Portland, OR – There is an old saying that you can never have too much of a good thing and in case of craft beer writers, it applies. Throughout the course of manifesting an article, an event, or a review, you must always keep the balance with your audience. Such is the lot in life for the independent writer, write positive observations and receive attention or speak your mind at the risk of being ostracized. Ezra “Samurai Artist” Johnson-Greenough, is another in a long line of those that speak their mind and they do with an educated palate.
If the name Samurai Artist doesn’t ring a bell consider your hearing checked if you have consumed a recent bottle from Upright Brewing, Roots, or sat at the Mississippi Studio taking in a band or two. Here is what he has to say regarding the announcement of a new website “The New School”.
I would like to announce a new blog I have started called "the New School." The blog is really a natural continuation of my short form reviews on twitter and the reviews and commentary I am constantly asked for from my work at Belmont Station to Upright Brewing and every festival I ever attend.
It's also sort of a response to the other PDX beer bloggers. Most of which I really enjoy with the main exception of Dr. Wort. It has been said that he adds a little refreshing critique of the self-congratulatory local beer scene. And I agree. Except his commentary is childish, personal, immature, contradictory and painful to read. I am not a great writer but I think I can, and do, on a day to day basis talk about the local beer scene while consistently offering a critical eye yet being fare. So basically my blog will be like Dr. Wort's if it had: reason, accountability, taste and maturity.
And, I want this blog to be fun; expect in-jokes and some fun pokes at people, places and ideas connected to the local beer industry. As for content, I will use “the New School” to examine the novel aspects of our burgeoning beer community. What new breweries are opening? Which seasonal brews are the most interesting? And, what are the alternative ingredients and techniques that local brewers are employing in their craft?
“The New School” will also feature articles written by outside contributors, especially in the review and commentary arenas. It is my hope that beer reviews on “the New School” avoid repetitious writing. So, in service of this goal, I have decided to feature panel-style beer reviews by a group of local beer writers and beer geeks. This system will allow for short but varied commentary that resists major bias and skewing. Be on the lookout next week for the first panel review of the new Widmer W ’10 Pitch Black IPA. The blog will also host video features co-created by myself and chief “SNOB” Ritch Marvin. Such videos have already been featured on Taplister. They will now continue in much the same vein, but instead they will be productions of “the New School” with the continuing sponsorship of Taplister. We plan to continue our relationship with Taplister in this manner and also by syndicating the stories appearing in their blog section.
My History and Experience:
Brief stint at Laurelwood, bartended at the Belmont Station Cafe for 3 years, became the label artist for Roots brewing on the Epic Ale 07-09 and Flanders Red,became a "Keg Assassin" on the staff of the NAOBF in 08 and 09, organized the music for the Pelican' Brewers Summer Games in 08 and 09, founded a team in competition at the Brewers Summer Games in 09, contributed art and a feature article to Beer NW magazine, organized and promoted music/beer events with Ninkasi Brewing featured in The Oregonian and the Portland Tribune among others, helped found Taplister with Scott Wray and brought in Kerry Finsand to take over operations, helped organize Hopworks Biketobeerfest including the music, stage and sound, created the look of Upright Brewing from the colors to the logo and all labels and brewery artwork, voted the runner-up for Best Bartender in Oregon in 09 by Northwest Brewing News.
Ezra Johnson-Greenough aka Samurai Artist