The mythology that has been created about writers, journalists and authors; especially those that write about, cover and explain the beverage alcohol industry is, as most mythology, largely fiction built on a grain of fact.
Contrary to the iconic image depicted in print and cinema productions, pictured below is the essential “Beer Writer” workshop… if you are a professional. Proceed directly to illustration number three for the romantic version.
The amount of material and contact information found in the Ethernet is not only overwhelming but less than accurate in most instances. There are many text books and histories of beer and brewing also available on the internet and they are rich sources for research. However, there are numerous examples of books never rendered into the virtual libraries on line. Ethernet books don’t smell as good as a leather-bound tome printed over five or six decades ago.
The next in importance, when it comes to the basic “Beer Writer” workshop, is the library of aromas, flavors and other olfactory input that the flavor receptors amass over the years of beer tasting. What is more important is the cross-referencing those impressions with distinct memories of how and when those impressions were discovered. Some writers collect beer labels and file them in albums. No room? The answer is to take a picture of the event or, even better, video the tasting. My preference is shown below… the wall of beers.
Finally, the grain of truth that the mythology of the hard-drinking, fedora-wearing, trench coat clad grizzled old journalist feed on… the late afternoon beer.
This is the beer that is enjoyed rather than savored. It is the beer that is part of a round with friends. It is the beer that is talked over and not talked about. It is most important because it is not researched, photographed, discussed, dissected, deconstructed and critiqued. It is the reason that the beer writer stays employed.