NAGBW – Beer Media

Next up in “News from the NAGBW” are my notes from last nights talk on the State of Beer Media with one of my favorite beer writers, Jeff Alworth alongside Canadian beer writer Crystal Luxmore.

Below are my takeaways from the discussion…

We have to remember that craft beer has been written about for 10+ years. It is not the IT beverage

Not to focus as much on the brewmaster. Write about the founder, the marketing person or someone else with an interesting story.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is making more money off beer twitter than beer writers

Sponsorship can be made creative. Go deeper and pitch something less like a traditional ad,

Writing opportunities for money are indeed scarce but it is also a world where you can write without gatekeepers

Look to signal boost the good work being done.

criticism and beer bloggers

You may well be wondering why a Wall Street Journal article by a theatre critic is on this blog. It is for one of the highlighted words in the piece above (to see it better, double click the image).

That word is advocate and it is not used enough, despite having an entire website and magazine with that name.

Those of us insulated in the world of craft beer sometimes forget that despite phenomenal growth and an explosion of breweries and styles, that our world is still under 6% of the national market.

I firmly believe that we need more advocates for what Terry Teachout sagely saw in Ratatouille, “the discovery and defense of the new.” We can and should criticize bad beers or marketing ploys but the first and last thoughts before we hit enter on a blog post or Facebook update is that we are advocates first. If you give more bad reviews than good. If you have more cons than pros about the last beer event you attended. Well, then I don’t think you are in the right mind set or at the right bar.

You need to find the better brewery and become it’s champion. Make friends with your beer merchants and get better recommendations, let them know that customers care about what is being offered in the craft beer aisle. Don’t just slag a beer for the sake of more blog comments.

Don’t drag down the underdog. You give the underdog the rousing halftime speech. Be the advocate not the mud slinger. We will have enough of that this year to last for a long while.