Our 7 Most Significant Beer and Whiskey Stories of 2011

It’s been a pretty amazing year in these parts.  We’ve shined a light on the unfair treatment of a teacher, exposed a “Big Beer” troll trying to pull a fast one, and we even managed to break a news story or two.

I’ve compiled a list of our top seven stories from the past year, based on an “Significance Score.” To generate the score, I multiplied the number of page views by the number of comments (the life blood of our site) that each post received.  It’s not exactly scientific, but it’s a good way to measure the interest and engagement a post generated.

So without further ado, let’s take a quick look back on the top stories of 2011: 

Teacher Fired Over Beer Photo

Page Views: 11,714 Comments: 135 Significance Score: 1,581,390

This post about a teacher who was fired over a Facebook photo showing her holding a beer while on vacation took on a life of its own, traveling across the Internet fueled by sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon.  But page views don’t tell the whole story – this post got lots of people interested enough to share their thoughts, generating the top Significance Score of the year.

Posted 2/08/2011

Discovery’s Brew Masters Cancelled  

Page Views: 13,942 Comments: 106 Significance Score: 1,477,852

This was big news (to us) and we had it first, based on connections inside the TV industry that told us the plug had been pulled on Brewmasters.  Many people came out and called us morons (including Mariah Calagione and a nice fella in Atlanta), but in the end it turned out we were right.  The sixth and final episode of Brewmasters still hasn’t aired in America.x

Posted 1/06/2011

Was Brewmasters Killed by “Big Beer”?  

Page Views: 10,934 Comments: 105 Significance Score: 1,148,070

And WHY was Brewmasters cancelled? Well a little birdie tweeted in our ear that we should check out one of Anthony Bourdain’s…uh…tweets, and so we did. Bourdain, who shares the same TV production company with Brewmasters and would be in a position to know, claimed that “Big Beer” threatened to pull its ads off of Discovery’s network of channels if Brewmasters wasn’t axed.  Once we blew the whistle, sites like BeerNews.org took the ball and ran.x

Posted 3/30/2011

Beyond Beer: 5 Things I’m NOT a Snob About 

Page Views: 3,838 Comments: 169 Significance Score: 648,622

This post blew up for non-beer-and-whiskey-related reasons. In this case, we got “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress, appearing on the WordPress.com home page. It is frequented by many bloggers, and the idea of what a person is or isn’t a snob about apparently captured their attention. Bloggers love to share their opinions, so it was no surprise that this was our most-commented on story of 2011.  Not bad for one posted on Friday the 13th!x

Posted 7/13/2011

Costco Making Bourbon? Well Sort Of…  

Page Views: 7,550 Comments: 63 Significance Score: 475,650

This post enjoyed a long, slow burn (like a nice whiskey) that’s lasted all year long. We’ve seen a lot of search engine traffic to this post from folks interested in learning about this cheap-o Bourbon, and those wanting to defend it’s virtues from Don.  It’s rare to see a whiskey post pull as well as this one has, and we’re glad it did – otherwise there wouldn’t be a whiskey post in our Top 7!x

Posted 3/29/2011

Comment Fight: How NOT to Defend Your Beer PR Stunt 

Page Views: 4,633 Comments: 99 Significance Score: 458,667

This was a lot of fun.  We did a post about how a can of Natural Light was sent into space, a process that was documented in a supposedly “amateur” video.  We called BS on the amateur part, saying it was obviously paid for by Natural Light.  We started getting flak for this in the Comments, from a fella going by the name “Geez.”  After a few rounds of back and forth, we figured out Geez wasn’t the casual Natty Light fan he claimed to be, he was actually a Creative Director who worked on the Natural Light account! This post captured the process of how he was busted. It’s less than a month old, but still made the Top 7 – I guess us beer geeks love it when Big Beer gets kicked in the nads.x

Posted 11/30/2011

Guess How Much a Brew Master Makes?  

Page Views: 6,944 Comments: 45 Significance Score: 312,480

We came across a job description for a “beer brewer” from the Brewers Association that detailed what it takes to be a professional brewer.  The part that jumped out at us wasn’t the tasks required to be a Brew Master, it was the fairly meager pay! We wrote a post about it that turned out to answer a question that a lot of folks had been typing into search engines.  Perhaps a lot of folks are thinking about opening a brewery of their own…x

Posted  2/24/2011

So there you have it, our most significant stories of the year.  All and all, 2011 has been a corker and a real blast for Don and I.

Thanks to all of you who have stopped by, subscribed, commented, shared our links, told your friends about the site and generally make this place go.  Here’s to a healthy, happy and hoppy (I couldn’t resist) 2012!  We can’t wait to see what next year brings.




Tags: , ,

Categories: anthony bourdain, Beer, big beer, brew masters, Official Business, sam calagione, Whiskey


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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9 Comments on “Our 7 Most Significant Beer and Whiskey Stories of 2011”

  1. December 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    “Significance score”? That’s getting awfully fancy. I’m impressed. I felt like I’d been magically transported to Baseball Reference’s WAR section for a sec there.

    I wonder what ever happened to that poor girl who got fired.

    • December 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Yeah, didn’t want to get too fancy, but a post that receives a bunch of hits and no comments doesn’t mean much in these parts, and a post with few hits and a bunch of comments probably means Don and I were having fun sniping at each other. I wanted to create a way to qualify both and this was the quickest and easiest solution I could come up with. Apparently it was the most pretentious name as well. 🙂

  2. Mathew
    December 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Not a single bear in that list. hmmmmm

    • December 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Apparently they lack universal appeal, regardless of how sexy Don is. 🙂

  3. December 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Great list. I’m surprised the Goose Island sale didn’t make the list. Apparently, it didn’t have enough significance.

    • December 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      There’s math involved, Norm! These aren’t our choice as to what are the biggest stories of the year, it’s by the numbers. The Goose Island piece had 71 comments, but only 694 views, giving it a score of 49,274. A big story in the beer world for sure, but one that didn’t set this here blog on fire…

  4. December 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Nice Tally. As the father of 2 teachers, and f-in-law of another, the one about the teacher is what initially got me interested in your Blog.

    Keep on truckin’!

    • December 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Thanks, Wayne. And have a great Christmas!

  5. December 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Nice job Bros! Looking forward to seeing how 2012 takes shape. Merry Christmas!


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