Recently, a craft home brewing website called Noble Brewer asked me to write a post on why I started a beer blog. They take high-quality home brews, brew them at a commercial brewery, pretty them up and then ship them off direct to your home so you can have exclusive beers no one else has. Pretty cool.
Since I haven’t written on here for a while I figured I’d double-dip a little bit, and post the blog on here as well. Although this blog title should probably read Why I started a beer blog yet don’t ever write on it making me one pathetic loser, but you be the judge.
Here it goes…
Today anyone with a halfway decent internet connection and a hint of something interesting to say can start a blog. For me it was no different when I started mine about fatherhood and beer (naturally two things most fathers know go hand in hand).
So why did I start it? Was it because I’m insecure, crave instant gratification and am under the false impression that others actually have an interest in what I have to say?
Pretty much, but if that was solely the case, I could’ve started a blog about just about anything. After all writing a beer blog is a fairly difficult task, and it’s not because you need a degree from an esteemed university, must possess infinite creative wit or have the aroma-sniffing nose of a grizzly bear in heat. Sure, those help, but the real issue is documenting every fleeting thought at a time when you could be at the very least, slightly intoxicated.
So why did I think I was up for the task?
When a hospital handed my wife and me a beautiful baby boy in June 2013 without instructions or a gift receipt of any kind, we found ourselves lost, confused, and somehow responsible for another life.
This is it? I thought to myself as the release form was signed and dated. You’re just going to hand him over and then what do we do?
The iTunes disclosures when downloading Angry Birds are more legally binding than the paperwork you sign to receive a human.
Shouldn’t we receive a six-week training course, a 200 page manual and some sort of buyer’s remorse guarantee if we decide that dirty diapers, zero sleep, and having one’s life controlled by nine pounds of screaming monster simply isn’t worth giving up game night and Pub Crawl Thursdays?
The lack of required preparation and basic knowledge of something so important made me realize I had no idea what I was doing. As a result of the stress and confusion, some pretty hilarious blunders began to take place and I felt that they needed to be shared. That way other fathers could either relate to them, or more likely, be relieved that they weren’t the least capable dad on the block.
Before I launched I decided to sit down with a favorite beer and do some research to see what was currently on the web. What I found was that there were several dad blogs that provided parenting tips at different stages of fatherhood journey. But what dad wants to read solely about caring for a child? As far as I was concerned, I had planned to learn that part as I went and deal with it the same way one deals with a monster under the bed – curl up in the fetal position and hide under the covers until morning. I knew that in order to capture the attention of other dads my blog would have to be entertaining and funny but it couldn’t just stop there. There would have to be another draw.
I took a swig of my golden Belgian ale, holding it in my mouth a second longer than normal to let the yeasty notes and fruity sweetness embrace in a tornado of passion like two horny teenagers at their first keg party.
I swallowed and as the lingering floral aroma danced up and out of my nostrils, I felt the new parenting stress departing my body.
I took another swig and it hit me.
Now that I was a new father, I needed this beer for a temporary escape. I didn’t just need it – I relied on it. I knew I couldn’t be the only one. Every new dad, or every dad for that matter could use a beer once in a while right? Does that make us bad fathers? Quite the contrary actually. And just how would other dads know which beer to drink? And most importantly wouldn’t they want to be entertained when reading about which beer to drink?
And from that, my blog was born.
So what’s so different about it compared to other beer blogs? There’s certainly content out there notifying readers what they’ll taste, just like there are plenty of riveting Facebook posts notifying followers when someone sneezes or heats up a bowl of leftover macaroni.
My goal is not to tell people what the beer is like – I want to show them how it makes me feel. That’s the story that I try to put on paper. Sometimes that story also includes random ruminations you won’t find elsewhere such as what the surfboard-toting shark on the label of Lost Coast’s Great White does to pass his Sundays. (Clearly important).
Beer is fun to drink, and rightfully so, a beer blog should be fun to read.
A good beer gets the job done. But a great beer transports you to better times when life made sense and all was right with the world. Because that’s what a great beer does- not only do you get the satisfaction that comes with drinking it, but it can conjure up pleasant impactful memories of times past. For example, like the time your father showed up during your shift at Arby’s and let you know he finally accepted you weren’t going to be an astrophysicist like him, and then you shared a German Doppelbock next to the roast beef slicer. These are things that deserve to be put on paper and quite frankly if I don’t – who will?
At the end of the day I started the blog to have a creative outlet, but also because I want others to get enjoyment out of it. And in some rare cases, just maybe learn a thing or two.