Goodbye Hop Talk

A couple years ago the circumstances of my employment changed. As a result, I have been unable to give as much time and attention to any of my hobbies, Hop Talk most obvious of all.

I’ve been hoping things would ease up a bit, and I’d be able to go back to writing about beer as much as I’ve been able to enjoy it. It’s not worked out that way. So, I’d resigned myself to the idea that I’d keep enjoying my beer hobby and writing about it when I could.

However, a recent medical diagnosis has put the kibosh on that, too. While I’m not being forced to give up the beautiful nectar, I have to be very choosy in the few beers I can have. The days of wiling away an afternoon with a couple of friends knockin’ ‘em back are apparently behind me.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I have to say goodbye to my beloved Hop Talk. We’ve been around longer than a lot of blogs (seven years!) and it has been a great run, but it’s time to let it go.

Thank you to all of you who took your valuable time over the years to read my semi-coherent ramblings on beer and tangential subjects. If it wasn’t for you I would have packed it in a long time ago.

Always remember: Life isn’t about beer, but beer is all about life.

Five years and counting

Our fifth anniversary at Hop Talk kinda snuck by us a couple of days ago.

Holy crap! Five years?!

I guess I have to believe it, because the calendar says so.

It’s been a bit of a rough year at Hop Talk HQ. Both Ron and I have been pulled in different directions because of other responsibilities and haven’t had as much time to devote to writing and ranting about beer-y topics.

On the other hand, we did add Matt to the team and started hosting HomeBrood.

We also started doing a podcast.

So it’s not like we’ve been doing nothing.

We’ve changed the look-and-feel of the site to celebrate the start of our sixth year. (Obviously you RSS subscribers won’t notice a difference.) We also hope to see more stuff in print from our Hop Talk Advisory Panel, because they add yet another great perspective on life and beer.

Anyway, thanks for coming along for the ride. Since we’re not out of things to say, it looks like we’ll keep going at least another year.

Cheers!

Al and Ron on the BeerSmith podcast

Ron and I recently got to participate in the nascent BeerSmith Blog podcast. While primarily a podcast (and blog) about homebrewing, we talked quite a bit about other beery topics including the upcoming Beer Bloggers Conference and my 365 Beer project. It was a lot of fun to do and I hope to do it again.

Thanks again to Brad, our host.

Give a listen. You can download the MP3 file, or subscribe via iTunes or the RSS feed.

Beer Bloggers and 365 Beers-BSHB Podcast Episode 2

Meet Matt

Matt is our first new addition to the Hop Talk “family”. He’s going to be posting a weekly version of the Beef ‘n Beer comic strip and perhaps some of his own prose musings on beer.

Matt is a married thirtysomething living in the San Francisco Bay area teaching High School English. No kids yet, but he aims to rectify that lack fairly soon.

Like us, he “grew up” with mass-produced American light lagers. As a poor college student, quantity definitely won out over quality, so discount brands were the order of the day. But not for long.

He now enjoys hoppy IPAs and ice-cold creamy stouts, but has a special fondness for brown ales.

Oh, and drawing. He does that sometimes too.

Happy Beeroversary

It was four years ago today that Ron kicked off Hop Talk by musing whether he was qualified to talk—or, rather, write—about beer. Along the way we’ve learned that when it comes to beer you can’t be wrong (though you can be misinformed), hosted The Session, and that having a beer every day is harder than you’d think. And more!

Here are some statistics (as of yesterday):

  • 1,313 articles
  • 1,552 comments and trackbacks
  • 186,852 unique visitors
  • 306,697 page views
  • 7,300+ RSS subscribers

Thanks to everyone for coming along. Hop Talk wouldn’t be here without you.

Wherever you are this evening (or afternoon, or whatever) tip a glass with us to celebrate this milestone.

p.s., I re-upped hosting for another year, so we’ll be here well into 2011. We’ve also got some surprises coming up soon.

One Thousand Articles

Wow!

Would you believe we’ve reached 1,000 articles here on Hop Talk? We hit the milestone with Beer-a-Day #179: Hoegaarden. It took us a little less than three years to get here from Ron’s first post back in July, 2006. (Qualified? Check.)

Did I expect to reach this milestone? I’m not sure. Frankly, I don’t think I was sure we’d get through the first year. I guess I’m just too stubborn to give up.

In any event, I’ve had a great time doing this and am looking forward to the next several thousand.