Well, well, welly welly well. Six months since my last post. (Or if you want to be technical about it, six months less a day. Which sort of sounds like a prison sentence, doesn’t it?)
Yes, once again, this poor li’l blog has been pushed down my list of priorities, constantly overshadowed by one thing or another. Canadian Beer News has become the main focus of my online activities, growing in comprehensiveness of coverage – as well as readership – since I redesigned and relaunched it late last year. I’ve also started a spin-off Tumblr blog called Canadian Beer Notes as a place to post quick reviews of Canadian beers, and have been having a great time presenting and hosting the Canadian Beer News Dinner Series (the next CBN Dinner on June 18th – a beer vs wine dinner with Amsterdam Brewery and Flat Rock Cellars at Beast Restaurant – is almost sold out, so book soon if you wanna be there!). And I’m still doing a bit of writing for TAPS Magazine, as well as other occasional bits of scribbling here and there.
That said, I’ve got the usual growing pile of blog post ideas percolating, I just need to find – or make – the time to knuckle down and get on with the writing. History has shown that I’ll never be as prolific as some of my more disciplined compatriots (Hi, Alan! How’s it going, Mike?), but is one post a week too much to ask for?
Probably, yeah. But I’ll see what I can do.
Any readers of this blog who are – or at some point have been – comic book geeks are likely familiar with the concept of “retroactive continuity”, or as it’s colloquially known, a retcon.
For the less dorky among you: a retcon refers to a situation when facts established in an earlier story are changed in such a way that the previous story couldn’t have happened the way it was originally written – in other words, the previously established continuity has been retroactively changed. Sometimes these changes are small, affecting minor attributes of a single character; and sometimes they’re massive, affecting an entire shared fictional universe (as was the case in the classic DC Comics series Crisis on Infinite Earths that the title of this post lazily evokes).
The reason for this nerdtastic tangent is that this blog is about to undergo a bit of retconning, as I’m starting to integrate many of the posts that I wrote for Taste T.O., the food and drink website run by my wife and myself that we recently converted from a daily blog to an events listing site, taking the old content offline in the process. My contributions there included many beer reviews, pub profiles, and other beer and booze related articles that I’d like to keep online, so folding them into this blog seemed to make the most sense. While doing this, I’ll also be editing or removing any posts that referred or linked to the Taste T.O. posts, fusing the material from both sites into a seamless whole! (Insert dramatic George Perez splash page here.)
Since I’ll be backdating these posts to the dates they were originally published on Taste T.O., the whole process should hopefully go unnoticed to most readers. But for those who enjoy digging through archives, there will be lots of “new” stuff to read.
And as for REAL new stuff – I’m hoping to get more on top of that in the next little while as well. I’ve got quite a backlog of notes and photos from the past couple of months, and while not all of it is post-worthy, there are a few things that I’d like to get written up soon, especially since the fall is shaping up to be a pretty busy season for beer happenings.
Back when I launched this blog, my original intention was for it to be primarily a place to write about beer and food, but to also feature occasional posts about music as a sort of extension of the previous years I’d spent as a music writer and DJ. But in the almost half-decade that has passed since, I’ve written a grand total of five posts that are related to music in any way, which rendered the blog name I’d chosen to use – Beer, Beats & Bites – at least 33.3% inaccurate.
At the same time, the last couple of years has seen an increase in my interest in exploring and writing about spirits – especially whisky – and I felt like the name of the blog should be changed to reflect this.
With that, I’m happy to announce that after a couple of months of waiting for the appropriate URL to come out of post-expiration limbo, Beer, Beats & Bites is now known as Beer, Booze & Bites, with a new address – beerboozebites.com – to go with the new name. (Although the old address will still work as well, at least for the time being.)
Along with the new name comes a new banner, and a hope on my part that changes that have been happening with my other projects – most notably Taste T.O. – will leave me with some free time to get new content up here on a more regular basis. Based on my past record, I know enough not to promise anything, but I reckon that given the increasing number of Canadian beer blogs out there, I really need to step things up a bit to stay relevant.
In the meantime, while everything seems to have gone smoothly with the switch over, there’s always the chance of bugs lurking around the edges, so please let me know if you notice anything funky going on with the site. Otherwise, thanks as always for reading, and I hope you’ll continue to do so.
You might notice that things are looking a little different around here – the reason being that I’ve moved the ol’ blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress install. This will allow me to do more with it – some things that will be noticeable to readers, others more back-end in nature – and will eventually allow for more integration with my other sites, like Canadian Beer News.
(This is the second time I’ve moved the damn thing – the first was a move from Blogger to WordPress back in 2007 – and hopefully, it’ll be the last.)
It still needs some tweaking – I haven’t decided if I’m completely happy with the theme, for example – but all of the old content is here, and everything seems to be working the way it should. If you happen to notice anything weird, please let me know.
So, my big plans to fire things up over the holidays and start getting more frequent content up on this ol’ blog got kind of scuttled, mostly due to a Head Cold From Hell that’s still lingering after more than a week.
