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Tuesday
Jan072014

February Beertographer of the Month Contest is OPEN!

Today, a friendly reminder that we are currently accepting entries for the February Beertographer of the Month competition. In case you hadn't heard (or had so many beers that you forgot), this is all leading to our BIG Beertographer of the YEAR Showdown in December. 

Did you enter a photo into the January competition? Great! Grand! Wonderful! But guess what, you're more than welcome to enter again for the February edition. The only person who is currently ineligible for the February Contest is our January winner, @TapDancerBlog (check out one of her great photos above) who has to wait patiently in the wings until the big finale in December.

You can read the original contest announcement here for the full, long-form rundown, but here's the Cliff's Notes:

All you have to do is take a great beer photo and use #beertography and mention me on Instagram and/or Twitter. You have until 11:59pm Eastern Time on January 24th to enter. The following week, I'll announce 5 nominees and then we'll have a poll right here on the site and you guys will determine who takes the February title. 

BOOM! Go! You have less than 3 weeks! Hop to it! Oh no, puns! RUN!

Monday
Jan062014

January Beertographer of the Month - @TapDancerBlog

We've done it! We've got our first of Eleven Beertographers of the Month for 2014! It was a close vote, but Molly aka TapDancerBlog pulled it out. Congrats Molly, it was some seriously stiff competition. I have a feeling we'll be seeing the other finalists as future Beertographers of the Month. 

Now don't forget, we're already accepting entries for February Beertographer of the Month and will be doing so until 11:59pm Eastern on January 24th. That sounds far away but it's really not!

So for the whole month of January, we all must bow to her majesty TapDancerBlog and revel in her excelent beertography skills. See below for a little bio and some of her favorite shots. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and congratulate her on the win!

I grew up in Southern Vermont where my love of photography and craft beer began, now living in the small town of Churchville outside Rochester, NY. I enjoy traveling for beer and bluegrass music as much as possible, often combining the two.  I started tapdancerblog.com as a creative outlet for my passion for craft beer, food, travel, and beertography.

 

Fantastic stuff Molly! Do you have what it takes to be the next Beertographer of the Month?

Monday
Dec302013

Voting Open for January Beertographer of the Month

First thing's first: There were a TON of amazing enteries into this, the first month of the 2014 Beertographer of the Year competition. Narrowing this down to only five entries was virtually impossible. You guys are TOO good at this. 

Anyway, here we have our five finalists for January 2014's Beertographer of the Month (in no particular order):

@Gkos79 - @TapDancerBlog - @Brauista - @OliverJGray - @ItsMeDoublEE

and voting is open NOW! Because of the holidays we're not quite on schedule with what will happen in following months so you'll only have until 11:59pm Eastern Time on January 1st 2014 to get your vote in. We'll have our winner determined by the end of the week.

So vote below! Only one vote per person is allowed.

 

January Beertographer of the Month
@ItsMeDoublEE - Three Floyds Alpha King0%
@OliverJGray - New Belgium Accumulation0%
@TapDancerBlog - Sierra Nevada Celebration0%
@Gkos79 - Dogfish Head Burton Baton0%
@Brauista - Sixpoint Global Warmer0%
Monday
Dec162013

Beer Memberships, Not Entitlements

A few weeks ago I put out a call on Twitter looking for people who were interested in writing a guest post on the site to discuss something they were passionate about. One of the first to reply was my friend Joe aka @JGam115 who wanted to share his view on beer memberships and beer geeks' tendency to complain online. This can be a sensitive subject across multiple different craft beer message boards, but I decided to let Joe share his feelings and I can't say I disagree. So, enough intro. Here's Joe with his take:

Several breweries around the country have either been offering, started to offer, or are thinking of offering some type of “members only” club for limited release brews. Examples include The Bruery, Cigar City, Crooked Stave, Pelican Pub and Night Shift with a varying degree of guaranteed bottles upfront, percentage discounts in their respective taprooms, free (but not really) shwag, and first priority to secure additional allocations of those limited brews or other one-offs. Bucking that trend, Upland’s Secret Barrel Society doesn’t guarantee ANY bottles with their $250 upfront cost – it guarantees the right to purchase 8 barrel-aged sour beers for the upcoming year with the potential for additional allocations.

