If you’ve been paying attention (or maybe you haven’t) you’ll know that STL Hops will be turning five-years-old this year. As many of us have probably only been using the internet for the past 20 years or so, it’s crazy to think that STL Hops has been here for a quarter of that time.

For the past five years, it’s pretty much just been me running the show. It’s been a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Writing isn’t exactly as easy as it seems and forcing yourself to create content each day is probably even more difficult than writing.

As many of you know, I took a new job last year in the beer industry which has not only given me a new perspective on all things beer, but has also taken up more of my time. Because of that, I think the website was beginning to suffer a bit. So, I determined that is was time for me to loosen the reins a bit and bring in some new blood.

Over the past few weeks or so, we’ve seen some new content and new contributors help out with STL Hops. I know many people are still happy with what STL Hops is, but I think there is more unlocked potential and I think we’re just on the cusp of what this website could become.

One of the things that we’ve seen is the new STL Hops Homebrew Club. Our Homebrewing forum has been one of the most active parts of the site so when Troy Meier approached me about starting an actual club, I knew it was the next logical step. So, that’s something I’m really proud of.

Another thing that I think that’s been missing a bit in all of our obsessions about beer is humor. Beer is fun and we should remember never to take it too seriously, so I’m sure you’ve been seeing some of the posts from Jason and Cubby.

Please don’t take their posts too seriously, it’s just for fun.

One of the last things I think we’ve been missing recently is original content. There is so much stuff we could be doing that we’re not currently doing. Interviews, features, and maybe even some (gasp!) reviews are all things that would help to make the site better as a whole.

So, moving forward, make sure to check out the name next to the top of the post. While I’ll still have a lot of contribute, we’re going to have more and more people helping out. So, give them their props where due.

As this is the fifth year, I also think the site needs a bit of a refresher, so I plan on a complete site overhaul at some point including a new logo. I know change can be scary for many of you, so I’ll make sure that you can change the site’s design based on what you’re used to.

Thank you all for reading and making this more than just some guy reporting on beer news, thank you for making this a full-fledged community. I look forward to the next five years.