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Greg Clow to close Canadian Beer News

Discuss beer or anything else that comes to mind in here.

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Cass
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Greg Clow to close Canadian Beer News

Post by Cass »

As suggested on another thread, and I agree this deserves its own thread. @GregClow is closing up Canadian Beer News after many years and thousands of posts about the beer scene in Canada.

https://www.canadianbeernews.com/2023/1 ... beer-news/

Greg reported for The Bar Towel way back in the day (it can still be found on the old blog at http://thebartowel.com) and then started his own site with a Canadian scope.

Many thanks and kudos for all the great work over the years. Hopefully he swings by here from time to time to chat with us again!
Around this time each year, I usually run a post here to wish everyone Happy Holidays and announce a hiatus from new articles until early January. But as you may have guessed from the headline above, this year’s announcement is a bit different.

After 15 years and more than 17,000 articles, I’ve decided that it’s time to bring Canadian Beer News to an end, meaning this year’s hiatus will be permanent.

On one hand, this wasn’t an easy decision. I still enjoy spreading the word about brewery openings, beer releases, festivals and events, and other developments in Canada’s beer and brewing industry.

But on the other hand, I’m also pretty damn tired of it. CBN has always been a solo operation and a side gig, which means that as the number of breweries in the country has grown from a few dozen to well over 1000, I’ve been devoting more and more of my time on evenings and weekends to make sure the site stays running and the news keeps flowing.

Another factor in this decision is that the next couple of years are expected to be rough ones for the industry. The trickle of brewery closures we’ve seen recently is likely to become a deluge, and honestly, the idea of having to report on so many closures, and the loss of so many people’s livelihoods, just isn’t appealing to me.

As I prepare to turn off the taps, I’d like to thank all of the breweries and their owners and employees for the updates and support (and yes, sometimes, free beer) that they have provided to me over the last decade and a half. I’ve never taken it for granted, and always appreciated it.

Thanks also to everyone who has visited this website, attended the beer dinners and other events I’ve hosted and presented over the years, and followed CBN’s social media accounts. There’s no point running a website like this if no-one is reading it, and for the thousands of people who have done so, I’m genuinely grateful.

While this is the end of new content on the CBN website, it’s certainly not the end of my personal support for my favourite breweries. I’ll still be visiting their taprooms, attending their events, and enjoying their beers at home. I’ll very likely post about them on Facebook and Instagram from time to time, or maybe even revive my long-dormant blog Beer Booze & Bites for an occasional review or report. But the extensive daily coverage is done.

And finally, at the risk of stating the obvious – PLEASE keep supporting your local breweries! They need it now more than ever.

Thanks again, and see y’all at the bar…

cheers,
Greg Clow

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Tapsucker
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Post by Tapsucker »

*Sniff* I feel like interesting people keep ghosting me.

Seriously, Greg's efforts were greatly appreciated.

I was thinking about this a bit in context of the numbers you recently posted regarding the return to this site. I have a half baked theory. For a while it seemed that other media outlets were paying more attention to the beer scene, possibly providing some competition in the attention sphere. More recently (say the last 6-12 months), I have noticed mainstream reporting on Canadian beer has become very superficial. It's as if everything is a banal press release.

On one hand, coverage floats all boats and not everybody is a hobbyist who cares, on the other, perhaps this helps explain some return to these forums. Quality over quantity. This is when we might be needing Greg's input the most.
Brands are for cattle.
Fans are cash cows.
The herd will consume until consumed.

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Tapsucker wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2023 7:24 pm I was thinking about this a bit in context of the numbers you recently posted regarding the return to this site. I have a half baked theory. For a while it seemed that other media outlets were paying more attention to the beer scene, possibly providing some competition in the attention sphere. More recently (say the last 6-12 months), I have noticed mainstream reporting on Canadian beer has become very superficial. It's as if everything is a banal press release.

