Ever felt like you’re drowning, sucking in water and grasping for air, any air, just one breath? I have! It’s called writing a book in, oh, 106 days, give or take a few hours.
But instead of water I was guzzling IPAs, so many IPAs, parsing bitterness, pine and tropical fruit, turning impressions into thoughts and words. So many thoughts! So many words! Tens of thousands of words that went on to create Complete IPA, my boozy stab at chronicling the IPA fever sweeping the globe.
Cue up the tiny violins, roll out the golf clap, right? I get it: I’m a lucky duck, able to turn pleasure into a career. But heavens to Betsy, this book just about broke me. Writing is one thing; writing while moving from your apartment of 13 years (thanks for selling the building, landlord!), taking care of a hyper-energetic toddler and making sure that your dog gets enough walks, well, that’s a whole different beast. And totally possible! Provided that you don’t do important things like, say, sleep or see your friends, every other word you utter some variation on “citrusy.”
THERE IS SO MUCH CITRUS IN THE BEER WORLD.
But I finished the project, because that’s what I do when a deadline stares me straight in the eyes. It’s how I’ve stayed afloat for nearly 16 years of freelancing, making the impossible possible—even as it threatens to tear your sanity into tiny little pieces, the IPAs you’re drinking becoming not work but medicine, a weird twisted dance.
Guess what? I’m OK now! I think! The book is winding through edits, set to be published this September by Sterling Epicure, which published Brewed Awakening and The Complete Beer Course. At which point I’ll do some sort of boozy book tour. And drink many, many IPAs.
In between writing the book, I’ve been writing. Words! Lots of them! Mostly about beer. Care to see what I’ve been up to? Behold, a sampling of my words. About beer. Mostly.
Imbibe, “Full Press”: How American cider is making a mainstream move.
Imbibe, “Canned Craft Beer Grows Up”: Brewers are putting the pedal to the metal.
Draft, “Renaissance Maine”: At Funky Bow, rural Maine’s do-it-all man Paul Lorrain has a green thumb for business—and playing host.
Draft, “Content Under Pressure”: Whether he’s custom-building draft systems or growler fillers, Ben Granger is out to prove that carbonation is beer’s crucial fifth ingredient.
Draft, “Getting Cultured”: Be it sprouted grains, honey, apples, cabbage, or barley, Brooklyn’s Mary Izett believes she can ferment it.
Men’s Journal, “The 10 Best Shandy and Radler Beers”: Don’t get stuck drinking subpar citrus-infused beer.
Men’s Journal, “Take Beer Instagrams That Aren’t Boring”: You can do better.
BeerAdvocate Magazine, “Dry Spell”: Brewers are dry-hopped sours to create tart refreshers with IPA aromatics.
Bon Appétit, “Tropical-Flavored Beers are Vacations in a Bottle”: It’s the islands by way of the beer aisle.
Bon Appétit, “Yes, There Actually Are Oysters in That Oyster Stout”: Drink up the sea.
Culture, “Bitter Cold”: Pairing cheese with the freshest winter IPAs is a total pro move.