Eleven years ago today, I published the first post on Bourbon & Banter titled, "Welcome, Fellow Bourbon Lovers." A mere seven months before, we started the Bourbon & Banter Facebook page, the first digital property associated with a bourbon club I started at work with a few colleagues. To say a lot has changed over the past 11+ years would be an understatement of grand proportions. And while I could attempt to wax poetically about it, I will refrain and save us all the pain of reading that kind of post. Instead, I will keep this post focused on three crucial points as we celebrate another year of spreading the bourbon gospel and helping to teach people to #DrinkCurious.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE
An online publication doesn't survive for 11+ years without tons of support from its readers and contributors. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone that has ever read a piece of our content or attended one of our gatherings. Thank you for reading and for being a part of our story. To all of those that have contributed posts to Bourbon & Banter, I also thank you. Each of you has helped us make Bourbon & Banter one of the most trusted bourbon resources. We should all be incredibly proud of what we've accomplished. I remain close friends with many of you today, and that friendship means the world to me. Thank you.
Anyone that has run a publishing website for any length of time will tell you it's a ton of work and that many days you feel like giving up. I've had many of those days, but more often than not, I discover something inspiring in our content and our reader's feedback to keep going, and in many cases, innovate with something new that rewards everyone for their commitment–contributors, readers and myself. (Multiple contributors, Bottle/Bar/Bust review format, our podcast, and our online community are just a few of the things born out of this process.)
I share this because the last year has been a challenge for me as I left my 25+ year career behind to start DrinkCurious and focus on spirits education for a living. An unintentional result was that Bourbon & Banter took a back seat to other priorities. It's time to change that and upgrade the Bourbon & Banter experience for everyone online and, quite possibly, offline. I could tell you more, but that would prevent me from being mysterious and cryptic for the next few months.
Today we kick off an intensive behind-the-scenes effort to upgrade Bourbon & Banter. This will take some time, and while we're in upgrade mode, the website and social channels may go dormant for a bit. But don't worry. We will be back–better than before with a new and innovative take on what it means to be a trusted bourbon resource for the future.
LET'S STAY CONNECTED
While rebuilding, we want to ensure you're in the loop on everything happening. Please consider signing up for our mailing list if you haven't already, and don't forget to follow us on the social channels of your choice.
For those that value forging bourbon-fueled friendships, please check out our DrinkCurioius community, where you can hang out with amazing folks, enjoy barrel picks at below retail prices, and receive access to member-exclusive virtual and in-person events.
And lastly, come back and check on our progress. We will send updates out across our channels–especially email–but revisiting the website from time to time will ensure you don't miss out on anything.
It's been a hell of a ride being a member of the bourbon community, and all of us at Bourbon & Banter look forward to continuing the adventure with all of you. Thanks for everything, and I look forward to sharing what we've planned with everyone over the next few months.