Hello. My name is Helene and I'm a beer blogger.
When I first started my blog in June it was something I did for fun. It married two things I loved - drinking good, craft beers and writing. Actually three things, when I remember that the reason I started writing it was for educational purposes (and I love learning and educating!). I'd gotten in to beer about 6 months prior to that. I'd had occasional forays in to trying different brews, but for the most part I stayed with the expected - the Miller and Amstel Lights of the world. Sometimes I'd try something different - an IPA here. A porter or stout there. While I liked their taste, I wasn't ready to commit to them.
Then I experienced New Years Day 2009. I had gone out with a bunch of girlfriends to celebrate New Years Eve. I paid little attention to what I was drinking - I could tell the beer was probably strong, but it was a night for partying, not worrying about what I was drinking. The next morning I could barely lift my head from my pillow. When I finally pulled myself together hours later, I did some research and realized the beer I'd been consuming was 8% alcohol. I'd had far more than one. And so a passion was born. I was determined to try new beers with the aim of responsible - and taste-satisfying - drinking.
Beer drinking does not hold the cache that wine drinking does. This is proven to me time and time again when I mention to people - especially people in my family - what I write about. When I decided to quit my job as a marketing director to pursue writing full time, and when I told people that what I write most about is beer, well, everyone thought I was crazy. The blog is starting to pay off - I'm going to be writing for a local beer magazine, I've made some great connections, I've even gotten some free beer. The ultimate goal though, is to have beer recognized for the complex beverage that it ultimately is - and that's not something I can accomplish on my own.
There are signs that craft beer is starting to get its props. More and more articles are coming out about how beer is the next wine (even as I write this, I received notification that Bonny Wolf, on NPR, predicted exactly that. She called beer "the it drink" and mentioned that "there's home brewing, barrel-aging, seasonal beers and beer-centric restaurants offering food pairings.") One of the most fun parts for me has been seeing the change in my friend's attitudes towards beer. Those who hang out with me the most have become more experimental; they really look at the beer menu, ask for recommendations, and don't just settle for what they know they like. Some have even found new favorite beers that they would never have thought to try, let alone imagined they would like.
I'm fortunate to live in Philadelphia. A city with awful liquor laws, but an amazing number of bars and restaurants offering up the most diverse beers they can get their hands on. I'm surrounded by incredible breweries, with the most dedicated brewers, in every direction. It would just be great to be able to take it one step further.