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FAQ – About me & my blog

In response to many recent questions from readers, friends and followers, I have now included this page explaining a little more about me and my blog.

Who are you? 

My name is Keith, and I truly enjoy beer. As an occasional homebrewer myself, appreciate the craft that goes into the creation and brewing of a great beer. I’ve visited literally dozens of breweries and brewpubs over the past five years, and back in 2007 made one of the ultimate pilgrimages of a beer lover to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. 

There is much more to my life than beer. I have a very understanding wife and two amazing kids who put up with daddy sniffing, swirling and jotting down notes about beer at dinner time. I am a practicing architect, with a particular interest in sustainable building and community-based design, though do hope I will someday get my dream commission of designing a brewpub or brewery. I love the outdoors: hiking, biking, camping, road trips, barbecuing, growing heirloom vegetables, and attempting to grow hops. Baseball is my sport of choice, with the Mets as my favorite team, though I’m equally passionate about USC Trojan Football. 

I thank the awesome people who takes the time to read my blog, follow me on Twitter, provide feedback and comments, and share this blog with others. 

Do you really drink a different beer each day? 

So far, yes, I have tried a new beer each day in 2010. I do have some notes on beer reviews from the end of 2009 that I’ve kept in reserve just in case of a beer emergency such as a sore throat or illness keeping me from properly tasting beer, or getting snowed in for so long that my beer supply runs out! 

While I try a different beer each day, I actually don’t drink as much beer as many might think. I typically only drink one beer each day, believe in moderation when it comes to alcohol, and hope that some of what I have read is true about beer potentially having the same health benefits that have been attributed to red wine. 

Why try a different beer every day? 

It is an amazing time to be a beer lover in America. There are over 1,400 breweries and brewpubs in the US alone, each offering multiple styles and varieties of beer. Of course, many of these are not easily obtained depending on where you live, but a good local beer store may carry literally hundreds of different choices. Even to a relatively knowledgeable beer lover like me, the selection may be a little overwhelming at times. 

So, I’ve decided to take it all in one beer at a time; use this as a chance to try and explore new beers, breweries and styles; and keep track of what I like about each beer so I know if and when I’d want to try it again in the future. 

And while it actually does take some work not only write and maintain the blog, research facts & trivia, and seek out new beers, it is a fun thing to do! 

How do you decide what to drink? 

Some weeks, I come up with themes (German Beers, IPAs) and try to cover a diverse array of beers that fit that theme. I also try to pick up seasonal beers in season, and post tasting notes on them early enough that my readers can find and enjoy them in the appropriate season too. I am also trying to cover a wide variety of styles and breweries in order to expand my palate and appeal to the different tastes of different readers. 

Sometimes I hear about a beer through various beer publications and websites I read, and know I must check it out. Other times, I’m just intrigued by what I find on the shelf at the store. Sometimes I’m just trying an old favorite again that I haven’t had in some time. However, I’m always open to recommendations and suggestions from readers for beers to try. 

Where do you purchase your beer? 

If I bought a six-pack of every beer I’m trying this year, I’d have an incredible overstock of beer in my basement. So, I’ve sought out retailers that sell beer by the single bottle (a.k.a. make your own six-pack or mix-pack), particularly American craft beers.  

These stores include Oak Tree Buy Rite Liquor in Plainfield, NJ and Half-Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie, NY. Half Time offers great gift packs and various Beer-of-the-month mix packs that they can ship almost anywhere in the US. Bierkraft in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and New Beer Distributors on Chrystie St. in Manhattan are also great destinations for finding great beer by the single bottle. 

Other local stores near my home in New Jersey provide a great selection of imports (Belgian, German, and British in particular) that are sold by the single bottle including Liquor Outlet Wine Cellars in Boonton, NJ and Gary’s Wine in Madison and Wayne, NJ. 

Restaurants and bars with great craft beer selections are also good choices as well. With two small kids, I don’t get out to such places as often as I once did. However, our local semi-regular family destination, Cloverleaf Tavern in Fairfield, NJ, has an excellent selection of rotating taps and bottles just a few miles away, as well as Wednesday kid nights with balloon artists or other entertainments to keep both kids and parents happy. 

Why don’t you include ratings? 

I have learned quite a bit about beer over the years, but do not proclaim myself an “expert” or believe you need to follow my opinion about what to drink. Some beers are clearly better crafted than others, but taste is an individual preference. That is why I do not assign grades or points to my tasting notes, because my B- beer might be an A+ to someone else or vice-versa. 

I describe the taste so readers can tell whether they might want to try a particular beer (sweet or tart, easy-drinking or complex). And I while do not refrain from giving my opinion, I try to remain both open-minded and somewhat objective. 

To clarify, I am not against ratings. Ratings based on group tastings, whether a few friends getting together to review beers or from websites like BeerAdvocate.com that average from dozens to hundreds of individual ratings for each beer, are useful references since they tend to average out individual biases
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 1:00 pm

    Hey Keith,

    I have started a beer blog, at least in part inspired by your noble effort to try 365 beers in 365 days. I have included a link to your blog in my blogroll. I hope that is ok with you.

    You can find my blog here: http://tiltingsuds.wordpress.com/

    Feel free to poke arund and comment, suggest/recommend, argue, call me an idiot, etc.

    Sean

    • March 29, 2010 8:44 pm

      Sean,

      I’m happy to hear I inspired you. Best of luck with your beer blog. I’ll be adding a blogroll soon, and hope to steer some of my readers your way.

      Cheers!

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