Thursday, January 19, 2012

"American Beer Blogger" needs your support

He's the man with the best laugh —an infectious from-the-belly guffaw— in the craft beer business. And, now, seriously, Lew Bryson needs your help.

Bryson and Cizauskas
That's Lew on the left..

Bryson is managing editor of Whisky Advocate magazine; a regular writer on beer for Ale Street News and Massachusetts Beverage Business magazine; the witty, sometimes hilarious, and always insightful writer of beer blog Seen Through a Glass; and the author of four regional brewery and good beer guidebooks: Pennsylvania Breweries, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Breweries, New York Breweries, and New Jersey Breweries. And, that's not to mention his campaign for session beer and his campaign against arcane alcohol laws.

As if that weren't enough, Bryson has a new project. American Beer Blogger, a television/internet/DVD series on the American 'craft beer' scene. He's the host and writer; a company called Green Leaf is the producer.

AMERICAN BEER BLOGGER is a half hour television series dedicated to all facets of the ever growing craft beer market. From home brewing, to micro beer; viewers will experience the very best of the craft beer culture. In each episode, Lew will visit a different brewer, each of which has their own sets of quirks and ways of doing things. Lew will talk to these brewers, get to know them, will show us first hand the various methods and techniques used in creating a craft beer. From the tiniest bottler to the largest manufacturer, Lew will get his hands dirty. Topics such as bottling, food pairing, manufacturing, distribution, history, technique (and so much more) will all be touched upon as Lew spends a day with these brewers. <...> Through humor and a charming, hands-on host, our show will not only be entertaining for the microbeer enthusiast, but also enjoyable for the average viewer as well.

The funding for American Beer Blogger is enabled by Kickstarter, a so-called 'crowdfunding' micro-funding medium. Investors —really contributors— are given a limited amount of time in which to pledge. If the chosen amount is not gathered by that deadline, no funds are collected. If it is met, Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised; Amazon, facilitating the actual on-line payments, takes an additional 3-5%.

Originally, Bryson was asking for $60,000, just enough to finance 6 episodes. That goal was not reached. Now, he's re-tooled the project, looking to fund only one pilot episode, for $6,000. He has two weeks, until Sunday 29 January, to reach his goal.

UPDATE: The funding goal was reached later in the day 19 January. But, Bryson adds, more funds are always welcome: for travel expenses, etc. The pilot episode will premiere on March 8th, at 10 PM, on WLVT, the Bethlehem/Lehigh Valley PBS affiliate station.

So, I throw down a challenge for the beer blogging community. Let's demonstrate support for one of own. Lew Bryson has done more than many of us, and for longer than many of us —for over two decades— to support good beer. Now, he wishes to take his efforts further. American Beer Blogger would be a series I would be eager to watch, and, knowing Bryson and his body of work, I believe you —and anyone interested in good beer— would be, as well.

The website for the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference counts 853 blogs as "Citizen Beer Blogs" in North America. Let's do the math. Of the $6,000 dollars needed to be pledged, fifty-three backers, as of this morning, have already donated $4,157. That leaves $1,843 to be raised. Just for this conceit, if we were to assume the 53 donors to be beer bloggers, 800 bloggers have yet to be heard from. If each of those were to contribute only $2.31 —that's TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTY-ONE CENTS, less than the cost of one draft craft beer at your local bar— Bryson would meet his goal. To sweeten the deal: for contributions of slightly to much higher, there is schwag, DVDs, and public acknowledgment.

Fellow beer bloggers, craft brewers, importers, wholesalers, beer bar owners, beer store owners, and beer drinkers, let's pay Bryson's efforts forward. Contribute to American Beer Blogger: here.


  • Another Kickstarter project —Michael Jackson: The Beer Hunter— has already achieved its goal, but still needs additional funds for post-production work. It's "a documentary film about the British journalist and author Michael Jackson, whose books and television series about beer inspired the global phenomenon that is the craft brewing renaissance. An intimate portrait based on over 60 hours of rare, recent video footage." part of the project will be the endowment of the "Michael Jackson Memorial Foundation, with the "goal of organizing annual fund-raising events in Michael's memory, with proceeds to benefit Parkinson's Research."
  • The Beer Blogger Conference site defines a Citizen Beer Blog as one not designed to promote a brewery or other business, but allowing "media-based" blogs.
  • The 2012 U.S. Beer Bloggers Conference is scheduled for 13-15 July in Indianapolis; in the U.K., for 18-20 May, in Leeds.
  • Caveat Lector: I am mentioned in Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Breweries.

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