Thursday, April 5, 2012

Session #62: What Drives Beer Bloggers

Welcome to The Session - a collaboration of bloggers writing on a common beer-related topic.  For the month of April, members of Brewpublic chose "What Drives Beer Bloggers?" as the collective topic to explore.  A round-up of all the blog posts will be posted in the near future.  You can read more about Beer Blogging Friday ("The Session") over at the Brookston Beer Bulletin.

This Session topic immediately grabbed my interest.  The large majority of beer bloggers do not write posts to generate income, as only the largest of blogs pull the traffic that allows advertisements and donations to earn substantial revenue.  I would venture to guess that the major beer bloggers pull in larger chunks of their income from guest columns and articles that their blog's popularity allows them to garner.  But, these individuals are few and far between.  I think the majority of beer bloggers are fueled by passion.  Passion and enjoyment of the beverage and, more importantly, for the craft beer culture.

The craft beer culture is an unique place to immerse yourself in these days.  With interest in craft beer skyrocketing over the past few years, more and more people are drawn to its interesting flavors and the back-stories of the companies that make it.  Beer is a very social beverage, with roots in the working class, and it has long been more approachable than wine or spirits.  Beer is associated with pubs and larger social events, with drinking sessions and joy in the company of friends and peers.  While the craft beer movement is elevating beer's status and the limits of what the beverage can be, the common socially-binding nature of beer can be seen in the collaborative nature of the craft brewing industry.  Stories of breweries going out of their way to help other "competitors" abound in the industry and collaborative beers are all the rage.  Many beer bloggers, too, believe that they are sharing information and contributing craft beer's good and this collaborative culture is what drives them forward.

Here at Lug Wrench Brewing, that basic cooperative tenant is true, but with a focus on a shared hobby and a homebrewing bent.  Jeff and I are brothers who grew up in Upstate New York.  We have long shared hobbies and interests together and have been close since childhood.  With both of us living far apart and having families of our own, it has become more difficult to maintain this bond.  We both discovered we have a love of homebrewing and craft beer and randomly thought that it would be great to share the hobby across a distance of more than 500 miles.  The internet allowed us a free mechanism to write about our interests and co-author a blog, so Lug Wrench Brewing Company was born.  In addition to writing about beer, we also collaboratively brew a batch of beer designed to age whenever we are together, with the goal of fostering a library of interesting aged beer to try again when we next meet.

Lug Wrench has been a fun project for us, and one that we hope lasts for many years.  It has provided us the opportunity to share a common interest and grow our friendship, despite the distance.  In many ways, Lug Wrench embodies the cooperative spirit and enjoyment of craft beer, for two brothers, as we share our interest with others.

I would want it no other way.



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