Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Refocusing: Back to the basics

When I first started this blog, it was my goal to write about things that pertained to my dream of opening a brewery. I had dreams about posting my recipes and brew sessions and starting discussion from other home brewers that read this blog. That lasted for about a month. Then, I got caught up in the kingdom of beer blogs, trying desperately to grab readers attentions and "boost my stats" so I could be one of the big guys in the blogosphere. But there were two big things I realized that swept my leg like Johnny did to Daniel-son in Karate Kid......I'm not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't work in the industry and thus don't have the contacts available to spread the word about my blog. Hmmm....time to refocus!

Throughout the time I've been blogging, I make it a habit everyday to visit the "big guys" of the beer blogosphere. Each day I visited blogs like Appellation Beer, A Good Beer Blog, Beer Culture, Lew Bryson's Beer Blog, Stonch's Beer Blog, Roger Protz and others written by beer writers and other people who have been in the industry for a while. Then it hit me......I realized the struggle I was having trying to get tons of visitors and be a respected beer blogger was similar to the struggle that craft brewers once went through when trying to break into the beer market back in the 70's and 80's against the "Big Guys" of the macro world. And please, by no means am I comparing those writers to macro brewers of the US. They are all great writers, and are doing wonders for the craft beer industry, (hats off the them all) but they are the big guys of the blog world.

After realizing this, I started to think about how the craft brewing revolution finally got some traction. The answer was easier to figure out than I had hoped. They stopped trying to be just like the macros, and started to create an identity of their own. BRILLIANT!!!!! Be yourself, and the rest will take care of itself. Shouldn't this be the motto of every entrepreneur? Distinguishing a different product and offering a choice to their customers? (note to self....do this when you start you're brewery. Express yourself through your beers). I am reading Sam Calagione's book, Brewing up a Business so this is where all these ideas and realization are coming from.

Another great blog that I like to read daily is Ted's Homebrew Journal. Ted is a home brewer from Chicago who is extremely detailed about his brews and essentially does what I originally set out to do. He brews beer, posts about his brewing session with brew stats and his notes and thoughts. Lots of comments on each post discuss his beers, techniques he used, and results. He frequently experiments with yeast's to determine fermentation profiles of yeast strains, brews odd beers like Dandelion wine and herbal beers mixed with ginger, fennel, cardamom and fresh sage. He is a great resource for home brewers and I'm sure he is one hell of a brewer (Ted, if you're reading this.....I'd love to sample some of your beers).

As Pablo Picasso once said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal". So, with that being said, I'm stealing his blog! No, not literally, conceptually. His blog is exactly what I had wanted my blog to be like only I will also post updates as I get closer to opening a brewery, but still very similar. I know, I know.....how can I write about getting my own identity and not following suit, and then copy someone else. Well, here's how. That's what I was trying to do in the first place. Just because I'm copying his format, doesn't mean I'm copying him. Would you say that Harpoon copied Sam Adams? No...they are similar in the fact that they are both craft brewers, but the content of what they brew is a style all their own. Which is what I hope to do.

I'll continue to participate in The Sessions but I am re-dedicating myself to writing about my adventures in beer. I hope you all stick around and continue to read and comment on things I am doing, and your comments and suggestions will be important in helping me. I'm going to try and figure out how I can get a possible distribution list pulled together so I can use some of you as samplers. If you're interested, drop me a line with your address and I'll see what I can do.



Mark Andersen said...

I am a fellow homebrewer. Probably not as advanced as you as I just started brewing with all grain just last year. But I would be very interested in reading about your homebrewing. I also hope your dream of owning a brewery comes true soon. I know that myself and my many beer drinking friends here in New England (all lovers of good microbrews) would be supportive.

Jason said...

Thanks Mark....I'm hoping to really make some great beers in the very near future. I'm trying to constantly upgrade my gear as well, which is always fun. Drop my an email with your address and I'll send you some "test" samples to review, if you wouldn't mind. Faulconerbrewing@gmail.com


Adam said...

Now that my friend is an awesome post. Rock on! Good luck. I look forward to future posts :-)

Ted Danyluk said...

Hey Jason,

I'm happy you dig my site. To me, brewing beer is sort of a simple thing, and writing about it is pretty simple too. I realized that I'm not much of a flamboyant writer, so I just pretty much document what I do. Don't get into reviewing commercial beers either. It's really a personal thing for me, and something I hope I can look back on for memories, and to remember what I did. All this info is very important to the progress of my brewing, and I hope others find it helpful too.

Thanks for your support. By the looks of it, you are probably finding the beers you enjoy brewing the most. If writing about it is important, then keep it up in a way that is most comfortable.

Swapping brews is definitely in my interest. Let me know what you find interesting, and maybe I still have some laying around.

Jason said...

Ted, My goal is definitely to educate myself by posting my experiences as well os learning from readers feadback. I would definitely like to trade some beers. I have been really busy with work and traveling, so I haven't brewed in a while. I'm hoping to do so very soon, so maybe I'll send along some of the next batch. not sure what it's going to be yet though. If you send me an email with at Faulconerbrewing@gmail.com I can get your info so we can hopefully start trading some brews soon.