Showing posts with label bitten bullet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bitten bullet. Show all posts

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why I Blog

I have always enjoyed writing, and I hope it is something that I am not too shabby at. I make no claims to be anywhere near the standard of my favourite authors, Umberto Eco, Nick Hornby and Andrei Makine among them. However, in addition to my regular ramblings about beer on here, I occasionally write on another couple of blogs, one about whatever pops into my head and the other about philosophy and religion. Writing has always been part of my life, when I was a practising Christian I had about 30 poems published in various magazines and anthologies, as well as writing music reviews for Cross Rhythms magazine. I have written technical documentation, articles about real estate in Prague and sales proposals, I am even trying to write a novel, though that is going through a major mental revision at the moment.

It is just shy of four years ago that I wrote the first post on this blog. In that first post, I said that my posts could consist of:

"posting pictures and stories about beer, and most importantly the people that my journey brings me into contact with".

When I started blogging there were only two other beer bloggers that I knew of in Prague, Evan Rail and Max Bahnson. At first I read them, then met them and today I feel honoured to call both of them my friends. In various constellations we have shared many a beer, and to this day they are two of the people I miss most from Prague. Many a Saturday afternoon finds me wishing I could send either of them a text message and arrange to meet for a pint at Pivovarsky klub or Zly ?asy.

In November 2008 I realised a long standard ambition to visit Ireland. Mrs Velkyal had a friend that had married an Irishman, and so as we had a long weekend and it was close to my birthday we flew over. The Irishman was to become the author of The Tale of the Ale blog, and since then we have shared several beery adventures. One trip took in the delights of Prague, Brno and Southern Moravia, while more recently me met up in Paris to wander the streets and down many pints. During our initial trip to Ireland we went to Galway and found the most perfect pub on the planet. Sheridan's on the Docks, now sadly departed, had Budvar and Galway Hooker on tap, a peat fire and the rugby on the tv, it was simply idyllic. At the end of the trip Mrs V and I met with the eponymous Beer Nut and Barry, an Irishman writing about beer life in Germany having Bitten the Bullet.

Within weeks of moving to Charlottesville, we had met with one E.S. Delia, and his lovely wife to be, whose blog Relentless Thirst gave me plenty of insight before moving over. Eric had commented on Fuggled before we moved and invited us to his rooftop tasting. Meeting and getting to know Eric has been one of the highlights of life in Virginia.

I could wax lyrical about the people I have met, and friends I have made as a result of beer, but one story stands out. As you may know I work at the Starr Hill tasting room occasionally. Last year, I was there for my one day that month and my colleague asked me to come and chat with a customer, a fellow Brit. A couple of minutes later my colleague asked me where I thought the customer was from. Given the slight London/Estuary thing going on his voice, I assumed he was from the south-east corner. The customer's response was "I'm Scottish", and through a series of questions and stunned responses it transpired that we had both grown up in the Outer Hebrides, from adjacent islands and he had been 2 years ahead of me at school. We know a lot of the same people and happened to meet in the brewery on the one day of that month I was working. He is now my regular drinking buddy here.

That's what beer means to me, and by extension blogging about it. The people I have met. Beer people are good people, and this blog has opened many doors to meet them. That then is what drives me, writing not just for myself, but for the people I have met and hope one day to meet.

This month's Session is being hosted by the guys at Brewpublic and the theme is "what drives beer bloggers?".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Homebrewers of the World Unite!

I had a thought yesterday evening, and yes it hurt. I guess most of the people who read Fuggled are more than just beer lovers, they are also home brewers - I know for a fact of at least 10 regular readers who also make their own brew, not to mention the two or three professional brewers who are also part of the Fuggled community.

Several of these home brew/pro-brew bods have given me invaluable tips and advice for improving my beer making, whether discussing ingredients, brewing techniques or methods for dispensing the amber nectar. It was this sense of community that got me thinking about organising an international home brewing project.

The project would be something along the lines of the multi-blog beer reviews I have done in the past with blogs like Pivní Filosof and The Bitten Bullet. However, instead of writing about the same beer and posting our review on the same day, this project would be to brew the same beer, on the same day, each brewer using their own preferred methods (whether all grain or extract with grains) and each brewer using their preferred yeast. The beer in question would sit in primary fermentation for 14 days before being bottled, then after 3 weeks of conditioning, each participating blogger would review their brew - whether they do it just themselves or get a group of people to try the beer and give their views would be entirely up to their whimsy.

Assuming the people I am thinking of would be interested in such a project we could have the same beer brewed in the US, Ireland, the UK, Germany and maybe the Czech Republic - it would also give us more insight into water differences, the influence of yeast on the same base ingredients and various other interesting questions. For those of us in geographical proximity to participants, we could trade beers and then write about those as well.

If you are interested in taking part in the project, then either leave a comment to this post, or drop me an email. The sharp of sight among you will have noticed a poll in the top left of the page, to decide which style of ale we will make (that is my only executive decision, we will be making an ale as opposed to a lager - largely because I don't have the technical necessities to do so!). You we see on the poll that to begin with I have rather broad beer styles to select from, the next decision will be which beer type from within the chosen group will be made.

So, let me know if you are interested, and cast your vote for the beer style to be made, and let's get this started.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...