A Good Beer Blog

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Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


Comments

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Knut Albert -

Funny they nicked the same picture from the NYT as I did. At least I said I got it from there.

Jay Brooks -

Alan,

That is quite strange, I agree. There is a lot of activity, but very little seems personal. I notice that a lot of the posts are virtually all press release text, but unattributed as such which might leave you with the impression that it was the author of the blog's writing. The "Get Draught-like Guinness From the Can" post, for example, seems typical. Compare it with this article from Brandweek. Apart from the first two sentences (which are near copies with the second a fragment), the entire post is a direct copy from the Brandweek post, which is all well and good if attributed. But curiously, the pull quote in the middle of the post that begins "It gives me a new talking point" leaves the unsuspecting reader with the impression that the quote is the only lifted material whereas the whole thing is a direct copy of someone else's writing.

A lot of the posts seem like that, and are very familiar to me as I also monitor the wire services and thus a lot of what's posted here seems lifted at least in part, but without being attributed. It is also curious that there is no "about" page giving us some personal details and, as you point out, collective references to "we," "us" and "our" abound, only adding to the confusion.

The "Exclusive" interview with Heather Conlin from Alaskan Brewing announced on Sep. 18 and promised for the weekend (which would have been the 21-23) never came to pass, but there was instead an interview with Jon Cadoux from Peak Brewing (and with whom I did a phone interview for an article around two or so weeks ago). And here's where things turn even weirder. I did a search for Heather Conlin and came across a five-question mini interview with her on Associated Content, The People's Media Company. Here's a link to the interview. Also posted on AC The People's Media Co. is another five-question mini interview, this one with Jon Cadoux of Peak Brewing and it's the EXACT SAME INTERVIEW that is posted on Blog About Beer. The only difference is that Blog About Beer added an introductory paragraph that begins with "This evening I was lucky enough to sit down for an exclusive interview with Jon Cadoux" and ends with "What follows is a transcript of my conversation with Mr. Cadoux, enjoy." Following that lead, it turns out that the two interviews were by BrewMaine, who it turns out is the author of Blog About Beer. So they appear to be his interviews after all. BrewMaine it would seem is a 23-year old Clark University graduate by the name of H. Luke living in, as you suspected, Portland, Maine. He has a MySpace Page and another MySpace page set up for the beer blog, too.

Mystery solved, sort of.

Alan -

Hmmm...in-ter-est-tink. But as he is a Red Sox fan as well as a Maine, I am still encouraged if the volume can be made more personal.

Luke - The author of blogaboutbeer.com -

Hi everyone, my name is Luke and I run <a href=http://www.blogaboutbeer.com>blogaboutbeer.com</a> (Alan, I was going to email you separately but didn't see anywhere to do that). First off, thanks for the welcome mat and thanks for taking the time to even care about me/my site. I'll start by saying to Knut Albert, who commented first on this post, that I did credit the picture from the NYT - it's in the footer on the very bottom of my page. Secondly, to Jay - I did interview Heather from Alaskan Brewing, it just happened a few days later than expected because she didn't call me when she was supposed to the first time. The interview, if you're interested, can be found <a href=http://www.blogaboutbeer.com/2007/09/26/interview-with-the-alaskan-brewing-co/>here</a>. And yes, both interviews on Associated Content were mine from the site, I published them there for the increased exposure.

Now, for inquiring minds, a little bit about who I am: Yes, I'm 23 years old and I graduated from Clark University in the Spring and now live & work in Portland Maine. I am a passionate craft beer drinker and novice homebrewer and the blog is my first venture onto the web, so I definitely welcome any & all feedback. I would still consider my site brand new (it's only been up since the last week of August) and, being my first one, I'm still playing with the content/set up/etc. I do try and post as much news as I can because I know of a number of people who already look to the site for the general news and yes, a lot of it is just press-release-like in nature (although I do need to get better at attributing the source of my content). I'm also trying to find a good balance of personal commentary & hard news - its something I'm still toying with and welcome feedback on; I hope to find the right balance soon and run with that for the duration of the site. But I am still a novice at all of this (running a blog, and writing articles/interviews in general, etc.) so please take everything with a grain of salt, until I settle in.

Anyway, thanks again for the welcome mat and for the feedback. I welcome anything you guys have to say on how I can improve the site; I want to be a friend--not foe--to all of the other beer bloggers and beer enthusiasts out there so please keep the comments coming. If you want to get in touch with me personally with comments or suggestions (and please do), email me through the site at <a href=mailto:news@blogaboutbeer.com>news@blogaboutbeer.com</a>

Cheers,
Luke

Stonch -

Check this "blog" out:

http://londonpubcrawls.com/

Notice anything familiar about the posts? Honestly, I'm flattered that someone think that it was worth doing that for adsense income! Maybe it's the same person who registered the domain names stonch.com and stonch.co.uk recently...

Alan -

Excellent Luke and thanks for popping in. You definitely have the energy to get our notice through the RSBS aggregator and, to be fair, we have just had a big discussion here and on Stonch and Jay's blogs about PR posting. But don't be put off. We like people that like craft beer and whether you know it or not, sitting in Maine, you are in one of the nirvanas for great craft beer in all of North America. You have a perfect niche right where you live.

So keep posting and do have the confidence to describe your thoughts about what you are finding. At the end of the day, no one can really tell you what you think of a beer or what the taste means to you.

Alan -

Hey Stonch: I have one of those copyright thieves myself. I did have the webmasters put a title for my blog in the RSS feed so that it shows me as the source. I wanted, however, to have it say "Stlon from A Good Beer Blog" but was overruled.

MSS -

Oh, yes, Keith's "IPA."

I ordered one at a bar in Vancouver a few years ago. I'm from south of the border, and had never heard of it before. Always up to trying a new IPA.

I got it, tasted it, and called the server back. "I ordered the IPA," I said. And she nodded; that's the IPA. I insisted it could not be. She insisted it was.

Well, somehow we avoided an ugly international incident. But that's no IPA.

Luke -

Heeding everyone's advice, I made some changes to the site tonight to include an '<a href="http://www.blogaboutbeer.com/about" target="new">About Me</a>' page, etc. Thanks again for the words of wisdom and please keep 'em coming. Cheers.

Alan -

Sweet Seadogs hat.