5 Years Up and 5 Years Down!

5 years of blogging and beer writing have come and gone. I always like start with the first post I ever put up here: “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!” 5 years later, it’s time to do another anniversary post.

Here’s my 6 month post: Six Months and Counting!

And my 1 year post: 1 Year and Lots of Beers!

The 2nd year post: 2 Years Down! More To Come…

And year the 3rd: 3 Years?!?! That’s Right! And On To The 4th…

Finally, last year’s: 4 More Years! 4 More Years!

We’ll keep the format like the previous ones!

Stats!

That’s a nifty map of all the views from around the world! There are a few places in central Asia and central Africa that haven’t made their way to my little corner of the interwebs. But really, that map means people from nearly every country on the planet have visited my blog with over 405,000 views spread over more than 460 posts. Still, no penguins from Antarctica.

The top 5 countries have remained the same over the last 4 years:

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

Belgium has been overtaken by the United Kingdom for the first time ever for the 3rd place spot. The rest of the list has been rock steady over the last 5 years. Honorable mentions go to: Australia, France, Germany, & Sweden.

Iran, Angola, Laos, and Kyrgyzstan are amongst the most surprising places to visit the blog.

Åland Islands is a place I’ve never heard of prior to someone from there visiting the site. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about them:

The Åland Islands or Åland (Swedish: Åland, IPA: [ˈoːland]; Finnish: Ahvenanmaa) are an archipelago at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea belonging to Finland. It is autonomous, demilitarised and is the only monolingually Swedish-speaking region in Finland. It is the smallest region of Finland, constituting 0.49% of its land area and 0.50% of its population. Åland comprises Fasta Åland on which 90% of the population resides[6] and a further 6,500 skerries and islands to its east.[7] Fasta Åland is separated from the coast of Sweden by 38 kilometres (24 mi) of open water to the west. In the east, the Åland archipelago is contiguous with the Finnish Archipelago Sea. Åland’s only land border is located on the uninhabited skerry of Märket, which it shares with Sweden.[8]

Åland’s autonomous status means that those provincial powers normally exercised by representatives of the central Finnish government are largely exercised by its own government.

My 5 Most Popular Posts:

  1. Q & Ale – Why are they called a dubbel, tripel, quadrupel?
  2. Q & Ale – Can beer that’s cold be brought up to room temperature and stored without ruining it?
  3. The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing
  4. Beer/Cider Photo of the Week: Lauter Grant in Action at Trappistes Rochefort
  5. AB-InBev: Why It Matters Who Owns the Brewery

Posts 1, 2, 3, & 5 were all in the top 5 last year. 1, 3, & 5 were on the 3rd anniversary list as well. They provide great evergreen traffic.

My 5 Most Popular Reviews:

  1. Blanche De Bruxelles
  2. Aval Cidre Artisanal
  3. Zundert Trappist Ale
  4. Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label – 2014)
  5. Rochefort 8

Blanche de Bruxelles takes the top spot again for the most viewed review! Zundert and Girardin are on the list yet again with Rocherfort 8 sliding into the last spot. What’s exciting is that Aval made it to the #2 spot and marks the first cider review to get serious traffic over a year.

New Features:

Over the last year, I’ve added a few new features. I think about cider, which was started earlier in 2016, has been filled out adding in reviews of some of Europe’s best ciders. Along with that, I traveled throughout northern France and got to meet some of their great cider makers, including the renowned Eric Bordelet.

 

Eric Bordelet of Cidrerie Eric Bordelet

I also added a Beer/Cider Photo of Week feature so I can share some of the fun photographs I’ve taken over the years of traveling to breweries and cideries. One of those entrants made it into the top 5 posts for the year!

The Year in Review:

The last half of 2016 was exceptionally busy with 3 separate trips to Europe. I traveled to: Czech Republic, Germany (twice), Belgium (twice), Austria, and France. I also attended the Big Beers, Belgian, and Barleywine festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. I’ve also expanded my contributions to other media outlets, including The Full Pint and Belgian Beer & Food Magazine. The Full Pint is one of the top blogs covering American Craft Beer with voices from all over the country. Belgian Beer & Food Magazine is the leading voice in the English language covering the beer and food scene in Belgium. It’s a gorgeous magazine with an excellent cast of writers and you’d be well served getting a subscription. They’re pretty reasonable!

Additionally, my blog was selected on two different top beer blogs to follow lists: Credit Donkey and Geek & Gadget World. You can follow the links on the right side of the page to check out the entire lists.

The Next Year:

I’m still going strong here at I Think About Beer! You’ll also start seeing more work out in the world beyond these pages as I continue contributing to various sites and publications. I’ll be going deeper into my existing features and continue my cellaring projects. I Think About Cider will continue to grow with more reviews and more in depth pieces about the world of Cider. The Brewing Monks will continue to explore the world of monastic breweries. Most of all, I’ll continue to explore the stories I find interesting and those that aren’t really being talked about in other quarters.

I’ll be attending the Farmhouse & Wild Ale Festival in Vancouver, BC this July and have another trip planned to Belgium this fall. I’m also planning a trip in the spring of 2018 to Northern Spain to experience the Txotx Cider season as part of my 40th Birthday! I’m not sure what I want to do with the 2nd week of the trip. I mean, who only takes a trip that far for one week? I’m thinking about keeping it a cider trip and returning to Northern France to visit some new areas there. Or, I can always return to Belgium. We’ll have to see!

I think that over the next few weeks, I’ll raid my cellar and celebrate 5 years of beer blogging by drinking some tasty treats. Also, I need to clean out some space for my more intentional aging projects!

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:

Lauter Grant at Trappistes Rochefort

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