I first joined the Instagram beer community in 2016 in search of fellow beer nerds I could learn from and connect with, and who would appreciate the fancy beers I enjoyed, too. To my dismay, one of the first things I noticed was the excess of “babes & beer” photos. I had to comb through tediously to find my people. However, the initial impression stuck with me; I decided on the name “dirty beer writer” as a satirical commentary on this phenomenon.
Firstly, “dirty” is the opposite of “clean (beer),” which for me reminisced the wild ales that I had discovered and fallen in love with years ago. Secondly, maybe the innuendo would bring people to my page where they would find nothing near raunchy but stick around for what I actually have to offer: entertaining and educational words about beer, usually. The brand was built that way and I wonder if I gained a good majority of followers due to that first choice of adjective. Anyway, I’m almost thirty now, which seems like a good time to retire “dirty.”
I’m excited for the inevitable merging of my professional and personal life—not that it’s something I hide. I’m involved with a local nonprofit and I do marketing for a financial-focused agency. I don’t want to feel embarrassed when handing out my business card at town council meetings and industry conferences. I want to be able to boast my beer knowledge and writing skills without feeling like I’m perpetuating a stereotype or turning people off.
“Wild” seemed like the right direction, and not just for the obvious ode to the magic that is wild ales. Lately, I’ve been trying to blend in with my environment, walking softly like the earth as we know it is an eggshell that needs protecting (which it is). I’m trying my best to keep it wild. And what’s most natural for me—proven by the 50 photos Jill took and only one was remotely serious enough to represent this transitional moment—is staying weird, genuine, silly, sometimes steely, but mostly wild.