Today is the second anniversary of Beer and Wine Journal (BWJ). Archived articles go back to June 17, 2013, when the site was being built, but James Spencer and I (Chris Colby) didn’t announce that the site existed until a week later. Over this time, we’ve posted more than 480 articles, mostly related to beer and brewing.
The “Wine” in our site name reflects the fact what we had a “wine guy” on board at the start, but he dropped out shortly before we launched. Consequentially, I’m thinking of renaming the site to make if reflect the content better — Beer and Brewing Journal, maybe? — sometime down the road.
Over the past two years, I’ve tried to focus tightly on things homebrewers would enjoy. (Sure, the very first article on BWJ is about a carbonated lake, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.) So most of the site is comprised of articles focusing on how to brew a particular kind of beer, use a particular brewing technique, or some other nuts and bolts aspect of homebrewing.
Since a website can be updated whenever, I’ve posted regular compilations of beer news posted on other sites, and occasionally commented on individual news stories I thought readers would find interesting.
Topical and Off-Topic Information
I have occasionally posted articles on cooking or grilling with beer, but I’ve tried not to get too scattershot with the content. For example, I’m never going to post anything related to tasting or rating commercial beers. It’s been done to death and personally I think reading about tasting beers is like watching golf on TV — I’d love to being doing the real thing, but I couldn’t be more bored as a spectator. That’s just my opinion, though.
Speaking of opinions, they are something I’ve tried to minimize on Beer and Wine Journal. Although there are plenty of controversies in homebrewing, and it can be fun at times to weigh in, I prefer to stick to the facts most of the time. If I think I can write the occasional opinion piece that’s interesting and funny, I’ll take a shot at it. But I want solid, factual brewing articles to continue to be the foundation of Beer and Wine Journal.
Going forward, a lot of aspects of BWJ are going to stay the same. We will, for example, continue to post series focused on how to brew a particular style of beer. Likewise, we’ll post homebrewing recipes and keep on adding updates to Beer News. (Which reminds me, it’s been awhile since I’ve done this.) I’ll keep looking for interesting brewing science content. And, if you’re a fan of partial mashing or very small scale brewing, those will continue to be minor focuses of ours.
In the future, the biggest change is going to be the occasional video segment. We’ll see how this goes as I have a face that’s really much more suited to print journalism. I’ve already shot a few segments; I just have to get more proficient with the editing software.
If you have any ideas you’d like to see on BWJ, let us know. We’re always looking for new ideas. (One idea that will probably appear soon is a series of articles profiling newer hop varieties.) Also, if you’d like to write a guest piece, let me know.
You Can Help Us
If you enjoy Beer and Wine Journal and want to see it expand, there are several ways you can help. First and foremost, keep reading. Our readership is growing steadily and this helps us immensely. Secondly, if we publish something you feel might be useful to other homebrewers, let them know. Sharing articles on social media helps people learn about our site. Thirdly, you can support us directly by ‘subscribing’ or donating to the site — and a big thank you to everyone who already has! And finally, if you’re shopping for homebrewing stuff online, click on the ads on our site to navigate to the store of your choice. (And, if you’re shopping for non-homebrewing stuff, click on our Amazon link.) All of this helps us keep going and allows us to spend time improving the site.