Importance of Beer Blogs – What Makes Good Ones

Posted on June 3, 2012


It has been awhile since I have ‘written’ a post on beer as sometimes life gets in the way of the love of beer.

On a personal note, my life has been turned upside down the last few months with a ‘separation from my partner/wife  that arose over some irreconcilable differences. I have not written or had the mental energy to write on a topic I love due to the mental space and capacity needed. Though difficult time, I know that I enjoy writing on beer and I know people find my blog somehow or some way.

Beer is one of my passions and unfortunately or fortunately it has consumed me for the last 5 years of my life since I became a regular at Bar Volo in Toronto and then the bars in Vancouver. Did beer ruin my marriage? NO, was it a distraction that I spent more time on than understanding and growing with my wife ? Yes!  DO I get enjoyment out of writing about Beer and sharing my often critical point of View ? Yes I do.

There was an interesting Beer Blog Article this week that got my thinking about writing again and it was by an Author I had not really heard much of as he’s based in the UK, but he raised an interesting point, what is the relevancy of Beer Blogs now ? Andy Crouch is the author and he raised an interesting point of how relevant is it now verses say 5-10 years ago. I saw his side of things and there was definitely some interesting comments by Alan @ A Good Beer Blog on why he blogs on beer a few times a week.

What makes a good Beer Blog ?

1. Non Mainstream / Non Advertising directed 

Quite simply if a brewer sends you free beer, or you write for a magazine with advertising, you can’t really say your true thoughts on beer. Beer Blogs are meant to be ‘objective’ in nature and its hard to do that if say Fosters sends you their seasonal beers and wants a review.

2. Form Your Own Opinion

Beer is always going to be subjective, but your story or point of view is what I like reading. I look at trends, and I love reading differing opinions to the Norm. I am not always right with my opinion and neither are you, but thats what makes us Beer Brothers/Sisters

3. Don’t Profess to Know Everything

One of the reasons that Brewers can’t stand certain types of beer Bloggers, or Raters is they sometimes profess to know everything because they have been 3000 beer bars, or tried 36,400 beers. That is not the case, and nobody I have met in beer is an expert. When you dont know something you can admit it, and it shows your real side. If you like in New Jersey, or you live in Fort Bragg, you can talk about your scene like an expert as you live there, and I don’t and your stories and opinion will be unique. But if you like in Boise, you can’t talk about Maine like you know if you have never been there, nor judge a beer from the UK if your drinking it from a can.

4. Use & Reference Other Blogs

Hey look my material has been ripped off and such is life, but if you use material or ideas from another Blogger, reference it in your article, as it shares the love. You are not making any money from this, and neither are 99.9% of the blogging sphere out there.

(Thank Heaven for Beer)

5. Don’t Suck Cock

There is no easy way to say it, but if you love a brewery, or a beer, you dont have to extend the virtues of everything you love about it or them through the whole article. I tend to tune out after about a paragraph when writers talk about how great everything is at a festival, because their mate is the brewer, organizer or they live next door to it. Every festival or event has its flaws, and every brewer does too. You dont have to be negative, but form a balanced view that doesn’t make me think you want to marry the brewer, but your not some jilted lover either.

Importance of Blogs

I view the varied perspectives as something that I enjoy reading, and though I dont go back to the same blogs over and over again, I tend to use Google Alerts to have ‘key words sent to my inbox instead of searching google for Craft Beer Trends, or Beer Festivals. This is one way that I can read varied articles on different topics and also keep up with what releases Coors / ABInbev are doing, and how their financial reports are stacking up.  I think reading the same authors over and over again is not really expanding your own Beer Intelligence, and the varied outlook from different regions is importance.

Rehashing Old Knowledge?

This area came up from either the CBC or Bloggers Conference where I think it was New Belgium was mentioned as saying Bloggers dont provide anything knew to beer information. Its often old news they are re-telling. I tend to disagree on this from NB, as bloggers provide another way to tell the story on what could be a mundane news articles. Like I didn’t write about New Belgium moving to Ashville NC, but I read several blogs on the topic from those that live closer than I do. I find brewers who feel Bloggers are a pain, or always complaining need to re-evaluate what they look for, or maybe what they dont in reading about beer.

*I am now going to make an effort to write more, I promise*