Nearly 35 years ago this magazine began its journey chronicling the activity of the beer community. It began with a focus on imports, the first wave, then added the second wave, the brewing renaissance that encompassed the burgeoning craft movement, domestic and international.
Now, in addition to those two powerful influences on beer culture, All About Beer Magazine covers the explosion in breweries’ styles, techniques and ways to market—in short, the passion behind better beer.
Our mission—delivering information—is the same, but the way we fulfill it changes. You, our readers, wanted the best insights into this dynamic world. In the beginning, that might have included sorting out all the new labels and names on the shelves, profiling marketing campaigns or examining the origin of styles. Next came brewery portraits, style examinations, beer reviews and history pieces.
Now we fulfill the mission by reporting on the full scope of this radically transformed world of beer. The team at All About Beer Magazine has become adept at everything from new brewing techniques, ingredients and even novel microorganisms, to following the emergence of new creative styles, anticipating the new industry stars and exploring the corners of the globe where passion for better beer is just catching on.
One aspect of this change has not been discussed. Beer journalism! When I started writing for All About Beer Magazine in the early 1980s, there were few who could both do the research and tell a compelling story. Narratives were thin, with an emphasis on enthusiasm over content. We had yet to see the arrival of the future giants in beer writing, like Michael Jackson. Information was scarce. The vocabulary of beer had yet to be defined. Beer archives were relatively untouched.
However, we are entering the golden age of beer writing. As the world of beer experiences its third wave—with all its diversity, complexity and scale—writers are responding with a level of journalism not seen before. Archives are giving up their secrets. Writers are honing their skills, both in technique and in beer sophistication. And great stories wait to be uncovered, wherever beer is appreciated.
As All About Beer Magazine prepares to lead this latest stage, Julie and I are handing the reins to the next generation. The new owner of the magazine, Chris Rice, and his group are the perfect team to take All About Beer Magazine into the third wave. They are young, well versed on beer and seriously passionate about telling its story. They are what the third wave is all about. You are going to be impressed with this crew and their work.
As publisher of this magazine, it has been my great privilege to see this world transform to what it is today, and to interact with you, our readers, our writers, the brewers and everyone who comprises this industry. It is a profoundly different world than the one I joined in 1981. As I take a back seat, I am thrilled at what the new ownership will accomplish. Sit back, grab a pint of your favorite beer and enjoy what we are bringing to you in this issue. It took 35 years to get here, and All About Beer Magazine is just getting started.
This column appears in the January 2015 issue of All About Beer Magazine. Click here for a free trial of our next issue.