Among the beer geeks part 2

Beer bloggers descend upon Harpoon Brewing
Beer bloggers descend upon Harpoon Brewing

You can talk about beer and beer writing for only so long, right? Think again.

On day two of the Beer Bloggers Conference ’13 in Boston, I got myself educated about how best to reach… you! Yes, you, whoever you are. Part of my new mission was to find out who you are, what you want, and how you want it.

And later on, I drank like a fish.

We were assembled at the beautiful Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Presenters in a big room at with inconvenient poles and round tables with power strips on them used PowerPoint slides to demonstrate the state of the beer blogging industry (such as it is). They analyzed a bunch of nifty charts created from research by Zephyr Adventures (who organized the conference) and we found out that for the most part beer bloggers are married American dudes in their late 20s to early 40s with no kids and employed full time.

Yes, this does sound creepily familiar…

Beer bloggers apparently measure success with “personal satisfaction,” which far outpolled “revenues.” In other words, we’re psyched about beer and we’ll take pictures and write words about it, and if we have to spend our own cash to keep up the nifty lifestyle… yes, please.

We needed to learn the art of blogging successfully by using social media. So representatives from Drink Craft Beer and RoundPeg taught us ways to maximize our potential. Unfortunately for me, what they said sounded something like we need to “cross-platform our SEO with our InstaTumblring with hashtag analytics to out-Klout the search dynamics.” All very Pinteresting, but it’ll take time for me to process. Continue reading “Among the beer geeks part 2”

Connecticut wanderings: RAW cocktails

“Study after Constellations, 1” by Gail Biederman, from her collection, “You & Me, Together & Apart” as displayed at Real Art Ways, Hartford, Conn.
I was looking for beer, of course, and stumbled upon art.

It was on the walls, on the floor, on screens, in a cabin, and walking around in a state of bliss. I wanted to be art, or at least artistic, but settled on drinking it all in. Including the beer, of course.

My buddy Ray Brown, whom you’ve met before, invited me last night to expand our senses at the Hartford, Conn., art gallery and cinema Real Art Ways, which has a “Creative Cocktail Hour” on every third Thursday of the month. I’d heard about it for years and sworn I’d go, but never had. So we remedied that. Continue reading “Connecticut wanderings: RAW cocktails”

Taking Risks, Making Beer

Mike Smith and Tony Karlowicz of Back East Brewing.

(The following column was originally published on July 4, 2012, in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American.)

By Will Siss

There were these cousins – Ed and Tony – and they hadn’t seen each other in a while, maybe a decade.

“It was a little awkward because we hadn’t seen each other in a long time,” Ed told me. “Then [Tony’s] wife said he wanted to start a brewery and we both just looked up.”

Once Edward Fabrycki Jr. and Tony Karlowicz discovered that they shared the same dream, it was only a matter of how hard they wanted to work to achieve it. As it turned out, they’d have to work extremely hard to make their Back East Brewing Co. a reality. Continue reading “Taking Risks, Making Beer”

Spice Beers for Winter

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American on Dec. 28, 2011.)

By Will Siss

When it comes to spice in beer, a little goes a long way.

You can end up with something tasteful, with background notes of ginger or cloves, or feel like you’ve just swallowed liquefied potpourri.

I’ve got a few chilly month recommendations of beers that include spices that you don’t have to fear. Continue reading “Spice Beers for Winter”