There are a few beer writers working today who love beer and love the fun of beer but still manage to write about it in a serious way. One of my favorites is Jason Notte. He writes mostly on the business side of beer. He also writes about the business side of sports, particularly the weird phenomena of public funding of stadiums for billionaires.
Here is a nice interview Jason did with the owner of Pabst Brewing. Pabst has its fingers in more pies than you think it does and has positioned itself in the in-between spaces of the beer business. It isn’t quite big beer, but it isn’t quite craft beer. As the beer business changes that could be a very advantageous spot in which to sit.
Jason is one of a growing number of quality writers who produce work for outlets that publish well-written content about beer. There is a dearth of good writing on the internet in general and sometimes even more so for beer writing. Too often websites are simply content aggregators linking to or simply publishing other people’s work. One morning I read the same AP article three different times on three different websites. Instead of incubating and creating new content they simply hoist up other’s work as their own. Maybe just as bad they publish reviews and other pieces that are poorly written and lightly edited.
I understand. If you are operating an advertising based model, to get advertisers you must get page hits and the best way to get page hits is to keep churning out content regardless of its quality and promoting the hell out of it by flooding Twitter and Facebook with new articles with catchy titles.
I think one thing we have learned over the last year is that the people that produce content have a greater responsibility than many have ever imagined. Writing about beer and reading about beer should be fun. However, you can write about beer in a fun way, but also in a way that takes it seriously. I think too often people within craft beer hold on too dearly to the idea of a bunch of guys sitting around on a Saturday morning homebrewing and just trying each other’s beer.
We should never forget the fun of sitting around on a Saturday in a friend’s garage brewing and drinking. We should never forget the joy of sharing a pint or three of quality beer and swapping lies with friends. At the same time, it is also a major multinational business that according to the Brewers Association contributed $55.7 billion to the US economy in 2014. That is a lot of money and a lot of jobs for actual people.
It is incumbent on people who write and talk about beer to take that responsibility seriously. Look we aren’t talking about a foreign government affecting a presidential election, we are talking about beer. However, the act of writing about something is a responsibility to treat that asks you to treat that subject with respect by at least attempting to do it well and do it interestingly.