From Boak and Bailey comes an analysis of what a beer blog should be, and specifically what a brewery's blog should be (in the context of Becks).
At least making it a full time job means that they might be making more of a go of it - i.e. presumably this blogger will be going around the blogosphere, doing the rounds, taking part in debates, perhaps even linking to others. It sounds like Becks “get” blogging a bit more than the Stella people do and realise that it’s not just a case of posting corporate pearls of wisdom and expecting a buzz to create itself. [emphasis mine]
Even so, it’s difficult to see what they’re trying to achieve from this. Firstly, it ain’t gonna work - the beer blogging community isn’t going to suddenly start plugging Stella or Becks just because someone writes a blog. We’re a bit too savvy for that, surely? Secondly, even if it did work, who cares? Much as I love the beer blogging world, I’ve enough humility to know that we’re not movers and shakers in the mass market. The average Bud drinker is not going to switch to Becks because a beer blogger writes about it. [emphasis mine]
We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s being done because it’s the latest “cool” thing in marketing, even if there’s no evidence that it actually works. The marketing team / agency can explain to the board that their exciting campaign features Web 2.0 technology and get to look creative and cutting-edge.The other potential achievement from this is to increase search-engine rankings, and perhaps hope to pick up a lazy journalist (of which there are many) who will reproduce stories and press releases.
Here at Yours for Good Fermentables.com, I attempt to be more than merely a flack for my employer Clipper City Brewing Company. But when I do write specifically about the brewery, I add a 'caveat emptor' to the post. My affiliation is always indicated along the right hand panel, and there is a disclaimer along the bottom of the blog. Here's a link to an earlier post on ethics in beer journalism.
As an example of a brewery blog (of which there are many), Hugh Sisson, the owner of Clipper City, has a blog to which he posts infrequently, but when he does, it's to (caveat emptor) thoughtful effect. His most recent essay was a defense of the US three-tiers of alcohol distribution.
A barrel of crude oil topped $135 today for the first time ever; regular octane gas has reached $4 per gallon at the pump in the DC area. I drive thirty-five thousand miles per year promoting the beers of Clipper City along the US southeast.
Blogging the praises of Clipper City beers is certainly cheaper.