Dave Patterson is in as Maine Today's dedicated beer columnist, with a new weekly feature called The Beer Muse. Patterson replaces What Ales You? writer Tom Atwell, who said his farewell last Thursday, July 10, four years after beginning the column.
Patterson is a teacher and musician who has maintained a personal blog since January 2013. Over time, his writing focus has shifted heavily toward beer; most recently, he made a splash with his Maine Madness Beer Tournament, which was described as"a March Madness, bracket-style competition designed to celebrate the abundance of great beer made in Maine." The semifinal and championship voting rounds were hosted by Eater Maine, and Rising Tide Brewing Company's summer session IPA, Maine Island Trail Ale, emerged victorious.
Patterson's first column appears this Thursday, July 17. He spoke via email about the name of the column, its broad range, and his goals as a beer writer. [Update, 7/16/14: Patterson's first column appeared online on Tuesday this week. It's available here.]
What's the background behind the name The Beer Muse?
I chose The Beer Muse, because the Muses in Greek mythology were the source of all inspiration for literature, science, and the arts. What I want my column to be is the source of inspiration for the beer drinkers of Maine. If I'm doing my job right, readers should feel compelled, inspired even, to imbibe the local brews I'm writing about.
Will there be a particular focus for the column, or is it designed to be as broad as your imagination can handle?
The column will broadly focus on the beverages being fermented in Maine and New England. With that said, I've been given free reign to let my imagination wander where it will. In the year and a half I blogged about beer, I tried to be conscious of trying new techniques as a writer to keep readers engaged, and I'm taking the same approach in the column. I usually wait to see where the beer I'm writing about takes me creatively, then I follow that path.
Along those lines, any preview of what readers can expect from the first couple of columns?
In the first couple of columns, I plan to set the tone on this Beer Renaissance we're experiencing right now in Maine and the country as a whole. Readers can expect a voice calling out for everyone to join this great Renaissance. I consider myself a beer geek for the people. I'm not a brewer. I'm a writer with a deep passion for craft brewed, local beer. I'm going to try to write the column to be accessible to all beer drinkers. I want the column to be an immense invitation to enjoy the spoils of this moment in brewing history.
Have you met Tom Atwell? Did he leave you with any words of wisdom, any sage advice?
I have not had the pleasure to meet Mr. Atwell. Since I'm a freelancer, I don't have a desk at Maine Today Magazine, so there's no physical passing of the torch. I do hope to continue to wet the whistle of readers in the same weekly tradition as Mr. Atwell.
"Welcome to the Maine Beer Renaissance: New beer columnist Dave Patterson" [MaineToday]
· Dave Patterson. Writing. Music. Beer. [Personal Blog]
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[Photo: Dave Patterson]