Session #5: Atmosphere – Re-cap

Beer is about more than flavor, IBUs, and the debate over what is a craft beer and what isn’t. It’s about Life. It’s the proverbial icing on the cake.

So, we want to know about the “Atmosphere” in which you enjoy beer. Where is your favorite place to have a beer? When? With whom? Most importantly:


Because while life isn’t all about beer, beer is all about life.

The Session - Beer Blogging FridayThank you to all who participated, especially the newcomers.

First up is Captain Hops over at Beer Haiku Daily, who offers up four unique haikus. How awesome is beer that someone can write a poem about it every day?

Jim, aka “Bostonbeerman“, shares some memorable pints, such as the ones in Brugge, Belgium, sitting in the hotel window above the canal. And, of course, times spent with special friends.

Your hosts at Hop Talk offer you their humble pieces:

Ron suggests that it’s the people you’re with, and shares a cherished memory making chicken marsala with his wife.

Al‘s is, mostly, about how he can’t decide among a number of different scenarios but that, in the end, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re with people you care about.

From London, Stonch laments the decline of the community pub. “I’ve made friends there that have enriched my life immeasurably.”

Staying the UK, Boak and Bailey focus on the “Why?” of the theme: What is it that makes for a good atmosphere. They also include links to some of their favorite pubs.

The guys over at The Brew Lounge are trying an experiment: broadcasting live video. Around 6:00. (I can only assume PM, and since the guys are in Pennsylvania, I guess the timezone is Eastern Daylight time, which is UTC-0400.) That’s PM Eastern time, which is UTC-0400 (confirmed below). I’ll be commuting at that hour, but perhaps I can catch a bit when I get home. (Here is The Session: The Brew Lounge Video Recorded Live.)

Drinks journalist Rick Lyke over at Lyke 2 Drink discusses the features he likes in his favorite taverns and how great atmosphere is really a personal definition.

Jim at Brewvana points out that the “where, when, with whom and why of drinking beer are many of the elements that go into this brewvanic ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy.”

The Barley Blog suggests “there’s no place like home.” And, look at that: he likes to share a beer with his wife out on the back deck, too.

Steve at Summer of Beer describes the wonderfulness of the Stone World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, California.

Alan at A Good Beer Blog has a work in progress, but starts out with a magical late evening in the garden. He then moves on to the people one is with—even using the great word: “conviviality”, and ends with “just chat and a summer evening and family.”

Chris O’Brien, the Beer Activist, moseys to the conclusion that the best atmosphere involves sitting around with one or two close friends and solving the world’s problems.

Heath at Bottles of Barley tells us about his two longest-running drinking partners and more than a few memorable places where they’ve shared a beer.

Back across the pond in Dublin, Ireland, “The Beer Nut” claims that the great outdoors is the best place to enjoy your beer, because “…winters are long and dark and the threat of rain is omnipresent year round. Drinking outside always feels like a treat.”

Eric Trimmer at Trouble Brewing agrees with many of the sentiments expressed by others, like nice weather, good live music, and people one cares about. What really enhances the experience for him is learning about the beer he is drinking.

Stan Hieronymus (you remember him) at Appellation Beer, like me, can’t decide on a single “place”. So Stan reaches back into the vault for a piece written ten years ago about the Northeast Taproom in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Tomme Arthur, the brewer at Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, offers a brewer’s perspective and goes on, at length, about how beer is meant to be shared.

Former bartender Jess of Bar Stories suggests that the best place to enjoy a beer is right at the brewery.

Rick from Pacific Brew News describes four uniquely different places where he likes to have beer.

Over in Brussels, Belgium, Andreea at the appropriately named Belgian Beer blog clues us in to Cafe Belga.

Stephen Beaumont tweaks our theme a bit to pay tribute to John White, who understood as well as anyone “that sometimes atmosphere trumped taste, and indeed, there were occasions where the situation could make the beer.”

Jay Brooks at Brookston Beer Bulletin takes a long journey, starting with an allegory of the Earth’s atmosphere, talking about “home”, the joys of a comfy chair in one’s home, pathos for people who drink industrial light lagers, and ending with a poem from Edgar Allen Poe himself, with a lot more in between.

Jon at The Brew Site likes brewpubs, especially the ones in Portland, Oregon, but is sure to mention how important company is.

Beer Sage at My Beer Pix discusses the places that he and Beer Molly enjoy, including—surprise!—their deck.

Up in Toronto, Greg Clow at Beer, Beats & Bites (who, incidentally, is hosting August’s Session) talks about his favorite pubs, “Geekfests”, and enjoying a beer alone.

Back in the U.K., maeib discusses the less-than-optimal atmosphere of two “touristy” pubs, choosing instead “to pay a fair price in a spit and sawdust drinkers pub, and take in the convivial atmosphere of like-minded people, and be served by people happy to [do so].”

Kilgore Trout at the Asheville Beer Blog pines for the Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon, but, being in North Carolina, needs to find something in Asheville and, in his opinion, “…there is no better place in Asheville to have a beer than in front of Jack of the Wood.”

Over at Spence clues us in on some beer rites of passage before moving on to a number of different memorable circumstances. His conclusion: “Each of these experiences shared one thing in common. Social settings that allowed for the integration of a full appreciation of the above average beer being consumed.”

Tedo of Barley Vine waxes poetic about Gingerman’s; particularly the Houston location.

One of the brewers at Flossmoor Station offers some photographs of great beer experiences.

Better late than never, Craig at Beers, beers, beers writes in defense of drinking alone.

We’ll be updating We updated this throughout the day as we get more got submissions.

28 thoughts on “Session #5: Atmosphere – Re-cap

  1. Well, not necessarily. They have “Summer time” in England, too. UTC never changes (hence the -0400) but GMT might.

    Can one of our Yookay friends confirm?

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  4. Wow. You guys are quick.

    I was debating whether or not to submit my link — I thought I should put a little more work into my post first — but now I see you’ve already linked to me!

    Now it’s too late. I’ll look like a slacker!

  5. Such is the power of Technorati! And an obsessive need to keep on top of things.

    I don’t think you look like a slacker. Besides, it’ll be hours and days yet before most people read these. You think mine hasn’t been tweaked since I posted it?

  6. GMT doesn’t change: we just abandon it for the summer. The Yooks use BST: “British Summer Time” when not on GMT, while we have IST which is totally separate and not in any way related, honest.

  7. I must say I’ve never heard “Yooks” as slang for the British! I rather like it.

    What’s come out of this Session is how different we interpreted the theme – which is great. To me, I just thought of atmosphere in the context pubs (although my ramblinhg little contribution was less than focussed on anything, to be honest). Others seem to have interpreted it more in terms of enjoying beer in private or familial settings. A world of difference.

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