone and make some new memories along with me. Cheers, y’all!

P.S. If I’m somehow able to get to WiFi and check in a beer from Japan, I expect you to toast me or we’re no longer friends. Got it?

Tunnel Vision

Yards Brewing IPA

Tonight I will have tunnel vision.

It’s a fun game us “craft beer enthusiasts” play. We toast each other on Untappd. We comment on each other’s posts (and you better comment on this one!). We fight amongst each other about whatever the hot topic is; you know like Cicerone certifications. You know the drill. It’s fun. I play it and love it. But at the end of the day when I sit down on the couch to watch whatever sporting event is on or reruns of Castle on TNT, I just want my damn beer.

It isn’t important who brewed it. The bottling date doesn’t matter. My glass choice isn’t being picked apart by someone who takes this game way too seriously. Because it’s just me and my 12 ounces of enjoyment. I put on my blinders and have tunnel vision.

I can forget about work. I can forget that I’m way overdue for a new post on this site. My dog still barks at me but I don’t mind filling her Kong up since the treats are on the table next to my beer. I might grab my phone and check it in, if I feel like it. But it doesn’t matter. All is right in the world.

If I never started this site or if I ran my own brewery that beer right then would taste the same. Yeah, maybe I’d analyze it more or less if either of those scenarios were the case but it wouldn’t change the beer.

Once the beer is done I could reach for another one. I could write a post or watch more Castle. However during those 12 ounces it doesn’t matter. Tunnel vision has taken over. That’s what I’m going to experience tonight and hopefully many more times.

Old 690 Brewing Company

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted. My other project has been sucking up all my extra time that I used to spend on this site. But I solemnly swear to keep bringing you awesome content about craft beer, Virginia beer and my great beer journey.

Come visit Old 690 in Hillsboro

Old 690 in Hillsboro, VA

Recently I got a chance to visit one of Northern Virginia’s newest breweries – Old 690. I’d like to take the next 1,000 words or so to tell you why you have to escape suburbia and drive down a gravel road to visit these guys.

The Beer

Before we go into Old 690’s atmosphere and the people behind it, let’s cut to the chase and get into their beer.

Continue reading

New post coming soon!

Aside

Hey everyone! I haven’t disappeared. My other project has completely consumed me recently. I will be back and better than ever with new posts about craft beer, Virginia beer and my continuing beer journey.

I visited a brand new brewery the other week and can’t wait to share my experiences with you in a couple days once I get my notes together. Have fun this weekend, drink some good beer and make new experiences. Cheers!