After six years of blogging and more than 1.5 million hits, it is time for a review of Hoppy Trails Beer News; who its audience is, what it can contribute to the craft beer conversation, and how it goes forward with its support of homebrewers and emerging craft brewers.
It began with a focus on festivals; upcoming and post-event summaries. Over the past six years the craft beer genre has gone from a few major events each year to a festival or six every weekend. The price of these events has nearly tripled. Granted there are many more brewers and beers available to sample, but a person’s safe consumption level has not kept pace. It matters little if there are 500 beers to try if you can only consume 10-12 and still walk.
Our motto, Have Beer? Will Travel, has taken a hit as well as airfare and hotel prices have skyrocketed, and traveling great distances for new beers to try and share is no longer necessary. There are many ways to find beers from all over the country at the increasing numbers of bottle shops and tap houses or have them delivered right to your door via several beer-of-the-month types of clubs.
So what’s next?
First off, head beer taster and brewer for HTBN Brews, Bob Shoemaker took on a quest to drop 80 pounds. He is presently 50 down with 30 to go. Cutting consumption has been a big part of this success.
Second, the website really tries do to much, and hits in particular areas have dropped off significantly. HTBN is able to reach a far wider audience through Twitter and Facebook content.
A redesign is in the works. We will continue to focus on new, local breweries as they emerge and share less about festivals. We have our favorites, of course, and they will be getting a lot more exposure. We will up our ante on sharing regional and national trends, borrowing feeds from many well-respected beer news sources.
All in all, we hope the new HTBN will become a must-read for the craft beer enthusiast.