January 1, 2015 by 250 Beers
2014 was rather large for both me and 250beers.com…as well as Brisbane as a whole.
726 new beers (1,518 in total) passed my lips in 2014. Those new beers took my unique beer tally to 1,513 at the end of the year.
2014 also saw an overseas trip to the UK (Hoperation London Beer) where 60 of those 726 ended up inside me. It was delightfully refreshing to be exposed to Britain’s booming craft beer scene and slurp upon the new wave of traditional style beers – beers that were not brewed to smack you in the face with hops. I love a big American double IPA at the best of times but to be able to reset my palate in my homeland for three weeks was welcomed immensely. I traveled with my wife and two children so I didn’t get to visit as many breweries as I’d hoped to. UK supermarkets and high street grocery stores are stocked handsomely with great packaged beer so there was no short supply for me. Hopefully one day the antiquated liquor licensing laws in Queensland will be relaxed and we’ll see beer on the shelves and in fridges in regular grocery shops other than the bottle shops – which in the majority are owned by either Coles or Woolworths.
I took wages from three different employers last year – something that I’d never done before. I was made redundant in August when my employer at the time lost a major contract. I was then scooped up by the firm that won said contract only to find the new structure utter shite…so I resigned…just before our UK trip. To say that Mrs 250 Beers was not best pleased is an understatement! Upon our return I scored a role with my current employer and I’m loving it. The only downside for this blog is that I’m now not using public transport for ten hours every week. My new job is very close to home and I’m finding it difficult to dedicate time to blogging.
As far as Brisbane was concerned…
Brisbane itself welcomed Tomahawk Bar, The Charming Squire, Brunswick & Ann, Woolly Mammoth and a refurbished Transcontinental Hotel to its ranks of craft beer venues with a number of other bars doing the right thing and tapping independently brewed draught beer. New brewing companies popped up too releasing their first in hopefully a long list of beers to come. Howdy to Croft Brewing, White Lies Brewing and Black Hops Brewing.
The sunshine state’s capital said “Hi!” to two inaugural beer festivals as well. The week-long, community driven and community spirited Brewsvegas went down a treat in the first half of ’14 whilst the two-day Beer InCider festival provided some fun later on. Another ‘first-ever’ was the well organised Beerfest up at Eatons Hill Hotel in April.
On the blog front…
…well, I don’t know where to start!
The readership, followers, hits etc are all way above expectations. I say that like I have expectations – I don’t. I cherish every single hit and each time somebody signs up as a follower, it still makes me smile. It means somebody is interested and spurs me on to continue doing what I’m doing.
There’s large growth in 250 Beers social media following too. Again, I have no expectations and no set level of targets or anything like that. My social media platforms are outlets for my blog with Facebook and Instagram attracting more interest that my Twitter account…that’s probably because I’m an old fart (fuck, 40 next year!) and still can’t get to grips with being a regular twitterer. Twat.
I can’t ignore the fact that 2014 saw both 250beers.com and drunkenspeculation.com selected to be ‘buried in time’ with PANDORA – Australia’s web-based archive – an online time capsule if you will. You can read more about that here. I offered to buy the chap at PANDORA a beer as a thank-you but he refused.
Craftypint.com published a few pieces penned by yours truly last year. This will no doubt continue into this year and for as long as James will have me. It’s a pleasure to be his ‘man on the ground’ here in Brisbane.
Blogging at 250beers.com enabled me to brew some beer in 2014 too – beers released commercially. That’s five now all up. Notable brews last year included MO – a collaboration brew for Movember with Newstead Brewing Co – plus the unforgettable day milling grain and brewing with Stone & Wood for the 2014 Stone Beer release.
I featured on a panel for Beer & Brewer magazine late last year – giving my opinions on some of Brisbane’s best craft beer bars. Along with others’ opinions, a list of Australia’s top 50 crafty venues was created. I even hosted the 10th Sniff ‘n’ Sip session at the Brewhouse last August proving that 2014 got a little surreal.
250beers.com also provided me with some feel-good things for charity too. A World’s Greatest Shave event and the Movember shenanigans raised around $7,000 in total for people less fortunate than I.
One other highlight was being asked to participate in Brewed Nude – a 2015 calendar featuring some of Brisbane’s beer folk in the buff. Yes, I stood naked for Ben Nichols and his camera. If you haven’t yet got a copy then grab one online today by clicking HERE…just hope that May flies past when the time comes! All proceeds are going to local charity, Karuna. My article for craftypint.com is HERE.
So, what’s in store for 2015?
Well, this dot-com will undergo a long overdue overhaul some time this year. It was going to happen last year but issues on the job front distracted my attention.
More blog posts. I’d like to get back into the swing of posting regularly. I won’t set myself a frequency as I’ll more than likely feck it up and not stick to it. However, once a week should be realistic. Famous last words.
More bars and breweries! I know of at least three new craft beer bars in the pipeline for Brisbane and the surrounding areas plus two or three new brewery ventures for south-east Queensland. Good times ahead for sure.
Brewsvegas MKII is only a few months away. It promises to be rather spectacular. If you sat on the sidelines last year then I urge you to get involved this year. You won’t regret it!
One last comment is regarding our beloved craft beer community here in Brisbane (and both coasts). It’s unique, it’s getting stronger and it’s fantastic to be a part of. I’ve made some solid friendships in the past year and long may that continue.
p.s. Craft Beer Rising will occur again shortly. Find a participating venue/s, grab an uninitiated friend and get involved!