Lew Bryson, last mentioned here in the discussion of X beers (go directly to his comment, has joined the blogging ranks with a specific project in mind. He calls it The Session Beer Project.
I suggest that you go ahead and add Seen Through a Glass to your feed reader, bookmark it or do whatever you do with sites you want to keep track of.
He explains the project there and in The Buzz at his website, so read those instead of a lame recap from me.
The why behind why session beers get slighted by the media – and in this case I’m casting a big net, including everything online as well in print – probably interests those of us in the press more than it does you. For one reason, I field a lot of phone calls for print publications looking for a “story angle.”
They want to know about about stuff that grabs your attention right off – a little like the first whiff of an intense imperial stout – because of unusual ingredients, high levels of alcohol or ridiculous amounts of hops. Nobody ever wants to follow up on how Utah brewers make so many award-winning beers although they are limited to brewing those with 4% alcohol by volume.
And they want to write about the beer – not the people who make it or how they make it, not people who enjoy it or how and where they enjoy it, not the session. That’s a harder story and not as sexy a story.
In working on another project, I’ve been reviewing way too much 1980s literature about American beer. In one story a German brewer says he’d never export his beer to the United States because Americans can’t appreciate its flavors. He might still feel the same way, but the fact is ex****e beers helped change what was a pathetic image (both of brewers and consumers).
Does that mean Americans can’t brew session beers? Take a trip to Utah, drink a Firestone Walker beer, or just tune into Seen Through a Glass and see what Lew is drinking.
Does that mean Americans don’t appreciate them? Check out the growth of Boulevard Brewing, Blue Point Brewing or what the best selling beers are for many of the fastest growing breweries (you’ll see they are session beers).
Welcome Lew to the blogging world by joining his conversation about them.