Craft Beer Evangelism: Why I Blog About Craft Beer 15


After a emotionally charged and mentally challenging week in the beer blogging realm, my psychological state of mind was, needless to say, a bit out of sorts. I forced to question the validity and relevance of my own personal brand and blog as well as reevaluate my purpose and my place in the industry.

WHY DO I BLOG ABOUT CRAFT BEER?

Why have I sacrificed stability any semblance of a normal life to advocate and promote craft beer? Why have I sacrificed my reputation in order to fight for what I believe in?

Why have I dedicated my life to being a craft beer evangelist? The answer is simple.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi.

This is why I write. This is why I advocate. This is why I live and breathe for craft beer. If, through my writing and my evangelism, I can impact the industry, ignite a revolution, and inspire and create change, my mission has been successful.

As sappy as it may sound, I advocate out of unconditional love and passion for craft beer. I love the people. I love the community. And I love the beer.

I must admit that sometimes I ask myself: Is it really worth it? After all, I make negative money running my site. Why do I spend valuable hours promoting and advocating beer, when I should be focused on finding a job? Why do I endure all the daggers, the mud-slinging, and the insults?

This morning, I was reminded WHY I do it.

_________________________________________________________________________

Hi Ashley! My name is Terrence Jackson, and I recently started my own blog called EleventyBeers, and I have you to thank for me finally having the inspiration to do so. I mean, it is my love for craft beer that ultimately fueled my desire, but I would never have decided to actually do it if I wasn’t a frequent reader of your site. Your blog truly sets my heart on fire for sharing the craft beer gospel, and I hope that I can touch the hearts and minds of others as you have touched mine. Thanks so much for everything you do!

_________________________________________________________________________

It is humbling moments like these that ground me and bring me back to my center. This is why I do what I do. I don’t do it for fame or fortune. I am not a brewer. I don’t work for a brewery (unfortunately). I cannot make an impact on the industry from that aspect of the industry. But you know what I do have? A voice. A strong and forceful voice, at that. And one that is definitely not the most popular. But, I am not focused on being loved and adored, or even liked. I want to make a difference.

The advancement and advocacy of craft beer has become my mission in life. Some of you might not agree with my personal opinions, my choices, and my particular approach to craft beer advocacy.

Since birth, my mother has drilled this quote into my head: “This above all, to thine ownself be true.”– Shakespeare.

Love me. Hate me. Feel indifference towards me. Question my validity, question my place and value in the industry. Criticize me and insult me.

But, NEVER question my intentions or my integrity or challenge my passion and love for craft beer.

_________________________________________________________________________

On a final note:

Thank you to Terrence Jackson for reminding my why I do what I do in the first place. You have become an inspiration to me as well, and I look forward to following your adventures. Best of luck with your new beer blog. Never stop living the dream, and remember this (above all): “to thine ownself be true.”


About The Beer Wench

Ashley is a self-proclaimed craft beer evangelist & social media maven on a mission to advance the craft beer industry through education, inspiration and advocacy. She is currently the “Director of Awesomeness” at Bison Brewing in Berkeley, CA — where her responsibilities include everything from marketing, sales, PR, social media & events. Ashley is also a freelance consultant and professional speaker on the subjects of social media, beer mixology, food & beverage pairings. She is the founder of DrinkWithTheWench.com & BeerMixology.com as well as a regular contributor to CraftBeer.com.


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15 thoughts on “Craft Beer Evangelism: Why I Blog About Craft Beer

  • Jeff Bull

    Kudo’s to you, Ashley, for doing something you love….and doing an amazing job at it! If others are willing to make those sacrifices for their passion, they too will be afforded the same enjoyment you have found in writing about Craft Beer.

    Never stop being yourself!

  • wlarryc

    Well done!!! You hang in there, Wenchie! I think you’re doing just great (FWIW), and look forward to following your exciting career!

  • osumarko

    You have definitely inspired me to explore higher quality beers. If it weren’t for you, I would be drinking the cheap crap. But you have educated me and help me share what I’ve learned with people I’ve talked to.

  • brmichael

    I think when you’re focused on craft beer advocacy, and especially supporting women in the industry, you’re generally quite good. I especially like the beer bloggers series, though I think it would be cool if the questions were tailored especially to people’s blogs instead of just the same ones each time it’d be cool. Still, I like reading them.

    The problem, I think, is that most of the focus that we see is not education about craft beer or responsible advocacy. It’s either about how awesome we should think the Beer Wench is (to be fair, Twitter mostly – but telling people about how awesome you are gets really old), or how EPIC a beer is – which is not advocacy. It’s not even a review. It’s really just bragging about the fact that you’re drinking it, often to excess. Which is a little more about how awesome we should think the Beer Wench is.

    Even this post is about how awesome we should think the Beer Wench is.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to see a little more craft advocacy and a little less Wench advocacy.

    I also wonder if I’m the only person who sees irony in the fact that something named “Don’t Support the Objectification of Women” is written by someone who bills herself “Wench.”

    “to thine own self be true.” or something. Honestly? I think you’re trying too hard.

    Still – I hope this re-purposing thing works for you so you have to endure fewer assholes like me.

  • @beertodd

    Just keep doing what you are doing and things will fall into place. You’ve got a big heart and a wealth of information- you will make some brewery very proud to claim you as theirs. Bide your time, and keep your door open for offers. As part of the brewing industry, I want to say thanks for all that you do.

  • Rob

    It’s true. You rock! My favourite blogger from the States and probably the closest thing to being the next beer hunter (minus the books). Keep it up.

  • Terrence Jackson

    I definitely feel the same way that you guys do. The spirit of the community is what drives us, and of course, our love of craft beers. It is always a great thing to have those who may not necessarily be mentors, but more like beer guidance counselors, who can teach us so much and bring us together in this perfect beer harmony. Seems like great stuff to me!

  • Pelle Stridh

    I fully agree on why one writes about beer and why you put so many hours on something without a single buck in your wallet, and…
    “If there are enough of us, we can move mountains” or how you would say it in english…
    Keep inspiring us!

    Cheers
    Pelle Stridh
    a swedish beer writer and beer entusiast for the last 23 years

  • Brad

    F the haters. You (we) are fighting the good fight. Someone’s got to do it Good beer needs a voice. Lots of voices. Lots of advocacy, cheerleading and promotion. Keep doing what you do Ashley.

  • Trub Wörtwurst

    “Why have I sacrificed stability any semblance of a normal life to advocate and promote craft beer? Why have I sacrificed my reputation in order to fight for what I believe in?

    Why have I dedicated my life to being a craft beer evangelist? The answer is simple.

    ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ — Mahatma Gandhi.”

    No offense but that sounds like crazy talk, ma’am. And that’s coming from a crazy person.