It’s been brewing for a few weeks. I’ve been having conversations, discussing ideas and thinking about the future. And now it’s arrived … or almost. Beginning on Wednesday, April 15, I’ll be taking over Bill Brand’s old column and the Bottoms Up Blog. I’ll be writing a column for the Oakland Tribune newspaper which will appear every other Wednesday, and hopefully will get picked up by a least some of the news group’s 60 other papers. The first one will appear next Wednesday, and is more of an introduction for newspaper readers of who I am, information you no doubt already possess. After that, the columns will be all about the beer.
I’ll be taking a different approach to the Bottom’s Up Blog, inviting other Bay Area Beer Bloggers and even the occasional brewer to contribute to it in an effort to make it a true beer community blog. And in order to impose some order out of the chaos that news is, I’ll be running some regular items on the same day of the week and four monthly features, as well, though three of those will be guest-written. I’m still not sure about Bill’s weekly e-mail pdf that he sent every Wednesday. We’re still trying to figure out where that list is. If there’s enough interest, we may have to rebuild it from scratch.
The Brookston Beer Bulletin will remain largely unchanged, I’ll keep writing it as before. There shouldn’t be too much overlap. The Bottom’s Up Blog will be all consumer-oriented and the Bulletin will remain beer industry focused. On Bottoms Up, I’ll only opine about the beer, on the Bulletin I’ll continue to rant about everything else. There’s still a few more things to do to get ready for the launch. I’m having new head shots taken today and I still have to write a short biography for the website.
I’m very pleased that Bill’s column will continue — though under a new name — it’s an important legacy that at least some newspapers are willing to embrace craft and better imported beer. But I confess I’m a little nervous at the prospect of filling Bill’s shoes. He meant a lot to a great many people — myself included — and despite the fact that I’ve been writing about beer for almost twenty years and been fairly involved in the Bay Area scene for quite some time, I’ll still be the new kid for many mainstream newspaper readers. But, as the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It was also an opportunity to reach a much wider audience, and one I didn’t feel I could pass up. So I’m as excited as I am nervous, a curious mix of butterflies clenching in my stomach but filled with possibilities, like the feeling you get just before you go on stage. But, hopefully, I’m ready for my close up. I hope you’ll read me there, as well as here.