Show the World You’re a Hoperative!

I Believe in Better Beer

A frequent question we get when we wear our Hoperatives apparel to local beer events is whether the items are available for purchase if you’re a Hoperative. Well, they are! In fact, you can choose between silk screened or embroidered clothing.

Cafe Press

We added a series of “I Believe in Better Beer” items to the Hoperatives Store on Cafe Press. Where the product design allows, it has the graphic you see in the image on the front with our motto “Believers in Better Beer (in Cincinnati and Beyond)” on the back. Not only will it reflect your good taste in both beer and fashion, it’ll help defray some of the costs of running Hoperatives.com (web hosting isn’t cheap). If you’re familiar with Cafe Press, you know they have a jillion things they can put custom logos on. We’ve picked a collection we think shows our stuff off best, but if there’s an item you ‘d like to see that we haven’t chosen, let us know!

Clothing and more from Cafe Press features a silk screened Hoperatives logo and sometimes our tag line or the “I Believe in Better Beer” logo mentioned above. There are many types of t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and caps. Non-clothing items include tote bag, mugs, steins, mouse pads, journals, aprons and buttons.

http://www.cafepress.com/hoperatives

Lands End

Clothing from Lands End features an embroidered Hoperatives logo (usually on the left side of the chest of the item). Items for women include cardigans, polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with two different neck types), broadcloth blouses (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets. Items for men include polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with and without a pocket), twill shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets.

http://ces.landsend.com/Hoperatives

Don’t see something you were hoping for? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do! We want to make it easy for you to show your Hoperative pride.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

–Carla and Tom

No Tastings and Tappings Report Today

Due to the bad weather that’s been predicted for much of the area and the fact that many better beer locations have already canceled their events for later on, we will not be publishing our usual Tastings and Tappings Report today.

Stay safe and stay warm, Hoperatives!

— Carla and Tom

Snowman with beer

Show the World You’re a Hoperative!

I Believe in Better Beer

A frequent question we get when we wear our Hoperatives apparel to local beer events is whether the items are available for registered Hoperatives to purchase. Well, they are! In fact, you can choose between silk screened or embroidered clothing.

Cafe Press

We added a series of “I Believe in Better Beer” items to the Hoperatives Store on Cafe Press. Where the product design allows, it has the graphic you see in the image on the front with our motto “Believers in Better Beer (in Cincinnati and Beyond)” on the back. Not only will it reflect your good taste in both beer and fashion, it’ll help defray some of the costs of running Hoperatives.com (web hosting isn’t cheap). If you’re familiar with Cafe Press, you know they have a jillion things they can put custom logos on. We’ve picked a collection we think shows our stuff off best, but if there’s an item you ‘d like to see that we haven’t chosen, let us know!

Clothing and more from Cafe Press features a silk screened Hoperatives logo and sometimes our tag line or the “I Believe in Better Beer” logo mentioned above. There are many types of t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and caps. Non-clothing items include tote bag, mugs, steins, mouse pads, journals, aprons and buttons.

http://www.cafepress.com/hoperatives

Lands End

Clothing from Lands End features an embroidered Hoperatives logo (usually on the left side of the chest of the item). Items for women include cardigans, polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with two different neck types), broadcloth blouses (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets. Items for men include polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with and without a pocket), twill shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets.

http://ces.landsend.com/Hoperatives

Don’t see something you were hoping for? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

–Carla and Tom

A Quick Tour of Hoperatives

Since we’ve picked up some new readers, we thought it was time to run this quick tour of Hoperatives again. Step this way please…

On Mondays, we publish “This Week in Beer” and on Fridays, we publish the “Tastings and Tappings Report”. Many Tuesdays, we have our “Traveling Tuesday” post on a better beer location outside the greater Cincinnati area. The other days are filled with local Cincinnati beer news, beer reviews and posts from our writers.

You can also find Hoperatives on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hoperatives, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hoperatives and on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hoperatives/.

Looking for books on brewing history in Cincinnati and beyond or possibly beer accessories? Check out our new Bookstore and Beer Wares links above. Let us know if there’s a book or item we are missing.

If you are a believer in better beer (in Cincinnati and beyond) and you’ll like to make that official, you should be a Hoperative. All you have to do is fill out the form to join our ranks and get your roll call number. You can see the already registered Hoperatives on that same Roll Call page.

The best way Hoperatives grows is through the input of our readers. We love hearing your suggestions. Watch for a survey soon on how you had give us even more input!

So welcome! We welcome you (or welcome you back) and raise a pint of better beer in your honor!

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

— Carla and Tom

Show the World You’re a Hoperative!

I Believe in Better Beer

A frequent question we get when we wear our Hoperatives apparel to local beer events is whether the items are available for registered Hoperatives to purchase. Well, they are! In fact, you can choose between silk screened or embroidered clothing.

