Sommbeer: 1 Year In


I came to Sommbeer in August of 2014 after responding to a post on Twitter that was simply stating that this site was looking  for contributors to write about beer.  I have to admit that when I first saw the opportunity to write on Sommbeer I was a little apprehensive, not due to anything related to the site itself but I had just walked away from a site that I was writing different content for and I wasn’t sure I was willing to take the time necessary to write quality content consistently again. I remember chatting with David about this and we agreed that no stress was a way to go when writing about beer and before I knew it I was putting posts together regularly on the site. I absolutely love putting the spotlight on smaller brew pubs like Cj’s Brewing or River’s Edge, hometown pubs that in my opinion embrace the term craft beer in it’s purest form. Writing pieces on big name beers like Hopslam, Oberon, or KBS are rewarding as well because they always inspire conversation. Possibly the most rewarding experience was the afternoon I got to spending with Matt of Brewery Becker and hearing detailed ins and outs of of the passion it takes to really run a brewery. And I love reading all the posts from our contributors, the line “captain of the SS breakfast” still makes me laugh out loud every time I see that post.


What’s really neat about writing for Sommbeer to me is that’s it has unintentionally changed my outlook on a few things, primarily how I enjoy a beer or even going out to a bar. I used to be a guy that would crack a beer, deem it “good” or “bad” and then proceed to whatever I was going to do.  That’s all fine and good but now when I open a beer it’s with a more inquisitive set of skills. I admire the beer both in color and consistency before taking a sip. I notice little things like subtle differences in aromatic scents and hidden notes of flavor on the front end and back of a good brew.  Whenever I go out to a bar or brewery I do a lot more people watching, hopefully in a non creepy way, simply observing little things that might warrant a discussion. Even venturing into my local bottle shop has changed as the gents behind the counter are always asking about what’s new, what’s coming out soon, what beers are generating buzz things along those lines.


This leads to another aspect of Sommbeer that I really enjoy, the beer loving community that has pulled together around this site, other beer sites, and of course an overall loved of beer. This community has grown my social network both online and offline.  I’ve made friends within the industry that have been willing to share their experiences in the industry with me, and made other friends who’s experiences influence my writing quite a bit. Thanks to Sommbeer I’ve ventured into the hobby of cellaring beer and thus created a new phobia for myself to battle. Then of course there’s the much expanded social media experience. I still don’t get Facebook, I keep it around mainly for family and a few friends but I’m lost by it. The Twitter world, however, has truly expanded for me since starting to write with Sommbeer though. The community that has been built of craft brew lovers is expansive and endlessly open to great conversation. Through Sommbeer I’ve made friends with other bloggers, industry professionals, and just solidly amazing people. Weather we’re talking brew or simply exchanging Ron Swanson memes for the better part of the day it’s much more enjoyable than what social media entailed in the before time, the long long ago.

A few months back David bumped my status up on the site and gave me the privilege of becoming Sommbeer’s  senior editor. To put it bluntly I was honored and excited for the opportunity. I truly enjoy working on this site, it started as a therapeutic outlet for creativity and has continued to grow. Even now there’s times when my mind is blown by how far this site has come over the relatively short time frame of a year. I expect that Sommbeer will continue to grow as a site and to be honest I’m not sure where that ride will take us over the next year, wherever it goes though I’m looking forward to it. The world of craft beer is defined by the culture of its consumers, luckily Sommbeer embraces that culture and I look forward to continuing discussing these topics as Sommbeer goes into its second year.

John Fahrner
Twitter: @fahrn13

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Senior Editor at
Fan of Hockey, Football, and Mexican Food. Preferes beers in the style of Stout, Porter, IPA, and Red Ales.
Not a fan of Pumpkin beer or Sours