Monday, June 22, 2015


In my now nearly thirteen years of writing tossed-off and purple prose crafted under the dubious banner of “blogging”, I’ve started – and then quit – many a blog. I started HEDONIST BEER JIVE back in 2006, and retired it at least once before shuttering it for good in 2010. I’ve jettisoned a trail of music-based blogs over the years: Agony Shorthand, Detailed Twang, High Water Everywhere and the only-somewhat dead Final Sounds; two film blogs; a generalist blog; a political blog and perhaps some others I’ve even forgotten.

BEER SAMIZDAT was my cure for the beer-centric itch that had spread across my cranium once I’d been away from Hedonist Beer Jive for a year or so. I’ve already quit it twice – and, as you can see now, am attempting to resuscitate to the best of my abilities. "Why now, Jay"?, you ask. “Jay, weren’t you the clown who said that the beer revolution had already been won, and that your voice was therefore no longer needed?”, you beckon. I hear you. Indeed I was. I reposte: Was my voice ever needed? Was it ever even heard? My 2013 blog stats said no, by and large, outside of several dozen true believers.

Was there ever any true psychic gain to be made from writing about a topic as thoroughly inane and juvenile as craft beer? Jeez, I don’t even know how to answer that. Obviously cataloging and documenting my forays into good-to-great beer has meant something to me, or else I wouldn’t be doing it, nor would I feel the need to return to the excitement of hunting down, collecting, drinking and documenting what remains to this day my favorite beverage. I enjoy the simple act of making sense out of a brewer’s creation. Even more so, I enjoy jabbing as many holes as I can into the stupidity, sanctimoniousness and general absurdity inherent in both the “craft beer scene” and the act of writing about it. I’ll keep trying to do so here.

Moreover, Beer Samizdat will try and round up the many good guys & gals holding forth in the world of beer, and grill them on what they do that makes them stand above the herd. I’ve done so here, here, here and here earlier in this blog, and once I get a handle on what I’ve been missing the last year or so, and therefore who’s still standing, you’ll start seeing interviews with ‘em pop up on the blog.

Yeah, so about the last year. It was refreshing. I stopped taking notes on what I was drinking, and just drank it. I cut down to about 2-3 beers per week for the most part (it wasn’t a far drop from the 4-6 beers/week I’d been shoveling into my piehole beforehand, but still). As you can see from this post, I moved to Norway for nearly 4 months in May 2014, and once I was there, I focused more on my work, my family and traveling Europe than I did putting every beer-related jot & titter onto paper. Once I returned, I got super lazy, beer-wise. IPAs, Double IPAs, and more Double IPAs. My beer fridge became a monument to hops, and little else.

It’s only coming out of that “phase”, if that’s what you wanna call it, that’s re-made me the curious and hungry beer dork I once was before mid-last year. I truly dig that sort of excitement, and feed off of it. Reading beer blogs, beer magazines, perusing beer stores; trading with like-minded brethren around the world; hunting rare beer game, 22 ounces at a time; discovering new styles; traveling for my job and hitting the domestic or foreign city’s best beer haunts and then stuffing my suitcase with their best local beers; and so on. 

Who knows how long it will last this time, but I’ll endeavor to keep Beer Samizdat going until we’re all old and pickled. Thanks for letting me back into your life, my friends. I will try not to disappoint you.


Anonymous said...

The samizdat strikes back--again! Glad to hear it Jay. We need to get your 4-6 weekly beers up to a more revolutionary quantity but we can work on this together. Welcome back, looking forward to reading. Cheers! Damian

Jay H. said...

Damian, I'm OK having a revolutionary week from time to time, absolutely....I'm traveling for work this week in Germany, and I suspect the "limit" will be breached by end of day Tuesday.

Mark said...

Once more unto the breach, dear friend, once more!

Martin Alvarez said...

And he's at it again! Glad to see this site active again. Cheers.