Cafe Press

We recently added a series of “I Believe in Better Beer” items to the Hoperatives Store on Cafe Press. Where the product design allows, it has the graphic you see in the image on the front with our motto “Believers in Better Beer (in Cincinnati and Beyond)” on the back. Not only will it reflect your good taste in both beer and fashion, it’ll help defray some of the costs of running Hoperatives.com (web hosting isn’t cheap). If you’re familiar with Cafe Press, you know they have a jillion things they can put custom logos on. We’ve picked a collection we think shows our stuff off best, but if there’s an item you ‘d like to see that we haven’t chosen, let us know!

Clothing and more from Cafe Press features a silk screened Hoperatives logo and sometimes our tag line or the “I Believe in Better Beer” logo mentioned above. There are many types of t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and caps. Non-clothing items include tote bag, mugs, steins, mouse pads, journals, aprons and buttons.

http://www.cafepress.com/hoperatives

Lands End

Clothing from Lands End features an embroidered Hoperatives logo (usually on the left side of the chest of the item). Items for women include cardigans, polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with two different neck types), broadcloth blouses (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets. Items for men include polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with and without a pocket), twill shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets.

http://ces.landsend.com/Hoperatives

Don’t see something you were hoping for? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

–Carla and Tom

Thanks for the validation!

To say that we have been overwhelmed by the responses we’ve received since our Hoperatives: Where We Stand Now post came out on Tuesday would be an understatement. We asked that you let us know what you thought and you did. For that, we are very grateful.

We are looking into possible advertising partners that are appropriate for Hoperatives. More importantly, please know that we will only take advertising from companies and products that we believe in. Through this little experiment, we’ve learned that our responsibility is to our readers first and foremost and that’s where our loyalties will always lie.

And we want to publicly thank those of you who tipped us via our PayPal link:

Mark McChesney
Chad Harrison Ford
Jeff Van Kirk
Craig Quesnell
Ryan Phillips
William Kiessling

As the title of this post says thanks for the validation. It really means a lot!

Thank You

Hoperatives: Where We Stand Now

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on my personal blog called “The Death of Blogging?.” You can go read the whole post (it’s not long), but here are the last two paragraphs:

We blog (or publish web content, if you prefer) because we have a passion for the topic. Years ago, Merlin Mann and John Gruber pointed out that a successful blog needed three things: “obsession + topic + voice”. I’ve written about this before and it’s still true.

But, in a world where apps and songs cost 99 cents, is that enough any more? If no one is willing to advertise with you or pay for your content or give you any respect (see Mike Elgan’s comment above [he called bloggers “floggers”]), it may not be.

It’s been almost seven years since we started Hoperatives. In fact, it was almost exactly seven years since we started planning and designing what this would be. The idea was hatched during a beer dinner at Rock Bottom that then head brewer Mitch Dougherty hosted. We’ve always considered Rock Bottom to be Hoperatives’ birthplace and Mitch to be its brewer godfather.

Now, seven years later, Mitch is across the river brewing at Ei8ht Ball and we don’t visit Rock Bottom as frequently as we used to. One of the main reasons is that the better beer scene in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky has exploded since then. There are so many choices now that it can be a bit overwhelming.

I Believe in Better BeerAs the years have gone by and the number of breweries and brew pubs increased (as well as the number of locations selling better beer), we have tried to keep up. About three years ago, we added our weekly newsletter which steadily grows in the number of subscribers. We’ve streamlined both our This Week in Beer listings and our Tastings and Tappings Report. And we’ve tried different features from time to time like our recent Beers We Love Now series.

We have also focused more on our directory of local breweries, brewpubs, etc. and local beer events in the area. While we have covered local beer news from time to time, professional journalists like Shauna Steigerwald at the Enquirer and Jesse Folk at WCPO do a much better job of it so we leave it to them.

You may remember that for several years, we were part of Cincinnati.com blog network. While the money we received for being part of that network wasn’t a huge amount, it did cover our hosting costs and other expenses. That relationship ended a year and a half ago.

Since then, we have tried hard to get advertisers for Hoperatives. You probably have seen the graphic in the right column and we have sent out many copies of our media kit. Unfortunately, while several businesses have said that they wanted to advertise with us, none actually have.

More recently, we added that Tip Hoperatives option that you see to the right. This idea is borrowed from Leo Laporte and the This Week in Tech network. As of this date, exactly one person has tipped Hoperatives. Thank you so much, Kane Christensen!

Here’s the thing… As we reported earlier, I am teaching two sections of Introduction to Craft Beer this fall and trying to get a Brewing Science program approved at Cincinnati State. I’ve already cut back on many things in my life to devote more time to that endeavor, but the one thing I’ve held on to is Hoperatives. Unfortunately, that one thing is taking more and more time and, since we have to pay our own costs now, it’s the one thing that we’re actually paying to do.

