About – Why and when

Does it matter where a particular beer, any beer, is brewed?

I first asked that question at this uniform resource locator (url) in November of 2005. This blog has wandered off course more than once during the years that followed. Sometimes just for fun — for instance, New Beer Rules — and sometimes because the beer blogosphere grew and I felt compelled, often for no good reason, to comment about just about anything beer … and rail against all manner of lists. When I wrote back in 2005 that the concept for this site was still evolving I didn’t intend that it would stray quite as arbitrarily.

My thoughts about how and why place matters when it comes to beer continue to develop, but I think I’ve figured out a few things in the past eight years. Including that I should have given the blog an easier name to spell than “appellation” (on top of Hieronymus, to boot) and a title I didn’t have to explain as often.

Although the idea is more fully formed, the premise behind it is the same. One of the inspirations was my research before writing Brew Like a Monk. Beyond the fact that the Trappist brand in fact represents an appellation the monasteries found an audience for pre-industrial beers in a market dominated by industrial beers. More recently, I’ve visited some of the post-industrial sites where the Saint Louis Brewery (Schlafly beers) might build a new brewery (unfortunately, there are plenty in the area).

I can be a little dense, but at some point I realized much that I learned researching the next two books, Brewing With Wheat and For the Love of Hops, connects pre-industrial and post-industrial beers. And place — the ingredients used, where they came from, how brewers allow the where to influence their beers, the brewers themselves, where beer was/is consumed — is part of that.

So, perhaps a little like somebody going on a diet tells all their friends as part of the commitment, I’ve rewritten this mission statement and established something of a publishing schedule, so we’ll see if that helps keep Appellation Beer focused:

- Each Monday, expect a collection of links to other blogs, sometimes with a bit of musing.

- Each Wednesday, an essay related to, and I hope this doesn’t sound too highfalutin, post-industrial beer.

- Each Friday, something about a particular beer (or beers) from a place. On the first Friday of the month, of course, it will be my contribution to The Session.

OK, enough about me and my plans. Back to beer from a place.

- Stan Hieronymus, November 2013