Socialcohol Media Influencers

Here’s some more interesting statistical data on alcohol bloggers — beer, wine and liquor — from a software company in Silicon Valley by the name of eCairn, or eCairn Conversation. Watch this short video to get a feel for what the company is selling, essentially tools to help companies reach their core customers and “influencers.”

This is especially interesting given the recent monthly Wikio rankings, as these represent yet another metric to rate a beer blog’s influence. At eCairn’s blog, they’ve been analyzing different aspects of social media, presumably to give potential customers real world examples of how they might use their software. For example, they looked at an Analysis of 4 Networks of Community of Influencers that included mommy, beauty, fashion, deco, food, daddy, celebrity, baking, craft and fitness blogs. Then a few days ago they examined beer, wine and liquor blogs which they referred to as “Socialcohol Media,” which is a great looking term, if only I could figure out how it should be pronounced (go ahead, try to say it). Here’s their introduction:

Tagging along with previous analysis of social media Tribes and Influencers, we looked this time at the socialcohol ecosystem 😉 .

Even if the wine & alcohol industry is highly restricted and social media has its set of challenges, matters like beer, wine and liquor generate quite a bit of conversations from the virtual streets.

Here, we pulled 200 influencers from our existing communities of English speaking influencers (~1500 for wine, ~1000 for beers and ~500 for liquor) to create our own cocktail of the tops.

From those 4,000 blogs, they whittled them down to 200 and then ranked those. In the Top 20, half unsurprisingly are wine blogs. But what’s more surprising is that five were beer blogs and five were liquor blogs, and all five of the beer blogs were in the top ten, along with two liquor blogs. That means that in the top ten alcohol blogs, the majority are beer blogs. That’s huge, because up until now, as far as I knew, wine blogs were kicking our butt. Certainly there are far more of them, and still are, but what this suggests is that beer online is gaining in popularity. During last fall’s Beer Blogger’s Conference, the number of beer blogs was reckoned to be about 500, and another source I saw said about 700, the difference being the former was independent beer blogs and the latter included company beer blogs, too. So either we’ve added another 300 beer blogs in the intervening months or they arrived at their number using more generous definitions. Either way, 1,000 sure sounds more impressive.

While I don’t see any information specifically about what formula they used to arrive at their rankings, shockingly I’m No. 1, even above Eric Asimov in the New York Times and the Wine Spectator. Honestly, as flattered as I am by that, it doesn’t feel right. Their traffic alone must be exponentially higher than mine, though perhaps traffic isn’t that important to the way they figure things out. Still, the best news would seem to be that beer blogs more generally are catching up to wine in terms of popularity online. That alone is worth cheering.

Top 20 Alcohol Blogs

  1. Brookston Beer Bulletin (Beer)
  2. Good Grape: A Wine Blog Manifesto (Wine)
  3. (Liquor)
  4. Eric Asimov’s The Pour: NY Times (Wine)
  5. Seen Through a Glass (Beer)
  6. Pencil and Spoon (Beer)
  7. The Beer Nut (Beer)
  8. Catavino (Wine)
  9. Art of Drink (Liquor)
  10. Drink With The Wench (Beer)
  11. Wine Spectator (Wine)
  12. Mutineer Magazine (Wine*) [Listed as a wine blog, but Mutineer also covers beer and spirits.]
  13. Trader Tiki’s Exotic Syrups, Bitters and Spirits (Liquor)
  14. RumDood (Liquor)
  15. AlaWine (Wine)
  16. Good Wine Under $20 (Wine)
  17. Wannabe Wino Wine Blog (Wine)
  18. The Pegu Blog (Liquor)
  19. Through The Walla Walla Grape Vine™ (Wine)
  20. Palate Press (Wine)

They also note that Beer, Wine and Liquor blogging communities are fairly separate but that Whisky blogs tend to act as a bridge between them all.

The density of the American beer blogs has “higher density in the mid-west/colorado compared to wine and liquor.”


  1. says

    Although I love being ranked so high in Wikio, I’ve often felt it was a bit exaggerated: so does eCairn! One thing that’s not clear to me is why there are two foreign beer blogs on the list–surely these would be considered weak “influencers” in the US market.

    As for the relative power of beer versus wine and liquor–from eCairn’s point of view, this must be based on dollars, not cultural pre-eminence. As a market, beer is gigantic compared to wine and liquor, though the share that bloggers influence is small. I suspect craft beer is a lot bigger market than micro-distilled and high-end spirits, and probably bigger than specialty wines. So, while beer’s cultural cachet remains low, in buying dollars, it’s quite valuable. And eCairn cares about the dollars.

    • Jay Brooks says

      I know what you mean. Who doesn’t love being told they’re doing a good job, but we have to keep it in perspective. Everybody who tries to do these sort of empirical rankings has to pick and choose what data to rely on and what to ignore, not to mention the unquantifiable intangibles.

      I’m not sure how they’d be able to use dollars, but that it is a possibility. It’s never a bad idea to follow the money if you’re trying to figure out motivating factors.

  2. says

    Wow. I’m slightly speechless seeing as how my blog is rather spontaneous and my content is random and sporadic. Not really sure why I’m on the list, let alone #10…. but if someone wants to think I’m that cool, by all means :) I’m just excited that my site is above Wine Spectator’s. Thanks so much for sharing this, Jay. And congrats! I totally agree that your site is the best, at least in my eyes!!!!

  3. says

    Wow, this is cool! Great to see beer blogs at the top end of the list as well. I may now start calling myself a socialcoholic, it has a fittingly sluring beginning to a punchy end!

    And congrats on being No.1! Totally deserved.

  4. says

    We may be on this list, but we are really a strange one to find there. We live in Spain, have an audience in the US. Write mainly about wine, but consider ourselves liquid agnostics, who write about anything that tastes good in a liquid form. Also we’re a bit behind 4-5 other major wine blogs in all other metrics, so not seeing Vinography there, seems suspect.

    In the end though we run the site and I will say Beer bloggers are on par with winebloggers, and I’m proud to say that. Also I think that there should in the end be less focus on who is writing about what liquid, and rather on the good content being created in a digital format, that promotes the worlds craft liquid products.


  5. says

    It’s always cool to see your name up high on lists like this, but I totally agree that you have to temper that excitement with questions as to the formula used.

    My guess as to why some of the heavyweights in terms of readership aren’t as high as you’d expect is some sort of weighting given for social media interaction and whatever they rank as the “strength” of the connections between other high-ranking individuals there (e.g. because I have Twitter and Facebook conversations with Camper, I’m obviously a total heavy hitter, right?).


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