Q&A: Todd Alström talks about Beer Advocate's influence and his move to Denver
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.
Beer Advocate Todd Alström
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.
- Great American Beer Fest changes policy to accept every brewery in 2014
- Loveland Aleworks makes it off the GABF waiting list, but its beers won't be judged
- Epic Brewing rolls out three Colorado-specific beers
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.
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