A short while ago, a colleague was commenting on the massive admiration he had for this blog, given all the successes it's helped to bring about during the past 12 months. He thought it would be good (and a sort of end of year treat for you all) if I did a quick post summing up some of Mediocre Beer Adventures' successes:
1. Invented a phrase
Back in my earliest posts, the 'stolen crawl' appeared. 12 months later it's a phrase which entered general circulation to such an extent that the OED is set to include it in it's next edition.
2. Organised a Twissup
Way back in Spring(?) MBA thought it was about time that the various Brum beer Twitter people sat down and looked each other in the eye. Hence the inaugural Twissup, which took in some prime pubs and cemented several friendships, borne out of a load of blokes saying 'you're me besht mate' over and over again.
3. Named a beer
To celebrate Ian Harrison's 10,000th review on Ratebeer, Steel City kindly offered to brew a beer in his honour. Stumped for a suitable name, who stepped into the breach? Yes, Mediocre Beer Adventures. The name? Olymp-Ian. Genius.
4. Became the voicepiece of Industry
In perhaps my most genuine-est piece of investigative journalism, I took a long hard look at the major players in the Birmingham beer scene. This went up a storm and allowed me to use stake my claim as 'a player' in my own right. Since that date I am able to walk into any pub in the city and people offer me free beer (in exchange for me giving them money). But seriously (great album btw) this blog post was a fascinating experience and allowed my readers to see the men and women who control their beer lives.
5. Did a 3-way collaborative blog post
Way back in April, I instigated a beautiful blog collaboration, which saw 3 bloggers review 3 beers, all of which were under 3%. All the beers were rubbish, but it was a brilliant idea. Thanks to Simon at CAMRGB and the much missed Richard at Porter Pages for taking part.
6. Carried out 2 x craft beer reconaissance missions
Selflessly I visited both Sheffield and London, to assess their beer scenes and report back to the eager drinkers of the West Midlands just exactly what they were/are still missing. Namely a Euston or Sheffield Tap, a Craft Beer Co and a Brewdog. By Wednesday 12th December, we'll be able to scratch one of those from our collective wish lists.
7. Predicted the future
Along with erstwhile blogging colleague David Aleman (of the OthertonAleman blog), I wrote what can now be seen as a prophetic post, outlining exactly what sort of characters were required to instigate a craft beer revolution in our city. As if by magic, I become a beer maven for a seething mass of drinkers, ready to smash down the doors of perception*, in search of acceptable beer choice.
8. Built an off-licence map
No one else saw the need for a map of Birmingham off licences. No one else had the foresight. I did. I dared to dream. Now, every time a fellow beer lunatic drives halfway across the city, to purchase a bottle of rubbish Ukrainian lager, from a East European food shop, they have me to thank for it. My number #1 ranked post (by page views).
9. Drove the craft beer revolution
Through constant harrassment of pub chains, landlords and brewers, good beer has seeped into Birmingham like a dyke from which a finger has been removed. I demanded that Brewdog come to Birmingham - now they are. I asked for other beer bars - some are on the way. I demanded UK craft beer choice in our established boozers - it is here. I don't want to become a victim of my own hyperbole, but as I sit here, fully clothed, it occurs to me that I may just be Birmingham's beer Messiah. Is this getting too much yet?
10. Invented novelty beer photography
A good idea was waiting
to be discovered. It was so simple, why had no one thought of it
before? All you need[ed] is beer, a camera and a selection of seemingly
random objects...... Behold, a new craze was born.
11. Dominated the local press
Oh, and I was featured in an article in the Birmingham Post, written by a top PR guru.
12. Galvanised, nay initiated a Birmingham Beer Scene
Through my Twissup effort I gathered together the disparate Brum beer strands on Twitter. I then charmed them at beer tastings and festivals, and, for my pains lent my credibility to beer and brewery launches.
Some thought I was spreading myself too thin, but I just couldn't stop
giving. And now the rewards are clear, as the children of my revolution
go out into the Birmingham heartlands, spreading my good words and
propelling the Brum craft beer scene into larger and bigger erm things.
13. Generated 18000 hits
Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot. Even discounting the number of people who feel obliged to log in, because they know me, that is still a lot of people who have dropped by. And I'm grateful. And no, although my Dad is mad keen on MBA, even he wouldn't be prepared to log in 18,000 times, just to pump my ego.**
So there you have it. What started out as a bit of fun for me, a place to flex my linguistic and punctuational muscles, has turned into a radical, some might say vital campaigning force, which has brought about real change on the Birmingham beer scene. 2013 is lift-off for craft beer in Brum: who knows what we, or rather I will be able to achieve this year. Let's have, errr, it.
Deluded? Moi? Non.
*a reference which makes no sense. Whatsoever.
**but I love him anyway