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Last Update:
11/16/99

 

BrewingTechniques
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Dear Friends:

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: http://brewingtechniques.com/hpc). 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 September.

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 businesspeople.

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.

Cheers,

Stephen A. Mallery

Publisher


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