I’ve read articles and posts decrying beer geeks using the term “beer evangelist” to describe themselves. You know what? I pretty much agree with them. It’s a strange way for most beer lovers to describe themselves. Even so, I am one.
Evangelist is an ancient Greek word which literally means “to bring good news.” And the goal for this blog and other things done to promote beer is to spread the good news of good beer. It’s not inherently a religious term, although it has been used through history by the Christian church. It simply describes a bearer of good news, and what’s better news than good beer?
One definition of an evangelist is a layperson doing the work, not ordained clergy. That’s me. I’m not part of the “clergy” of the beer industry. I pay the bills by writing technical documentation and sometimes leading training for a software company. I’m a beer layperson.
The modern secular use of evangelist took off when Apple’s Guy Kawasaki held the role of Chief Evangelist to promote the new Macintosh computer. He was a passionate proponent for a new era in personal computing, and a big reason I’m still use Apple products to this day.
I am not a beer expert. I am a student. The more I learn about beer, the more I learn how much I don’t know about beer. I’m a teacher too. I love sharing what I’ve learned with other. Beside this blog, here are a few other things that keep me busy:
- Write for Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine
- Regularly guest on the Sips, Suds & Smokes radio show
- Teach homebrew classes at a local homebrew shop
- Give demonstrations and talks at beer festivals
- Teach Beer 101 at craft beer establishments
- Answer visitor’s questions about local beers they’re drinking at events at a large convention hotel
Some of these gigs pay a modest fee, but I primarily do it for the joy of sharing my love for great beer. If you count how much I’ve spent on books, training and testing, I’m deeply in the hole.
I spend my time sharing the good news of good beer. So, yeah, I’m going to keep calling myself a Beer Evangelist.
A Beer Evangelist isn’t something you are, it’s something you do.