Okay, so the first Friday of each month, bloggers all write a post on a subject picked by that month’s host. This is what The Session is.
This month’s host is Ding from Ding’s Beer Blog with the Session topic is Your Role in the Beer Scene – What is it?
‘‘So, where do you see yourself? Are you simply a cog in the commercial machine if you work for a brewery, store or distributor? Are you nothing more than an interested consumer? Are you JUST a consumer? Are you a beer evangelist? Are you a wannabe, beer ‘professional’? Are you a beer writer? All of the above? Some of the above? None of the above? Where do you fit, and how do you see your own role in the beer landscape?’’
Okay, I’m so pathetically late this time. Usually I remember on the day of the Session and write something up tout-suite. Not this time. A whole five days passed before I even realised the first Friday of the month had gone by.
D’oh, as they say.
Anyway, where I fit into the beer world is something I’ve pondered off and on for quite some time.
My day job is a journalist and a very small part of that involves writing about beer. So small that it would be disingenuous of me to put it on my business card (though I did think about doing that).
So I guess that makes me a beer writer, in that I get paid (in a roundabout way) to write about beer. My own perspective had been that I was an observer of the good beer scene in my home town of Wollongong, rather than a participant. To me, the participants were the people making the beer, putting it on tap at their bars and the people selling it in their bottle shops.
They had some skin in the game. Me? I was just writing about what other people were doing.
But over time I found out those people I was writing about saw me as part of the scene. That was because I was getting the word out about what was happening, about what they were doing. They may have been making the beer and selling it, but I was telling people it was out there and where to find it.
To them, that made me a member of the scene. Which made sense to me rationally but, emotionally, I still feel like they’re the ones actually DOING things. You know.
It’s a similar feeling I get with my blog, which has been going for two and a half years. Rationally, I know if I write about a beer or a brewery, it helps to get the word out. And probably more immediately that a beer column in a Saturday edition of a newspaper, because a brewer who likes what I wrote about their beer in a blog post can just click the Twitter or Facebook share button and heaps of other people get to see it.
And the hit counts, the follows and the likes shows there is some level of interest in what I’m writing, that people are getting something out of it. Also, that breweries and bars send me samples and invites to events shows they see some publicity value in Beer Is Your Friend.
But emotionally, I don’t feel like I’m making a huge difference. I just do this blog for fun – and for whatever extremely slim degree of fame it brings (there, I said it).
What that makes my role here at Beer Is Your Friend, I’m not sure. Beer drinker with an opinion maybe. And hopefully an entertaining one.