A year ago today, I was sitting in a Nashville coffeeshop and wondering what to do with my life when it hit me: "Hmm, beer writing. That sounds like a sweet gig. Wait a minute -- that's something I can do right now." No resumes, no job applications, just a few minutes on Blogger to set it up. The Local Beer Blog was born and I began with a review of Yazoo Brewing Company's Dos Perros.
I look back now and see how my writing has developed over the past year. I think about the places the blog has taken me, and that I've taken the blog. The beer festivals, the brewery tours, the multitude of mind-blowing meals...
I've reported directly from eight states (plus D.C.) and three countries, though in my nearly 100 posts I've referenced twice as many. I've written about more beers and beer styles than I'd care to count, but that doesn't make any of them less special. I am thankful for the occasional guest post that helped me get through those times when I didn't feel like writing.
The beer festivals stand out in the memory bank. Volunteering at the American Craft Beer Festival and Nova BrewFest proved to be well worth my time. Serving my own homebrew at the Homebrew for Hunger event in North Carolina was a blast and really confirmed that my passion was in the right place. Most recently, I had the pleasure of attending the first ever craft beer festival in Costa Rica. Being able to participate in the birth of a movement and having my reviews quoted in the Costa Rica Star...what a thrill.
In November of 2011 I went to Chicago, IL, for "beer school" -- aka the Siebel Institute of Technology -- which really got me thinking about the business of beer. In January of 2012 I made the big move to Panama, where I tried my hand at organizing and executing my very first beer event, laying down a foundation for more events to come.
The inevitable question that follows this line of thinking is, "Where do we go from here?"
In the coming weeks I have a variety of posts planned on craft beer culture and homebrewing in Costa Rica and Panama. Next month, I will return the US for several weeks, so keep an eye out for articles from Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC, Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN, Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, to name a few. Suggestions are always welcome -- leave a comment if you have anything you'd like to read about.
Lately, I've been working to improve my social media presence. I've got some fancy social media buttons over there on the left and a new Local Beer Blog page on Facebook. Get in there and follow, post, like, comment, and, most importantly, share with your friends.
It's hard to tell exactly where the Local Beer Blog will be a year from now, but you can count on many more festivals, tours, reviews, and beer adventures ahead.
Many thanks for reading -- now go have a beer. Cheers!