Friday, November 28, 2014

Oh My God, I'm Back Again

So two years later, here I am.

Unbelievable as it may be, I have to admit that I never truly forgot about this blog. Neglected it? Sure. Ignored its existence? You betcha! Forgot it, though? No. Truth be told, I kind of gave up on it for a long while for a number of reasons. Why, you ask? So glad you asked.

This blog first made me realize how much I actually dislike the process of rating a beer. Don’t get me wrong – there are good beers and bad beers and all the ones in between out there, but wow, did actually committing myself to writing about it over a period of time disillusion me to the idea. Not long after I started this bad boy, I came to the realization that slapping an arbitrary scale of judgment to something I’m passionate about and love turned something extremely subjective into something entirely objective. That’s when I stepped away from the brew scene for a bit to reevaluate what was going on around me.

No one really knows this, nor would they as I continued drinking beer and searching for it like always before, but for a moment there, I really stopped enjoying it. It’s something that most everyone goes through with what they love, from what I can surmise. What’s more, it’s something I’ve experienced with everything I love, be it film, music, writing, etc. Sometimes I shook the negativity and got back to enjoying life, sometimes I didn’t. For a while there, I felt really disconnected from the oversaturation of available brews.

As much as I hate to say this, but I think being in Southern California kind of triggered this reaction. For one thing, the beer out here can really seem one-note a lot of the time with each brewer trying to top the next’s IPA by going BIGGER, BADDER, and BITTERER THAN EVER BEFORE. The only other options that are really widespread and easy to find are imperial stouts, pilsners, and whatever masturbatory concept Stone’s pulled out of the hat at the moment. After that you get into sours and egh… still not quite into those.

On top of that, I’ve had a fair share of run-ins with the dark side of the craft beer scene – the pretentious dill weeds that lurk in the dark corners of breweries and beer shops. While I don’t have much interaction with craft beer fans outside of the local scene, I can say with confidence that this is probably one of the more uptight and snobbish locales around. All due respect to the innovation and dedication of California’s aficionados, sometimes its beneficial to relax and enjoy a good, old-fashioned Kolsch that hasn't been blackened or lord-knows-what-else.

Reading the above-paragraphs, it still kind of sounds like I'm burnt out, doesn't it?

Well, one day, I actually tried it myself. I attempted a homebrew. The process suddenly became fresh and exciting and goddamn, did I love trying it for myself! Granted, that was an absolute disaster (seriously, there are a seemingly limitless number of ways brewing can go wrong), but it made realize the amount of effort and care that has to go into creating each and every one of those shelf-dwellers.
Reinvigorated, I once again fully dived into the craft scene and sought out beverages I’d never tried before. My perspective on a lot of things changed – namely, I don’t let the occasionally-absurd notion that is the California craft community get to me. It’s got its strong suits and its low points, but all in all, I can say that I’d take it over something like Mississippi any day.

Then I looked at some of my old entries, and my goodness, is there some crap mixed in there. My apologies for all of the forced humor I tried to sneak in on occasion. One can only ask for forgiveness for trying to create a character where none should be. Example:

Above: Total asshole

So, going forward, I’m going to try this again and prevent it from being another checkmark in the “I gave up on this” column that seems to define my life sometimes. This blog will no longer be about reviewing beer and saying this ‘n that about what you can taste and not taste. No, this is going to be a blog dedicated to the culture surrounding craft brewing, the art of the homebrew, and damn it, just how awesome beer sometimes is.

Here’s to hoping things go as smoothly as an Old Chub on nitro.
Brian has been an advocate of craft beer since 2008. He also enjoys film, video games, reading, and long walks on the beach. You can follow his latest idiotic ramblings on his twitter. Or not. @Doomed_Knox, either way.