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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Comment on Transparency

Folks, things have been getting a little heated on the comment threads the last few days. A blogger named Doc. Wort has been a mostly-supportive critic of mine for a couple years, but he has a sharp tongue. On the Dissident thread, he called me out for being ignorant of beer styles, and this created some blowback from readers. On his own site, he wrote a post castigating "hack bloggers," and although he doesn't name names, it seems pretty clear where his ire is directed.

I don't actually mind Doc Wort's provocations. He's a regular commenter and regular reader, and since I have so few, I feel thankful to all of you. Even more importantly, he's a good-beer lover, and any good-beer lover is a friend of mine. I blog because I love Oregon's beer and because this interactive medium creates something of a community. If you have an authentic community, disagreement is the price of admission. But at the end of the day (last call?), we are all brothers and sisters before the cask.

So cut Doc Wort a break.

As for some of the charges he makes in that post, I would like to add that all opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone. I receive no payment for these opinions, no ad money from breweries (or anywhere else), and no free beer. I do sometimes get in on a junket to a brewery or fest wherein I get a free taster here or there. (I'll be on one tomorrow when I go to a media event at Cascade Brewing/Rac Lodge.) But these are standard for the industry and I think reasonable people can see they hardly constitute enough of an incentive for lily-gilding. The biases expressed herein are not purchased, they're all mine.

Let's all relax and have a craft brew, whatsay?


  1. I'm with you Jeff. I'm sure I post my fair share of "crap bias beer knowledge", or whatever he wants to call it on my blog, but it's just blogging, and it should be fun. This isn't some hardcore published bible of Portland beer, you've never claimed to be a beer historian or BJCP factotum, and after reading your blog for a long time I've never felt a condescending tone. That being said... what's there to be mad about?

    Keep up the good work. I think your blog is a great asset to the Portland beer community.

  2. Thanks Jeff, I try to keep in mind that beer appreciation is always subjective and trivial in the grand scheme of things. Getting worked up about it is pointless. I don't like every beer (I hate Wit beers) or brewery but I'm pretty sure that doesn't make me a bad person (it's all that other stuff...). This reminds me of a quote from Austin Powers' dad:

    "There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."

  3. I rarely read your blog, just don't really find what I crave out of blogs but after reading the flame up on the Dr Wort blog I decided to pay a visit. I think it is great to play nice and all but I have to say you asking for us to cut him some slack, well that cracks me up. First off he doesn't need it, he is a big boy and seems to defend himself better than most. He does his home work and backs up most of his stuff with facts he finds/knows/or will find out through whatever contacts he has. I think for "fun" mind you, that you should take up the suggestion of one of your readers and take a beer challange with Dr Wort. Maybe it will shut him up, maybe it will shup you up and maybe it will just be fun!

  4. Well said, Jeff! I wish I could have said it as eloquent.

    We're just a bunch of beer lovers, who sometimes like to debate and/or cause some controversy. Controversy and debate makes the world go around... There's always a yang to everybody's ying. ;-} Life is not just black and white, there are many shades of gray.

    We all have fun at someones expense at times. I don't mind being the bad guy or even the asshole at times. Makes life a little more interesting and less tedious and insular.

    I enjoy some of the defensive comments from readers, some are blatant with they're singular mind sets. Lets' hope they're learning something along the way.... ;-}

    In regard to my "Hack Bloggers" article...

    Jeff was NOT the Blogger who blasted me about making comments.

    I have written a similar article quite some time back, discussing my views on the BEER MEDIA being BOUGHT with Perks and reviews being jaded. I do NOT accuse Jeff of this abuse! This article has been half written for some months and is not directed 100% toward Jeff's Blog (although) Jeff does provide some inspiration... ;-}

    I think "Beervana" is a great venue for local BEER information and CAN be a wonderful informative tool for beer lovers and home brewers. I believe it's also a great venue to share and debate thoughts or add additional information, as I do and others. Usually, I try to add some additional information and sometimes give ol' Jeff a little brotherly jab.

    Jeff and I both encourage readers to ADD or make positive or negative comments (or additions) to either of our blogs.

    If you have some kind of Hyper-sensitivity to debate and conflict, you probably haven't asked for a raise in your life... but remember, Monks live simple "silent" lives and make some great beer too... ;-}

    In other words, if you're not going to add a comment to the discussion at large... You're just making noise and wasting your time.

    We should all meet one day and you could be-head me in person... :-O

  5. Thanks for the input Mark... I think?

    I'm up for a gentleman's challenge. I think the readers would have some fun following the progress and results. For me, it's all about educating the public, so I'm all for it. I'm no way way trying to force the issue...

    That said, I don't think we need to have a battle to see who comes out on top or silences the other. Neither of us will remain silent. It's the readers who prefer to take sides, rather than learn and except a little debate and rivalry. Jeff and I are just having fun doing a blog.

  6. The challenge that I suggested is meant to mend fences and to have some fun not to say one of you is better than the other. Its pure entertainment for your readers and fans. I support Jeff A in his challenge taking down the EVIL Dr Fart! >:)

  7. Sorry for the poor grammatical structure and editing skills of the last post. It has been a long day. I think I need a beer. :)

  8. beaver, please belive that I took your request as just that. Something for fun that would get some laughs from not only the bloggers but from us as well with a hearty hand shake at the end of the day. I hope you didn't read to much into my thoughts as taking it for an all out beer champ, I don't think you could find one everyone could agree on anyways, well maybe Fred E but come on he's a legend!

  9. Beaver-Boy,

    BB: The challenge that I suggested is meant to mend fences and to have some fun not to say one of you is better than the other. Its pure entertainment for your readers and fans. I support Jeff A in his challenge taking down the EVIL Dr Fart! >:)


    A. There's no fences to mend, except in your own mind...

    B. Dr Fart??? What are you 12?

    C. What's your beer/brewing knowledge?

    BB: Sorry for the poor grammatical structure and editing skills of the last post. It has been a long day.

    DW: Oh yea, I forgot school is back in session..... ;-}