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The Session no.63: May the fourth be with you!

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s nice archive page.

At long last, I’ve got round to hosting a session.  It’s my turn to come up with a topic that will inspire beer bloggers around the world to write on the same day about the same subject.

But what should that topic be?

There’s always a danger with something like this that you become navel gazing or self-congratulatory, that you might sit round in a big mutual circle jerk and say, ‘Look at all us beer bloggers.  Aren’t we marvellous?  Aren’t we important?’

And then there’s the danger that you might take something that’s of passing interest in beer and magnify it to a far greater degree of importance than it should have.  That we might start to debate the finer points of differences between beer styles or discuss at length the virtues of a particular hop.  When I first encountered the beer world, I found such discussions crashingly dull.  I often have to remind myself that I still do.

Or worse, we might write about beer blogging instead of beer.  I’ve been guilty of that many times in the past.  Occasionally it has its place.  But every time, I’m brought up short by the real world, and I realise just how few people ‘out there’ ever read beer blogs, apart from other beer bloggers, I suspect this is why.

My approach to beer writing is by no means the only approach, but I write to try to encourage other people to share the simple joy of beer as much as I do, to switch on people who drink beer but don’t particularly care about it that much, to suggest to them that there’s so much more they might enjoy.  No one says you have to do it this way, and no one ever made me the spokesperson for beer.  It’s just how I decided to write, in the same way others decided to write in an opinionated way about what they love, and what they hate.

So in that spirit, my choice of topic – with 62 topics already covered – is this: simply, the Beer Moment.

What is it?

Well, what is it to you?  What does that phrase evoke for you?

That’s the most important thing here.  Switch off and float downstream, what comes to mind?  Don’t analyse it – what are the feelings, the emotions?

I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, because I’ve been talking about it to various people who are working hard to try to improve the image of beer in the UK.  Because whether we articulate it or not, whether we drink vile, sunstruck Corona or barrel aged imperial stout brewed with weasel shit, it’s about the moment far more than the liquid itself.  The only people who disagree with me on this are people I wouldn’t want to share a beer with.

The moment – for me – is relaxation, reward, release, relief and refreshment.  It’s a moment to savour, a moment of mateship, potential, fulfilment, anticipation, satisfaction, and sheer bliss.

It’s different from the moment you drink wine or spirits – it’s more egalitarian, more sociable.  It’s not just about the flavour, nor the alcohol.  It’s about the centuries of tradition and ritual, the counterpoint to an increasingly stressful life, and the commonality, the fact that it means the same thing to so many.

At least – I think it does.  What does it mean to you?

This session takes place on Friday 4th May (giving me the prefect excuse to use the tired but still irresistible headline above.)  You don’t have to take part.  But if you want to, have a think, and write on Friday 4th about whatever comes to mind when you see the words ‘The Beer Moment’.

If you do it as a blog post, please send me a link, and afterwards I’ll do a round-up of who said what.  Or if you prefer, just leave a comment below.




Cooking Lager

The beer moment? Is it that moment on the bus at 2am when you feel a bit ill, drop your kebab, throw up on the people sat in front and end up in a fight with a bloke with tattoos and a shaven head then have to alight several stops before home to make your escape and then have to explain to the treacle the nature of your bruises, the blood on your shirt and why you can never again step on the local bus for fear of recognition?

Mr. David J

I think this is the first time a session topic has coincided with something I've had floating around at the back of my mind for a while. Should be fun seeing how it comes out.


In the month that the 'Father of Loud' dies we get this thrown at us. Star Wars turning the beer geekery up to eleven. Great!


Can I join in even if my blog isn't primarily about beer? (its subtitle being 'boats, beer, and paraffin')


There are many – beer festivals, pub nights out, family lunches or summer brewdays when the boil just gets going and you pour yourselves a pint of Dark Sunshine, stand back, and admire your efforts. Reminds me, I must make that beer again! Or……even better – people over to help with pressing early November – tasting the young sweetness of the freshly pressed juice and then the dry hit of the pint or three of scrumpy that are a must when cider making.

Gary Gillman

I'd say it is when everything is right: the drink is well-tempered, the location pleasant and welcoming, and perhaps most important, the subject is not stressed, too tired or too full. These conditions rarely in my experience are realized simultaneously. Each pre-requisite is important, but for me the quality of the beer is the most important.



The moment for me is excitement and anticipation of going into the Jolly Brewer In Cheltenham on a Sunday afternoon, and deciding which ale to have first from the 7+ ever changing pumps, then either sitting in the courtyard while the sun sets over the Georgian terraces or trying to find a corner to sit inside at other times!


Who would have thought that one day we'd be blogging about beer. Oh how the times have changed and boy do we love it!


I think this may be my first article on the "the session" an interesting subject too, cheers for something inspirational this time round and something actually on our target subject (beer) rather than ourselves


My entry will be up in the morning (6am East Coast US morning) at http://wp.me/p1RHk9-Aw

I made a short film (I hope that's not against the Session rules). It's totally an allegory of the human condition.

Thanks for hosting!


One thing that is fascinating is that I was expecting a lot of us to be writing very similar things. Having read a lot of the entries I found that almost all of us took a different take on the question. That's great because the blog posts did not become repetitious.

Brilliant topic and I can't wait for the round-up. Yes you have to read them all Pete, no excuses.

Professor Pie-Tin

July 1982.My first time in a sweltering New York.Lost in a rough and ready un-yuppified neighbourhood.
Turning a corner I see the word EAR in red neon.
I enter,get hit by a beery,smokey fug and the sound of good-natured chatter and Grateful Dead.I slide onto a seat at the bar.
" Whaddya having " says the barman.I recognise the red triangle so call for a Bass.Cold and malty,it was delicious.So began a 30-year love affair with my favourite bar in the entire world.www.earinn.com


Don't for get "Revenge of the 5th"

Beer bloggers/geeks and CAMRA members in themselves are a unique and weird enough subject to warrant blogging about. One such epic post can be found on my blog.


A bit of a late comer but what the hay.
Beer Moments; sitting at the Stammtisch in Swan's German Deli/Market in Rochester NY talking with German ex-pats and Americans of all immigrant status, sitting at a quaint table in the Old Toad sampling real Ales pulled with love from local brewers to imports again enjoying the beverage and atmosphere, sitting in the stands at the local Rhinos FC game preseason when you can BYOB, brewing Flanders style with friends in a basement brewery trying each others past homebrew
Cheers, Tom


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