the last few months have been oh so busy. The distinct lack of blog posts have somewhat indicated this truth. the image above is just some small effort to see what’s been clogging up my phone (those of you that follow my tweets will have seen many of them)
I would recommend to anyone be they into beer, wine or food – that epicurean hedonism thing to get out there and travel. Over the last few months I have been here and there and back again. The upcoming now annual pilgrimage to San Francisco for their amazing “SF Beer week” is just round the corner.
But, tha’s not what I really want to blog about. More over how far we’ve come, not Beermerchants.com just the beer scene be that in the UK, Belgium or the USA or where ever. There is that thing, you’ve got to look back to be able to look forward. What prompted this article, was reading a book in a spot where do I lot of my thinking, and yes, considering the weather it wasn’t out on the banks of some lake fishing.
Thumbing through a copy of an early edition of one of the late great Michael Jackson’s books, it’s amazing what beers have come and gone, breweries known for classically styled English Ales, are now producing beers worthy of statements of Wow! Smaller brewers dominate the wires, websites and words on blogs. It’s not about the size of your equipment, she tells me and more and more I am starting to believe her.
I am 33, not old, not young, but I have been around the beer scene a wee while, and even a recent viewing of the awesome Beer Hunter films recognising many a place and face some of those I can call friends now and know the locations intimately – makes me stop and think we live in one of the best moments, if not the best, for beer ever. I am travelling to California at the same time as Mark Dredge of the Pencil and Spoon Blog, and Justin from Moor Brewing and James from the Queens Arms. Three great people, very beer knowledgeable and it’s lovely to read Mark’s tweets about heading to California. It’s all to easy to become cynical and old too quickly, it’s been a bloody good blast of fresh air from Mark, his youthful vibrancy and passions really shining through! It’s amazing that chaps the age of Mark and James can carve niches for themselves, take some level of return from their efforts, driven from their passions. Then Justin, who when let loose, much like many of the brewers that I like to rattle on about, can really knock out beers that are worthy of praise globally. We must do everything in our capacity where we can to help move this forward, celebrate those that we love, reinforce those that can and do and above all put our money where our mouths are. I for one will be endorsing breweries that we sell, as much those I love, both here, the site and personally on my travels. In the past few weeks I have started bring new, exciting and fun beers to the fold, I can’t wait. I suppose some testament of this effort has been realised in a recent announcement from Ratebeer, their “best of” awards. Primarily to announce brewers that have really presented significant numbers of experiential beers, there is a little side announcement of “Best Retailers” – we came in #20 in the world. Considering that there are beer stores on that list that I look up to, that have somehow appeared below us on that list, we’re somewhat flattered, but sure as shit we’ll be doing everything in our capacity to justify that. The marketeers amongst you could re write the numbers and put up things like #4 in Europe, or the best solely web based beer retailer in the world? but that’d just be blowing smoke… We’re really really chuffed with that award, and we promise to maintain and improve what we do.
In something of a tenuous link, and partial excuse, we’re working on a few surprises. So much so, as much as when I am away, things will carry on as normal, but from say, March 1st, things are going to be a little more exciting! When I typed that I really wanted to type EXCITING, it’s keeping me awake at night….
So, with SF beer week nearly upon us and other chores to do, I will type soon.