It is apparently two years today since I started this blog. Mark Dredge also started blogging about beer on the same day. We both won awards for our blogs in last years British Guild of Beer Writers annual competition and I was pleased that it was Mark that beat me, he's a good writer. It was Mark who alerted me yesterday about the anniversary and I'm pleased because with everything I have going on at the moment I'd have forgotten otherwise. He also suggested that I should be doing a post to mark1 the occasion.
I can't sleep as it happens, perhaps I'm feeling guilty about my lack of postings. Still, over the two years I seem to have notched up over 350 posts, which is nearly one every other day, and several hundred thousand words. At this time of the day I would normally be asleep, but I believe Mark gets up early especially to write. Today something has me here in front of the keyboard, perhaps my blogging twin has kicked my subconscious somewhere.
Starting this blog on 12 October 2008 started something of a life's revolution for me. At that time I was a lover of real ale, a lover of good food, chef, brewer and a committed but somewhat frustrated licensee of our own pub. I started this blog because I couldn't see how I could make my pub a financially viable business without it completely sending me potty2.
We never really did find the answers. I did seem to be quite good at communicating my frustrations and in turn that helped me to cope, but ultimately, for many reasons associated with the location of the building, and arguably our outlook on life, the pub was never going to be a sustainable lifestyle for us. I hope to return to that subject in time, with a more dispassionate, detached and analytical viewpoint. Running a pub is not in anyway as simple as people would like to think it is; it is incredibly easy to get wrong occasionally and terribly hard to get right all the time.
Looking back, without the pub I would not have started writing. Without the pub I would not have started brewing beer. Without the pub and the subsequent blog creation I might not even have become the beer enthusiast that I now am. Beer seems to have taken over my life, and that of Ann's, who doesn't even drink much and suffers this obsession with much more tolerance than she ought.
I have not only joined the British Guild of Beer Writers but also seem to have found myself on the committee. I want to do more to promote the world of beer, to see it featured more on T.V. and to see wider acceptance of beer as a quality drink rather than the current mainstream view of it's somewhat unglamorous status.
I also want to write more; I have ideas for books and shorter articles, but currently am finding it difficult to put aside time. I am getting frustrated at the lack of blog posts I manage to write. Perhaps this is the reason I couldn't sleep these early hours of the morn. I am quite busy with the brewery at the moment, and this is something that I'm enjoying.
And so here I am, two blog years on, we've sold the pub and now we are growing, it would seem with some success, a brewery that is consuming ever more of my time. It's good, it's rewarding and satisfying.
I've met many good people through this blog and associated Twitter. Much beer has been drunk in many interesting places. My horizons have widened so far that I doubt I can ever reach all of the beery land masses that peek ahoy in the distance. I have discovered new beers and new breweries from which to try their beers and found that there is much more to beer than the pint quaffing norm of the pub, although I still enjoy a good quaff much of the time.
So here's to the next year, let's hope I can get back up to an average of 3 or 4 posts a week sometime soon, just as soon as this brewery is properly up and running.
1I'm already wondering if the word "mark" appears too often in this post.
2At least, more potty than I already am.