What the hell happened to Mike?

Posted on December 8, 2010 by

I’m sitting here looking back at the date of the last post on Mike’s Brew Review realizing that it has been since July 30 since the last time anyone has heard from me…It is only fair that I fill everyone in on what happened and what you can look forward to from Mike’s Brew Review in the near future.

Flash Back To July

Like a lot of Americans, I lost my job. It seems that companies decide to cut their marketing/advertising budgets first when a recession hits, which is stupid, but regardless, my job as a Media Artist was cut and I now unemployed. I went into panic mode and the next few months were spent trying to find work and doing odd jobs, freelance contracts and doing whatever I could do to make ends meet. At one point I was so busy with freelance work that I didn’t have any time to do much else. This whole thing was a blessing in disguise.

For anyone that doesn’t know me, my wife and I had wanted to move to Portland, OR for a few years now, but never saw the right opportunity to pick up and move across the country. Well, losing my job and having the opportunity to work a good amount of freelance work gave us the capital needed to make the move. As of October 15th, we were Portland citizens.

So I apologize for falling off the Earth. If you follow on twitter or Facebook you probably knew what was going on. Losing my job, trying to find work, moving across the country and continuing to look for work has kept me pretty busy. Aside from that, I have been thinking about Mike’s Brew Review, and its direction and decided to make some changes.

No Excuses

I’d like to be straight up here. When I originally started MBR it was to learn, talk and teach beer/homebrewing. However, I became brain washed with this idea that I could earn a full time living blogging about beer. Needless to say I quickly sold out. My focus went from teaching and talking, to trying to make money, which in fact, is no fun and a huge mistake. That is why you see countless boring, stupid ads on MBR right now. I got lost in my original goals. My site was focused on creating content that would be indexed or rated high on Google and it lost focus and credibility. That, my friends, is not fair to you. I aim to change it. However, there are no hard feelings if you rip me a new one or unsubscribe from my newsletter. However, I want to tell you what you can expect from here on out.

The Future

I’m all settled in to what some may call Beervana, Portland, OR. I’ll be honest, I can’t find a Miller Lite to save may life and it’s great! There are well over 20 breweries here and 100′s of different beers coming in from all over the west coast. There are beer festivals, tasting rooms, magazines, parties and so on. In the future of MBR, I’d like to bring you along while I sample these beers, check out these pubs, meet some of these brewers, visit hop farms, attend festivals, read books, articles, magazines all with my own little take on it.

Since the start of MBR I have made contact with a handful of people that I talk beer and homebrewing with across the nation on a regular basis. This is exactly what MBR is and what I’d like it to continue to grow as. I don’t consider myself an expert, just an experienced beer drinker, homebrewer and someone who is plugged into the scene. I’d like to continue helping people gain the confidence needed to get started homebrewing and be a personal homebrew club for novices and experts a like. So if you want to talk about the different hop strains that go into a beer, talk about a favorite beer of yours or a magazine article you read about, let’s talk.

So, I thank you for your patience as I made a very large transition in my life. With that said, let’s drink some beer!


Thank you,


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  • Chris Eaker

    Good to hear from you Mike! I was wondering what was going on, but figured you were busy with some great project. Since we last talked (September 9, to be exact), I brewed up a batch of English Pale Ale. It turned out OK, but I was crazy about it, so I didn’t end up drinking much of it and finally poured it all out. My next batch will be the Winter Warmer from Northern Brewer (http://bit.ly/gtBRqX). I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  • Chris Eaker

    I meant to say I WASN’T crazy about the EPA.

  • @threefrenchs

    Glad to have you back.

  • mike

    Please tell me how that turns out. I’ve been starting to get into Strong Ales lately. There seems to be plenty to choose from around here. I don’t normally say this, but that alcohol note that they are talking about has to be somewhat subtle for me. I think the reason is because usually, in a Strong Ale, I get that extra bit of sweetness from the grains. I don’t particularly like sweet and alcohol. However, roasty/bitter with alcohol seems a much better pair. But that’s just me. You won’t see me drinking a whiskey coke, whiskey water is more like it :)

    Again, let me know how it turns out. I’d be curious to try it as well. I’m waiting to get some revenue in before I can get back into brewing. Gotta pay my power bill first…

    Thanks for the comment!


  • mike

    Thanks! I really appreciate it.


  • Brian Graftaas

    Hey Mike – good to hear from you again. I hope you and Sarah are enjoying OR. To add some beer-related content, I highly recommend you make a trip over to Bend and visit Deschuttes — I discovered their Mirror Pond Pale Ale on a trip to Seattle many years ago, and have been a fan of them ever since.



  • mike

    Definitely on the list. Sara and I were thinking about going there for a weekend or to do some snow shoeing. They have a brew pub here in town that serves some excellent beers and some pretty decent food. If you ever make it out this way we’ll take ya!

    We don’t get Summit out here and if you remember, Summit’s EPA is one of my major go to beers. Since I can’t get it, Mirror Pond has taken its place :)

    Thanks for the kind words and support!


  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    Nice. Thanks.

  • clayton

    hi, mike. sorry i didn’t have a chance to have a beer session with you before you left! David had a beer you left for him, it was one of the best! old age and too many things going on for me to remember the exact brew. but, i will never forget the memory, damn, that is just as good as you can buy! you are good people, ND loss and OR gain!!! david and jamie and myself will have a brew session in your honor, ok maybe david and myself, front and center, and jamie in the background. blues and beer brewing, as david says, “it doesn’t get any better than that!” except if you were there. clayton

  • mike

    Thanks Clayton.

    I’m hoping to be coming home in Jan, sometime. I know Dave has mentioned taking a little break from brewing so maybe we can all just get together at the bar sometime and drink a few of his homebrews. I look forward to having a chance to brew with you guys again, but it may be a little while or perfect timing. One of the two.

    Keep in touch!


  • Complete Geek

    Glad to see you have returned! I was hurt and upset when you went away. I cried myself to sleep countless nights but eventually came out the other side of my melancholy a stronger person….

    It is good to see updates again. I was a fan from the get go. Can’t wait to see what the future brings. I’ll be checking in regularly from now on.

  • Anonymous

    Well that is very nice of you to say. But I assure you that I am no one to miss countless nights of sleep over :)

    Thanks for the support. Whatcha been up to? Been to any good pubs lately?


  • Complete Geek

    No good pubs in NE Louisiana I can assure you. The most exotic thing they have in in the cases at the liquor store is Boston Lager. If it weren’t for frequent trips to Texas I would have no idea what good beer is.

  • Anonymous

    That sucks!

    Most bars back home in Fargo were the same way. However, they were on the right track when I started to move. Some beer bars popped up and the liquor store added a ton of new beers.

    Maybe you should move?


  • Complete Geek

    That’s the plan! Austin, Texas, here I come! I’ll be graduating in Radiologic Technology in May and moving ASAP.

  • Anonymous

    Nice. I’ve never been to Austin. Another MBR reader is from Austin I believe. He’s always got some new beer he is enjoying, so you should be good to go!


  • Mattyb1874

    I’m glad you’re back to MBR! We’ll keep reading if you keep writing…

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