Introduction

De Pere, Wisconsin
February 2001

(Wow. This is really out of date. Again.)

Welcome to "Beer Me!"

Here's how it all started...

In the late 1980s, I worked for the Information Systems division of a large telecommunications company in New Jersey-the one that used to be known simply as 'the phone company.' My merry band of engineers and I traveled the country, installing computer software and hardware. The more cities we visited, the harder it was to keep track of our favorite restaurants and bars in each city, so we started maintaining a file that could be e-mailed in response to a message like, 'I just landed in Sacramento ... where's the beer?'

Then came the 1990s, and with them came three important developments: a new job with a then-medium-sized computer company (which now considers itself to be 'the dot in dot-com') in California, access to an obscure new invention called the 'World Wide Web,' and exposure to the dozens of new small breweries that were springing up all over the Bay Area. I moved my old restaurant list to the Web in 1991 so it would be easy to access from the field.

About that same time, I realized that with all of the new beers I was trying, it would be impossible to remember the good ones, so I started keeping notebooks, logging all of the beers I tasted at home and in my travels. My computer career ended in 1994, and the following year found me on the island of Moloka'i, trying to set up a new brewpub. I had some time on my hands, so I started typing up all of my notes (which comprised about 1,200 beers at that time) and posting them to my homepage — the beginning of "Beer Me!" as we know it.

The Moloka'i thing didn't work out, so in February 1998 I moved back to civilization and attended the eight-week Professional Brewers Preparation Program at the Siebel Institute of Technology. They got me in touch with Egan Brewing Company, a small brewpub near Green Bay WI, and in July 1998 my professional brewing career finally got underway.

What started out as a simple text file to keep track of restaurants for traveling engineers has grown into one of the best sources of information for pub-crawlers on the Web; more than 3,000 people visit 'Beer Me!' every day!

There's a lot of information here...a lot of miles under the tires and a lot of pints down the neck. First and foremost, always keep in mind that what you're reading are my impressions of the beers and breweries. I'll bet you a beer that you won't agree with absolutely everything I've written. My friend Rick Garvin, in reference to my recommendation regarding a particular brewery which I'll decline to name here, wrote:

When someone I know and trust really hates a place, I am duty bound to check it out.

Sage advice indeed.

I hope you enjoy sampling these pages as much as I've enjoyed sampling the beers. I think you'll find you'll enjoy them more with a fresh beer comfortably nearby...after all, that's how I wrote them. If you're ever in my neck of the woods, look me up...I'll be glad to let you buy me a beer!

have fun
Richard Stueven


The Many Faces of
Richard and His Beer
Richard with a beer Richard without a beer
Richard with a beer
(March 1996)
Richard without a beer
(July 1994)
Richard with a beard but no beer Richard with no beard and no beer
Richard with a beard
but no beer
(June 1996)
Richard with no beard
and no beer
and no haircut
(April 1991)