To Be Prevailed Upon By One’s Friends

Earlier this year, I considered bringing this blog to a close. I even started drafting Post 300 as a farewell post. As much as I’ve loved writing this blog–over the past 8+ years and on three continents–it is work. And, more importantly at this stage in my life, it is time consuming.

But I got some vital feedback at just the right time to keep me going. In the first place, I learned about the Beer Appreciation course offered by Cornell University. Then a friend convinced me that my readers care enough about this blog to contribute actual money toward tuition for that course. Even more important than the money was the fact that people wanted to engage. Many of the readers who were willing to contribute money were also eager to recommend beers and readings, and become part of the blog process. (By the way, from very early on, I have encouraged readers to make suggestions through the “Make a Recommendation” page. I don’t think that form has been used once.)

Secondly, I got a very encouraging (and unsolicited) message at a critical time. Of this blog, a friend said: “I hope it never ends.” How could I quit after reading such a sentiment?

Friends, you’ve kept me going. Thank you all for your contributions, be they monetary or just kind words. Please always feel free to comment or reach out. For my part, I will keep writing this blog until you are sick to death of it.

Beer of the week: Licher Weizen – This German Hefeweizen seems like a good representative of the style. It is quite cloudy, with a big, fluffy head. (As I now know from the Cornell course, the high protein content of wheat contributes both to the cloudiness and the foaminess.) The aroma has notes of banana and clove. (Typical of the esters associated with wheat.) The flavor follows the smell closely, especially the banana. There is just enough hops to remind you that this is, in fact, a beer. I don’t know if this is the best Hefeweizen, but it is definitely everything the style should be.

Reading of the week: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – This excerpt is almost entirely dialogue, with the characters debating whether it is better “to yield readily—easily—to the persuasion of a friend” or to insist that the friend provide argument and reason. For, as one character argues, “to yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either [friend].”

Question of the week: Is there any way that this blog could be more engaging? What features/subjects/beers/etc. would induce you to comment/suggest beers/etc.?


2 Comments on “To Be Prevailed Upon By One’s Friends”

  1. sizemore18 says:

    I really enjoy the beer you find at the gas station. Is it really from a gas station? My husband and I enjoy going to our local stores and searching for different beer to review for my blog. We are pleasantly surprised by UDF sometimes! I don’t have any suggestions except to continue sharing what you’re learning in the class. I haven’t been a follower long but do you review seasonal beers? My husband came home with Christmas Ale already 🙂

    • Thanks for reading. To answer your questions/comments:
      1. The “Gas Station 6-Packs” tagline is metaphorical, indicating that my intention was not to focus on super rare or expensive beers, but brews that most people are hopefully able to find themselves. In fact, I don’t think any of the beers I’ve reviewed has come from an actual gas station. When I started the blog, I lived in Korea and got my beer from either the 7/11 or E-Mart (think Korean Wal-Mart.) When I moved back to the States, I lived in a place where gas stations are not allowed to sell beer (although there is a campaign to change the law.) I then spent some time in Czech Republic, getting my beer from the grocery store. And I am now back in the USA, living within a couple blocks of three or four liquor stores. Hence, the extremely wide variety. (By the way, if you go back through past blog posts, the photos clearly delineate the different places I’ve lived over the last eight years.)
      2. I will try to reduce my extensive class notes to a few important take-aways for some future posts.
      3. I do review seasonal beers from time to time. CLICK HERE TO SEE MY SEASONAL REVIEWS. However, I tend to write the beer reviews well ahead of the actual blog posts, so I often have trouble posting seasonal beer reviews before the season is over. (This is mitigated somewhat by the trend of brewers to release seasonal beers earlier and earlier.)
      Thanks again!


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