Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and posts that don’t just focus on one beer here at The Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…
This post has been brewing for a few months, probably at least as far back as May 2022, when The Tap Takeover celebrated its Fifth Anniversary. I’m referring to The Tap Takeover going on an indefinite hiatus. I don’t know how long that hiatus will be because life gets in the way of the plans we make for ourselves.
When I started the Tap Takeover back in 2017, I wasn’t sure what the long term goal was, other than a hobby with a professional mindset, if that makes sense. I started it with the thought that since I wrote about the books I enjoyed for so many years (SFFWorld, Tor.com, SFSignal, as well as my personal blog) I figured I’d take a stab at writing about the beers I enjoy. On the one hand, writing this blog turned into an educational exercise as I learned more about beer in general, more about why I like certain beers and not others. On the other hand I met a lot of really cool people and feel as if I’ve become more connected in the independent beer scene, especially in New Jersey.
I’ve briefly considered monetizing the site somehow, but usually dismissed those thoughts very quickly. At times, I thought maybe I’d parlay this blog into some kind of paid writing assignments about beer, but that hasn’t quite formed despite some attempts.
I won’t say maintaining the blog has become a chore, but there is time and effort that goes into writing, formatting, and generating the content. I’ve maintained a pretty consistent schedule, I haven’t missed publishing at least one post per week (226 reviews and 178 Draught Diversions) since launching in 2017, and often two posts per week. I’ve been reading blogs for long enough to know for my own personal enjoyment, if there’s not consistent, timely content, then I stop giving attention to that blog/outlet.
I’ll admit that I put pressure on myself with this blog. I’m the owner, lead editor, whatever you call it and I’m not affiliated with any other media outlet or brewery. Building out those monthly six packs of new beers every month, sure it was fun consuming those beers, but it wasn’t always easy to come up with six “new to me beers” beers or new beers for the Summer / Oktoberfest / Christmas seasonally themed six packs. I found myself going out of my way to find something new I hadn’t ever drank just to ensure I was able to have a review or fill a monthly six pack and that the content I was posting was new to this blog. I’d pass up a 4-pack or 6-pack beer I enjoyed in the past in favor of a new beer when determining what to buy in order to have content for this blog based on my personal budget. Again, that’s pressure only from myself to keep to the standards I set early on with this blog. This post is by no means a plea for sympathy, just a rationalization of the state of things.
Have my priorities changed since launching the Triple T? A little bit, sure. I’ve moved up in my career, have been focusing once again (although not as diligently) on fictional writing as well as renewed attention to the book reviewing I’ve been doing for the better part of the last 20 years. If I’m writing a piece for the Tap Takeover, then that’s time I’m not doing something else like attempting to spin my own stories.
Also, unlike the book reviews I write where the majority of the books I review are provided to me by publishers, 95% of the beers I’ve reviewed or featured were beers I purchased. The other 5% were gifts or beer exchanges. Sure, I’d be buying and drinking beer regardless, but like I said previously, I’d go out of my way to get something new to me rather than grabbing an old favorite to buy. That’s good in many ways because trying new things is fun, right? I’m just adding another layer to what goes into publishing a beer blog that maintains a weekly schedule of new content.
Plus, sometimes and more often lately, I just want to drink a beer, enjoy it, and not overanalyze what’s in the can or my glass and write a review about it. There’s only so much one can say about one stout vs. another and I’ve felt myself getting repetitive in my reviews more frequently so I just need a break from this little monster I’ve created. I also sometimes feel like I’m shouting into a vacuum with this blog.
I’ve enjoyed keeping this active for the last 5 and a half years, I really have. I’ll still be filling my fridge with beer, visiting breweries, spending time thinking about beer, but more relaxed and less formally, if you will.
In the end, I’m not sure what’s next for The Tap Takeover. When or if I’ll return from hiatus, but maybe I’ll run into some of you at a brewery or some other beer event in the future.
I’ll still be checking into untappd (RobHB), posting on Instagram (robhbed) (usually one’s beer per week as well as some bookish posts), taking part in the dumpster fire that is currently twitter as RobHBedford, as well as facebook. Connect with me there if you haven’t already and say hi.
I’ll close this post by saying thank you to everybody who has been reading my barely coherent ramblings about beer for the past five and half years and chatting up with me online or in meatspace.
Cheers and enjoy your beer responsibly!