Friday, April 6, 2012

Session #62: What Drives Beer Bloggers?

I spent last night at Mahar's amid a pile of maps, beer adverts, photos and pints of Wandering Star Dark Mild and Saratoga IPA—both cask-conditioned and tasty, I might add. The reason for this pile of beer and paper? I was meeting, the talented writer and Times Union blogger, Akum Norder, for a crash course in Albany Ale over a few beers. Akum is in the midst of deciphering the history of her home, built 100 years ago this year, in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany. She's chronicling that history on her blog A History of Here, and it is well worth stopping by her site for a peek—whether you live in town or not.

A week or so ago I left a note about Albany's beery past in the the comments section of her blog and asked if she'd be interested in hearing more. I'm fairly sure if she was able to, she'd have pulled me through my computer screen, along it's binary pathways and out through her laptop, right then and there, if she could have. Unfortunately, we both had to wait until Thursday evening—but it was well worth the wait, for me, at least. We spent three hours talking about Alan McLeod and John Taylor, wheat in Dutch brewing in New Netherlands, Legislative hearings, The Albany Water Commission and a number of other beer and Albany related points. I prattled on and she listened intently, while she ticked away at the miniaturized keyboard of her laptop—taking notes and interjecting questions throughout the evening. It was fun—really fun actually.

I've said before that had I not stumbled upon Alan's blog and his question of What the Heck was Albany Ale? , I would have never realized that not only do I have an interest in Albany's brewing history, but that I also love writing about all aspects of beer. Although beer blogging, to me, is more than that. I do love writing and I obviously love beer, but above everything else, I think what's most important about beer blogging is the people you meet—be that physically or electronically. Had I never started blogging, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to sit down with Akum and evangelize about Albany Ale over mug fulls of dark, sweet Mild. I would have never spent time chatting with Alan about Doctor Who or pre-civil war Cluster hops. I'd have never had the opportunity to discuss Keeping Porter with Ron Pattinson, have Martyn Cornell tell me that baseball was a little girls game and exchange recipes with Mark Dredge. Even the disagreements are fun.

It's pretty simple when you think about it, I blog about beer because I like to talk and write about about beer—with you.

There's not much more to it than that.

When Akum's post about Albany Ale comes out. I'll be sure to post a link, but in the meantime, go check out A History of Here and see how an amazing writer tells the story of Albany through the history of her own house, and the people who have lived in it, in one of Albany's iconic neighborhoods!

1 comment:

  1. cool! I wish I had known you were going to be at Mahar's, I would've dropped by. Especially to met her. I've seen her blog on the TU a few times. She has a nice picture, that's for sure! ;)

    Hey, I'm going to homebrew this saturday - wanna stop by and help me out?