Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blogging About Blogs #1

My new idea of late has been to seek out other blogs that cover the subject matter I'm interested in, and that I write about. Part of my motivation for doing this, I'll admit, is for networking purposes, with the idea being that I'd link to these blogs, maybe send some traffic their way, and this might eventually bring some folks back here as well. But also, I've really enjoyed doing this, and I've begun to discover some blogs that I want to share with my readers.

So, what I plan on doing is finding a few that I really like and, from time to time, profiling these blogs here. In other words, I'll be blogging about blogs. I figure I'll probably focus on one particular subject area at a time, with my three major topics of interest being baseball, music and beer, of course.

Recently, I've been checking out beer-related blogs. Here are a few that have really piqued my interest of late.

A Blog About Beer

The first entry I read on this blog written by a native of Maine—the state that puts all others in New England to shame when it comes to good beer—was titled "Michelob releases new Fall Sampler Pack, but who gives a shit?" I instantly knew I had stumbled onto a site produced by a kindred spirit. It turns out the guy's only 25, but he knows more about craft beer that anyone I know who's that age.

This blog also features a nice little six-part series titled, "How to Drink Better Beer," and has an entire page that's a continuous work in progress on New England's "beer nirvana," Portland, Maine. I agree that the blogger's home city is the best beer city in New England, but I'm sorry BAB, the other Portland is this country's beer mecca.

I also have to thank BAB for turning me on to the blog I'll discuss next, a truly remarkable and ambitious project that anyone can contribute to.

The Beer Mapping Project

The Beer Mapping Project describes itself as "... a project by someone who likes knowing exactly where he is and how far he needs to go for good beer." It utilizes Google's mapping API, a service that adds code to a web page to render locational data, and is free to anyone who is not making a profit or charging users to utilize the maps. Basically, you can use the site to view an area map of brew pubs, breweries, beer bars, beer stores and home brew stores for any location in the United States, as well as 12 other countries. The only caveat is, as you can probably imagine, some of the maps take an excessive amount of time to load.

If you're a fellow beer lover, you can register on the site—for free, of course—and submit locations as well as contribute reviews. Thanks to the blog's registered users, it now includes over 8,000 approved locations throughout the world.

A really great feature of the site is its Beer Trip Planner. While I'm pretty confident in my ability to plan such a trip myself, this takes it to an entirely different level. You search by location name, city or zip code, then build a trip by selecting the places you wish to visit. From there, the planner maps out the locations and provides directions.

While technically a blog, this site doesn't really read like one, but it's such a great idea that I just had to share. Don't leave home without consulting this excellent site first.


I don't necessarily agree with all of this blogger's opinions. For instance, he claims that the best brewers in the world work for Budweiser, and that they could brew really great beer if they chose to. Well, I don't doubt that their brewers are capable of producing much better beer than Bud and Bud Light—apparently, according to Beervana, Budweiser American Ale is a good example of that—but I think it's a huge leap of faith to assume they can do something they never have. It's kind of like all the people who claim Ichiro Suzuki could hit for power if he tried to. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to prove it to me first. Personally, I think, in reality Budweiser's competitive advantage is in its quality control of the brewing process, but creatively crafting great beer is a completely different story.

The author of this blog used to write a beer column for Willamette Week, Portland, Oregon's alternative newsweekly (akin to New York's Village Voice and the Boston Phoenix). Despite the previous disagreement, I've got to give him credit for being willing to make a claim that most beer snobs—myself included—wouldn't have the nerve to. Also, I really like the subject matter he writes about, the unobtrusive simplicity of his site, and I thought I'd offset my inclusion of a blog that refers to Portland, Maine as beer nirvana with one that bestows the same honor to Portland, Oregon. You already know how I feel about the latter, so another reason I like this blog is its emphasis on that city.

Apparently, I discovered his blog while we was on vacation, but the older posts he brought back during this time frame are the ones that sucked me in. These included one about the secret shame of cheater pints, which reveals the fact that, shaker pints—the most common beer glass used in pubs—do not hold a full 16 ounces. In fact, they don't even come close. I highly suggest, if you didn't already know this, you check out the article.


  1. did you write the thing about ichiro before last night or after?

  2. I wrote it after. One game-winning homer off Mariano Rivera still doesn't make him a power hitter.

  3. ok, i'll just wait for your ichiro myspace page to go up...

  4. Ichiro is no Marco Scutaro, that's for sure.

  5. I am definitely one to sample the local tastes whenever traveling. Bell In Hand offers a few local ales including (I believe) Bell In Hand ale. It hit the spot.

    I always manage to make my way back to our local flavor: Genesee. The Chinchillas busted out a ditty about the local brew. You can sample here:
    The rest of the release is not their best. But that song makes up for it.

  6. Then the Beer Mapping Project is perfect for you, Casey. I'll check out that Chinchillas sample, thanks. It's got to be better than the beer. ;)

  7. Don't knock Genny. It's an acquired taste.

  8. Thanks for the plug! And I've got all my Portland bases covered. I married a Mainer who was born in the other one. (Hence the kindling, in the late-90s, of my newfound love of the Sox.)