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There is No Me in Community

For a little over three years I’ve been in the craft beer community now.  And maybe for about the last 2 I have been really involved in it.  I meet new people it seems weekly that love craft beer or want to know more.  And it’s great.  I’ve said before that this community as whole is head and shoulders better than the music “community” that I used to be a part of.  Man do I not miss those days.

But with every community comes issues.  Problems that stick out.  It’s inevitable really.  And as I have privately discussed these issues with friends of mine before I have kept my proverbial “mouth” shut in public forums.  I don’t hoot and rant about it.  Maybe I’ll retweet a funny tweet from someone that sees things similarly to me.  But for the most part I don’t say anything.  We’ll no more.  I’m sick of seeing things that remind me way to much of why I hate the the music scene going down here.  And I’m not going to stand around and just sit idly while it happens.

And the problem is these self proclaimed “beer evangelists” and “celebrities.”  Day in and day out the spout out nonsense all over the social media outlets.  They ask vague questions that they really don’t care about your answers to so that it increases the amount of replies they get.  That in turn raises their “Klout” which apparently means you win at the internet.  They barely reply to anyone that says something to them unless they feel they are on equal grounds.  And they have the audacity to openly beg for jobs in the beer industry.  I mean don’t we all wish we worked in the beer industry?  But you think you are so high and mighty that you can forgo normal means like sending resume, interview, etc?

But really what bugs me is these people are only out to advance themselves.  They are their own brand.  They aren’t trying to help the community.  Anything they can do to make their name bigger and better in the beer industry they will do.  Including walking all over anyone else.  Sure they try to hide that by “spotlighting” other beer bloggers or beer sites.  Do you know how much a smack in the face that is?  They are pretty much saying “I’m better than you and you will be no one unless I tell people to read your site.”  And sure people will say I’m being negative but tell me how that doesn’t help them first?

And when Mike and Nate from Thank Heaven for Beer started their Kickstarter campaign to help start their brewery where were these “evangelists?”  I didn’t see one tweet, blog post, Facebook post, anything from these people.  Where is the community in that.  I thought that we were all in this together.  It’s all for one and one for all right?  Need any more corny phrases?  But no, how would helping these awesome guys get their brewery started help them.  It’s not always about you.  I saw tons of great people in this community pledge to Wilderness Brewing including some of my favorite bloggers like Peter from Simply Beer, Scott from The Brew Club and Billy from Billy Brew.  All people that are truly out to help this community.  Hell Peter is trying to start his own brewery and he gives out his recipes.  That man is a symbol of a true member of this community.

Luckily there aren’t many of these people going around.  The truly good people out number the shitty by a lot.  But they are infectious.  Some people buy into them.  We should not stand for this.

And I know what you may be thinking.  You think me writing this will only cause a stir around me.  That very well may happen but I want more emphasis on the community as a whole, not individuals.  I’m sick and tired of it and I won’t stand for or support it anymore.  From this day on I’m deleting these people from my social media outlets.  I will no longer give them what they crave, the attention that helps inflate their egos.  And I won’t even mention them here because that will give them exactly what they want.

You want to think I’m an asshole for this stance?  Fine, you can do that.  But I know I’m not the only one that has had enough of this and really wants to get back to what makes this community great.  And that’s everyone.  I will keep on enjoying good beers with my friends.  I will keep on blogging about great upcoming events in South Florida.  I will keep podcasting about the great things happening in craft beer.  United We Drink.  See the word in their?  United.  We can either stand united or we will crumble with each individual that refuses to to stand out.

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  • Reply Rob

    I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, but… That. Was. Awesome!!! I checked to make sure you still followed me on Twitter a second ago, just to be sure. Whew!

    I think I know a few of the ones you are referring to. I pay them no attention either unless I am trying to make a point, which many have privately told me they were thinking too. But you’re right, attention of any kind is what they crave. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut though, as you know.


