Meet The Beer Media

Meet the Beer Media – The Bottleneck

dylan

Name: Dylan Jauslin
Blog: The Bottleneck
Established: 2013

Why do you do it?
Having too many opinions with not enough outlets, I guess. I was writing for Salient, Victoria University’s student magazine, which was fun but not my preferred format – I used to go on some fairly passionate rants/rambles on social media/at the pub. A few friends started nudging me to sort of consolidate my rambles.
Having said that, I basically write for my own enjoyment. I like doing it so I keep doing it.

What else have you got going on in your life?
I manage Golding’s Free Dive in Wellington. It’s a little bar pouring good beer in the centre of the city. I love pouring beer and sharing it with people – you’re a nexus point between brewery and consumer. It’s a fantastic way to stay in touch with both sides of the industry.
I live with my partner Annika, who is owner and brewer at Tiamana. We live above the brewery, which is pretty great. I help out in the brewery occasionally, and sometimes do a spot of home brewing.
Apart from that, I’m a fairly competent swing dancer and I seem to have picked up a sideline designing T-shirts.

What makes you keep writing if you’re not getting paid for it?
I would probably struggle writing for money. The constant deadlines and need to create content, even when you’re not feeling inspired (having said that, if someone wants to pay me to write about beer, I’d definitely give it a go). I write because it’s fun and I enjoy it. If it ever stops being fun I’ll stop writing.

What’s one of your blog posts that you like the most?
Ah, probably Top 20 Beers You Must Try To Put On Your Bucket List Before You Die. It was immensely enjoyable bit of venting, leavened with lots of silliness.

One tip about beer blogging that you’d like to share?
Just writing beer reviews is boring. Reading about flavours is never as interesting as actually tasting them yourself and if all you’re doing is writing whether or not you liked a beer then you may as well just write ‘this beer is nice’ and be done with it. Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t write beer reviews – some of the best blog posts ever written started out as beer reviews. The difference is that they use a particular beer as a jumping-off point to talk about other topics to do with beer and brewing.

The phrase ‘‘craft beer’’ – love it or hate it?
I’m not a fan. I use it all the time on the blog as a convenient shorthand to describe ‘beer that’s made with a modicum of skill, caring and expertise, and the industry and community that exists around it’. But at the same time, it’s difficult and problematic term. As such you’ll notice I always put it in quote marks to acknowledge the complexity of the term.

One thing that still surprises you about the beer scene?
The speed at which it moves. I started in this industry six years ago. Back then you could reasonably expect to try pretty much every new beer that came through Wellington. These days I’ve given up trying to keep track of all the new developments. What really makes me happy is how for the large part, we get it right. New Zealand ’craft’ beer is going from strength to strength. It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of this beautiful monster.

And one thing you hate about it?
People disregarding the complexity of the scene. Bear with me on this one. I constantly hear people generalise about ’craft’ beer: ’Everything’s too hoppy, it’s all IPAs, everything’s 1000% ABV, these days it’s just a competition to see who can make the strongest/hoppiest/bitterest/sourest beer, they don’t make beer like they used to…’
Oh fuck off. Don’t look down on others for brewing/drinking beers you don’t like. The simple fact is that beer these days is better quality, more diverse and more exciting than it’s ever been. Stop your bloody complaining and get amongst it!

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