About Me – Christopher Barnes
I’ve been working on the front lines of the craft beer movement for over 15 years. Initially, I wanted to work with wine (I know, the dirty secret is out). When I spoke with someone in the wine business, they mentioned that I should learn more about beer because, chances are, if you’re working with wine you’ll also be working with beer. So, I bought a beer book. And it was then that the words of the great Michael Jackson touched another person: me.
That started my beer journey. I started tasting my way through the beers he talked about and one of the earliest ones flipped a switch in my brain: Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale. To this day, brown ales hold a special place in my heart even if I hardly ever drink them anymore.
I started in the beer industry officially in June of 2001, right at the end of the last major “craft beer bubble.” Do you remember Saxer Lemon Lager? Well, if you drank it, I’m hoping you can forget it. If not, it’s probably better that you haven’t. Now it makes a fun punchline in “do you remember” jokes.
15 years later, I’m a Certified Cicerone®, a Certified Cider Professional, & a MBAA Beer Steward making me one of the few people in Oregon to hold all 3 certifications. I’m also studying for the Advanced and Master Cicerone® test. I’m not sure when I’ll be ready, but that is my goal.
Today, I’m the Import Beer, Specialty Beer, & Cider manager at a small, independent, craft beer distributor. I’m directly responsible for the largest and most varied book of Imported beers in one of the most provincial of beer markets: Oregon. I’ve traveled the world visiting breweries and indulging my passion for craft beer & cider and specifically imported craft beer & cider.
About the Blog
I started this blog in June of 2012 as part of my studying process for the Certified Cicerone® test. While this was the practical impetus for starting the blog, I also wanted to do more with my beer knowledge. It also sounded fun.
Since then, this blog has grown and introduced me to beer fans from around the world and become a deeper part of my life both inside my beer life as well as my life in general. I’ve traveled around the country and the world to indulge my love of beer & cider and had a great time doing it. And best of all, I’ve met some wonderful people and made some fantastic friends.
Most of all, I wanted to make this blog a friendly and informative place for people of all skill levels to congregate and discuss beer. Please, feel free to comment or participate. And if you like my blog, please share it with your friends.
I think about beer
Going forward, as has been happening naturally, this blog will continue to focus on providing reviews of beers I find interesting and that I think others will like as well. On a big picture level, I’ll be focusing on Beer Tourism, Beer Education, and the Beers of Belgium. These three areas have quickly become the things that I care about most in the beer world. I’m not trying to replicate the wheel; I’m just trying to carve out my piece of the beer blogosphere.
I like to review beers that I enjoy or I think others will enjoy, even if they’re not my personal favorite. I don’t post negative reviews. I have a limited amount of time and would prefer to spend it talking about positive things. I may make some constructive criticism, but I won’t bash a beer or a brewery. The reviews I do are unsolicited and are beers that I’ve chosen to review because they sound interesting.
If I do have a solicited review, I’ll clearly note that the samples were sent to me by a brewery. On solicited reviews, I’ll probably be more critical, but still polite, than I would on a beer I choose to write about, but if You’re asking me to review your beer I’m assuming you want an honest opinion. If you’d like to send me samples, please use the “Contact Me” link or email me at beer(at)ithinkaboutbeer(dot)com and we can discuss it.
Most of all, Enjoy!
Founder, Editor, Head Writer of ithinkaboutbeer.com