It’s Tuesday evening and a ceremonial Beer O’Clock episode approaches; scores of Tweeps are poised to launch their serendipitous social media beer porn with the hashtag, “TopBrewsTues”, a weekly crowd-sourced way of uniting craft beer fans across the world in a very “look at me” sort of way that is garnering enough attention to land on a page of one of the Top 10 Beer Blogs worldwide.
And it works. The Brew Studs beer blog, found under the unifying URL WeAreBrewStuds.com, is celebrating its first year of activity in the craft beer scene, having recently found itself in the upper echelon of international beer blogs based on web traffic reported by the site scottjanish.com. At the time of reporting Brew Studs is listed at Number 8, having received some three hundred and ten thousand page views in just one year. In fact, through the first four months of 2016, Brew Studs has seen traffic to the tune of almost thirty-six thousand users, on average per month.
Brew Studs founder Jeremy Fultz doesn’t attribute the site’s success to luck. Fultz’ social media activity has helped propel the entirely volunteer-contributed blog to rapid international status along with the brand’s simple message, being “dedicated to good damn beer, those who craft it and those who drink it.”
With a name like Brew Studs, one might assume its audience would be exclusively male. To the contrary, the following the brand has on Twitter is made up of about 45 percent women. In addition, the blog has seven regular women contributors.
The Brew Studs founder explained, “Don’t get it twisted; Brew Studs isn’t intended to take on the denotative meaning. It’s playful,” he said. He likens the term to symbolize the top players in a sport, like a one might call an athlete a stud on the field. Brew Studs appeals to a whole new audience in craft beer, one that rejoices in all things craft and independent and shuns beer manufacturing giants like Anheuser-Busch InBev, who are considered “big bully brands” by craft enthusiasts.
Fultz said he wants Brew Studs to be a site that upholds the ideals of independent craft beer, almost directly in line with with the standards laid out by The Brewers Association, a craft beer trade group.
“The blog is devoted to protecting (and defending craft beer), even with its flaws,” he adds. “I believe the industry and the community come together to form something that fosters a culture of appreciation for the common person’s ability to meet the needs of consumers, on a level that suits in corporate boardrooms can’t comprehend. Craft beer is personal, and what is happening in the culture exemplifies what many of us see as the American dream.”
That sentiment, that Fultz says he shares with the rest of the craft beer community, has lead him and other writers for the Brew Studs blog to sometimes go on the offensive. One of the posts that helped spur the popularity of the blog was written by Fultz in response to a series of Budweiser television ads, in which Fultz says the Big Beer brand attacked the craft culture.
“We don’t want to be dicks,” Fultz defended. “But who feels bad for Anheuser-Busch?” He said the big giants in the industry like AB are “actively attacking the craft beer industry.”
Fultz says this happens in three ways: 1) attacking craft beer brands and insulting craft beer drinkers in their ads; 2) lobbying government at local, state and federal levels to encourage lawmakers to make laws favoring larger brands with extensive distribution networks and (ironically) 3) their aggressive M&A is gobbling up craft brands with little transparency of their intentions.
“Your average beer drinker doesn’t have to know a ton about the industry to get a feeling that ABI is akin to a dinosaur.” He adds about the Brew Studs brand, “We’re not absolutist, though. There are varying degrees of macro bullies out there.”
Ideally, protecting craft beer will be assisted with the promotion of the culture and educating consumers about it. Additionally, people need something to return to each week. Luckily for Fultz, he scored big when he came up with #TopBrewsTues. The hashtag predates the blog, and it has been so successful, he says it would probably continue even if he didn’t retweet the posts on the Brew Studs twitter page. “Owning a day of the week for beer is pretty cool,” he said about the live tweet events.
In addition to #TopBrewsTues, Brew Studs plans to introduce exclusive multimedia content including the budding “Building Breweries Podcast” as well as continuing to promote all things craft beer (check out their new Barrel Aged Apparel store for cool craft beer tees and swag). Fultz assures Brew Studs is an open forum and anyone is welcome to contribute “as long as it’s not anti-craft beer.”