Q&A: Todd Alström talks about Beer Advocate's influence and his move to Denver

Categories: Beer Man

Beer Advocate
Todd Alström
Colorado attracts beer lovers the way a keg attracts red Solo cups, and last month, one of the nation's most well-known beer lovers announced that he was moving here. Todd Alström, who founded Beer Advocate magazine with his brother, Jason, in 1996, told readers that's he's moving from Boston to the Denver area for personal reasons.

Every month, more than 2.5 million people check into Beer Advocate online to rate their beers, read industry news and talk about breweries with other beer geeks in one of a couple of dozen regional and subject-specific forums. And while Internet entrepreneurs can be located anywhere, the move is sure to have an effect on Beer Advocate, which is one of the most influential online community sites for craft-beer drinkers in the country.

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That's because the Alströms maintain a heavy presence on Beer Advocate (which also produces a monthly magazine with a readership of 150,000), moderating the forums, doling out opinions alongside their members and chiming in on a wide variety of topics.

We checked in with Todd Alström on the eve of his move to Colorado -- he plans to be here next week -- to find out a little more about Beer Advocate, its history and its future. Here's our Q&A:

Westword: Why are you moving to Colorado?

Todd Alström: It's time for a change. I love the Boston area and will be back frequently, but it's become very expensive to not only rent or buy, but live in the area, too. Candice (my wife) planted the seed as she used to live in Colorado, and I've enjoyed all of my visits. We're viewing our move to Colorado as a major lifestyle upgrade: You get more for your dollar, the people are friendly and the scenery is stunning.

Colorado's beer scene is an added bonus that we plan on taking full advantage of.

Will your new location change the dynamic of the website, magazine and Beer Advocate at all, or of the forums that you post in?

It's bound to. I've already started paying more attention and posting in the Mountain forum, been slated to cover Denver for Beer Destinations in Beer Advocate magazine. and I plan on adjusting who I follow and interact with on Twitter.

How would you compare the Denver area to other beer destinations around the country?

Man. I hate comparing cities. I'd rather appreciate their differences.

I know you've been to Denver a number of times. What are some of your favorite local breweries or beers?

Given my position, and the ever-changing world of beer, I've trained myself to not have favorite breweries or beers.

Are there some places you plan to hit right away when you get here?

After a four-day drive from Boston, I'll no doubt be craving a cold local beer. I can't think much past that at the moment, but I'm looking forward to being able to walk or bike to so many great breweries, bars and restaurants that carry good beer.

Are there things that the locals could do to improve the craft-beer scene in Colorado?

Ask me again once I've become a local.

Will Beer Advocate take a bigger role in local events or hold events here, or will you stick with Boston?

We haven't really talked about it too much, but we're not ruling out doing events in Denver area either. We'll see what happens after we settle in and soak in the scene.

Turn the page to read more from Todd Alström.

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Make no mistake, Candice and Todd are the most disingenuous, lying, backstabbing, hypocritical people out there.  As ugly as they are on the outside, its worse on the inside.  The constructive criticism thing is a lie.  They permanently ban massive contributors for a difference of opinion. 

You will see Denver.  These are people with more luck than skill, no personal skills, whose lifestyle is supported by the generosity and contributions of others.  They travel all over the world, on the backs of those whom they hold in such disdain.  Frankly, I think Candice is paranoid schizophrenic and bi polar to the extreme.   Numbers do not lie.  Plenty of people jump on any forum that will allow the truth to be aired.  You know one day, comeuppance will come, and it probably will be in person, not online, where they are protected. 

Drink beer, spend less time online supporting people who hate you. 


Todd and Candace suck.  I'm pretty sure the "EBF will not be cancelled under any circumstances" and then cancelling 6 hours later in the midst of a blizzard was controversial.  Not to mention the fact that they drank a number of the beers that had been delivered with their friends and industry people at Meadhall while the rest of us were waiting for a response.


"As far as dealing with any criticisms, we're always open to constructive comments and often make adjustments based on them, but we're also realistic in that it's impossible to please everyone."

This is beyond laughable.


No controversies?  Hmm I seem to remember MULTIPLE fundraising efforts to make a phone app.  Good thing they took all that money and made an awesome app!  (or went to Belgium...whatever)

Cory Pelc
Cory Pelc

Good news for Denver and its already growing beer scene.


I am a huge fan of Beer Advocate and feel I can relate to Todd's big move, as I too moved from Cambridge back to Denver. Welcome to the neighborhood Todd! I am sure you will miss Bukowski's and Green Street, but you will quickly fall in love with the likes of Trve, Renegade, and all the other great beer spots Denver has to offer. I am sure Denver beer enthusiasts and the beer scene here will benefit from having one of the Alstrom brothers local.


"I plan on adjusting who I follow and interact with on Twitter."....he's moving here because everyone in boston knows what a toolbox full of tampons he is.  During hurricane Sandy, he had a few people's cars towed that were stranded, because they were in front of his building and he posted it on twitter, and of course there was a crapton of backlash, cuz what a dick.  https://twitter.com/ToddAlstrom/status/262974641755275264

Tons of people trashed their beer advocate subscriptions and began trying to call him out on twitter, to which he told to f off. 


Here's lots of comments on reddit, discussing how his "fundraisers" to develop and app were most likely used to take trips to belgium...


he's trying to out run his soiled reputation I believe, karma is difficult to out run however. 


Hardly.  They've burned so many bridges.  Ran out of friends and family in Boston, lets move somewhere people don't hate us so much. . . for a little while. 

Hopefully Denver isn't full of brown-nosers.  Anyone with a sense of decency will quickly realize  they are the most selfish people hanging on in the beer industry. 


@dissapoint LOL what a dick! way to hang this Masshole out to dry f*ckin evidence and all.  folks here in CO will see right through this dbag

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