Monday, January 19, 2009

Hello...hellllllloooo....ellloooo...llllooooooooooooooooooooo

I wanted to throw this out there, so two posts today. I had some housekeeping kinds of questions.

Do you like the events stuff like we did last week? Do you find it useful? I know the breweries like being able to get the information out. And, I try not to just publish press releases; I want add something constructive. But do you expect or like getting that kind of information here? Or do you have other sources for getting that information and don't really expect to find that stuff here?

How many "beer events" do you typically go to a year? I'll be honest, I probably hit up half a dozen a year. I usually hit one, maybe two beer fests, a tasting or two throughout the year, maybe a brewery party, maybe a beer dinner. A lot of it is a cost thing; with events in the $30-50 range, it costs me twice that to attend if I bring my wife along. It's rare that I have $60-100 lying around for 4 hours of beer. Are these events too expensive or do you (or the breweries that attend) only expect that you'll attend one or two a year? Would you attend more if they were cheaper? For example, Furthermore's Brew-Ha Ha at the High Noon was only $8 (+$2.75 beers), so my wife and I could attend for less than $25. The Arthritis Foundation has a beer event here in Madison that's only $25; for $50 that's basically a night out for me and my wife. Every now and then I'll splurge on a $100 beer dinner, but that can't be an every-month sort of thing for us.

Should I do a better job of keeping the Wisconsin Beer Calendar updated? I only ask because it's a lot of work to keep updated - it's not particularly useful if it isn't comprehensive - but I think it's a good idea. What say you, oh faithful readers?

While I have your attention. Is there anything else? Of course, we're always open to ideas, but this is a good place to ask specifically if there's anything that you want to see from MBR or Beer Talk Today. We're here for you. Do you want to see more on homebrewing? Beer basics (process or ingredients)? Do you want more interviews? More reviews? More of the law and business stuff? Any places you want us to hit up. In the near future we will be traveling to La Crosse and Wausau (in separate trips, obviously), and possibly up to the Ashland area. Anywhere else?

Finally, there's been this weird discussion amongst beer bloggers, and even some academics, lately about Twitter . In the left corner, hailing from New England, in the BeerAdvocate Black and Gold Shorts, is Andy Crouch: "All told, for my money, Twittering beer seems a pretty ridiculous endeavor and kind of the polar opposite from what makes beer great, namely the whole conviviality and bringing people together thing."

In the other corner, is ... well ... no one really. The others, such as Alan McLeod, aren't necessarily champions of Twitter but rather take a more pragmatic approach: "The opportunity the digital world provides is not only the democratization of peer to peer communication but also it levels the economic barriers that previously were only overcome by funding from a publisher or payment by a regional trade or beer association." While that might be a more compelling argument for blogging, as to Twitter it is relevant insomuch as any technology that can democratize, or, more appropriately maybe, proletariatize, craft beer is a good thing.

I haven't decided where I fall on this whole Twitter thing. A good friend of mine has made some pretty compelling arguments in its favor. But, honestly, I still don't get it. I think I'm going to set up an MBR Twitter account and see what happens.

Please comment and let us know.

3 comments:

  1. How about a comment with unrelated statements?

    I'll admit that I like the legal stuff. I don't know why, but I find it interesting and almost always read it.

    I think the science of beer & home brewing topics are interesting as well.

    I know it sounds dumb, but if you post as little as a grainy cell-phone picture of the beer you're reviewing, I think I'd be more likely to read the beer review.

    The event thing sounds like a good idea to me, and it's fun to know when stuff is, but I rarely end up going to them.

    Thanks though, I really do appreciate the blog.

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  2. You have more than once reminded me of an event I needed to attend my friend.

    I love the broad range of stuff you write about it always keeps me interested and helps me do my job better.

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  3. This may sound odd coming from me, but I'd hate to see your site become press release central for breweries - there are enough places like that on the web. A separate and concise "calendar of events" area might serve to keep your readers informed while avoiding the pitfalls of becoming a whimpering sycophant.

    I, too, enjoy the legal articles as well as the general industry and government stuff - I think it sets MBR apart.

    Keep on keepin' on - the site seems to be gaining ome viewership and momentum.

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