    August 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm
    • Reply Mike

      Great Tommy Boy quote Rob! I think I’m taking a page out of your book with this. I typically say what’s on my mind in person like you do all the time. Just never really let it come out too much here. And recently I’ve seen things that just pushed me over the edge. I’m not sitting back anymore.

      August 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply The Ferm

    And, my twitter followers just dropped by one person….damnit!

    August 7, 2011 at 12:31 am
  • Reply Scott-TheBrewClub

    Looking forward to reading more of Mike ‘unplugged’! I’d agree, the vast majority of people in the beer community are all-out good people. There’s always going to be self-serving divas, in any group.

    How cool is it that Mike and Nate were able to hit their funding goal? 🙂

    August 7, 2011 at 10:26 am
  • Reply Mike

    Phil – That was probably that spambot account with the hot Asian in a bikini that Twitter shut down. I know you enjoyed looking at her avatar but she contributed nothing but so called deals to the conversation.

    Scott – Thanks man. It is absolutely great that they hit the goal. I couldn’t be happier for those guys.

    August 7, 2011 at 10:54 am
  • Reply olllllo

    Is the intent of not naming names to give those people an opportunity to change their behavior. I put the odds on that as 0.

    August 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm
    • Reply Mike

      olllllo – I really don’t think they will change their ways. I highly doubt my post will even be read by them. If they do I’ll be a bit surprised.

      August 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm
  • Reply michael reinhardt

    Thanks Mike I think you are spot on. I think most of us know exactly who you are talking about as well. I sent multiple tweets to self-proclaimed beer evangelists and…well, it’s like you said. Nothing. It’s just fine with me because you guys and so many other people supported us that I have a mild indifference to “those people” anyway. To be honest, I always did because I thought exactly what you thought. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. No matter. What you and everyone else did to help us out was terrific.

    Oh well! I guess there goes one less good review about our beer…some people just make it up as they go along anyway.

    August 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm
  • Reply Mike

    Mike – They won’t know what their missing in your stuff. I can just tell.

    August 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm
  • Reply Sean

    Thank you! That is all.

    August 8, 2011 at 11:47 am
  • Reply michael reinhardt

    Good! Maybe it’s better that way 🙂

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    • Reply Mike

      More for us!

      August 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Corey

    Considering I rarely read tweets/Social Media post, I really have no context as to what a beer evangelist is. Are they marketing product or something? Or are these just people who talk about themselves in length…

    Anyways, George T once said ‘I drink alone’. If somebody bothered me with incessant spamming and self promotion, my first reaction would involve removing them from my account.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply Mike

    Corey – These people think they are bigger than the business itself. They have no care for anyone but themselves despite putting on a mask to pretend like they do. It’s all a grand scheme to have people notice them. Maybe their parents’ didn’t love them enough. Maybe they got made fun of in school a lot. But really they just want the attention.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply Sud Savant

    This article reminds me of another. I had to look for it, but I’m glad I did because you absolutely hit the nail on the head with some of your topics. enjoy!

    August 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Juan

    Excellent article. I’ve been thinking about this very same topic for the past few weeks, and I’m glad that other people have noticed this trend too. Some of these “beer evangelists” are starting to rub me the wrong way, when they are, like you said, openly begging for jobs in the beer industry because they (in their minds at least) think they are “so influential,” according to that Klout nonsense, which is like begging Microsoft for a job because they have accumulated a lot of Xbox 360 Achievement points. Most in the craft beer community like to socialize with other craft beer drinkers because it’s fun to interact with like-minded people, but these “evangelists”/”craft beer social media superstars” make it obvious that they are just trying to either stroke their ego by openly admitting how “awesome” they are, or solely to take advantage of the community to make a profit and advance their careers. I love it when they are obviously trying to game Klout by asking meaningless questions like “Which beer did you last drink that was an imperial stout but tasted more like an adjunct light lager?” which they get a lot of replies for but probably don’t even read most of them, and only answer a few to hide what is really going on.

    August 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply Mike

      Juan – So completely get it. Thank you! Great analogy with the Xbox there too. I hate those silly generic questions in order to just get replies and build up your Klout.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

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