So, it’s come to a put up or shut up point for us. We hear all the time how much Hoperatives means to our readers. A local brewery owner asked us to add them to our local breweries listing because they had someone tell them that they had never heard of [their brewery] and had yet to stop in because they only ever check out hoperatives.com for new breweries in the area.

If Hoperatives is of any importance to you, please encourage businesses that you frequent to request a media kit and advertise with us. If you are uncomfortable doing that, hit the link above and send us a tip. It doesn’t have to be much. Any amount would be an indication to us that the time and effort we put into Hoperatives is worthwhile.

Now, the ball’s in your court. Show us how you feel about us continuing. We’re waiting to hear from you.

A Quick Tour of Hoperatives

Since we’ve picked up some new readers, we thought it was time to run this quick tour of Hoperatives again. Step this way please…

On Mondays, we publish “This Week in Beer” and on Fridays, we publish the “Tastings and Tappings Report”. Many Tuesdays, we have our “Traveling Tuesday” post on a better beer location outside the greater Cincinnati area. The other days are filled with local Cincinnati beer news, beer reviews and posts from our writers.

You can also find Hoperatives on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hoperatives, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hoperatives and on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hoperatives/.

Looking for books on brewing history in Cincinnati and beyond or possibly beer accessories? Check out our new Bookstore and Beer Wares links above. Let us know if there’s a book or item we are missing.

If you are a believer in better beer (in Cincinnati and beyond) and you’ll like to make that official, you should be a Hoperative. All you have to do is fill out the form to join our ranks and get your roll call number. You can see the already registered Hoperatives on that same Roll Call page.

The best way Hoperatives grows is through the input of our readers. We love hearing your suggestions. Watch for a survey soon on how you had give us even more input!

So welcome! We welcome you (or welcome you back) and raise a pint of better beer in your honor!

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

— Carla and Tom

Show the World You’re a Hoperative!

I Believe in Better Beer

A frequent question we get when we wear our Hoperatives apparel to local beer events is whether the items are available for registered Hoperatives to purchase. Well, they are! In fact, you can choose between silk screened or embroidered clothing.

Cafe Press

We recently added a series of “I Believe in Better Beer” items to the Hoperatives Store on Cafe Press. Where the product design allows, it has the graphic you see in the image on the front with our motto “Believers in Better Beer (in Cincinnati and Beyond)” on the back. Not only will it reflect your good taste in both beer and fashion, it’ll help defray some of the costs of running Hoperatives.com (web hosting isn’t cheap). If you’re familiar with Cafe Press, you know they have a jillion things they can put custom logos on. We’ve picked a collection we think shows our stuff off best, but if there’s an item you ‘d like to see that we haven’t chosen, let us know!

Clothing and more from Cafe Press features a silk screened Hoperatives logo and sometimes our tag line or the “I Believe in Better Beer” logo mentioned above. There are many types of t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and caps. Non-clothing items include tote bag, mugs, steins, mouse pads, journals, aprons and buttons.

http://www.cafepress.com/hoperatives

Lands End

Clothing from Lands End features an embroidered Hoperatives logo (usually on the left side of the chest of the item). Items for women include cardigans, polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with two different neck types), broadcloth blouses (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets. Items for men include polo shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve), t-shirts (with and without a pocket), twill shirts (both short sleeve and long sleeve) and fleece jackets.

http://ces.landsend.com/Hoperatives

Don’t see something you were hoping for? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

–Carla and Tom

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Tom and Carla - Happy Anniversary

Long time readers may be scratching their heads right now thinking, “I thought Hoperatives’ anniversary was on January 1st.” And you would be right. But there is another important anniversary for us — our wedding anniversary. Tom has surprised me in the past with a birthday post, but I think I’ll really surprise him with an anniversary post.

Seventeen years ago at 5:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington, Tom and I exchanged our vows in a small ceremony officiated by the Rev. Joseph Pennington. I had just moved to the area from Tennessee and didn’t even have a job yet. Money was tight so we kept things simple. Our honeymoon was driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, the first of many driving vacations for us.

That sort of sums up the best part of our relationship is the fact that we like or appreciate many of the same things. We both love baseball, though he’s an Astros fan and I’m a Cubs fan. We even have a brick at Great American Ball Park (see below).

GABP Brick
If your Latin is rusty, it says “Go Astros, Go Cubs” below our names.

But Hoperatives has been the best of all of the things we both love: technology, media and better beer. You may have noticed that Tom doesn’t post as much as me, but when he does, it’s an amazing thing.

But, here’s what you don’t see. Tom is why Hoperatives works. He’s the system administrator, the tech support, the one who listens to my crazy ideas and makes them work. He shoots and edits these incredible videos for Hoperatives. And did I mention that he can really write?

So tonight we will celebrate our anniversary much the way we celebrated our wedding – a simple dinner at a favorite restaurant near by. We’ll probably have wine with dinner, but we do have some special local beers set aside to celebrate with later at home.

Happy anniversary, honey! I love you!

— Carla