by Bob Maxfield, Dave Hopkins, Catherine Webber
As most good ideas do, the idea for starting the Midlands Beer Blog started from a chat between friends drinking beer. We asked why bother, right here. Our mission has always been to promote and celebrate the Midlands beers scene, to share our love and passion of the beers we drink, the bars/pubs we drink at and the breweries we support, to let the rest of the country know about the great beer scene we have in The Midlands, and stop it from being overlooked.
We have seen a brilliant developments in the Midlands scene with new breweries opening like Burning Soul, new venues selling awesome beer such as The Wolf and Clink, and the great developments in existing venues, such as the Beer Gonzo Taproom. We have had some great adventures such as our Stourbridge Line, Bar Crawl and our chat with Steve & Martin for Beer O’Clock Show Midlands Special.
We have endeavoured to cover as much of beery goings on around The Midlands as we can and bring you the most up to date news and views possible. This is not an easy task, it takes time and dedication, especially to the standard that we think is acceptable, but this has become increasingly difficult over recent months. We do this blog in our spare time, and offer it completely free, and receive no money or financial support in any way. All our time is given outside of our normal working week, with each of the core team working stressful demanding jobs (Dave has two jobs now, and is busier since he ‘retired’). Each of us has had personal challenges recently that have meant we have had to make hard choices about what our priorities are.
This does not mean our passion or drive to promote the scene has lessened, but it has forced us to consider the way we do things. We simply cannot devote the same amount of time and energy, but still wish to do all we can to bring you a free and unbiased view of the Midlands beer scene.
So how are we going to do that?
The Midlands Beer Blog will continue to focus on promoting and celebrating the beer scene, our mission has not changed, but we are moving the site away from the ‘Bloggers Collective’ structure to a ‘Magazine’ type focus.
We would like the Midlands Beer Blog to be a place people come regularly to get the info they need about, where, when and how they can have the best beer available in the West Midlands.You may have already noticed the new lick of paint and new furniture on the site. The main focus of that new design was to give more prominence to the Beer Map of the Midlands , our map showing the bars, pubs & breweries across the midlands, and the Upcoming Events page, a central place to find out about the beer events happening in the West Midlands.
We will focus on bringing news and events, with breaking news posts, and short update posts to keep you all informed, but we will also be resurrecting the Newsletter, with a new info filled post hitting your inboxes on a fortnightly basis.
We will also be forging links with other info providers in the Midlands, promoting others that share our mission. We are delighted to announce we will be regularly promoting Wednesday Beers posts. We will also be supporting Beers Without Frontiers, and Simon Clarke’s podcasting endeavours, along with hosting the upcoming podcast from Carl Marshall and myself; the Firkin’ Around Pod.
This does not mean we will no longer be blogging, the new magazine format will actually give us more freedom. As we will no longer each be blogging as ‘Midlands Beer Collective’, removing the worry about the blog being seen as biased, we each become columnists for the site, allowing us to be ourselves, and share our own thoughts and views about the scene and our experience, thoughts and opinions.
We hope others will choose to join us in this endeavour, if you would like to become a permanent columnist, or guest with us for a one shot, or, if you have would like us to feature your blog, podcast or videos, please have a chat with us. You may have a specific topic, or just want to share your opinion, we want to provide you with a place to do that.
Finally, we would like to reach out the bottle shops, bars, pubs, breweries, event organisers and venues across the Midlands. We can’t do this without you, please feel free to contact us about something you wish to promote, or news about a new release or event. Will share this on our site and include it in our regular newsletter.
We welcome your thoughts and comments about our new direction and hope you enjoy the ride.
Don’t call it a comeback….We are just on the The Next Episode (I’m not linking that video as it’s a big sweary).