Round Up: BEER AND THE GOOD LIFE (The Session #139)
Given that we had only a few days to get this organized, I'm really pleased with the number of contributions to this Beer Blogging Friday. Especially since it seems that just about every beer person I follow online is at either the California Craft Beer Summit or the Beavertown Extravaganza today. (No, I'm not jealous at all.) I will update this page throughout today, 8/7/2018, as new contributions come in. I will be happy to add even more contributions later if others want to write something on this topic but were not able to make the deadline.
I'd like to thank BrookstonBeerBulletin.com for the opportunity to host, and I look forward to doing it again sometime. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to volunteer to host. I think they need a topic for October, too, and I think sooner would be better if you want to raise your hand.
Here's a link to the announcement of this week's topic on Beer and the Good Life. It includes info and links on what this whole Beer Blogging Friday thing is all about.
The Round Up
Since the topic was my idea, I felt like I needed to make a good effort. Follow the link to see my resulting post, BEER AND THE GOOD LIFE. I guess you could call it a long-read think-piece. What else would you expect from a philosophy professor, right? TL;DR: Enjoying beer in moderation is a valuable component of a just, wise, and pleasant life; it is deeply connected to what it means to be human.
Sean O'Reilly, who blogs as Brews and Views ("Beer drinking, home brewing, and Morris dancing in Suffolk, and sometimes beyond"), contributed a piece about the good life as self-sufficiency, including home brewing. As he says, he isn't and wouldn't want to be completely self-sufficient in beer: Learning by doing is great, but drinking wonderful commercial beer is good, too, even though it is much pricier that homebrew. The process of homebrewing has taught him a lot and is valuable for that reason, too. The photos of his one imperial gallon stove-top brewing process make me consider trying home brewing myself.
Paul McGuire, someone I consider a friend even though we've only ever interacted on Twitter (funny, this modern world), blogs at sdhopaddict.com, where he reviews breweries and beers; lately he has been fully into the haze craze. He blogs about local beer wherever his travels take him. His post for The Session today is an attempt to account for himself: What's the value of going to all these breweries and writing about all these beers? Paul's tremendous enjoyment of beer derives in part from having developed his palate to the point he can distinguish fantastic from world-class beer. In addition to the heightened enjoyment that comes from that level of sensory sophistication, Paul loves connecting with the fellow beer lovers you find at great breweries.
I recently found BeerKulture.com ("Where good beer meets the urban landscape") via Twitter. I'm glad I did. The site and its Twitter feed provide a much-needed perspective on craft beer, regularly reminding us that we can do better and be better. One of the goals of Beer Kulture is trying to change how beer has been represented in urban communities, "inviting new drinkers to the party!" Toni Canada's post, Beer: The Communal Concoction, starts from a question that is often on my mind, too: Since alcohol has been so damaging to so many families, how can it be "a meaningful part of a productive and prosperous existence?"
England's BoakandBailey.com (Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey) have been blogging about beer (and writing articles and books) since 2007. I love their work on English pubs. Their post for today's Session includes this brilliant line: "Beer is conversation — not only a loosener but in its own right a pleasingly unimportant thing to have absorbing, pointless conversations about." Hear, hear. They talk about how their relationship with (over-) drinking has changed over time. They could probably make do without beer, but are happier with it.
Jack Perdue over at the blog Deep Beer ("Journey, Knowledge, Beer") contributed Beer Talk which sings the praises of beer as an opportunity to stop and smell the roses—or hops, in this case—and to join in fellowship with others over a quality beer.
Jon Abernathy from The Brew Site (running since 2004, making it one of the longest-running beer sites) contriibuted this post. In it, he makes the nice point that beer is an "amplifier" for enjoyment of life (I could add, an amplifier of bad things, too, when used incorrectly) and it is a "gateway" to new experiences that we might never otherwise have been able to have.