Happy Birthday to Me. Again. And a competition!

The year has rolled around again and the mighty power that is Billy’s Booze Blog is now two whole years old.

This year has been a weird one, with the last half of it having been spent as a professional (I claim none of the characteristics associated with professionalism other than a pay packet) boozer rather than enthusiastic amateur that I was last November. Output on this here blog has dropped quite significantly over the last few months due to that, but I’ve still managed to get a good few posts out:

2009-2010: 102 posts, ~100k words
2010-2011: 66 posts, ~95k words

So, only 65% the posts but 95% the word count. Rolling in my (currently) work blog posts that’s significantly more words than last year but a lot less posts. I need an editor…

On top of my job I’ve also started doing a video podcast with Messrs Standing and RookVillage of the Drammed. We’ve got four episodes in the bag, with three released so far and plans to record more as soon as we can. You can even subscribe to it on iTunes and like us on Facebook. Here’s the first one:

As a thank you to you lot reading this, and as a way to try and get rid of some of the stuff that I seem to keep in my house, I have a Fabulous Prize! to give away! Last year I went to the launch party/practise dinner for Dom Roskrow‘s book The World’s Best Whiskies, at which I was given a copy of the book. A couple of months later a parcel arrived from the Whisky Tasting Club, which Dom helps run, with another copy of the book. As such I’ve got a spare one and therefore it counts as a Fabulous Prize!

To enter, drop me an email to worldsbest@bbblog.org.uk with the your name and the answer to the following question:

What whisky website is Dom working with to produce World Whisky Review, an online whisky magazine which recently released its first issue?

The competition will close on November 30th at 2359hours GMT – any entries received after that time will be ignored, as I’m going to turn off the email address. I’ll choose a name at random from one of my excellent hats (or using a random number generator, it depends on how much paper I have for my printer). The only rules are:

  • One entry per person
  • Billy may not enter
  • Billy’s decision is final

Anyways, thanks again to everyone who has written comments, grabbed me in real life and said “Hello, are you Billy? I read your blog” or otherwise encouraged me. Booze writing is now my job and it’s in part your fault. Well done.


One Year On…

It seems like only yesterday that I decided that writing about booze would be a good excuse for drinking more of it. Actually, that’s a lie – this year has limped by at a phenomenally slow rate and it already feels like a lifetime away that I played behind the bar at the Blaggers’ Banquet. In fact, it’s one year ago that I started this whole enterprise.

In the meantime there have been 102 posts clocking in at over 100,000 words – about 280 words per day. I’ve drunk lots of interesting things, tried many new things and learned significantly more than I thought I could fit in my brain from a pile of very lovely people. It’s been noted that this generally seems to be a whisky blog, with half the posts mentioning whisky so far, and I even pop up, as of writing, on page 3 of google for ‘Whisky Blog’, but I’ve managed to get out and try some tequila, sherry, vodka and random Bulgarian drinks this year, as well as some rather tasty beer, cider and cocktails. I’ve also made some rather awesome new friends, flavoured vodka to the recipe of a mad russian‘s grandfather, bought shares in a brewery, visited an incredible gin distillery (which I shamefully still haven’t written about), invested in a film about vodka, decided on two new favourite pubs, had a shave and grown a moustache.

Over the last 12 months the number of people visiting the site has increased by an order of magnitude, with my daily hit total often beating the total number of visitors during my first month of blogging, and the lovely Google Analytics I started playing with a few months back has started telling me that some people are even staying to read what I’ve written. Or at least leaving their browser window open for a while. Which is nice.

Anyways, thank you to everyone who’s helped me along the way – here’s to another year of imbibing. Responsibly, of course.

Photo on 2010-11-21 at 19.22 #4

If anyone’s knocking around London tonight, 2010-11-23, with nothing to do then I’ll be in the Euston Tap having a few light ales – please feel free to come along and say hello. I’m the one who looks like a bank manager.
Last night I celebrated the last day of the year of the blog by drinking the most expensive booze I ever have done. But that’s a story for another day… (it wasn’t that bad)

Update: it’s just been pointed out that the Euston Tap doesn’t have its address on their website. It’s in one of the gatehouses out the front of Euston station – here’s their Qype page.