Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:49 pm

I have noticed that brewing forums seem to be dead pretty much everywhere. Five or six years ago the TBN forum was so active I couldn't keep up with it, and my own local brew club's forum had 25 or 30 daily posters. At some point the traffic dwindled, and then was almost zero. So I would like to hear your thoughts on why this might have happened

My local situation is as follows:

1. My club's past president unwisely took our traffic to Facebook, and that was a terrible decision IMHO. Facebook is great for cute pictures and cat videos, but a poor tool to request and share brewing experience, recipes and techniques.

2. When my club was formed Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Rogue Dead Guy and Anchor Steam were the only thing you could call craft beer in this burg. The club was formed by science based people with a thirst for good beer, but today that situation no longer obtains. We have three local breweries, and all kinds of stuff from out of town here now: Ballast Point and Bells were released in the last 60 days, and I understand that we're going to get Founders soon (but Stone remains on wish list)).

Did Facebook or the proliferation or Craft beer do the forums in, or is it something else?

Charlie
"Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!"
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:36 am

I think it was several factors:

1) Facebook swallowed up a lot of the active posters here, including the Brewcasters.
2) The AHA forum gained prominence. Lots of folks who didn't like all the fart jokes and such left here and went there. It is a lot more "civilized" over there.
3) The proliferation of craft beer, just like you said. Folks don't need to homebrew because a trip down the beer aisle in the grocery store gets you to some really good beer. That didn't exist a few years ago.
4) Guys turned pro. Lots of frequent posters here turned pro and don't post any more. They hang out with other pros, not us lowly amateurs any more, or they are simply too busy at work to post.
5) Burnout. I don't brew anywhere near the volume I used to brew. The same goes for a lot of people for a lot of reasons.
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:48 pm

I agree with all of what BDawg said.

Facebook and Twitter. Everyone was encouraged to check things out over on those, so they did. It is a heck of a lot easier to tell someone to "look us up on Facebook or Twitter" than it is to tell them how to get here.

Heck, I'm a quinquagenarian now, and can't brew, drink, or see like I used to. BDawg's recent brewing disaster and his response to it rang true to me as well. His wife rescued him, mine would not. I'm more likely to say "f it" and go inside now than I used to.

I loaned out all of my brewing gear to a young guy at work and he's having a blast. I enjoy answering questions and giving suggestions (whatever those are worth), so now I'm getting enjoyment from the hobby in a different way.

My brewing "shed" is now my listening room, since my ears still work and I can sit back in my easy chair and enjoy a pint. As BDawg points out, I can readily buy most any beer I want. My drinking quantity has seriously declined, so there's that health note too.

Though officially retired from being Director of IT at The BN (11 years), I'm still involved and on call for maintenance and emergencies. I'm still 24/7 too, but Justin is very kind to me in that regard. Heck, in every regard. Anyone that lets a scruffy hippie sleep in his house is pretty cool in my book.
code
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:32 pm

I noticed things were trailing off years ago. Reasons: Cell phones, texting/messaging, Facebook. It's the friggin' downfall of all humankind, not just with respect to homebrewing, but everything.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:38 pm

codewritinfool wrote:Heck, I'm a quinquagenarian now, and can't brew, drink, or see like I used to.


What????? OMG! You're fifty something????? (I had to look that up) Good grief, grandpa, go sit on the porch and rock!

Full disclosure: I'm a sexagenarian. (I had to look that up too. lol) I guess I have slowed down some, but I don't really notice. I'm retired retired now, and I've been kicking butt and chewing bubble gum when it comes to brewing and home projects. I have three brews on tap, a fourth in the fermentor that's ready to keg (but there's not room for it in the keggerator), and I'm raring to go on the next one (another iteration of my CDA).

My interest in brewing may be higher than it has ever been. I've been in the all-grain game for almost 10 years, and I have 211 all-grain batches under my belt (plus all the stuff I made for GRB and the club). I'm pretty satisfied with my equipment and technique, and this shit is starting to make sense!

Charlie
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:54 am

I used to visit this site all the time before I took a hiatus from brewing and it was booming! I am glad to be back on here. I was reading this thread cause it coughs my attention because I felt the same way. I agree that there is a ton of craft beer readily available out there which makes it very easy but as I get back into brewing I think it really helps me to divine tastes in of the shelf beers that I may not have noticed had I not been a homebrewer. So tasting all these great beers has actually inspired me to try new recipes mash temps hops hop additions. Anyhow just saying I love this forum read a ton of posts and look forward to continuing to brew get better and chat it up on this forum. Cheers!!
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:48 am

I found myself spending way too much time on here and was approaching burnout. I took a year off from the BN and came back to the volume being way down. I agree with many of the comments above about the reasons for the drop off.

The hobby has mushroomed to the extent that there are knowledgeable brewers everywhere for us to get advice. In addition, most of those new pro brewers are former homebrewers and try to stay connected to their roots. As such, the local small breweries are often quite willing to give advice and sometimes even invite homebrewers to help out with a brew. In the past year, I have done more collaboration brews with small commercial breweries than I have homebrews.
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Re: Brewing forums seem to be dead across the board. Why?

Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:20 pm

It is such a bummer to see threads like this. I have been brewing for almost 2 and a half years and am full guns a 'blazing still. Well, as much as I can with work and other life commitments. Listening through the archives, I wish I could have been around for the old days! I am definitely planning on hanging out long enough to see everything hopefully come back. Craft beer may just be getting larger, but hopefully that means more people will take an interest in brewing.
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