February 18, 2011

Freelance update

I'm a bad beer blogger. I don't post nearly often enough. But while this doesn't help my Wikio ranking, it's a good sign because that means I'm focusing on freelance gigs. (Or other events such as the "Bangers and Beers for the Birds" fundraiser I was invited to participate in at the G2 Gallery last week. My favorite person I met was the 70-year-old woman who said she buys 2-3 new beers each trip to the market.) Nearly all of them are for print media since I'm old school like that. Some people keep their to-do lists on their smart phones, I keep a dry erase board on my wall by my desk. I swear I'd use hieroglyphics if I had endless wall or cave space.
More and more, these magazines post content on their websites, so, looking for my latest stories, here's what I've found:

All About Beer: Being all about exploring good beer and road trips, I was stoked when they asked me to take over the Beer Traveler column. Not so stoked that it doesn't come with an infinite travel budget to go off anywhere I choose. But it does put me in touch with people-in-the-know all over the country and even the world to hit up when I personally visit the destinations I write about. The most recent on posted, fittingly, is about northern locales for beer tripping in the winter. Fitting b/c it's so cold here I'm wearing my fingerless gloves and drinking a Bridgeport Kingpin Double Red for warmth. I'm currently working on a story about hops which is all I'll say for now. God bless 'em.

DRAFT Magazine: Two recent stories are up. The first is mostly about parallel brewing--when a brewery releases a series of beers that tweak one ingredient or technique and it becomes an education for both producer and consumer. Naturally, I focused on Mikkeller from Denmark because of how many cool series Mikkel does. Then the story was upgraded to being about the "World Series" of stouts, incorporating Dark Horse's intriguing, dark releases.

Closer to home, and perfect timing as it coincides with SF Beer Week, the last page is Draft's column called Beer Me wherein someone from the industry (usually) writes about his or her experiences or take on a current issue facing the industry. On occasion, that person tells someone else their story, which is how I got to write a first-person account of the man behind Cherry Voodoo Brewing who debuted--earlier than expected--at the gala and their own launch party.

Drink Me: Based in SF, each month they put out a themed issue so it's fun to write in some really left field areas. As someone who focuses on the artistic side of the brewing world rather than the scientific aspect (great beer takes both!), I was apprehensive when they announced they were doing a "Science" issue. It forced me to don a lab coat and even bust out some Latin. I still managed to interview one of my favorite brewers to discuss the science of spontaneity (aka wild beers). What was really a treat was the "Heal the World" issue which, naturally, conjures up images of Michael Jackson. Thankfully, we have one of our own. I say have instead of had b/c he's always with us.

Oxford Companion to Beer: Not sure if I'm more humbled or honored by this, and I'll ruin it by making a prurient joke about being hummered, but I just got a most inspiring email from the OCB's esteemed editor, Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery, thanking all the contributors who helped compile the most comprehensive book on beer to date, thanks to Oxford University Press. Seeing my name on the 12-page list of contributors--many of whom are heroes and mentors--made me glow. If anyone knows how I attach a PDF, lemme know.

Willamette Week: So glad it didn't take much convincing on my part to get the local alt-weekly to kick up the beer coverage in Beervana. Tomorrow, look for me singing the Wheels on the Bus on the SE PDX shuttle for the 3rd annual Zwickelmania. It will help assuage my lugubriousness from missing SF Beer Week going on now. Speaking of which, I had 3 guest posts last week. One on Oregon brewers invading the Bay. One on the Beer Run (2nd Annual!) that I was present for at the beginning but not entirely present by the end if you know what I mean, thanks to Strong Beers enjoyed at Magnolia mid-run and at Social post-run. And of course a revisiting of our friends at Cherry Voodoo.

Gratefully, there's more to come.

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