1,000th Post: What A Long, Strange Brew It’s Been


On May 24th, 2009, something wonderful happened.

The powers that be – being those wonderful, handsome, and charming fellows who run Fansided – saw fit to include the Milwaukee Brewers fan base into their own personal Blogoshpere.

They called the site Reviewing the Brew, and the world would never be the same again. OK, it was pretty much the same, except that it gave Brewers fans one more place to collect news, opinions, and vent about their beloved Brew Crew online. A worthy cause in and of itself.

Now, we have finally reached a pinnacle of achievement – 1,00 posts. We’ve come a long way from that first post – and we couldn’t thank you enough for helping us get there.

To celebrate this, we took a break from following the Brewers and strolled a short while down memory lane. Join us.

The Staff

We have a great staff now, but they weren’t the only ones to take part in the Grand Experiment that is Reviewing the Brew.

Ken Watkins – Our very first Editor made 180 posts from 2009 to 2010. He covered the trade of J.J. Hardy that brought Carlos Gomez to Milwaukee, as well as the additions of LaTroy Hawkins and Randy Wolf and once declared 2010 the “Year of the Brewers.” So close, sir.

Dave McGrath – The proud contributor of 25 posts to Reviewing the Brew during 2010. He also paved the way for Micro-Brew news sections we still post from time to time and had some fantastic puns in his headlines.

Jesse Motiff – Jesse stayed on for only four posts during the 2010 season, but covered the new coaching staff and delved into the off-season that eventually brought Zack Greinke to the Brewers.

Lynda Schneider – Lynda gave us eight posts during the summer of 2011, and deftly covered our Minor League system along with some interesting perspectives on the Miller Park experience. She remains one of the people who support and promote us in the online world and for that, and her work on the site, we thank her.

Joe Wickersheim – Joe was with us a very short time in 2011 – only two posts – but he introduced Reviewing the Brew readers to the man, the myth, the legend – Tony Plush. We will always be grateful.

Steve Alstadt – Steve made 10 posts with us earlier in 2012 and brought interesting perspective to the likes of Nyjer Morgan, Jonathan Lucroy, Norichika Aoki, and Corey Hart. He remains a friend of the site.

I consider everyone who has contributed to this site worthy of note in this accomplishment. They all helped to grow, create, and challenge this site to be better.

Here are the folks currently leading the way, with some notes on their favorite memories from the site:

Lou Olsen – Lou was a long-time Editor of this site and I am very happy to call him a friend. He has posted a staggering 346 of our 1,000 posts. Way to make us all look bad, buddy.

On why he writes for us: “I found FanSided through writing a fantasy football blog that

I don’t care what anyone says: Lou and that mustache are forever linked. Yeah, I said it. (Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE)

somehow got a little notice.  That site was started out of nothing more than trying to make my idiot friends laugh.  Someone at FanSided took notice and thought that I had some skills.  When they told me they needed some help with their Brewers site, it was a dream come true.  Then I posted my first John Axford Mustache Facts article, and two weeks later I was the editor.  I wanted to write for FanSided because they believed in me, and I wanted to write about the Brewers because I believe in them.”

Favorite article of his: The Weekend That Changed My Life Forever “This may not be my best article, but it has always been my favorite.  After I posted this, the Brewers went on their amazing tear through August…much like what they are doing right now.”

Favorite from the rest of the staff:”My favorite article on the site is the one [Colin] posted [on September 18th this year], no question.” Yunel Escobar and Equality in Baseball

Colin Bennett – Next on the list is me. I don’t fancy talking about myself much [Ed.’s note: LIES!], so I will leave it brief. I have posted 213 times on the site, and by my count have the most unfinished drafts. Just how I roll.

On why I write for this site: I really only ever liked two things – sports and writing. I mean my girlfriend, dinosaurs, movies, robots, beer, and a plethora of other things come pretty close but those two have really shaped my life. So a few years ago I decided to put them together. I took a chance and sent an e-mail to John Parent, who said I would be a good fit. That’s only about the third time I’ve heard my boss say that. It’s been this site ever since.

