Sep 28, 2018

At A Crossroads

The Barley Blog has been a near-daily part of my life going on 12 years now. When first launched in December of 2006, the site was more for me than any one else — an exercise in blog design and development that just so happened to be about the micro-beers that I drank and loved. Those were nascent times really, not just for this website, but also the beer scene in general.

It would be an understatement to say that things have changed over that time and The Barley Blog has been along for the ride through a myriad of trends that have come and gone — from the highest IBU imperial IPAs to the stupidly potent, freeze-distilled race for supremacy in the highest-alcohol beer possible. We’ve seen black IPAs, IPLs, white stouts, session IPAs, fucking marshmallow as an ingredient. There most certainly have been ups and downs over that time period.

The site has afforded me the opportunity to work and chat with some incredibly talented brewers, authors and fellow bloggers/writers. Hell, when I first installed WordPress back in 2006 to build this site I, in no way, ever expected to receive samples of beer to review. From local Virginia and Maryland breweries to some of the biggest names in the business, I’ve been quite lucky in that regard.

But as of late, I just haven’t been feeling the passion required to post news or reviews on a daily basis. I’m sure those few of you that regularly check the site or your RSS feeds (yes, they still exist) may have already spotted a slow down in activity on the site over the past few weeks. Beer is still a good sized part of my life whether that be sitting at a local spot with the wife or exploring the stacked boxes in my cellar. It’s just that after almost 12 years of daily activity, it’s becoming less and less fun to review, research, draft and ultimately publish. There have been seasonal lulls on the site in the past, sure, but this one feels different, more important in a way.

So, is this the end of The Barley Blog?

I don’t know.

Maybe, I just need some time to recoup, enjoy beer for what it is and not have to feel obligated to forego simply drinking a beer and instead be cold and analytical in an effort to review a bottle or can objectively. I know it sounds like something easy to accomplish, but it’s extremely tedious doing it daily (sometimes 2-3 times a day) simply for content on the site and not for the enjoyment. Maybe, after all this time, I’ve finally matured, but that seems counter to what a beer is supposed to be.

I would hate to give up on something that has been a part of me for so long. For now, I’m going to slow things down, post once or twice a week. And if the required passion eventually returns then awesome. If not well, it’s been a hell of a ride. Cheers.