This month's edition of The Session has Beer Hobo asking:
What role do beer writers play in the culture and growth of craft beer? Are we advocates, critics, or storytellers? What stories are not getting told and what ones would you like to never hear about again? What’s your beer media diet? i.e. what publications/blogs/sites do you read to learn about industry? Are all beer journalists subhumans? Is beer journalism a tepid affair and/or a moribund endeavor? And if so, what can be done about it?I'll answer the first two questions:
The first one: I don't know why beer writers should limit themselves to one brand, in this case, "Craft Beer", and why are we expected to play any role in its growth or culture, we aren't supposed to be PR.
The second one: too much fanboyism, not enough criticism (though that is getting better), and even less storytelling; but to each writer is free to write what they feel like, I don't have to read it, if I don't like it.
As for the stories that are not getting told: Failures. I would like to read about failed breweries and the people behind them. We need more of that, we need more of the ugly side of the brewing industry, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the shattered dreams. It's not a morbid interest, it's just that I feel that the current discourse presents things in an all too shiny light, when we all know that it is a hard business that will sure get harder in the coming years. And I also believe that everybody can learn from other people's failures.
I am as guilty of this as anyone else, and I've been thinking of a project along those lines. So, if you were owner of a failed brewery and would like to speak about your experience, or you know someone who would, drop me a line.
That's all I've got to say.