Earlier this year, Stephen Beaumont, with a little help from me, launched Flagship February, our effort to celebrate the beers that built the craft beer industry, flagships. Stephen wrote about Why #FlagshipFebruary and followed up trying to explain What is a Flagship beer?
Stephen invited other beer writers from around the globe, and they stepped up, chose their favorite flagship beer, writing 27 essays about 27 different flagship beers. Another friend, Suzanne Porter, who co-founded Porter Hughes Design, did most of the heavy lifting and along with her team created a kickass website where each essay was posted, one per day throughout the month of February. The website also included a calendar where bars, restaurants, etc. could sign up to tell the world they were hosting a #FlagshipFebruary event. And while quite a few did, many more just latched on to the idea and ran with it on their own. After the dust settled, we think most people seemed to enjoy the idea, and were supportive of our efforts. While I don’t fully understand the internet jargon about measuring websites, by the end of the month, there were 5,152 posts that mentioned #FlagshipFebruary, and our reach was 10,055,512 with 25,049,624 impressions. People who understand those numbers better than I do says that’s not too bad.
It was quite a lot of work, and we spent a considerable amount of time devoted to the project. To help defray those costs, especially the design team, we reached out for sponsors, and a few did step up, most notably the Boston Beer Co. and New Belgium, who were flagship sponsors. But our sponsors also included Anchor Brewing, Brewery Ommegang, the Cicerone Certification Program, Great Lakes Brewery, and Henderson Brewing Co., and we’re grateful to all of them.
In the final essay on February 28, Stephen and I wrote a back and forth dialogue about what we’d experienced and learned during the first #FlagshipFebruary. One of the things to come out of that was a desire to keep the conversation going. And so we decided on a monthly essay about a flagship beer, which we’re calling #FlagshipFriday.
Drawing on my experience managing the old Beer Blogging Friday, a.k.a. The Session, I’ve set up an overview page that includes the nuts and bolts of #FlagshipFriday along with a schedule. The idea is simple, and if you’re familiar with those old Sessions, then you probably already know where we’re going with this. Either way, here’s what we’re doing:
So the plan is simple, like The Session, on the first Friday of each month (excluding February, of course) we’ll invite anyone to write about a flagship beer of their choosing. And unlike the old Session, there’s no round-up to write. Stephen and I will spread the word on social media, and if everybody uses the hashtag #FlagshipFriday, we think we can keep people talking about flagship beers.
I’ll be writing the first one, which will be posted later today, and Stan Hieronymus has agreed to do the second one on the first Friday of May, which will be May 3. If you want to write about a flagship beer — any flagship beer of your choosing — check the schedule at the bottom of the page, and pick a month, then just let me know so I can reserve it for you.
We’ll keep it going eleven times each
For now, welcome to the first Flagship Friday.