One specific area that I did spend quite a bit of time on was the “My Blog List,” a feature which, in my case, can be found in the left-hand column, just to the right of the main block of text. The features is basically a list of the blogs I follow, although it is rather more than a simple list, as each entry contains a link to the blogsite in question and clicking on the link will take you straight through to the site.
My blog list has grown over the years, having been added to each time I come across a blog which takes my interest. I do review the list, from time to time, removing blogs that haven’t been added to, for some time, all in an effort to it both up to date and as relevant as possible. So, what did I find, and what actions did I take?
First, the list had grown to fifty separate entries, and without too much effort, I managed to reduce this down to 31. I could have removed several more, although I kept them on for a variety of reasons, including nostalgia, a desire to see them make a comeback or, in the case of one or two writers/commentators who are no longer with us, as a mark of respect.
Before taking a closer look at some of these “culled” blogs, it’s worth taking a moment or two to reflect on some of the reasons why people write them in the first place, as these might help explain, in some cases at least, why their owners gave up on them. At its most basic, a blog is a personal web log or journal in which the writer shares information or opinions on a variety of topics. By definition, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page which can either be used for personal use or to fulfill a business need.
I’m right in saying that the vast majority of those who write beer blogs, do so for personal reasons and this, for me, is what makes them so interesting, especially as it tallies with my own reasons for blogging. Personal blogs are light years away from some of the more commercial sites, which are primarily used to drive traffic to a particular website in order to increase sales, raise a company’s profile or purely as a means of generating an income.
This blog naturally falls into the personal camp, as my reasons for doing so are to inform readers of developments within the world of beer and pubs, share a few of my experiences within these areas, but also because I enjoy writing, being creative and, because I feel that writing about beer and travel is a useful, positive, and enlightening use of my free time. But without further ado, let’s kick off with some of those blogs that have fallen by the wayside.Mostly About Beer; Brew Report; Beers Manchester; Lady Sinks the Booze (great title!); Irish Beer Snob; The Tale of the Ale; Will Hawks; Look at Brew; We Love British Pubs; The Snap and the Hiss; Beer Dredge; Blog-ums-Bier: Two Score & Ten; Hop and Schwein; Pivini Filosof; Wee Beefy; Two Thirsty Gardeners; Pete Brown.
Most of these blogs haven’t been updated in ages, and I’m talking years in some cases. Some of the writers behind these blogs, have quite publicly, thrown in the towel, and I’m thinking here of Look atThe Snap and the Hiss blog, for the newsletter – The Gulp, which she writes under the nom de plume of “Shiny Biscuit.” Kirsty, at Lady Sinks the Booze, hasn’t posted anything since January, after switching to paid to write work. Completing the quartet of female writers, who seem to have given up on blogging is Mrs RM – better known as the wife of prolific blogger, Retired Martin. After a promising start, Mrs RM sadly hasn’t posted anything on her Two Score & Ten blog, since September 2019. Perhaps Martin has been hogging all the internet bandwidth, so unfortunately, her blog too has been removed from my list. The Tale of the Ale along with Wayne & Janice Dunne - Irish Beer Snob at a couple of those European Beer Writers Conferences I attended, including my first one, which took place in Dublin, in 2014. Reuben’s blog has been very quiet of late, whilst Wayne & Janice seem to be concentrating more on podcasts, these days.
Mostly About Beer, Brew Report, and Beers Manchester are another set of blogs that have become moribund. I was especially sad to see that Lawrence of Brew Report fame has not posted since June. As the title of his blog suggests, Lawrence illustrated each post with some superbly executed, high-definition photos, and yet his blog has been quiet since June. I’m sure he must have his reasons, along with the rest of the writers who have abandoned their blogs, but when you come across something that good, you have to ask why.
Another blog that boasted some excellent photos, was We Love British Pubs, but nothing new has appeared on this site since May 2020. Reading between the lines, the concept seemed rather ambitious, as the writers behind this website, who were based in the Midlands, were attempting to recruit teams of like-minded individuals to cover other areas of the country, and encouraging them to submit their own reviews, linked to the main website. It was rather like a franchise, if that makes sense, and I imagine the admin work involved, combined with the effects of the pandemic, put paid to the project.
If high quality photographs were the hallmark of the aforementioned two blogs, then a total lack of any illustrations characterises Wee Beefy’s Beer & Pubs Blog. Based in Sheffield, the author of this blog regales his readers with tales of good nights out, in numerous of the city’s pubs, along with some further afield in Derbyshire and other neighbouring counties. Wee Beefy spins a good yarn, but with a single picture telling a thousand words, it is hard to envisage exactly what he is talking about, without some photographic evidence to back it up. It's a shame, but for this reason alone, I felt obliged to drop Wee Beefy from my blog list.
The Two Thirsty Gardeners have also dropped off the radar, and I have missed their posts combining a love of gardening with a passion for homemade booze. A trio of overseas blogs have also been culled, including Blog-ums-Bier, Hop and Schwein, plus Pivini Filosof, as have those written by established beer writers, Pete Brown, and Mark Dredge. Both individuals have long branched out into the world of publishing with several book titles to their respective names. Writing books, is demanding enough in itself, which explains why any blog posts from these individuals are few and far between.
Drawing this article to a close, there are a couple of blogs whose authors are sadly no longer with us. Peter Allen’s occasional series entitled Pubs, Then and Now, is a self-explanatory look back at some of his favourite pubs, comparing how they were 10 or more years ago, compared to now. I had the pleasure of meeting Pete on three occasions – Proper Day’s Out in Shifnall, Burton-on-Trent, and Stockport, and not only enjoyed his company, but was impressed by his encyclopaedic knowledge of the pubs in many parts of the Midlands – not bad for a Carling drinker!
Beerleeds.co.uk was the website of the late Richard Coldwell, who sadly passed away in June 2019. Richard was a stalwart of the Proper Days Out team, but I never managed to meet him, as my first trip with this group didn’t take place until November of that year. I’d kept the link to Richard’s site live, as it contained some good articles, particularly a couple regarding the trips he made to China. Unlike me, he managed to find some interesting local beers, but then I suspect he put in a lot more groundwork than I did. Unfortunately, as so often happens with lapsed websites, another organisation has claimed his domain name, so I have now taken down the link.
ReARM, - real ale and real music blog, but his last entry was 4th January 2022. He has had periods of absence in the past, due to computer/IT issues, but it would be nice to know he is alright. I shared a pint or two with him at the CAMRA Members Weekend & AGM, in Norwich, back in 2012, and his passions for real ale, real music AND real pubs came across then. If anyone has heard from him, then please let me know. The link to Nev's blog remains live on my site!