stlhopswikiI’ve had a few people ask me how I pick and choose what stories make it to the front page of STL Hops, which kind of got me thinking about what this site is all about. So, call this the STL Hops Manifesto.

With the internet finally getting its due as an online news source, there are a lot of media outlets in St. Louis now days that have a lot of web-only content, and they’re constantly falling over themselves to try to be the first to break a story. To be honest, I want to break stories too. But, if I can’t break a story, I want to be able to give our readers a unique perspective on a story that isn’t the same stuff being regurgitated by every other media outlet in St. Louis.

I think it’s a bit disingenuous to my readers if I post almost an identical story that other media outlets posts. One of the special things about STL Hops is that we have a very, very incomparable readership that no other media outlet in St. Louis has. For breweries/restaurants/retail trying to sell craft beer, STL Hops has the perfect set of eyes (about 11,000 unique readers last month) that those businesses should be looking for.

STL Hops is more than just people reading a site, it’s people involved with a site. We’re a very active and very important community in St. Louis. We absolutely respond when people not only share information with the site, but we are also actively involved with the site. We want people to not only understand and love our enthusiasm, but share their love and enthusiasm with us as well.

The other thing that is so different about STL Hops is that this isn’t my job. It’s my passion. I don’t have to try to post every press release that comes my way because, honestly, I don’t need to justify my job to some editor. But it also unfortunately means that I don’t have time to run down every small lead that may or may not come my way. I devote a lot of time to this, almost too much at times, and I do it because I love beer.

So, to make a long story short, if I can’t get a different take on a story, I’m way less likely to run the story. I want to post the stories that I think are not only important, but also unique.  And if establishments aren’t interested in working with STL Hops to give our readers something special, then that’s their loss.  And it is truly a loss, as they’re not going to find a more passionate and loyal following anywhere else in St. Louis.