It's the start of the new year (more or less) and we've had quite a few new people checking out the site lately. I want to say, "hello" and give you a tour around the place. This will be a good introduction for the new folks, and, maybe the others might learn a thing or two while we're at this. You can say hello to people directly by joining our Facebook page.
First, let me introduce myself. I'm Jeff. I am the Editor-in-Chief and primary author or most of what you read here. Occasionally, others will contribute, but most of the written material is mine. I try very hard to publish written material on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However, sometimes I skip a day, or sometimes I simply don't have time to write and publish something. When I'm not publishing here, I'm an attorney. That's about all you'll hear me say about that, but it informs what you read here because I like to focus on the business and legal aspects of the brewing industry.
Of course, there are all kinds of beer reviews and brewery reviews and plenty of ranting and raving about the culture of craft beer. But, I know a lot of beer geeks, and frankly, they can be as bad as wine geeks. I try to lay my biases out on the table: I like ambers, hops, and long walks on the beach; I respect lagers as every bit the equal of ales. But one thing that I want to make sure is that craft beer is accessible. I try to write in plain language, avoiding industry jargon; or, where necessary, to inform you of the jargon if it's particularly neat. I also try to disabuse people of the popular notions and misconceptions that they have about beer. Even more particularly, I try to disabuse the industry folk about popular notions and misconceptions that they have about the people that drink their beer.
Finally, on Tuesdays and Thursdays Madison Beer Review publishes a podcast produced by Matt, Jon and Kyle for UW Student Radio. The podcast is called Beer Talk Today - subscribe to it, they do a fantastic job and are a riot. Because of school schedules and the rigors of producing a radio show, they aren't producing one this week.
With that said, here's some of the content you'll find here. While I try to do it one Friday a month, one regular feature, which published yesterday (Monday), is called "Hey Barkeep!" It operates under the assumption that there are no dumb questions, only dumb people. When I'm out and about the city, whether it's drinking or speaking or just talking to folks, or if I get emails or, if my wife asks me a question that I think is particularly interesting, I explore questions people have about beer. Yesterday I looked at why Americans and Europeans differ in their serving temperatures.
Occasionally something will send me off in a different direction and I'll get my panties in a bunch. Usually it's when the media continues to stereotype and perpetuate damaging myths about the brewing industry; though occasionally it's at the brewing industry itself for not taking its consumers seriously. More amusingly, I think, it's when wine snobs try to apply their snobbery to beer; which, sadly, happens more often than you might think.
Sprinkled liberally throughout are pieces on law and business. Such as this series of posts on The Great Dane Bill, SB224, that could end up hurting Wisconsin craft brewers more than anyone might have suspected.
Finally, at the end of each year we hand out some awards. This is 2008's awards. This is 2007's awards.
Take some time to dig through the archives there on the right-hand side, you never know what you might find. Please comment and be active in the discussion - we have some great people who contribute and the more we discuss these topics, the more knowledgeable we all are. You never know who might respond. Anyway. Welcome. I hope you like what's going on here. Things are a lot different from when I first started doing this. Or maybe not.