It is with reluctance and great sadness that I announce the decision
to cease publication of BrewingTechniques. This is a decision that has
come with great difficulty, but in the end is the only reasonable decision
available for our business.
Much ink has been spilled over the past two years concerning the downturn
in the brewing market. In my editorials and through other channels I
have always staunchly advocated a creative vision of success and prosperity.
I still believe in that vision for the specialty brewing industry. The
reality for our organization, however, has become financially unsustainable.
In the past year we have battled dwindling readership numbers, a reluctant
advertising climate, increasing bad debt from advertisers unable to
pay for ads printed, and internal management challenges. We have no
more room to endure negative cash flow, and no immediate means of subsidizing
or capitalizing our effort. An era has ended.
What does the future hold for BrewingTechniques? I would like to believe
it continues to have a role in the brewing market and am talking to
other publishers who may be able to take over BrewingTechniques, the
Brewers' Market Guide, the Homebrew Supplies Wholesale Directory, and
our website. If any of you are interested in buying or investing in
what we have developed -- single publications, the portfolio of publications,
or the organization -- talk to me. I still see great potential in this
market for the individual or group who can garner the right material
and organizational support. And I have lots of ideas that have never
made it into the public domain -- I have been unable to implement these
ideas only because of lack of positive cash flow or capital support.
The Homebrew Publicity Campaign (HPC) is unaffected by the closure of
BrewingTechniques (for information about the HPC, consult our web page:
The Homebrew Publicity Campaign Corporation exists as a separate, nonprofit
entity, with funds in a separate, secure bank account. Filming of the
ad was completed Thursday, August 12, and will be in editing Friday,
August 27. Then comes sound editing and final production of the master
tape. The retailer tapes will be available for distribution in early
For now, I am operating on the assumption that the magazine is ceasing,
period -- if only to bring closure and resolution to the anxiety I have
heard from readers and industry players. It is my intention to settle
the company's affairs honorably.
The staff at BrewingTechniques has worked hard to keep the magazine
going, and I commend their steadfast dedication to the effort. It has
been an honor to work with such shining examples of commitment, such
intrinsically dedicated people. Particular mention belongs to managing
editor Deb Jolda, whose four years with the magazine have demonstrated
unending determination to keep BrewingTechniques the best brewing magazine
possible. Her core belief in the value of the endeavor was evident to
everyone who knew and worked with her. It would not have been possible
without her. And no less appreciation goes to the rest of the staff
-- Gail, Kristina, Heather, Paula, and Carrie -- who worked hard and
with great faith and dedication under trying circumstances. It is not
for lack of effort or quality of work that BrewingTechniques was unable
to sustain publication.
A magazine -- particularly an editorially driven magazine like BrewingTechniques
-- is nothing without its writers.
With my roots in editorial, I am particularly fond of every one of you
who have contributed your expertise and prose over the years. I know
the huge commitment of effort involved in writing a high-quality technical
magazine article, and I have always been amazed at the dedication and
energy BT's writer's have shown, eagerly contributing despite little
or no compensation. If BrewingTechniques has been a labor of love, its
writers are the hardest working lovers in the field. Every brewer owes
them thanks for their help over the years.
I wish to express my appreciation to the advertisers who supported the
magazine over the years. Advertising is a business decision, based on
belief in the value of the magazine's readership, and I am grateful
to have been able to serve the industry's suppliers in this way. Many
of these advertisers have supported the magazine -- and the industry
in general -- through sponsorships and material support for projects
or events that may not have had direct or measurable pay-off for them,
but that have had a positive impact on the industry. It has been a pleasure
to be a part of this process and to have worked with so many far-sighted
Finally, I reserve my greatest thanks for last. To Tesa Brainard, who
single-handedly kept the company together and running efficiently during
her fours years as circulation manager and associate publisher, whose
light and smile over the phone made friends of all our readers, and
whose untiring dedication made the office hum -- my greatest and most
heart-felt thanks. I bless you and your family for your essential contribution
in making BrewingTechniques the great magazine it was and for your ongoing
support over the years. I and the many people you touched thank you.
I am proud to have been able to serve this great community of bright,
creative people we call brewers. I take some measure of reassurance
from the saying that all good things come to an end. I look back on
our history -- the firsts that we contributed to the brewing publications
market, the awards and honors we have received, and most important the
people we have come to know and the many brewers we have been able to
serve. Despite the financial loss, I feel great satisfaction from the
magazine's very human successes.
Brewing is an ancient and noble art, with roots that run long and deep.
In various editorials I referred to the archaeological and anthropological
evidence that suggests that brewing -- rather than bread baking -- was
in fact the origin of agriculture and therefore of civilization itself.
It is humbling to think of ourselves through the telescope of that kind
of continuity, but at the same time we are the vanguard that sustains
the art for future generations. Because of you -- because of us -- brewing
will continue, and will thrive in its season. As I take my leave I bow
in honor of all the brewers on whose shoulders I have been able to stand
and to all the brewers with whom I have had the privilege of working.
If you have read
this far, I give you my thanks and release you from having to read anything
from me again! I wish you well in all your future brewing endeavors.
Stephen A. Mallery