13 February 2020

Winding-Down As a Beer Blogger?

It hit me a week ago while I was driving on the highway that I needed to wind-down my beer-writing. 

While there are, perhaps, dozens of different reasons as to why anyone would want to stop such an endeavor, for me, it has mainly to do with the time and energy I spend on it versus what I get out of it.

But I can’t deny how cool it is it see packages arriving at one’s front door, filled with liquid goodness! When I tell people it arrives at my front door, they are pretty surprised that such a thing occurs. It is, indeed, a fascinating phenomenon to reach out to breweries after they put out press releases about their newest beers and having them sent to one’s door!

However, sometimes for me, it seemed to be daunting when several boxes would arrive on a single day – that’s a lot of writing I would need to put out for those arrivals.

Look, I still very much enjoy drinking beer, as well as discussing it, but between spending time on the tasting notes, writing up a post, then publishing it, and sharing it on social media, I’ve begun to wonder about what my ROI is for all of this time and effort. 

Having dropped one enjoyable, yet unnecessary piece of my life a few months ago due to my taking on both real estate and JewishDrinking.com, I know that my beer-writing is taking up too much time and energy and that it needs to make way for those other endeavors.

For some background, I had written dozens of posts on Matters of Interest in 2014-2016, which led me to beginning to write for BierBuzz.com that year (I also wrote several columns as the beer columnist for a Long Beach paper, as well as having written an article for Beer Paper LA). For a few years, I wrote up some stories, including writing beer reviews when receiving emails about releases – who would say “no” to free beer samples?

However, last Passover, I realized I wouldn’t ever have to pay for beer: why should I only be reactive to offers of review samples for beers, when I could be proactive and reach out to breweries when they send out press releases? Since May 2019, I have constantly had new beers from around the country arriving to my house, which has been great!

It has been very educational, starting even with the packaging - to see which breweries know what they're doing with sending out beers to those who don't know what they're doing [and everything in between]. It has been really neat to see the rise of 16oz cans and the diminishing of bottles, whether 12oz or 22oz. Finally, it has been great to experience the current craft beer trends and to gain a survey sense of the newest beers and what's going on out there in the market.

Trying to keep up with the supply, I have largely striven to publish a post a day, Monday through Friday, mostly succeeding, but, at times, still somewhat falling behind. Yet, what does it get me? While it is really neat to receive review samples of beer, it also generates for me an obligation to write about it. If all I get out of it is more beer, is it really worth it?

I will say one thing that has been great from this year of reaching out to breweries for review samples: developing a system for reaching-out and tracking where the brewery was with getting samples out. It, basically, was lead-generating and following that system on a Google spreadsheet! That helpful system is something that I am taking with me into other endeavors, including real estate.

While I still plan on writing about the review samples I currently have at home, my winding-down will involve no longer reaching-out to breweries for samples, as well as not responding to breweries when they say there are samples available. If they decide to send them, so be it.

Then again, I still have a place to post any more beers coming-in: my beer Instagram account….