Being one of the oldest beer blogs going, having been around now for not quite all of less than three years, it has been amazing to watch how the hobby/habit has taken off in the last year or so. There are so many quality blogs out there posting on the brewing industry that it is hard to keep up with all the information that is now available. Here are some thoughts on trends I see recently which I think are really adding to the scene:
- I am a camera. One of the things that I think is important is how the quality of first person reporting has advanced. I can think of no better example of this than the coverage of last weekend's Ommegang's BCTC 2007 by the guys at the Brew Lounge. I asked if I could post that photo above which is taken from a larger image among a whack that they have posted. Here is the full photo. Not only is the photography great, but they have provided plenty of links, personal impressions and other information in the essay that they have posted. Great work. And look to Jay for great coverage of festivals from a west coast perspective.
Update: Holy Moley! Expect great posts from Stonch on his beery tour of Franconia, too. This is the good stuff, the first person obsession laid out before us all.
- The rise of the British beer blogger. So far in 2007, the blogs of Stonch, Pete Brown, Ron Pattison and the most recent arrival Martyn Cornell have taken us in quite new and different directions. While Stonch has seen out the smoking ban in a cloud of tobacco haze and even taken his own homebrew on a train, Pete is going to take a pin of IPA to India on a ship and hopefully will keep us updated en route. Ron has started writing in his very entertaining (ie manic) style about his obsession with brewing records as with this post on stout or this one incorporating photos of original records. And Martyn has simply taken the art of the essay on brewing to, frankly, a humbling new level as is illustrated with this detailed piece on the origin of the ploughman's lunch.
- RSBS. If it were not for the world's best aggregator dedicated to beer postings, I would never have a hope of following all this stuff. The man behind its coal fired civil engineering, Jonathon, is always happy to receive word of a new site on beer so if you see one missing let him know at beerinator-at-gmail-dot-com. Right now, he is up to 154 feeds from different sources, mainly blogs.
- The genial tribe we have become. We all know beer is a social substance but for a long time there, blogging about it was a bit like shouting in the wilderness. No more. Every day I have emails to or from Stonch, or Lew or Jay or Stan or any number of other bloggers, brewers, PR guys, authors or great bottle shop about the latest festival or the more interesting new ale or lager. The friendliness with which all this whatever-it-is is imbued makes a great statement about the people who like craft beer but also what craft beer brings out in people.
This is either a golden age or the beginning of something even greater. Either way, it sure is fun.