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If you were a beer conference keynote speaker …

Linotype machineMaybe I should have asked this question earlier, given that 2016 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is just a week off.

But what would you talk about if you were going to give the keynote speech?

Or maybe the question is, what would you like to hear about?

I already plan to use this image and (technology permitting) some audio from James McMurtry.

Yes, I will include your name (maybe even your url or twitter handle) if I quote you. Unless it is really clever, in which case I will take all the credit.

10 Responses to If you were a beer conference keynote speaker …

  1. Oliver Gray June 29, 2016 at 7:36 am #

    Like I did with my panel last year, I would focus on putting the writing before the beer. In the beer writing world (especially on blogs) that seems to get twisted, and some great ideas get lost behind muddled wording and cliched repetition. If we, as a group, could get as passionate as writing as we are about beer, it’d raise the level of discourse across the whole industry (and maybe we could stop talking about beer coming in cans).

    I’d also piggy-back off of what Bryan Roth talked about last year: using the massive amount of information available to improve and lend credibility to your writing. We get a lot of anecdotal “industry insight” pieces that could be bolstered greatly by the context that comes from proper research. It’s all out there, and very easy to find, so there’s not really an excuse to not try to use some data to support your stories.

  2. Maureen Ogle June 29, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Research, research, research. As in: Make sure it’s a fact, not just a figment of your imagination. And let your “voice” find its own pace/rhythm. Not, cough, that I’m a beer blogger…. But you get my point.

    • Jordan June 30, 2016 at 7:58 am #

      To expand on this a little bit, I’d like to see a talk on primary sources whether literary or archaeological. There are quite a few brewing history books which do not go into detail on their sources, making it difficult to see what is opinion and what is fact. So if more primary sources were known, I imagine it would be easier to dispell beer myths.

      That, or Nordic brewing heritage in the archaeological record (or lack thereof)

      • Stan Hieronymus June 30, 2016 at 8:14 am #

        Agreed, Jordan, more detail would be nice and many apparently primary sources turn out not to be. But it is a step forward when a book intended for a general audience-in this case The United States of Beer-organizes its bibliography by the chapters.

        Re Nordic hertage, scanning the list of attendees I’m guessing that should not occupy more than a minute of my talk.

        On another, your rss feed does not work.

  3. Brett June 29, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    I think I’d like to hear about the future of differentiation in the craft beer space. When craft was smaller, it was easier to be different with non-lager styles and more flavorful offerings. Now, the craft beer market is crowded, and attempts at product differentiation have perhaps hurt the drinkability of craft beer (more bourbon-coffee-maple syrup stout anyone?). There has been some differentiation outside the product development space (cans, as you noted). My question is – what is next? How will the 4100+ breweries (and growing) in America differentiate themselves in the future? What will make one grow and another fail?

  4. Erik June 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    This is sort of a followup to the differentiation thing. Local bloggers for local beers makes sense, but how is local beer blogging supported? Can it be more than a hobby?

  5. First – loved your Beers That Failed The Reinheitsgebot talk at NHC2016. I still reject the HomebrewCon name.

    As for the topic at hand, I’d love to hear your take on how to keep generating articles that have lasting relevance. Too often it seems people get caught up talking about the latest hip trend in brewing, whale beer on the market, or other clickbait nonsense. It’s easy to do and it has its place, but it seems we’re inundated with it. If we continue to thrive on novelty, that is unsustainable. How might we get back to work such as that put out by Michael Jackson or George Fix. They might be a tad dated now, but works by both authors are still relevant and engaging reads today. Make sense?

    • Stan Hieronymus June 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm #


      Perhaps I am being too optimistic, but there seems to be plenty of interest exploring the same things that Fix and Jackson did. And we’ve got more resources at hand.

  6. Ed June 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    I’d tell people to talk about their obsession, that way I could work my own obsessions into the talk! And tell them don’t be afraid of being opinionated, it makes it much more interesting. I’ve done a fair few talks lately and though I am a beer obsessive in general going on about thing that really get you going is more fun than things you have to or feel you should do.

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