Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week #14 - Dan Becker

We're going Coast to Coast this week for an interview with the co-creator of one of the beer world's best news and information websites. The Full Pint ( is a national beer news site that posts great brewer interviews, news, and style descriptions and examples. Full Pint is practically a news ticker with it's finger on the pulse of the beer industry. Stories break on Full Pint and stories are explored in depth with an industry minded tone.

Dan hails from Pitman, NJ and is a long time Phillies and Eagles fan. Ladies and gents, I present: Dan Becker...

How did The Full Pint come about? What made you and Jon decide to go for it?

Jon and I are college buddies. We've been doing IT as a trade, and wanted to put our love of beer together with our online media skills and make that our full time job. 3 years ago, we were one of the first Wordpress based beer websites out there, we were cheered on by the craft brewing community, so we decided to keep pushing forward.

One thing that I really like about the site is that you have such rich local coverage to the area that you're based in, but have enlisted the help of writers, "in the field" in other beer regions. How long into running the site did you guys decide to branch out and grab regional contributors?

It's very hard keeping a balance of national craft beer news coverage when you have San Diego in your back yard. They have over a dozen world class craft breweries, innovating and shaping many of the brewing and beer marketing trends in the rest of the country. A smart man named Sage Osterfeld of Port Brewing told us early in the project to cover other regions. He said San Diegan craft beer enthusiasts have a pretty good grip on the scene, but there are many new emerging craft beer havens that need to be heard and covered. We have had a handful of great contributors in areas outside of California soon after we started, with the main goal of diversifying our perspective on craft beer. While we don't actively advertise the fact, we always welcome a new perspective in the form of a regional contributor.

What's the ultimate vision for the site? Where do you want to take The Full Pint in the future and what will it take to get there?

We know that traditional media in its current form (newspapers, magazines) are falling behind new media (online publications and netcasts). We want to be the first place people go to for current info in the craft beer world, whether they are in the industry or an enthusiast. We think with the shift to online and digital content, we have a chance to be the household name for craft beer publications. With our progress and the huge progress craft beer is making, we think this is obtainable.

What's your favorite thing about West Coast beer?

For me, the way IPAs are brewed is my favorite thing about West Coast beer. Some will argue they are over hopped, and not exhibiting balance. I find them to be amazing, delicious, addictive and refreshing. As for West Coast beer in general, the region makes some of the best big beers and sours around.

How about LA specifically? How does it rate as a beer town? Most of my readers are on the East Coast, so what should we know about LA if we're coming to town?

Los Angeles has started to realize the craft beer revolution is amongst us. While we are still in the developmental phases of craft brewing, we have an abundance of beer bars, serving some of the best Southern California has to offer. Los Angeles is one of the biggest, most spread out areas of people in the nation. That has been a hinderance as far as molding a new craft community like say a Philadelphia or Chicago. I would like to predict in the next five years, we will have a half-dozen new, quality craft breweries. As I've mentioned before, we have plenty of folks thirsty for fresh craft beer, we just need the brewers to make it feasible to make it.

What can you tell us about LA Beer Week? Was 2009's Beer Week vastly different than 2010's?

LA Beer Week 2009 and 2010 were almost night and day. Because we are such a young craft beer city, we had to take a plunge into the deep end to see what would interest the locals. With 2010, we had way more events, and many of the events appealed to our well established foodie culture. There is a huge crossover market with craft beer and foodies that is just waiting to be exploited. Think wine pairing but far less douchey. Everyone involved in LA Beer Week 2010 was very passionate about raising craft beer awareness in LA, and it felt good to be a part of that team.

In these interviews I've been spinning the 'Desert Island Beer Question' many different ways. So for you I want to ask: You've got a kegorator at home and can put one bottomless keg on tap. Always fresh, always at its peak and never runs dry. What's the one keg you're sinking your coupler into?

Russian River's Pliny The Elder. I think after a few weeks, I'd be tolerant to the 8% abv.

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