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25-09-2014, 09:38
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Jeff Alworth’s post about the state of beer writing (http://beervana.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/what-we-write-about-when-we-write-about.html),*and Alan Mcleod’s response (http://beerblog.genx40.com/archive/2014/september/whatimaythink), come at a fortuitous time for us.We’re preparing a talk on*‘The birth of modern beer writing – 1960 to the present day’ for delivery at a seminar being jointly run by the British Guild of Beer Writers (http://www2.beerguild.co.uk/) and the Brewery History Society (http://www.breweryhistory.com/). We’ve been collecting material on this for a couple of years now — references to beer writing in odd places, newspaper articles we’ve stumbled across — and it’s good to have an opportunity to pull it all together into something coherent.
It is, however, making us feel a little glum, because*what is emerging is a story of lurching after*trends in publishing; struggling for material; and, even more so, struggling for an audience. It seems to us that*most people, even if they like beer, don’t want to read about it as much as we and others want to write about it.
(When we were signing books at a food festival recently, we heard several variations on,*“A book? About beer!? Ha ha ha ha ha! I like drinking it but I don’t want to read about it!”)
And*when Jeff asserts that,*‘The extended world of beer has a nearly infinite number of subjects to discuss’,*we find ourselves, reluctantly,*disagreeing.
There’s certainly more-or-less*fresh*territory*to be explored, and even new angles to be found on familiar subjects, but beer is not as rich a seam as food, or music, or film. (Maybe Tom Fort had a point (http://boakandbailey.com/2014/08/quote-beers-analytic-apparatus/).)
To some extent, perhaps that’s why beer writing and*‘craft beer’ have, over the years, become somewhat symbiotic — the former needs the drama, complexity and variety of the latter to justify its existence, and the great hope for the future of beer writing is that*everyone becomes the kind of geek who wants to think, talk and read about what they’re drinking.
Glum About Beer Writing (http://boakandbailey.com/2014/09/glum-about-beer-writing/)

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