Would I have been surprised to learn, on Day 1, that my new blog will see through seven whole years? Probably not, to be honest. I reckon I'd be very surprised at what I'm writing, and hopefully impressed. This blog has seen me through a considerable education in things beery. Around 2008 I even stopped sniggering at "bottom fermentation".
This month's Session is hosted by Brewpublic and the topic is "What Drives Beer Bloggers?" I'll take a punt on the top answer being "beer". It certainly is for me as this blog fulfils a very simple primary purpose: to record for future reference what I think of every beer that comes my way. It does make it very easy to write. If I'm looking for inspiration all I have to do is open the fridge.
I don't do industry news or commentary, I don't do pub reviews, I don't do home brewing, brewery visits nor a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-the-bar anecdotes, except when these are in some tangential way related to the beer in front of me. Not that there's anything wrong with such topics, but plenty of other beer blogs do them and if I have an opinion on the issues you'll find it in their comment sections. Which leads on to the secondary purpose of this blog: to give me the guiltless freedom to comment at length on everyone else's without looking too much like a hurler on the ditch.
And that's about as much introspection as I can handle. Blogging about blogging is a pet hate of mine and I'm only making an exception this once, because the nice people of Brewpublic asked me to. Now for beer.
With the Franciscan Well Easter beer festival kicking off tomorrow afternoon, I have a bottle of their new IPA Alpha Dawg. As with their two previous bottled offerings it arrives in a massive, hand-numbered, 1-litre swingtop. 5.9% ABV and hopped with Admiral and Cascade says the label. Inside it's quite a pale shade of orange, fogged slightly with what I hope is hop haze. The aroma is quite bitter, not the zesty high notes one might expect from the Cascade. And this carries through to the taste as well: it's a kind of sharp resinous bitterness, the sort that gets harsh if it's too pronounced but here is merely assertive. Some more subtle fruit tones are lurking quietly behind it but they don't get much of a say. The punchy bitter tang lasts long after the beer is swallowed.
While I think this would have benefited from more, later, hops, they've made a pretty decent fist of an IPA.
Stay tuned for more writing about beer and absolutely nothing else.