The State Of Raging Hop: Reflections From The Past Year

The end of the year is upon us which means it’s time to sit back and reflect about where I’ve come with this blog and where I plan on going (with a beer in hand of course). Raging hop has been a thing for a year and a few months now. It’s been a really fun project that has led me to meet some really cool people and experience some really awesome things that I don’t think I would have been able to do without it. It’s still been a little hard to find my feet in the world of Cincinnati beer as there are so many of you out there that are so passionate about this community. You might have a blog, or talk on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or maybe you just pull a stool up to the bar and chat. Everyone contributes something different. I’d like to think that I’ve had a positive impact on the local craft beer scene and I hope you all have enjoyed my work. With that said I am happy with what I’ve accomplished this year, but at the same time it makes me hungry for more.

Mission accomplished?

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If you remember early on in the year I talked about wiping the slate clean and starting fresh, a tabula rasa. This mission has been on my mind for the past week or so as I look back and I keep asking myself did I even accomplish my goal? Am I doing what I want to do? The short answer is no. It saddens me that I have to admit defeat to you all, and it saddens me that I didn’t strive to be who I wanted to be in the world of Cincinnati craft beer. I know I sound all sad, but I’m honestly not all that upset. If anything it motivates me to make the changes I promised so long ago.

I did make some moves towards that goal though. I have worked on improving my visual style from something I would consider more photojournalistic  to a little more artsy which I have been having loads of fun doing. As I said in my clean slate post one of my goals was to give you a more visual pleasing experience and I think I’ve been doing good on that front. I also did a lot of really fun pieces about the breweries that have been opening up around the city. One was for Municipal Brew Works where I took you behind the scenes to show you some things that you probably would never know about the building they occupy. I did a second one the week before they opened talking about the beers they would have available and to show the finished space. I also showed you the story of how Streetside came to be and what their plans were when their building didn’t even have windows and then I presented their final product right before they opened. I visited Darkness Brewing on their opening day, and I gave you the scoop on what to expect from our friends at Woodburn and FigLeaf who both opened on the same weekend! These were all pieces in the step in the right direction, but in the back of my mind I wanted to achieve more.

So what now?

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Simply put I’m going to yank the tablecloth off once again and see what I can do to reach my goals in 2017. I’m putting my foot down. No more blog posts about general news in the Cincinnati brewing world, no more event announcements, no more simple stuff…it’s time to get my hands dirty and dive into the world that is Cincinnati craft beer. “But don’t you want to support the community” you might ask? Of course I do and I will. I will always be tweeting out news, talking about events, posting stuff on Facebook and of course steering you towards people who are already doing a killer job with reporting the latest breaking news about breweries, beer releases and events around the city like my friend The Gnarly Gnome. The Gnome runs circles around me when it comes to that kind of stuff which is understandable since he’s been doing this for a lot longer! He has also taken the Cincy Brewcast under his belt as well which is honestly one of the best things to listen to if you are a fan of Cincinnati beer.

What I will now be focusing on is what I set out to do earlier this year. Telling stories. I want to get down to the nitty-gritty of the Cincinnati craft beer and brewing world. I want you to meet the people behind the breweries, the people behind the bars, and the people at the bottle and growler shops. I want to help build and preserve the history of brewing here in Cincinnati and I want you all to join me in this journey. I’m not going to lie, this is a big undertaking, but I am so ready to take Raging Hop to the next level.

What to expect in 2017?

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Because of the scope of the pieces I want to produce the going will be slow as I find my groove. I intend to put a lot of time and effort into researching what I want to cover as well as talking to the people involved. I don’t intend to show up, talk to some people and go home to write a story. These will be long term pieces that will be full of interesting, educational, historical, information accompanied by tons of photos and hopefully a little bit of video as well! I will still be talking about new breweries, doing the Road Rage series as I travel around and some beer talk stuff too.

I am working out the details of some of my first pieces, but if you have any ideas on what you would like to see me cover or people you think I should talk to please let me know! Drop me a message over on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you have on your mind!

For now I wish you all a happy holiday season and a happy new year! Let’s take this journey together!

Cheers all!