January was my months to host The Session, a unified blogging experience shared by beer writers around the globe. With 58 sessions behind us, it becomes more and more difficult to find a new topic; one that’s interesting to beer writers and compelling to beer readers. So I chose the topic of “I Almost Always Drink Beer, But When I Don’t” hoping it would stir up some new ideas for a New Year.
The inspiration for this topic actually came quite some time ago. As a family man, the recent recession has been painful in that a lack of income doesn’t just affect me, it affects my wife and children. Looking to better remedy that, I wanted to speak with someone who does it full time and Jay Brooks was kind enough to sit down with me over a few beers. One thing Jay shared with me is that most writers don’t pay their bills with beer, they have to write about other topics. While the advice has always stuck with me, I hadn’t acted on it until now. Hopefully, this Session can get us thinking outside of just beer, even for a short period and maybe find a little supplemental income for those who are looking to make it on their own.
On to the roundup!
There were two ways to really go about this, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Let’s start with the lushes and then move to more sober conversation.
Mixed drinks were a common topic. Bob isn’t happy to give up his beer but will take a vodka with some fruit juice. At Beer PHXation, anything goes, from Moscow Mules to Whiskey Manhattans. The Beerbecue wants you to know you’ve been drinking bourbon wrong all this time. Nick takes me back to my college days and talks about Cuba Libres and other Cuban beverages. The Beer Search Party goes classic with a simple Gin and Tonic.
Others, including me, went straight for the hard stuff. Simon at the Reluctant Scooper shared his affinity for cider brandy. Zac at Beer and Pavement has a unique Polish vodka that he has to track down every Christmas. Jay at a Beer in Hand is interested in distilled spirits flavored with hops. Steve shares some of the Whiskys he’s known with us, as does Jon at The Brew Site, Mark at Kaedrin Beer Blog, Jeremy at Pintwell and David at Broadford Brewer. Gareth wins though, in my opinion, with super rare scotch that you can’t have.
One beverage I thought would get more love was cider, but only The Beer Nut took this classic to task.
Wine was also one I expect to see a great deal about. Derrick shared a story of love over a trip to the Anderson Valley. Bryan of the Washington Post uses the opportunity to talk beer and wine, among other things, with a local cask specialist. Joe cracks open a half bottle of champagne and has me wondering, “why not a full bottle?” Phil started on wine but made a few stops before leading us to our next beverage…
Make Mine a Half moves us away from alcohol and gets us started with tea. 99 Pours continues steeping but introduces us to Rooibus. Not all teas are enjoyed hot as Jay at Brookston Beer Bulletin shares his love for iced tea before sharing his thoughts on adult beverages. A Fool and His Beers gives us the perfect way to drink away a southern summer day with a sweet tea recipe.
One beverage I’m learning to appreciate more is coffee, but only one contributor tackled the ubiquitous American breakfast. Thanks to The Beer Monkey for filling the void.
Another beverage we Americans love is soda and Hungerlust find a unique drink from the Mediterranean that has me considering a vacation.
As usual, there are those who take the topic and put their own unique spin on it. Rabid About Beer contemplates tastes in a different world. Phil at Beersay comes back with a second contribution, changing the emphasis of the Session’s topic for a little fun. Alan at A Good Beer Blog also showed up, even if it were reluctantly.
So there you have it. Roughly 30 articles about all things not beer. Thanks for your participation. Kendall Jones at The Washington Beer Blog has the honor of hosting the next Session.