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

One Word of Advice to Craft Beer Newbies

Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder — learn what this is newbie

Brew fests. Bottle shares. Neckbeards. Pliny the Elder. Wax seals. Hipsters eating pickles and Srircha. Tulip glasses. Sam Calagione. Cicerones. The thing about craft beer is that it can be so many different things to so many different people. And there’s plenty of room left for everyone to grab their own plot of land in this wonderful time of craft beer’s own Manifest Destiny. Craft beer is a journey.

You have a choice. You can make craft beer into anything you want it to be. Some want to homebrew. Others want to host events. And some just want to be able to recommend a beer for their friends when they go out. But, for me at least, you don’t know what you want out of your journey until it’s already happened.

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Beer Mission #2: Mission Accomplished

Welcome back for the second installment of Beer Missions!  A Beer Mission is something you can do when beer maybe gets a little boring. It’s something you can do shake things up and give you new experiences. Your first mission was to give a friend a beer they’ve never had before. That was just a warmup. I decided to go next level for Beer Mission #2.

Beer Mission #2: Drink an entire beer without knowing what it is

Many people accepted this mission, me included of course.

Beer Mission #2

Beer Mission #2: Drink an entire beer without knowing what it is

I went with my friends Jeff and Ben up to one of my usual spots, the Buffalo Wing Factory. Jeff picked out a beer for me and told the bartender what I was trying to do. I should have known something was up when my 16oz pint glass wasn’t filled entirely to the top (hint: it was poured from a bottle which I never do at BWF because they have 30 taps!). This set me up perfectly for a fun bar bet. I was bet that I couldn’t guess what the beer is. I gladly accepted and knew with three attempts I could nail it.

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Conversations with Beer Bloggers – Jake Scholan from Hipster Brewfus

Meet Jake Scholan from Hipster Brewfus in this episode of Conversations with Beer Bloggers. We talk about how blogging has changed his personality, finding himself in a new craft beer community and much more.

What did you think about Jake? Got any questions for him? What other beer bloggers would you like to meet?

Have you checked out the other episodes of Conversations with Beer Bloggers?

Meet Carla Companion — The Beer Babe

Meet Bryan Roth — This is Why I’m Drunk

Meet Ryan Mould — Mould’s Beer Blog

Meet Nick McCormac — Drink. Blog. Repeat.

Meet Tom Aguero — Queen City Drinks

Meet Brad Westmar — Craft Brew Crew

Meet Doug Smiley — Baltimore Bistros and Beer

TWIB: Unexpected Encounters in Line for the Men’s Room

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

I’m ignoring the Super Bowl. My dog is named Peyton. Needless-to-say, yesterday was far from fun save the teasers for 24. Saturday on the other hand had one of the biggest, most surprising unexpected encounters of my life. Imagine the movie Crash taking place in line for a men’s room at a brewery.

Halfway to Philly

My wife and I have some friends in Philadelphia. Philly is 3-3.5 hours away from where we live so we have a hard time seeing them a lot. One of the ladies had the brilliant idea to meet halfway – Baltimore. It’s about a 2-hour drive for them and 1.5 for us. Perfect!

After making our way through some questionable downtown areas we turn up at one of our favorite spots – Woodberry Kitchen. Woodberry Kitchen is where I first heard of Union Craft Brewing last year. With a solid brunch consisting of Buttermilk Fried Pork Skirt and a Sly Fox Pale Ale in me we walked over to Union Craft Brewing which is less than a hundred yards away.

Union Craft Brewing

We get to Union Craft and it is packed. I’m able to sneak close enough to the bar to grab four beers for our group. Their Rye IPA is out-of-this-world good. Even better than their Duckpin Pale Ale.

My day would have been complete right then. I could have packed up, gone home and been content writing a post highlighting Woodberry Kitchen’s food and Union Craft’s beers. But that’s probably not why you clicked on the headline and there’s a much cooler twist fate brought to this day.

Fate

Conversations with Beer Bloggers is changing my life in ways never imaginable. I’ve only had seven published episodes and it’s already lead me to two different in-person meetups where I’ve had the time of my life (event #1, event #2).

The eighth episode of CBB has already been recorded and is waiting for me to find a free afternoon to edit. This is with Jake Scholan of Hipsterbrewfus.com. Before recording our episode I knew nothing of what Jake looked like except his Twitter icon of him drinking a beer that covers most of his face. Zero knowledge. So last week we had our interview over Google Hangouts, which I can’t wait to share with you guys, and I finally got to see and meet him. We hit it off and even talked about trying to get together for a beer at some point since he’s relatively local.

Cue fate.

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