In each case the membership rights are spelled out upfront because no one in their right mind would throw hundreds of dollars at something they knew nothing about. At least, one would think that. More and more members are taking to popular beer websites and blogs to complain about their allocations. Come on, people – you knew what you were getting into.

I’m talking about the “I wish [INSERT ANY OTHER BEER THAN THE GUARANTEED BEER OR STYLE] was included/subsituted” comments or the constant complaining about the ordering process for additional allocations. In the end, breweries are in the business to make beer and make money selling said beer. It’s not rocket science. It’s capitalism. And I love it.

All of these memberships are completely voluntary and specifically lay out your membership rights upfront. Sadly, with every new attempt to please beer nerds from coast to coast, there will be 10x more people to nitpick some part of the process. I’m happy I have the ability (and funds…albeit stretched) to drink several beers that aren’t distributed in my area. Perhaps I’m naïve in thinking others take joy in that as well?

Thanks Joe! I have to say that lately the frequency of which I visit beer forums has decreased immensely as a good majority of them have morphed into complain-centers. I mainly go now to look for information which can be a bit hard to find. You have to sift through the drama to extract the good stuff. And look, now I'm complaining too. What a hypocrite. 

What's your take? Are you a member of beer clubs? Do you think it's worth the money? I am not currently a member of any of them but I can definitely see the draw. I just spend enough on beer as it is. 

Monday
Dec092013

Beer Library: Holiday Gift Guide 

Every good craft beer geek has to have a solid beer library. There have already been a swath of great beer books over the years. This holiday season, there are a bunch more that you need to get your hands on and here we'll break them down for you so you know which ones are up your alley (hint: they all are).

 

The Ameircan Craft Beer Cookbook by John Holl

Pairing craft beer with delicious food recipes is the next level of beer geekdom. Unleash your inner foodie and pick up John Holl's latest fantastic work. Holl has collected various recipes from breweries all across the country, and believe me, I've tried quite a few of them. This is #1 on our recommended Holiday Beer Gift list. 

 

The Complete Beer Course by Joshua M. Bernstein

Got a new-ish beer geek friend or family member? This is the perfect holiday gift for them. Bernstein's book is exactly what it claims to be: a bootcamp for beer geeks that will get even the greenest drinker up to speed.

 

Boutique Beer by Ben McFarland

Boutique Beer is the perfect thing to reach for when you need a quality, up-to-date quick encyclopedia on beer worldwide. Beertographers take note, there are tons of great photos.

 

Notes From the Captain Lawrence Tasting Room by Michael J. Malone

I might be a bit biased with this entry, but if you turn to Page 138, you'll find the story of two friends and I when we rode our bikes from the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan all the way to Captain Lawrence Brewing in Elsmford, NY. But that isn't the only interesting story. This book is packed with interesting stuff that goes on and passes thru the Captain Lawrence brewery.

 

Beyond the Pale by Ken Grossman

With so many breweries opening all across the country these days, it's important to learn about how the craft beer pioneers got their start. Who better to learn from than Ken Grossman, the owner and founder of Sierra Nevada of Chico, CA?

 

The Audacity of Hops by Tom Acitelli

An up to date account of the historical rise of craft beer. We've had some classics in the past and here we have a modern classic we'll be referencing for years to come. 

 

Lagunitas: The Story by Tony Magee

Along the same lines of "Beyond the Pale" by Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman, Tony Magee tells all about how he (just barely) made Lagunitas a success. Tony has a very unique and upfront way of speaking which translates well into his writing, making this a welcome change in tone for a beer book.

 

Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher

You should already own this. You probably already own this. If you don't, you've made a huge mistake. Especially if you're studying or planning to study for either the Cicerone Certification Exam or the Beer Judge Certification Program. Must have.

 

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. by Robert A. Musson, MD

You can't not have a respect for America's oldest brewery. It's a short book, but there's so much history here that it's absolutely worth it.

 

The Pocket Beer Guide by Tim Webb & Stephen Beaumont

Webb & Beaumont have created the perfect mini beer travel guide. Wherever you're going worldwide, bring this along and you'll be guaranteed to find the best beer spots. Also, it's small so you know, stocking stuffer.

 

NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, some of these books were sent to me for review, some I purchased myself.

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