On one hand, coverage floats all boats and not everybody is a hobbyist who cares, on the other, perhaps this helps explain some return to these forums. Quality over quantity. This is when we might be needing Greg's input the most.
Yeah, I think about the "beer media" scene often.

At the beginning The Bar Towel was a hardy band of dedicated beer lovers wanting more out of the beer scene in Ontario. It was almost like an underground movement akin to other cultural passions, and it effectively was reported as such in a feature article in the Toronto Star all those years ago.

And then the trends changed, and craft beer went into the spotlight. We had breweries opening and getting lots of attention, and 'traditional' media rode the wave - The Star, Now, Eye/The Grid, BlogTO, Torontoist, Metro, etc. And as social media became trendy like beer did, regular folks migrated away from The Bar Towel in the hopes of having their opinions accelerated through likes and shares.

Now the trend has come to a halt. Traditional media is either non-existent (Grid/Now/Torontoist/Metro gone), or have pivoted to other topics. Social media isn't nearly as satisfyingly performative as it's fragmenting and nowhere can agree where to go.

But what remains is the hardy band of dedicated beer lovers still here. A discussion forum may not be "cool" (which keeps some away) but it is functional, which keeps others here.

To this day people still ask me about the Bar Towel (as recently as Stout Night a week ago) and I tell them that we're still going and chatting, like we always have, and everyone is welcome to come back. And I'm very pleased that some have done so.

I do hope some of the industry folks choose to come back, as that was part of the magic of the forum in days gone by - a direct connection between breweries & fans. And as the industry goes through some rocky times the smart brewery types will realize that making connections with the community is worth their time, just as Mike from Craft Brand Co did recently with the West Coast IPA offer.

Anyway, that's all to say let's hope @GregClow finds the time to join us again as his opinions and contributions have always been valuable.

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Craig
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Post by Craig »

Back in the day we were all the extreme beer chasers, always looking for the strange new things. As the industry progressed, the people who still post here have more or less become beer traditionalists. We're not the ones out there hankering for the latest trendy or experimental beer any more, we're the ones looking for solid examples of traditional styles.

CBN closing is a little sad to me, but I think largely because of the reason above I'll admit I stopped checking it ages ago. My days of wanting to try every new brewery are long gone, I'm pretty much only interested in new operations in my general area these days.

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Craig wrote: Mon Dec 18, 2023 8:46 am extreme beer chasers
Can one be a "traditional beer chaser"? I think I've always been that :) It's just that 20 years ago a true IPA was extreme in Ontario!

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JerCraigs
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Post by JerCraigs »

I think chase is the operative word in many ways. It used to be such a rarity to find new and interesting beers that a "Bar X has Beer Y!" post on Bartowel would send us running. Now it's pretty much impossible to keep up with all the beer just from Ontario.

I love CBN and appreciate it - but I also skim past a lot of the non-Ontario posts just because I know i will probably never see the beers being discussed. (The flip side of that is I went to a bar in Victoria specifically because I saw a CBN post that came out while I was in town.)

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tupalev
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Post by tupalev »

Greg did admirable work with CBN - it stood out because it was professional and well written, while being presented without an agenda or angle. I hope Greg enjoys the well deserved break!

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shintriad
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Post by shintriad »

Sorry to see it go, but it was great while it lasted.

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Canadian Beer News acquired by the Canadian Brewing Awards.

Hope Greg made a buck or two off of all that work!


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El Pinguino
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Post by El Pinguino »

Ah, that's cool about the purchase. Still sad to see it go though.

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S. St. Jeb
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Post by S. St. Jeb »

I hope this site becomes active again soon. Aside from The Bar Towel, it was my main source of information to know what was going on in the industry.

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Post by BigBob »

Given the date perhaps I should be skeptical but then again: https://www.canadianbeernews.com/2024/0 ... ming-soon/

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Always odd to make announcements on Apr 1, but it was acquired by the CBA folks so I wouldn't be surprised they try to get things back up and running, in some form.

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