I started Raging Hop back in October of 2015 because I love beer, but more importantly I love Cincinnati beer. I think the Cincinnati beer scene is the best in the country. I have traveled to many cities and I still think no one can touch the sense of community, and the locals’ love for their hometown brews. Cincinnati has a rich history in brewing beer and it still shines through to this day.
When I entered the ring it was an interesting time in the Cincinnati beer blogging world. Some old faces were starting new jobs at various breweries, and some shifts into new ideas were happening in a few other places. I still found myself in a sea of people already in the game. To some people that would be discouraging, but to me I found it as a challenge. I started writing down ideas on how I could separate myself from the pack and do something original inside the Cincinnati beer community. I did come up with a few, but the problem was where to start? I wasn’t in the “in crowd,” I didn’t really know anyone at any breweries other than the people who pour my beer every weekend, and I didn’t know who to talk to. So I fell into the “let’s report what’s going on around the city” mode. The problem was there are a couple of other websites out there that do it way better than I do and I’m sure people already go there for that kind of content…but I continued on as I wanted to build a base and show people, hey, I’m here and I want to do cool things. But it is time for tabula rasa, a blank slate.
A Blank Slate / Tabula Rasa
(Not to be confused with Blank Slate Brewing Co.) Fast forward to this week when I took a trip down to the Lucky Turtle and met some great people. I talked Mr. Friendly Beer aka Frank Seta, the owner of the place and we ended up chatting until he literally had to lock the doors and leave. The name Mr. Friendly is 100% true, Frank can literally talk to you all night about beer. We ended up talking about the direction Raging Hop was going and where I really wanted to take it. He offered up some very solid advise which is why I am making this post today. I also met Tom Augero from Brewminds formerly known as Queen City Drinks. He reached out to me to meet and discuss blogging about beer in Cincinnati as he’s been in the game for a long time. After talking to both Tom and Frank I think it’s time to drop all of the other small stuff I’ve been doing and focus on what I want to do. There’s nothing to be afraid of being the new guy and trying to reach out to people. Quite frankly everyone I’ve met that is really involved in the Cincinnati beer scene has been super nice and welcoming…so I guess it’s time to spread my wings and start fresh.
So what’s the plan?
Simply put I like to tell stories. My main craft is photography and I’ve been dabbling in video production as well. I intend to use these skills to dive into the Cincinnati beer scene and tell the stories of the people within it. We’re talking anywhere from brewers, bar owners/bartenders, bottle shops, and people who just love Cincinnati beer. I want to tell the story of why this city is so awesome for beer lovers because quite frankly I don’t think we get the credit we deserve.
So instead of what’s going on around the city and reporting on the small stuff (I will still be active on Twitter doing this) the website will become a collection of stories, both in words and visual, telling the history of Cincinnati beer as well as looking towards the future of Cincinnati beer. I am super excited to start this project and I hope you join me.