Wednesday 12 October 2011

Cheers to three years

Today Pencil&Spoon is three years old! Happy birthday blog!

To celebrate being three, and in the abridged style of High Fidelity, here are some top three lists:

Top three things I’ve done because of writing this blog that I wouldn’t have done if I didn’t write this blog
1.     Travelling to lots of different places – New York, San Francisco, Boulder, Rome, Prague, Belgium. I may have gone to these places but I saw a different side
2.      Brewing a beer with BrewDog
3.      Craft beer list with Byron Hamburgers

Top three moments thanks to blogging about beer
1.      Any time someone sees me in a pub, or sends me an email, and says they read the blog and enjoy it – it makes it all worthwhile
2.     Winning two awards from the British Guild of Beer Writers (I was asked the other day if I think it made a difference to me and it absolutely has – it gave me opportunities to write properly, to write for print, and it gave me the guts to keep on going)
3.      Seeing my writing in print for the first time (and seeing the cheque I got with it)

Top three beers I’ve drunk while writing this blog
1.      Racer 5 in many different places – The Rake, my house, the brewery, The Toad in the Hole in Santa Rosa
2.      Pilsner Urquell in the cellars under the brewery
3.      Pliny the Elder, Toronado, San Francisco – first beer of my first beer trip

Top three places (excluding pubs and breweries) I’ve drunk beer while writing this blog
1.   A beach on a little Greek island as the sun’s setting. Icy Mythos and a plate of little fried fish. Perfection.
2.  On a hotel rooftop in NYC, having climbed up the fire stairway. We opened a can of 21st Amendment and watched the skyline in the distance
3.      Citi Field. A cold lager, a hot dog and baseball

Top three breweries I’ve had a beer in
1.      Cantillon. Magical
2.      Pilsner Urquell. Incredible
3.      Russian River. Mind-blowing
Honorable mention: Oskar Blues. Awesome

Top three pubs or bars I’ve had a beer in
1.      Toronado, San Francisco
2.      Barcade, Brooklyn
3.      Bir + Fud, Rome
Honorable mention: Moeder Lambic, Brussels

Top three strangest – what am I doing here? – moments thanks to blogging about beer
1.      A beer bath in Czech Republic
2.     Climbing into my first mash tun. It was at the old Thornbridge Brewery. My fear of heights peaked as I ungracefully tried to climb into the tank while fighting a fierce battle with my fear of falling
3.   Elizabeth Street Brewery. A home-brewery in San Francisco, a party for the Superbowl, lots of food, lots of people, lots of home-brewed beers on tap and the biggest TV I’ve ever seen. Not a strange place, just a brilliant thing to find myself at – a unique experience

Top three blogs – page views
1.      CraftBeer Co

Top three favourite blogs I’ve posted
1.      ChodovarBeer Baths
3.      Whybeer matters

Here’s some random facts:

Blogs posted: 530 (this is blog 531)

Words written in three years: Over 250,000

Total number of comments on all posts: 5,061

Hours spent every day writing this blog or reading other blogs: 1-3

Arguments I’ve had with Lauren because I’ve been on twitter/reading or writing blogs/out drinking beer/reading a beer book when I should’ve been spending time with her: Approximately 638. Sorry Lauren.

Cheers for reading this. If you didn’t read it and add comments then it wouldn’t be what it is. Most days for three years I’ve got up at 5am to write this, I’ve spent my weekends chasing beers and going to new pubs, I’ve spent all my spare money travelling or buying bottles or books or another bookshelf because I’ve bought so many (or buying Lauren presents because I’ve just put in another order with myBrewerytap/Amazon/Expedia). I do it all because I love doing it. And because beer is brilliant.  

Cake pic from here.


  1. Hoorah! Happy Blogiversary, Mark!

  2. Happy Blogthday. And the blog doesn't look a day older:)

  3. Hurrah and Fabpow ! Happy Birthday and keep it up!

  4. Excellent! Congrats, Mark. Keep on writing and I'll keep having fun reading.

    (And I'll have a beer in your honor tonight.)

  5. Congrats and happy birthday!

  6. Congratulations! I'm going to drink some special beer to celebrate.

  7. happy birthday, hope i can keep my blog going as long !

  8. Wow, were you sixteen when you started writing this blog?

  9. Congrats, keep writing awesome posts!