This week there was an odd confluence in my pursuit of beer. I hit two 5000 milestones: total commercial beers sampled and total all time page views.
I knew I was going to hit beer 5000 some time this summer, but thought it would be in Belgium. Evidently, the Denver road trip was more productive than predicted. My beer notes started in 2000, so it took a bit over a decade with fifty plus festivals and over two hundred brewery visits. Because I didn't try to count down to the exact beer, I'm unsure which beer was the magic number; however, I think I was at Firehouse Brewing in Rapid City, SD. Unfortunately, it was one of the worst brewpub stops--ever. My guess is that beer 5000 was Chukkar Pale Ale, which also happened to receive my lowest rating: 1, undrinkable. Oh well--they can't all be world class brews.
On a bike tour in South Dakota with my nephew Ben a few years ago, we did a century ride (turned an 88 mi day into 100+ on our own) on the wrong day because the weather was too rough on the actual day of the official century ride. We asked if we could still have a century patch (and if it counted) and the volunteer responded "Your money, your rules" and handed us each a patch. I decided it counts and I've adopted this experience as a mantra to reduce some of my more overly uptight attitudes in life. So, in Brussels next week, I'm making whatever great beer I'm drinking number 5000.
For the page views, I'm surprised that 5000 came so quickly. I started in November and the page views have been steadily climbing except for a dip in February during speech season. Posting on a regular basis seems to contribute, but recently page views accumulate in spite of a low posting rate while on vacation. Approaching 200 posts, the amount of information on the blog is building and making it easier for people to find.
I'm still trying to transfer over three hundred beer reviews and a hundred plus onsite brewpub visits that I've written on BeerAdvocate over the years. In process but hope to post them this fall on a semi-regular basis in between this summer's visits. For the BA transfers, I'm back dating all of them to when they were originally written so that a reader can put the information into proper time context. As a result my blog will eventually appear to be far older than it is: my money, my rules, so I'm not going to worry about it. :).
Reflecting on the milestones, I've really enjoyed this journey into beer geekdom and glad to have readers to join the ride through what I hope is still the beginning. I'm having a great time and plan to continue to be an overenthusiastic drinker and writer for the foreseeable future.