Don’t fear the beer, follow these beer friends!

imagesA few years ago, I thought the beer world was intimidating. I remember being a fresh new college student, asking my dad to explain to me all the beer lingo I had been hearing. Amid his ramblings on fermentation, ABV percentages, IPAs and ESBs I remember just trying to figure out what the slogans on his brewery shirts meant while getting lost in a foamy sea of acronyms. But when I turned 21, I was able to learn from my senses, in bars and breweries, just by shaking people’s hands and asking questions. I found that, like anything you know nothing about, it’s only scary until you tap into it. It never hurts to be a newbie.

So to segue, that’s what I like about the beer bloggers/Twitter users I will mention here. They don’t just talk brewer lingo at their followers and expect them to keep up. They talk like real casual folks, folks who are cool with “fakin’ it till you make it.” They inject humor, creativity, and a sense of their personality. They make it easy, even for an introvert, to feel welcome in a beat that is all about socializing, drinking, and trying to remember the bountiful amount of types of beer available for enjoying. It’s like being a stranger walking up to a group of old friends sharing a pitcher at Rennie’s, and they pull up a chair for you and pour you a pint.

@TheBeerWench: Ashley Routson of Berkeley calls herself a “super heroine of craft beer,” and has more than 20,000 followers with whom she shares her musings on the craft beer industry and all its glory. The fact that she manages an actual brewery gives her a lot of credibility in my book: she is the “Director of Awesomeness” at Berkeley’s Bison Brewing.

Here she is toasting to a Dogfish Head Brewery, making connections with big names in the industry:

She is a popular member of Untappd, a website/app that allows you to socially share and explore the world of beer with your friends and the world. I’ll be exploring their world in a post to come.

I love that she can get beer lovers talking. Just by posting this tweet, a dozen people posted what beverage they were enjoying most at that time. I think this is a great way to learn about new brews.

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@grlslikebeertoo: Jessica Murphy of Chicago is a feminist, a beer aficionada, and pregnant. Basically all of the things I hope to be in 10-15 years. ‘Nuff said.

Here she comments on Budweiser’s new marketing stunt to avoid the fact that their beer sucks.

In this post on her blog she considers adding the prohibited beer she’s craved in the long months of her pregnancy to her baby registry. “I thought I would make a list of the top beers that I want chilled and waiting in my hospital room on or about August 14th.” Coolest way to have a baby.

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@blogaboutbeer: Logan Thompson of Vancouver, WA just had his first book published, and guess what? It’s about how awesome Oregon beer is! Beer Lover’s Oregon “is a complete guide to the breweries and brewpubs in the wonderful state of Oregon…along with brewery info, it has multiple pub crawls, food recipes made with beer, and homebrewing clone recipes of a handful of Oregon beers.” Just picked up my copy!

I like that a lot of his tweets are just about what he’s drinking, because it introduces me to new beer or brewery, or encourages me to try one that I’ve seen. Even just seeing a photo of a label he posts or hearing a new name is good because when I see it at a bar i’m more inclined to try it.

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CHEERS!

About Ella Gummer

Ella Gummer is a fourth year Journalism and Spanish student at the University of Oregon. Her professional interests include gender studies, travel writing, media literacy education, and multimedia production. Hailing from Northern California where her large, hilarious family still lives, Ella now works, studies, explores, and gardens in Eugene with good friends and her fat cat. You can listen to her campus radio show, where she is known as DJ Boots, every Monday at 11am on KWVA 88.1 Eugene. Follow her on Twitter @ellaGummz.
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