3 years?!?! That’s Right! And On To The 4th…

Posted on Posted in Beer Career, Beer History, Beer Reviews, Beer Tourism, Belgium

I think about beer header

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been three years 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 & 2nd year, and now my 3rd 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…

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. Those views have come from 6 continents and 165 countries (In 3 years, not one penguin from Antarctica has been kind enough to visit my blog).

All the Countries that have visited my blog since its inceptions
All the Countries that have visited my blog since its inceptions

The top 5 countries have remained the same over the last 3 years:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Belgium
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Netherlands

Australia, Italy, Germany, & Norway get honorable Mentions.

Most “unexpected” places I’ve had visit: Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Macau, Northern Mariana Islands.

Place I didn’t know existed until someone from there visited my blog: Guernsey.

This is what wikipedia.org has to say about Guernsey: Officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey (French: Bailliage de Guernesey, IPA: [bajaʒ də ɡɛʁnəzɛ]), is a possession of the British Crown in right of Guernsey in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy. As a bailiwick, Guernsey embraces not only all ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Alderney and Sark – each with its own parliament – and the smaller islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou. Although its defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom,[3] the Bailiwick is not part of the United Kingdom but rather a possession of the British Crown. It lies within theCommon Travel Area of the British Isles and is not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods. Together, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.

My 5 Most Popular Posts:

  1. AB-InBev: Why It Matters Who Owns the Brewery
  2. Q & Ale – Why are they called a dubbel, tripel, quadrupel?
  3. How to Build a Beer Travel Case
  4. Q & Ale – How do you get a job in the beer industry? Part 2: Brewery
  5. The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing

My post about the AB-InBev buyout of Elysian catapulted to the top of the list in only a few days, garnering over 35,000 views in a few days.  The rest of the posts have been on previous lists and continue to garner regular traffic.

My 5 most Popular Beer Reviews:

  1. Blanche De Bruxelles
  2. Brunehaut Bio Blonde
  3. The Alchemist Heady Topper
  4. Zundert Trappist Ale
  5. New Belgium Snapshot Wheat

From Year 2 to Year 3

Year 3 saw a major step forward in my career.  I’ve been working in the beer business for 14 years.  The first 13 years were with one company.  In July of 2014, I took the position of Director of Import Beer, Specialty Beer, & Cider at one of Oregon’s smaller craft beer distributors.  I now manage the largest and most diverse portfolio of imported beer in the state of Oregon.  In some part, this blog helped me gain the experience and credibility as an expert in Imported Beer that helped me win this job!  This however has slowed my writing efforts the last several months due to the Craft Brewers Conference and the work around it.

I finished writing articles for the Visit Flanders‘ “A Year in Beer” project as it wrapped up its 365 day run.  A Year In Beer looks at a different Flemish beer every day with different writers contributing as part of Visit Flanders’ effort to promote beer tourism to Brussels and the Dutch speaking portion of Belgium.  You can read all of my various postings around the internet on my “Press” page.  If you’re interested in having me write something for your publication or site, please Contact Me.

From Left to Right: Kevin Desmet of belgianbeergeek.be, Brother Pierre of Rochefort, Christopher of ithinkaboutbeer.com
From Left to Right: Kevin Desmet of belgianbeergeek.be, Brother Pierre of Rochefort, Christopher of ithinkaboutbeer.com

It’s been a big year in travel.  In October and November, I took a solo trip across Belgium visiting 20+ breweries.  I also got to meet a few of the wonderful friends I’ve made in the Belgian beer writing community.  Kevin Desmet of Belgian Beer Geek and I shared several fantastic adventures in the breweries and bars of Belgium, including a tour at Rochefort Trappist Abbey led by Brother Pierre, one of Rochefort’s monks.  I also met the wonderful Breandán and Elisa of the Belgian Smaak site and had walking/drinking tour of Ghent with Breandán.

This was a pretty epic trip in all respects.  I toured 3 of Belgium’s Trappist breweries. I hosted a Belgianvs. American beer dinner for the folks at Belgian Beer and Food magazine.  I toured the countryside around Dinant in a beat up VW van with the owner of Brasserie Caracole and his buddy.  I stayed in a castle and visited the WWII museum in Bastogne.  I had lunch with Dany Prignon of Fantome.  I drank directly from a barrel with a straw.  I could go on for days relating all the experiences of this trip, but I guess I’ll make you wait for the posts!

Last month marked my 2nd trip to Belgium within 6 months. This time it was work related.  One of the importers I represent brought me and several of my co-workers on their tour along with 40 other people from wholesalers and retailers.  This added another 5 breweries toured to my list (nearing 40 or so of Belgium’s breweries).  I also attended the inaugural Leuven Innovation Beer Festival which was hosted by my friends from Hof ten Dormaal.  In between, I took 5 days off from breweries and Belgium and visited the splendid city of Prague.

To say the 3rd year of “I think about beer” was full would be an understatement!

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How with the 4th year try to top the 3rd?

I don’t have any significant travel planned for the upcoming 12 months, but who knows what’ll pop.  So this year will be spent getting back into the everyday grind of running a beer site: writing, writing, writing, writing, and editing photos.  You’ll get to read all about my adventures in Belgium and the people I met at some of the world’s finest breweries.  I’ll also continue developing the content beyond just brewery stories and reviews.  My personal opinion piece surrounding the take over of Elysian Brewing by AB-InBev started me towards a path of adding more social awareness to the content I produce.  I’d like to take this a bit deeper.

This year will be dedicated to further developing this site as a resource for fans of Belgian beers as well as for Belgian brewers and breweries.  I’ll continue to be your #1 source for information on the world’s monastic beers, which continue providing lively new developments despite these organizations being hundreds of years old.  Most of all, I’m just going to keep at it and hopefully you’ll keep following along for the journey!

Thanks for joining me for the first 3 years!

Please feel free to share my site with your friends and family! You can follow me on to get updates on my posts as well as other interesting beer related links:

My Friends and I at Westmalle
My friends and I at Westmalle Trappist Brewery

 

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