|Beer Bloggers. Making things harder for Reasons|
What with the prevalence of Higher Educational qualifications amongst the young in the 21st century, there's been an increasing tendency to take something relatively simple and analyse it to death in order to convince others that it's serious and worthy subject of study. The beer blog, most specifically the "beer communicator" style of blog, is the most obvious manifestation of this.
If, as Chris Hall says here, 2015 was the turning point in the world of beer Bloggery, with an increase in the quality of debate and the subjects being discussed, what of the "hobby blogger "? There are some blogs out there, and we know which they are, which the authors' intentions go "professional" are blatant. The ambition isn't just naked, it's stripped off in the stand and is running around the pitch with its cock waving about.
The blogs of the already professional beer writers, infrequent as they are due to commitments, can be filtered easily. These people have a living to make, and cannot be seen to be too critical, or overly engage their teeth to the feeding hand. These types tend to avoid specifics about producers or suppliers, unless they know for certain there'll be no comeback.
The "beer communicator' blog is different, and thus harder to judge. They need to get their writing and, more importantly, their intentions 'out there'. Contacts need to be made, relationships built, so that interaction between communicator and producer is mutually beneficial. If not today, then at some point in the future. Beer journalism, for want of a better term, pays buttons. What living there is is dependent on the largesse of bars and brewers. This is the thinking behind the oft-quoted quip "beer people are good people". A simplification, yes, but a necessary one for the functioning of the breed.
I'm not suggesting the Beer Communicators are corrupted by freebies and contacts, more that this is a natural result of interacting with the Trade. As Charlie Brooker once said, it's easy to slag off TV shows and their makers from behind a newspaper column, but when you have your own production company these people become your peers. And what do you say to them at parties? Such is the dilemma of the Beer Communicator.
If you want honest, unvarnished opinions then you have to go to the dedicated amateur blog. These are done for a desire for attention, a need to show off knowledge, or maybe even for fun. They may not be polished, or even coherent. But what you will get is honest opinions. Even if they are wrong. Or worse, contrary to received opinion. It's usually unfair to say they are " trolls". After all, one person's trolling is another's contrarianism. It's easy to cry "Troll!" if others disagree with you online. But unless it's personally insulting, it probably isn't.
The question I would ask is : Do you consider beer a way to enjoy yourself, or something serious that needs to cogitated, discussed, and generally taken apart? What is to be gained from this, and who will be doing the gaining?
Beer isn't that complicated, really. For what reasons should it be complicated?