Favorite article of mine: Blogger to Cats: ‘This Losing Streak Might Drive Me Crazy’ It’s not one of the most refined pieces I’ve done but it came from a very fun place. I had an audition of sorts for some multi-media work The Onion was doing (I didn’t make the cut, obviously) and this article is sort of my homage to them – albeit much less funny than their work.

Favorite from the rest of the staff: John Axford’s Mustache Facts How could I not pick Lou’s seminal facial hair work? It spawned a running gag and was actually John Axford approved. It was great and the following versions continued to build on it.

Brad White – A Brewers blogger to the core, Brad has 36 posts and counting with us here and came right out of the gate in early 2012 to question Prince’s decision to leave for Detroit, the trade for Veras, and the inconsistent bullpen before a lot of us knew what we were dealing with.

On why he writes for us: “I thought it’d be a good way to get my work and my opinions out to a bigger audience and get some reaction to it as well.”

Favorite article of his: Henderson locking down the closer’s role (I know it’s no longer relevant, but for some reason I like that one) Jim Henderson Locking Down the Closer’s Role

Favorite from the staff: Scotty, CC, and Cappy: The All-Brewers Team We Miss of the 2000’s [Submitted without comment]

Curt Hogg – Just like his bio says, the high school wunderkind on our staff does indeed ‘Ball So Hard.’ He came to us in March of 2012 after he picked up the scoop of a lifetime. He brings a ton of great work, pop culture references, personality and a plethora of hash tags to the 86 posts he wrote for the site. #Niceworkbro. He was a Brooks Conrad fan, but we won’t hold it against him.

We’ve Covered Ryan Braun more than any other Brewer – Yet we’ve never used this picture. (Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE)

On why he writes for us:  “Just a year ago other sites had given me the closed door, citing ‘lack of experience’ or ‘no staff vacancies’ as reasons for turning down my requests to join. After this off-season’s ‘debacle’, courtesy of Ryan Braun, fellow Fansided writer Ricky Keeler suggested I apply for RtB. Pretentiously, it was, at first, an endeavor with aims of gaining more readership and little else. But, even though Lou is in Seattle, Ben is at Youngstown State, Colin is probably living in the northwoods in Wisconsin somewhere (get the point?), and I’ve never met any of the guys, the staff camaraderie is so tight that being a part of RtB is a pleasure. I enjoy being the around-the-clock jokester and, along with Brad, the over-reactor to anything and everything. TOO 1,000 MORE POSTS!

YAY GETTING NOSTALGIC AND EMOTIONAL. Anyway, time to go watch, like, WWE or make a steak or something else manly.”

Favorite article of his: Royce, Yuni and Suppan: The All-Brewers Team We Won’t Miss of the 2000’s [Submitted without comment]

Favorite from the staff: MLB Steroids Issue: A Need for Perspective [Submitted without comment]

Benjamin Orr – On staff since early 2012, Ben has put out 78 posts ranging from ranking pitchers to team facial hair. A modern day renaissance man. Most importantly, he got us off our lazy asses and actually started the podcast. Thank you for that, and for putting up with my ridiculous schedule to get it done.

On why he writes for us: “Admittedly, I hadn’t started paying much attention to the Brewers until mid-2011. Alright, are the tomatoes and other things thrown at me gone? Okay. The Brewers interested me and when I got an offer to write for FanSided, I was given a small list of teams that I could choose from, Milwaukee being one of them. So I figured, what the heck, why not? I’m a Journalism major and this really can only strengthen my experience for the future, plus I just love baseball. This has really turned into a positive experience and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of guys to write with.”

Favorite article of his: Reasons Why 2012 is Huge: Part Two “I just felt content wise, it amassed a lot of questions the Brewers had about their pitching. I look back at it now and go ‘wow, I wasn’t too far off in some aspects.'”

