They say a lot can happen in a year.
Boy, they weren’t kidding.
The idea of starting a beer blog first crossed our minds early fall of 2017. We had just gotten married a couple months before, were still living in NE Minneapolis and were enjoying the local craft beer scene together. Like so many others, we were taking photos of the beers we drank and posting them to social media; occasionally, Adam — a photographer — would bring his camera along and photograph the taproom. One day Katie voiced, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a place where we could keep all of our photos and stories?” Nothing more came out of it at the time, but a few months later we moved to the NorthWest suburbs. The move required Katie to leave the job, and — in-between hours spent looking and applying for a new one — found herself thinking about the whole beer blog again. Mental gears started turning, and we came up with our beer blog name, logo and mission! That was one year ago — November 2017.
We never could have imagined where that beer adventure blog would lead us or what sort of opportunities the next year would have in store for us! Of course, you’re welcome to read through all our previous blog posts for yourself, but here’s a quick recap of some of the highlights of our first year ale adventuring and beer blogging:
Our First Ale Adventure
The first brewery we visited as an “official” beer blog was Spilled Grain Brewing in Annandale, MN. We still remember that visit — it was a quiet, chilly Thursday night. The taproom was nearly empty save for one other couple — a rather apathetic man and the very drunk woman with him. We did get to spend some time chatting with the woman behind the bar — the social media manager Anastacia — learning more about Spilled Grain and taking photos for our blog. It was a simple visit, but one we’ll remember as the beginning of it all.
Cider Fest ’18
Our first craft festival — funny enough — was the MN Craft Cider Festival in St. Paul. We sampled ciders from over 40 local, national and international cideries at Como Park Pavilion and got our first taste of “VIP” status with early access! We also learned the importance of pacing yourself!
As we explored the local craft beer community online, we began discovering other Minnesota-based bloggers, social media influencers and craft beer enthusiasts like ourselves. Eager to meet them in person, we hosted a couple Instameets during the summer. They weren’t exactly smashing successes, but we did meet some other great members of Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s craft beer community.
One of the biggest highlights of the year — and perhaps our most exciting ale adventure yet — was our summer trip to Europe. Over 11 days in early August, we explored the craft beer scenes in Iceland, Ireland, London and Paris, drinking great craft beer and making new friends we still stay in touch with.
Our First Instagram Takeover
Mid-September, 56 Brewing in Northeast Minneapolis hosted their annual Harvest Fest complete with petting zoo, vendors, live music and new beer releases. We were thrilled when they invited us to takeover their Instagram account for the day!
Dells on Tap
Shortly after getting back from our Europe trip, the Wisconsin Dells sent us a DM to invite us out to their upcoming annual craft beer festival Dells on Tap. Unbelievably, they even offered us a nearly all-expense paid trip! We had an absolute blast sampling fantastic beers from over 60 of Wisconsin and the Midwest’s best breweries!
Pryes Brewing’s Can Release Party
At the beginning of November, Pryes Brewing in Northeast Minneapolis celebrated the release of their Miraculum Midwest IPA and Royal Raspberry Sour in cans. As much as we enjoyed the free beer and great hospitality, we especially enjoyed meeting so many bloggers, social media influencers and other members of the local craft beer community that we’d only interacted with online (think one of our Instameets but successful!). Again, we made some wonderful new friends we’ve continued to stay in touch with and explore Minnesota’s craft beer scene together.
5K Instagram Followers
Mid-November — nearly one year to the date we kicked off this whole beer blog thing — we passed 5,000 followers on Instagram! While we recognize some degree of superficiality to social media and know full well that numbers aren’t everything, there’s still a sense of satisfaction and reward in hitting such a milestone number. Follows don’t come easily, and we’ve put in countless hours literally working at developing our social media strategy, growing our followers and increasing our engagement. Social media really could be — and for some is — a full-time job! Our one-year goal was to hit 5K Instagram followers, and we’re proud to say that we did it! The perks and opportunities that have come along the way have kept us motivated when it seemed tough.
Our first full year of ale adventures has been one filled with wonderful people, unexpected and incredible opportunities and some of the best dang craft beer out there. We’ve worked hard, but we don’t take anything for granted. We’re humbled and honored. We’re having fun. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us.
Adam & Katie,