The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. Sean Inman, of Beer Search Party, hosted the 110th session which involved lots of beer and lots of Twitter. You should check it out!
It’s been over two years since I hosted the Session, and I’ve been admittedly spotty in my participation when other people host. But I’m back!
This time with something a little less…odd…than last time.
Full disclosure: I don’t work in the beer industry. OK, yes, sometimes I get paid to write about beer, but that money does not my livelihood make. Despite pouring myself into brewing and beer culture for the last 6 years, I remain little more than an overly involved consumer.
I think that’s true about a lot of bloggers and beer writers. Some may work directly for breweries or distributors or behind the till in a beer store, but a lot of us toil in vocational worlds apart, spending our free time and free dollars on what can only (by definition) be called a “hobby.”
Recently, I’ve found my interest in said hobby waning. The brilliant luster of new beers and new breweries looks now, a few pounds heavier and a bunch of dollars lighter, more like dull aluminum oxide.
The thing I have embraced so fully and spent so much time getting to know and love, suddenly seems generally, unequivocally: meh. It’s like I’ve been living a lie, and everything I’ve done is for not. I’m having a beer mid-life crisis, yo.
Maybe it’s the politics of purchasing or selling. Maybe the subculture has peaked. Maybe this is the natural progression of a hobby that has no real tie to the industry behind it.
Maybe I’m way off the mark, and this whole thing is just a figment of my imagination.
But I’m willing to bet it’s not. All that talk of beer bubbles might prove true, but instead of a dramatic *pop* we’ll might see a slow deflation followed by a farting noise as some of the air leaks out and the hobbyist move on the spend their time and dollars elsewhere. It’s impossible to see the future, but if my fall from rabid beer fanboy to dude-who-drinks-beer-and-sort-of-wants-to-be-left-alone is indicative of a trend, I’ve got some signs to make a doomsaying to do.
What say you?
Do you find it hard to muster the same zeal for beer as you did a few years ago? Are you suffering through a beer-life crisis like I am? If so, how do you deal with it?
If not, put me in my place!
Post your responses in the comments of this post on Friday, May 6th, or tweet them to @OliverJGray. I’ll do a round up on the 16th so if you’re a little less than punctual, no worries.