2009: The Year of Beer

Now that the actual work on the whiskey book is near complete, at least from a research and writing angle, I’ve been thinking about what to do next. To me, there was only one real answer – Beer.

Now I have to admit, I haven’t really done the hard work as of yet. No publishing house has agreed to do the book, mostly because I have yet to actually sit down and write the proposal (something that is on my list of things to do for the month of January). It’s admittedly the ass-backward way of getting the second book out there, but to me, the book is beside the point. The real fun is in the research, which I can do with or without a book contract. And as I still have a full time job, there’s no pressing financial need to get a publishing house on board sooner rather than later.

But enough about the financial side of the book world. Let’s get down to what the book is about.

I’ve been talking with my friend and co-worker Andrea about beer, and we have put a fair amount of thought about how to approach this book. Finding a catch for a beer book can be difficult. Written pub crawls have been done, and beer guides are easily found. History books are fun to research for me, but possible droll dull to read for others. What could we do that would make this book a little different from other beer books out there.

And then it hit us. We would commit to a full year of beer activities. Sometimes it would be as simple as writing a beer review. Other events will be more sociable, like counting the number of beer commercials during the Super Bowl – whilst at a sports bar. We’re even planning a week long trip through Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic, in order to find out how these areas, rife with beer history, compare against American beer culture.

But the primary narrative on which the rest of these events will be hung will be the following – Andrea and I are looking to become certified beer judges, the type of people who go to beer events across the country and determine just how good or bad the contestants may be. Now I only have the slightest idea of what’s involved in this process. I also want to make sure that we both treat this quest with the greatest amount of respect. This isn’t a stunt. Both Andrea and I have stated to one another that Beer judging will be something we will pursue for sometime after the book is completed. My hope is that ten years from now, after all is said and done, I’ll still be judging brews out there at the various festivals, and I’m sure that Andrea feels the same.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

You folks out there are more than welcome to participate in our activities. From reading of our exploits on this blog, to open invitations to various events (which will be announced at throughout the year), the goal here is to not just expand our knowledge of beer, but yours as well. We’ll have to see how well we do.

So 2009 will be the year of beer. The hope is that near this time next year, both Andrea and I will be certified beer judges, and have a multitude of experiences to which we can draw from and enjoy for the rest of our lives.