Last month I was rather surprised to get a tweet from Saveur, telling me that this blog had been shortlisted in the Best Wine Or Beer category in their Best Food Blog awards. I was even more surprised when I looked at my fellow finalists and saw that they were mostly a professional looking bunch of writers, and I’m just a guy who enjoys an excuse to drink some awesome beer and whisky.
And if I was surprised by the shortlisting, you can imagine my reaction to hearing that I’d actually managed to win the category. If that didn’t call for a celebratory drink – in the form of a rather large glass of the 40 Year Old Glenbridge – I don’t know what will.
So I have to say a big, heartfelt thank you to everyone who voted. The award is based on a public vote between the six finalists and (thanks to some excellent canvasing by very proud Mrs. PeteDrinks!) it turns out that the Saveur-reading public prefer beer to wine, if nothing else.
Incidentally, I’m also very grateful that no other British beer bloggers got shortlisted; there are some fantastic other bloggers out there and if they’d been in the running, I’d have been lucky to even get that far.
It’s also caused me to re-evaluate myself a little. Truth be told, I’ve always felt a bit of a fraud to call myself a “beer blogger”. I really don’t know a great deal about beer; I don’t have any great experience or wisdom to share. I’m not a professional writer (although I’m sure you’d never have guessed…!) and my day job has never (sadly) involved alcohol. I am, to quote the mortal bard, “just zis guy, you know?”
But maybe now is the time to admit that I really am a beer blogger. I’m off to the Beer Bloggers Conference later this month, after all. I’m still the keen amateur but perhaps that’s the point – you don’t need a PhD in your subject to be able to enjoy it, enthuse about it and share the joy.
You don’t even have to be right. When someone first mentioned to me that they’d tried something on the basis of a post I’d made, I was more than a little alarmed – what if they disagreed? What if they hated something I’d recommended, or worse, thought that it didn’t come close to how I’d described it? But when I thought about it, I realised that wasn’t really the point. They’d gone and tried something new; mission accomplished.
By all means, read this blog. Read all those other great blogs too; get involved in the eternal debate about whether “real” beer has to be in casks, what makes a beer “craft” and how much tax we should be paying on it all.
But once you’ve done all that reading – or ideally, during – don’t forget to have a beer. Because much as “we” beer bloggers love to talk about it, we love to drink it a whole lot more.