Delighted to have joined the company of some really fabulous scholars in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about beer and academic scholarship. “The Scholars Who Look at American History Through Beer-Tinted Glasses” also features the venerable Maureen Ogle and Lisa Jacobson.
I have never been the type of person to freak out about social media. I don’t think it spells the ruin of modern society nor do I find it to be a panacea. But there are times when I am truly taken aback by the moments of serendipity these technologies facilitate. My recent appearance on the Courage Cocktail radio show with Lee Ann McClymont is a pretty cool example.
Last week, I did what so many folks do these days–I tweeted an inconsequential detail of my daily life with some thinly veiled political commentary embedded.
Heading to NC today. Almost like going home…where home involves REMARKABLE, creative, loving people and horrid legislative environment.
— J Nikol Beckham, PhD (@jnikolbeckham) May 3, 2016
It was the kind of thing I do without thinking about it too much. But much to my surprise, my tweet was read by Lee Anne whom I met in 2012 when she (for reasons that are still unknown to me) invited me to be a guest on her radio show. Within a few hours, we’d made plans for my return to the WCOM studio, where I was joined by Anita Riley, a beer writer and brewery cellar worker at Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough, N.C.
Doing the show for a second time provided some remarkable “mile markers.” It gave me book ends, a way to frame the last four years of my life and contemplate change. In many ways, the world in which I live has become a harder place in which to dwell. Political polarization, racial tension, the generalized climate of fear and distrust have only strengthened in the intervening years. Also, I live in Lynchburg, Virginia….Lynchburg. But in other ways, this same world has offered up glimpses of brilliance…and fittingly, the spaces of independent radio and craft beer are two of the best examples of this creative brilliance I can think of.
And then there are the changes in my own life…wow.
So…I will give social media its due in this case. Twitter is a unique–one might even say “special”–platform and it enabled me to have a really wonderful experience, reconnect, reflect, and meet another very awesome beer woman while I was at it.
Consequently, if you care curious, you can listen to the “State of Beer” radio show in podcast format at http://www.ibiblio.org/wcom/podcast/mp3s/CourageCocktail/CC05042016159.mp3.
I’m very grateful to have been given the chance to contribute to another article written by Thrillist’s Dave Infante. He is producing some really fantastic journalism (solid research, fresh perspective, healthy dose of funny-snark) that happens to be about one of my favorite topics. Check out The Sleazy and Spectacular History of Malt Liquor. It’s a long read that is well worth your time!