BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Still on the “beer beat,” but with a new identity and a renewed consultancy.


Beer with a Socialist” is what happens when the Potable Curmudgeon momentarily mistakes the word “scientist” for “socialist,” and after a good laugh, decides it’s kismet.

A long time ago, while still a part-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Company (Bank Street Brewhouse had yet to be born), I started a company called Potable Curmudgeon Inc., which was to have been devoted to travel and tourism. For various reasons, this idea never came together; the last motor coach trip was 2004, and on bikes, 2008.

It’s never too late to start all over again, and 2018 looks like the year for it. Over at Facebook, I’ve deleted the moribund Potable Curmudgeon Inc. page, in effect combining it with Roger’s Simple Beer Pleasures, which has been renamed Roger Baylor’s “Beer with a Socialist” — as has this periodic blog feature.

Beer musings will remain here at NA Confidential, rather than resume at the Potable Curmudgeon blogspace, primarily because NAC has a regular and reliable readership base. This also owes to my determination that beer not be viewed in a stand-alone vacuum. Beer is part of everything, and it should be considered alongside everything.

During the past few months, I’ve become convinced that beer consultancy might become a viable pastime. It’s never been about the money for me, and I’ve already been free-lancing for a while as a writer. If I can add to writing a couple more small revenue streams, it will be enough to get by. Perhaps Patreon is in my future.

There are several “beer education” and “beer entertainment” ideas I’ve been wanting to test for many years, and now seems like a good time to devote attention to them, because happily, my sabbatical since departing NABC has reaffirmed that beer is a place I want to be, personally and professionally. I just needed some time away to take care of other things.

As an aside, finally getting my departure resolved in February this year seems to have had a salutary effect on everyone involved. The past three years have been weird, enlightening, depressing and joyous. They’re a springboard to what comes next.

Beer has been my life’s work. Beer has served as governing principle for a variety of personal interests, ranging from history to geography, through politics, and including food, travel and recreation. Beer has connected them in a way that iced tea simply can’t manage, and frankly, then as now, iced tea consistently annoys the very hell right out of me.

I’ve come to viscerally dislike iced tea, by the way.

Do I have what it takes to be a beer consultant? Even I can’t be sure, but I’m intent on hanging out a shingle. Today’s world of beer appreciation, whether on the part of industry folks or paying customers, displays beer knowledge a mile wide and a millimeter deep. With a few good stories and a bit of soft shoe, I think there’s a niche for infotainment.

As many readers already know, my primary interest these days is Classic Beer — the greatest beer hits from the 1300s through the 1900s. It’s what the program at Pints & Union will emphasize (mid-June is the target date).

There are times when beer hunting involves looking past the chaotic cornucopia of the present and rediscovering what always was there, patiently waiting, in plain sight. Of course, new classics are being created every day. Making sense of it all is becoming harder and harder, and maybe I can help with this.

In the months to come, we’ll see where this goes, so thanks for reading.