The Ohio Breweries beer blog was launched in early 2011 and, quite frankly, I wondered if anybody would read it. I also was curious whether there was enough news about Ohio-made beer to keep me busy. Well, there is.
For nearly two years, I have posted at least one news item each weekday. I have posted while on family vacations to the Jersey Shore and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And I even posted from the maternity ward at Akron General Medical Center the day my wife gave birth to our son Knox. I'm either dedicated or stupid. Take your pick.
The most satisfying thing -- besides the occasional free beer to sample -- is that people are reading. The blog, hosted by the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper, had more than 191,000 unique visitors between May and the end of December. (We changed our blog host and don't have any data from before that unfortunately.) And that doesn't count the nearly 500 folks who receive this blog by email.
Here's a rundown of the five most read items this year (out of 562):
1. Ohio beer festivals: A list of the major beer festivals in the state.
2. Winking Lizard dumps Miller Lite, Bud Light: A story about the chain doing away with the big national brands.
3. Ohio breweries map: A map of all the breweries in the state.
4. New Cincinnati brewery settles on name: A story on 50 West Brewing.
5. Wooster brewery ready to open: A story on the new Wooster Brewery.
One thing to look forward to in 2013 is the return of the beer quiz. The two Ohio beer quizzes, along with the favorite Ohio brewery poll, disappeared when we changed blog hosts. The newspaper has purchased some software that supports online quizzes and we are now working on questions and the new quiz format -- and trying to find sponsors and prizes to give away. Look for it, hopefully, sometime in February.
Thanks again for reading. And as always, if you have a question, recommendation or news, feel free to contact me directly at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.