One year of Hop Culture.
One year of festivals, articles, and brewery visits. One year of hard work, new friends, and tasty beers.
Just over a year ago, I was finishing up an MFA in Pittsburgh, and Travis was in New York, working for Gear Patrol Magazine. I’d had the idea for what would become Hop Culture, but at the time the best name I could come up with was “Brew Sleuth” (ugh).
Then several things happened at once. My friend Leslie Phillipsie, listed on the Hop Culture masthead as “Muse,” suggested the name Hop Culture. Travis told me he was planning to leave Gear Patrol, and agreed to join the project as a founding partner. Someone from the University of Pittsburgh gave us a table at their intern fair.
For the first six months of our nascent magazine, we worked out of my studio apartment in Pittsburgh. I staggered our 5 interns so that two came in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and three came in on Wednesdays and Fridays. I made our first sales call from the front seat of my car, because my apartment only had one room and I didn’t want to distract the interns.
I’m proud of how far we’ve come, and thankful to everyone who helped us get off the ground. Chief among these are our first interns — Derek Offitzer, Robin Lis, Courtney Bruch, Sarah Filiault, Evan Malachosky, Caroline Southern, Brandon Wiggins, Grace Weitz, and Dave Weiland — as well as the entire Pittsburgh community, which has supported us from day one. Special thanks also to Andrew Witchey, Mike Dunlay, and the whole team at Dancing Gnome Beer, who collaborated with us on our first Juicy Brews Festival, and all the breweries that took a chance on us by coming: Aslin Beer Company, Ocelot Brewing Company, Magnify Brewing Company, Seventh Son Brewing, Triple Crossing Beer, Hoof Hearted Brewing, Grist House, SingleCut Beersmiths, and Voodoo Brewery. Thanks to Ben Pratt and Brandon Duff at As Is NYC, and Ben Butler and the entire team at Top Hat IMC. And thanks to you, our fans and readers, without whom we’d just be shouting into the void.
As a birthday present to ourselves and our readers, we redesigned the website with the help of Ben Butler’s team, who are the brains behind Hop Culture Studios. Everything on the site remains the same, but now it’s a bit sleeker, plus you’ve got this handy events calendar. (If you find any bugs, drop up a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Cheers to one fantastic year! We’re looking forward to many more.
Founder, Hop Culture