Well, 4 years down since I posted my first post: “Welcome to my beer blog. I hope you’ll find my site enjoyable and informative. My goal is to provide a space for the advancement of beer culture that is approachable, friendly and most of all, fun. Cheers!” With over 300 posts, this blog has come a long way. So far, this is the 4th anniversary post I’ve created. I did one for my 6 month anniversary, my 1st year, 2nd year, my 3rd year, and now my 4th year.
Here’s my 6 month post: Six Months and Counting!
Here’s my 1 year post: 1 Year and Lots of Beers!
Here’s my 2 year post: 2 Years Down! More To Come…
Here’s my 3 year post: 3 Years?!?! That’s Right! And On To The 4th…
I’m largely going to stick to the format of the 1 & 2 year posts since it encapsulates a lot of what I’ve done in what I find to be a fun and quick format.
First, some stats! (AKA – Blog Navel Gazing)
In 1 year, I think about beer has had over 26,500 views. That’s an additional 19,000 views in the 2nd 6 months. In the Second year, I’ve gained nearly 90,000 more views for a total of 115,074. With 3 years under my belt, I’ve doubled the views from the previous 2 years with an hefty 121,240 views for a total of 236,314 lifetime views. One more year saw over 100,000 views bringing the total up to 327,885. Those views have come from 6 continents and 177 countries. I’ve come to the conclusion Antarctica’s Penguins are just jerks and have decided as a group to boycott my blog en masse.
The top 5 countries have remained the same over the last 4 years:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Australia, Italy, Germany, & Norway get honorable Mentions.
Most “unexpected” places I’ve had visit: Iraq, Belarus, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Northern Mariana Islands.
Place I didn’t know existed until someone from there visited my blog: Lesotho.
According to our friends at wikipedia, Lesotho is: “Lesotho (i/lᵻˈsuːtuː/; li-soo-too), officially the Kingdom of Lesotho (Sotho: ‘Muso oa Lesotho), is an enclaved, landlocked country in southern Africa completely surrounded by South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km2(11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population slightly over two million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The name Lesotho translates roughly into the land of the people who speak Sesotho. About 40% of the population lives below the international poverty line of US $1.25 a day.“
My 5 Most Popular Posts:
- Q & Ale – Why are they called a dubbel, tripel, quadrupel?
- AB-InBev: Why It Matters Who Owns the Brewery
- Q & Ale – Can beer that’s cold be brought up to room temperature and stored without ruining it?
- The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing
- Q & Ale – How do you get a job in the beer industry? Part 2: Brewery
Posts 1,2,4, & 5 were on the top 5 list last year as well, although they’ve shifted positions some. The 3rd post made its first appearance in the top 5, although it’s been around since April of 2014, thanks to some intense interest from beer fans in Hong Kong and Taiwan over the last few months.
My 5 most Popular Beer Reviews:
- Blanche De Bruxelles
- Chimay Dorée
- Zundert Trappist Ale
- Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label – 2014)
- Westvleteren 12
For the first time since I started this blog, all 5 beers on this list are non-American. As an advocate and devotee of imported and heritage style beers, this makes me pretty happy.
From 3 to 4
Year 3 was marked by a lot of traveling, a lot. I started the 4th year with another trip to Europe, although this one was mostly a vacation. Of course I did manage a couple of beer oriented stops. I visited the Benedictine Monastery and Brewery, Kloster Andechs, and Salzburg’s famous Stiegl Brauerei. Mostly, I spent the time sweating my butt off in the Balkans during a heat wave even the locals complained heartily about. I drank a lot of cheap but fantastic wine and enjoyed the wonderful cuisine of Croatia. I discovered that the craft beer scene of Hungary and Slovenia is burgeoning and producing some very fine beers. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was the surprise of the trip. It was a vibrant city that I wish I had more than one night to explore. I’ll be making a return trip, that’s for sure.
I took the next step in my writing career over the last year and became a regular contributor to The Equipped Brewer. The Equipped Brewer is a site dedicated to providing peer-to-peer and expert advice to new craft brewers and cider makers. So far I’ve contributed 7 pieces over the last several months and will continue to use my 15 years working in the beer and cider business to help new players avoid some of the beginners’ mistakes I’ve seen many make.
Earlier in 2016, I announced I’d be expanding the scope of ithinkaboutbeer.com to include cider. However, I’ve been keeping to the roots of the blog and will only be talking about classic ciders of Europe as well those in American making the same styles with heirloom and heritage ciders. I’ve also secured the ithinkaboutcider.com domain, although it redirects to my main domain.
I came to this decision after attending the 2016 Portland edition of the Cider Conference where I spoke on one of the panels. My passion for heritage ciders had been growing, and I’d realized my drinking patterns had been shifting to include more cider more regularly. Well, I hadn’t planned on increasing my drinking so I might as well use the shift to increase my focus and add my new passion into my current passion. I’ve always been the sort to love studying and figured if I was going to be drinking more cider I should be studying more cider.
Well, my studying paid off. I passed my Cider Certification Professional exam with a 100%, making me part of first group of people to pass this new certification for the United States Association of Cider Makers.
Into the 5th…
The 5th year promises to be good one. I’ll be heading back to Europe a couple more times. I can’t seem to get enough. August will return me to the Czech Republic, Germany, & Belgium. I’ll be visiting Staropramen, Weltenburger, Aecht Schlenkerla, some of the Kolsch brewers of Cologne, and probably a few in Belgium too. I mean, how can I be in Belgium and NOT visit a brewery?
After that, I’ll be in Germany again a month later and will be able to attend Oktoberfest for the first time. I’ll also visit Stiegl again, along with Andechs. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with the extra week I’m going to take. I’m contemplating a visit to Northern France to visit the famed cider makers of Normandy and Bretagne.
It’ll be a busy first half of the year. Who knows what the second half of the year will hold, but it’ll be fun.
Thanks for hanging around for 4 years! I hope you visit during the 5th and more, and make “4 more years!”
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Keep up the great work Christopher. I have always enjoyed reading your blog the entire time I have known about it. I just don’t read the cider posts as I can’t enjoy cider lol. Don’t stop informing the masses!