June 23, 2011

Freelance update summer 2011

I think I meant to do these freelance updates more frequently. Oh well. But happily there's a lot of my stories out there.

Technophobe though I am, let's start with the online stuff. I always know it's my birthday when people start talking about it being the longest day of the year (OK, I was born 25 hours after summer solstice). That also marks the opening of Summer Beer Fest Season. Craftbeer.com now has my tips for a successful season. I hope you'll LIKE that.

Far from being a Beer Soup Nazi, I'd like to think of myself as a Beer Soup Fuzzy Squirrel, offering adorable little nuts and nuggets of my quantum thoughts about anything beery that get posted on All About Beer's Beer Soup. I'm pretty good about sharing these on the ol' Facebook and Twitter. It started in early May with my pitch for brewpubs building brand disloyalty, and thrice weekly there has been, and will be, something new. Some of the more fun (dare I say popular) ones have been on pairing beer with exes, whether or not consistency matters, beers with fruit, veggies, and carrot cake, and my current kick: bringing back 7 oz. nip bottles (pt 1 & 2 with 3 on Fri.)

All About Beer the magazine primarily has me on Beer Travelers duty with the most recent column inspired by Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken. Covering beer roads less traveled, it's a guide to beer tripping through California's Lost Coast and North Carolina's Outer Banks (OBX). Being the over-writer than I am, there wasn't room to publish a third section on Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.), so look for me to sneak that into a future column. They also let me do other fun stuff, most recently entailing a look at how breweries give birth to new beers.Beer West also has me on a beer travel kick penning tips for a beercation through NorCal, L.A., and San Diego (who'd rather be called TJ North than LA South, so I gathered at the recent Nat'l Homebrewers Conference down there last week).

Drink Me's story on the Oregon Ale Trail may sound travel-related, but it's really more of a fun, albeit truncated, spin through Oregon's contribution to the history of the brewing industry. Yes, of course I worked in a shout to the Oregon Trail brewery in Corvalis that I just happened to have popped into.

Draft has a feature called Beer Me on the last page wherein someone in the beer biz waxes and mashes poetic about what the industry offers them (or vice versa). Sometimes these are written by third parties. Like me. Following up a rather incendiary one about Yuri Green's new Cherry Voodoo in the San Francisco Bay Area, fans of "wild" beers should be keen to try Chad Yakobson's Crooked Stave in the Denver/Boulder area. Also in the new issue, drinking craft beer in Death Valley. Even crazier, when I stayed at Panamint Springs Resort (they use the word resort loosely), I visited the Indian Wells brewery just outside the park in the Mojave Desert. Here's a picture facing toward the brewery......and standing in the same spot looking in the other direction.