Welp - my voice has been invited as an occasional guest on these ongoing beer conversations, although I'm not sure I'm worthy.  Official qualifications?  ummm...  novice home brewer, aspiring beer snob and friend/college roommate of Joel Robert Gregory.  But, I do live in Bend, Oregon:  which has one of the highest breweries-per-capita anywhere, and (I would argue) the BEST breweries-per-capita in the universe.  Joel and I took the wives out for dinner to Crux Fermentation Project (one of central Oregon's newest breweries) and pretty much ruined the night by talking about beer for 6 hours straight.  Joel even used beer as a metaphor for all that is excellent and aesthetic and interesting while trying to justify such a single topic conversation...  I was convinced and inspired, (but the girls weren't) and I decided that there is obviously a LOT to talk about on the matter.  So, here I am, or will be, when the inspiration hits me.