Once it clears, I’ve got an interesting assortment of liquids here that I’ll be consuming and critiquing. And I’ll also dig through my notes from some older tastings and events to see if they’re post-worthy, even despite the lack of timeliness.
For now, however, my snot-filled nose and I are off to bed.
Only one more day in the month of November, which means one more day of Movember, which means I’ll be able to shave this goddamn beer-foam-catching thing off my face in 24 hours or so.
In the meantime – I need to make one final plea for donations. ‘Cause I didn’t grow this ‘stache just for the fun of it. And all those cancerous prostates ain’t gonna heal themselves!
If you’d like to make a donation, please click here to support me and my mustachioed team, and help to raise awareness and money for the fight against prostate cancer. If enough of you come through for me, I promise that I’ll try and actually write a couple of proper blog posts later this week!
If you’ve noticed a number of your usually clean-shaven male friends and acquaintances growing moustaches in the last couple of weeks, it’s probably not a coincidence. While some of them might just be getting ready to keep their upper lips warm this winter, most are probably participating in Movember, an annual event where men worldwide help raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer by growing a moustache.
Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of facial hair. When I was young(er) and stupid(er), I did have something on my chin for a few months that I called “a goatee” and my girlfriend (now wife) called “that fucking thing on your chin”. But until a couple of weeks ago, when one of my co-workers convinced me to join in on the Movember fun, I’d never considered growing a ‘stache.
Now that I’ve done so, I understand why, as it’s started bugging the hell out of me and looks kinda ridiculous. Although that latter problem is mostly due to the fact that I’ve foolishly opted for the full-on trucker/porn star/Hulk Hogan style. But what the hell, it’s only for a month, and it’s for a good cause.
Speaking of which – the main point of me growing this monstrosity is to raise some bucks for prostate cancer research, so I’d be much obliged if you click here and donate. If enough of you do so, I might be convinced to post a photo of myself at the end of the month when the mo’ should be getting nice and shaggy.
I think I might’ve mentioned this before, but even if I have, I’ll mention it again: One of the main reasons that I’m such an infrequent blogger is because I have yet to master the habit of writing things in a short and to-the-point manner. I constantly have a few different ideas for posts bouncing around in my head, but can never find the hour or so of spare time that I make myself think I would need to get said posts written.
So with that in mind, here is my attempt to get a few of those things covered quickly and concisely.
- As per usual, I’ve been writing beer-related posts for Taste T.O. on a regular basis. Here’s what’s gone up there in the last couple of months:
- I’ve given in to peer pressure and got myself an iPhone. Which means that I will most likely be engaging in some hot live Twitter action at the Mondial de la BiÃ¨re in Montreal next week. Follow @beerbeatsbites if you think you can handle the excitement.
- My new deodorant has hops in it. It’s also the most effective deodorant I’ve used in ages, which I’m sure will make my suite-mates in Montreal very happy.
- The awesome folks at Mill Street delivered one of their new Seasonal Sampler six-packs for me yesterday, and I enjoyed a couple of bottles from it tonight. Ontarians can watch for it to hit LCBO shelves this coming week, and I’ll have a full write-up about the pack over on Taste T.O. soon.
- Nothing to do with beer (or beats or bites, for that matter), but I watched Milk tonight, and wanted to mention how great it was. Sean Penn was stunningly good, deserving of every award and nomination he got, and even though I knew how it ended, I was still engrossed by it. And given recent events in California, it was especially poignant. If you haven’t seen it, do.
I was planning on waiting until after the holidays to officially announce this, but it came together a lot more quickly and with a lot less effort than I expected, so I figured I’d give you all an early Christmas gift:
I’m pleased to announce the launch of Canadian Beer News, a new blog from yours truly that will focus exclusively on news from the Canadian brewing industry. There will be no beer reviews or opinion pieces, simply press releases and news bulletins with announcements of new beer releases, brewery openings and closures, news about festivals and events, and other information from breweries all across the country.
Giving credit where credit is due, I must admit that the idea was ripped off of – uh, I mean, “strongly influenced by” – beernews.org, the excellent and informative blog/website that provides similar information on the American craft brewing scene. Since there was nothing similar here in Canada (or at least no blog dedicated exclusively to new beer announcements and other news), and I was already getting a lot of press releases and announcements sent to me from various breweries, I figured I might as well set up a place to cut & paste the info for all to see.
Please pop over for a look, and let me know what you think. And if you’re a brewer in Canada, please add me to your mailing list so I can spread the word on what you’ve got going on.
I’ve got no idea how this happened and who decided I deserved it, but I’ve somehow made it into the Top 10 beer blogs on the whole, entire Internet (or at least, out of the 104 that are listed) according to Blogged.com.
I’m frankly humbled and confused by this. Humbled, because it puts me into the company of beer writers who are much better and more prolific than I. Confused, because they have me ranked higher than some more worthy bloggers, such as Alan (#13) and Stan (#14) – and hell, Lew doesn’t seem to be listed at all!
At least Jay and Stonch came in ahead of me, which is where they belong.