This past weekend Carla and I were in Chattanooga, TN for the 15th Annual Southern Brewer’s Festival. We’ve reposted our review of last year’s event below. That review first appeared on My Wine Education and writing it was the event that crystallized a lot of things for us and led directly to the start of this blog a few months later1. That festival and the town that hosts it are special to us, and always will be for lots of reasons.
This year’s event was as good as the last. We’re going to write it up (really!) and even have pictures and video, but it’s going to take a few days. That’s just the way we roll. I’ve switched day jobs and it’s been a bit crazed on occasion. Normal stuff. Carla’s been doing the heavy lifting on keeping our regular features up to date, and for that I owe her a beer or two.
For example, while we were out there on a pier over the Tennessee River having a wonderful time, there was another great beer event taking place here on the banks the Ohio: Brew Ha Ha. Once again the time-space continuum conspired against us. Last month we missed the Cincy Beerfest because we were at a … well … blogging conference. Oh, the irony. While we talked about both events before they happened, nothing has appeared here about how they went.
Doing this blog is really a lot of fun. We’ve met wonderful people and have had a chance to do some really fun things. We’ve found that there’s a great community out there, a community of people united in a love of beer. The beers differ widely, and, like in any collection of humans there are disagreements, but in the end it’s about the beer. It’s not curing cancer or bringing peace to the planet, but it passes the time well until we can get around to those2.
On Tuesday we’ll be having our third — and now I think we should just say “monthly” — Hoperatives Happening at Dilly Cafe in Mariemont3. Yeah, you need a Hoperatives number and you need to RSVP if you want to come, but it’s free to attend (you buy your own beer). As long as the weather holds — and it’s looking good so far — we’ll be out on the patio. It should be amazing. Nearly everyone who’s written for Hoperatives should be there. That will be cool. What’s also cool is that people who are going to be writing for Hoperatives will also be there.
Like you, for instance.
(Huh? I know your name’s not Willis, but what the heck are you talking about?)
You see, the subtitle of this blog is “Believers in Better Beer (in Cincinnati and Beyond),” not “Things About Beer (Carla and Tom (and Jared and John) Feel Like Writing About).” Sure, that subtitle has twice the parentheses, but I don’t see it as an improvement in any other way. (You may have noticed that I like parentheses)4.
If you go over to the “About Hoperatives” page you’ll find this definition of “better beer” and why this blog exists:
What’s better beer? It’s not just the beer you like, it’s the beer you love. It’s the beer you’ll search for far and wide, the one you’ll drive long distances to sample and buy, the one you’ll hoard for yourself or grudgingly share, but only with friends who get it.
That’s what this site is about. It’s about the beer, the places that make the beer, the places that sell the beer, and the places that serve the beer. Most importantly, it’s about the people. The people who make the beer, and the people who love the beer.
Chances are, you fit into one of those categories. That means you probably have something to say, and we’d like you to say it here. Here’s our editorial policy, such as it is:
- Spell all the words right.
- Use good grammar and punctuation.
- Be explicit about your biases. It’s OK to have them, just let your readers know what they are.
- You can’t take anything in exchange for writing a post — ever.
- You own your words and images. If you publish them here, we can use them as you submitted them, but you always have the right to use what you created as you see fit and without asking.
- If you have another blog and want to cross-post something, that’s fine.
- You’re welcome to your tastes, but you’re not welcome to tell someone else that his or her tastes are somehow wrong.
- We review beers. We don’t review restaurants or bars. It’s OK to talk about them as they relate to a beer experience, but we don’t rate them.
- We never charge for listing a location in our informational pages, but we only list those that we’ve visited personally or that a person with a Hoperative number has recommended.
- Since we pay the bills for this site, Carla and Tom’s editorial decisions are final.
- We only accept submissions from registered Hoperatives.
- Only people can be Hoperatives, not companies or organizations.
- If you work for a brewery, distributor, beer location, or anything else beer-related, we want your information! Please understand that all press releases will be marked as such.
“But I don’t have anything to write about,” you say, “I can’t do this!” Well, maybe you can’t. Who am I to doubt your self-doubt? Chances are, though, you can, and the blog will be a better place if you do. You just need a little beer and a little inspiration. It’s probably not legal for me to give you the beer, but I can give you the inspiration. Here are three things you can write about, just to try things out:
- Is there an establishment you enjoy going to for beer? What is it? Where is it? Why do you like it? What beers do they have? On tap? Bottles? This can turn into a post and an informational page. A win-win!
- So you walk into a Kroger or any other standard grocery store. Not a specialty retailer or a place you’re especially familiar with. What do you look for? This question actually came from Hoperative #135 Don Rigney at a beer dinner at Teller’s and led to a very fun discussion. Thanks Don!
- What’s one of your favorite beer pairings? Start with this sentence and run with it: “One of my favorite things is [insert beer name or style here] with [insert whatever you have with the beer].” Why do you think it works? Where did you first encounter it? Is it something you like all the time, or is it something you like every once in a while?
Needless to say, there are lots of other things you can write about. Still nervous? Dip your toe into the water by commenting on things other people write! But when you’re ready, send us what you have to say.
1 Thanks again, Michelle!
2 And then we can have a beer. See? It all works out.
3 Not that there’s a Dilly Cafe anywhere we’d meet that’s not Mariemont.
4 Not to mention footnotes.