Here is what I posted on the BN forums, take it for what you will...
Lets take a step back for a moment and take a look around us, notice how there has been a fundamental shift in amateur brewing? Many years ago the only way to learn about the hobby was to buy Charley P's book or join a local club or know someone who did it or a newsletter composed on an old IBM Selectric...get it?
Then the computer bulletin board came into vogue, tying up telephone lines all over the country while the geeks among us spent hours writing columns and memos and the newest thing, e-mails, to each other to try to learn more about brewing. the Homebrew Digest came into being and still has many resources to this day.
John Palmer learned about brewing and decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the rest of us to follow, with the coming of the World Wide Web wrote "How To Brew" and gave us a context to figure out the technical details with his nomegraphs and instructions on basic brewing. This too has stood the test of time.
Justin Crosley figured out a way to blend his passions, radio and beer, with his shows on San Francisco radio. When that was too constraining, he created a podcast and with the help of family and many friends, Jon Plise, Jason Petros, Scott Lothamer, created an concept called the Brewing Network, using this new idea called pod-casting and internet radio, where people were not constrained by the barriers of time and distance. His knowledge and talent for communications brought the brewing community past the tipping point; now anyone who cared to could learn about this craft from many modern masters. Who would have known of Jamil Zainacheff if it wasn't for Jon Plise and Justin?
So here we are today, on the leading edge of a new opportunity of amateur and craft brewing. Let those who have ears to hear and the foresight to understand that the genies out of the bottle, so to speak, and that groups of people can come together for a common goal and enjoy the pleasures of each others company without having to actually be in the same room, or town, or time zone. Seems to me that a bunch of folks made a decision a year ago after NHC2010 to become club of the year no matter what, with or without the help of anyone else but our own fellowship. Guess what? THEY DID IT!
Can't take it back now...
Brew better beer,