Favorite from the staff: Ryan Braun Suspension Overturned: 50 Games Later, Where Would We Be Without the 2011 MVP? “This article really touched on a lot of ‘hush-hush’ things that we at RtB for the most part avoided. Curt did an amazing job on this article and it really makes you wonder if that had actually happened where this team would be.”

The Brewers

Were it not for the Milwaukee Brewers, obviously we wouldn’t be able to this job. But it’s not just box scores and players that drive us to cover the team. Here’s why we chose to be Brewers fans:

Lou: “The Milwaukee Brewers are important because they give me hope.  Even when they have been terrible, every April I am filled with a sense of overwhelming optimism.  My Dad and Grandpa took me to my first game so that I could see my favorite player (Nolan Ryan) play against my favorite team (the Brewers).  Because of that day, I have been addicted ever since.  Even though I have only seen them win in person twice out of a possible 100+, I don’t care.  They are my team.  In today’s society you can not put a price on being able to lose yourself in something like baseball.  And I would rather root for the underdog, than be on the bandwagon with all of the Wisconsin born Red Sox/Yankees fans.  Being a Brewers fan is like a badge of honor, it means you can take disappointment in stride and always find the good in a situation.  That is why the Brewers are important, because they have made me who I am.”

Colin: My love for the Brewers, like so many things in a middle child’s life, was born of

This is how most people felt about the Brewers circa ’93 (Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE)

spite. It was 1993, I was a very young man, and my father and uncle took my brother Ryan, my cousin Brandon, and me to see the Seattle Mariners take on the Crew at County Stadium. Ryan and Brandon were sure that Griffey was going to hit about 15 home runs and crush Milwaukee. I couldn’t let the Brewers go undefended, so I claimed that the Brewers were a better team and announced my official fandom. The Brewers won, by the way. Since then I have loved the Brewers partly because they embody that hard-working spirit of the city, but also because there are very few teams in baseball that reward their fans for the effort like the Crew.

Brad: Baseball is one of the most important things in my life and I devote a ton of my time to it. That makes the Brewers, since they’re from Wisconsin, that much more meaningful to me.

Curt: I can honestly say that the Milwaukee Brewers have played a role in shaping a large part of who I am today. That sounds corny, I know. Because of the Brewers, I’m part of the rare species of 17-year-olds that would rather watch and immerse myself in awesomeness of baseball than watch football, basketball, or any other sport. The dirty uniform of Scott Podsednik, Derrick Turnbow’s agonizing blown saves, Beast Mode, entertainment shaped by running pieces of meat, have all been the constants as I grew to to be a 6-foot-5, awkwardly lanky high school senior who is no longer ashamed to rep the ball and glove logo. 

Benjamin: Well, they signify baseball and well, Wisconsin sports in a sort of way. Much like the Packers who had eventually built momentum with Brett Favre after all those years, the Brewers did somewhat of the same thing prior to 2008. They were building a team that would get to the playoffs and since 2008, the Brewers have gotten there one more time. With the state of play now, the Brew Crew poses a huge threat to other teams aside from the Atlanta Braves, in the NL Wild Card. The Brewers are important to baseball because they represent a team that never says die. A team that will fight through til the end. They’ve had a lot of problems this year granted, but that hasn’t hampered them at all. This is only the beginning of what is to come because once 2013 rolls around, look for this team to be one of the most terrifying in the league.

 The Readers

Thank you. We tip our collective caps to you, readers. (Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE)

Finally, we would be absolutely nowhere without you. You are the reason we all log in every day, take time away from things we by all rights should be doing, and the reason we continue to hit that little blue button marked ‘Publish’.

To everyone who has every read, commented, and shared our site – the staff and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the time you take to make our passion feel worthwhile.

We want to bring you the best, funniest, most entertaining, and most thought-provoking material about the Brewers and your continued support of our site makes that possible.

We sincerely hope you enjoy the next 1,000 posts as much as the first – maybe even more.