Howdy! Where does this story begin? What is the purpose of this site? Who is Blake?

Well, let us begin with the simple, and then progress into the more complex. I am a recent graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. I have over my time in college developed a love of beer, which is what I am going to be sharing with you here on this very site.

My dream stems from a conversation that I was having one day my Senior year with some friends of mine. They asked me, “Blake, you have all of these empty beer bottles that you have been saving, what are you going to do with them?” My response?

Well, I am going to put ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, just like the song. Now, I had nearly all Shiner Bock bottles at the time, so the initial goal was just to amass ninety-nine bottles of yellow, Shiner Bock beer bottles and hang shelves on the wall of my apartment and then voila, done. Well, fate would not let me stop there.

Being the tinkerer that I am, I could not stop there. I had to improve on what I had created, thus the dream was born. I would begin with my Shiner Bock, and every time that I drank a new bottle of beer, I would pull down a Shiner Bock bottle, and place the new bottle in its place… Stopping at ninety-nine of course.

One day I decided that I was close to my goal, and that I could finally buy my shelves and place my bottles. To my immediate surprise, I had one hundred and sixteen bottles of beer, all different. I had ten types of Shiner, six of St. Arnolds, a handful of Real Ale…. then the Coronas, Dos XX, Abitas, and so on so forth. Beer with Blake began that very day, although I didn’t quite know it yet.

My initial reaction was surprise, but I was not yet overwhelmed. I sorted the bottles by brewery,organizing my Shiner, Real Ale, St. Arnolds, Sam Adams, first since I had the most of those. I then began to see where I had holes in my collection. Example, I had a Lone Star bottle, but not a Lone Star Light. I had a Dos XX Amber bottle, but not a regular Dos XX. So I set out to find these “easy” bottles, and then to begin to grow and diversify my collection.

My goal was now to try as many different beers as I could possibly get my hands on. In the early spring of 2011, I compiled an Excel spreadsheet of my bottle collection and found that it had eclipsed one hundred and seventy bottles.

It was around this time that I had met a fellow connoisseur in my good friend Scott Plattsmier. As irony would have it, I met him one night in a bar that showcases a “beer tour” that allows participants to have seventy five different beers from around the world.

We sat down over the coming weeks and commented on the others collection, and our own. Seeing what Scott had in his collection gave me a glimpse of what was missing from mine. We even began to amass duplicates of new beers to trade with the other. This is the beginning of the story.

Where does the story go from there? Well, you are here. This is what has culminated from my beer bottle collection hobby. As I write this, I am sitting near three hundred bottles of beer. I realize by industry standards that this is barely a drop in the proverbial bucket. I am okay with that. I do not have the resources, nor the desire to try every single beer that has ever been made, or that will ever be brewed. I am not going to sit here and spend every last dime on buying new beers, just to add a number to my collection.

My mission is to enjoy beers from around the world (in moderation of course) and to find the very best ones, maybe not the favorite beers of the “all-knowing” maybe not the “greatest beers of all time” but the beers that I, Blake enjoy the most.

This site is divided into a few sections for the time being, there is a section for beers, I will be blogging about new beers that I try, funny tales of x beer, my travels to different breweries, beer related humor, etcetera. I am by no means an expert on beer. I will not sit here and bore you to death with minute details of proper hops to malts ratios and the time spent in the cask aging for the optimal sugar to starch ratio to manifest itself, and so on.

I will however note the flavors of a brew, and why I did, or did not like it. I expect to take criticism on these as well. Just like no two blades of grass are the same, no two beer drinkers have the exact same likes and dislikes.

Don’t like what I say about a brew? tell me. Tell me why you like it, tell me what appeals to you about it, and tell me your story. (E-mail me

There is also a section for breweries. I had planned to profile a brewery each month, list what makes them unique, why I like their beers, and which of there beers that I don’t like. I should also have some FAQs in there about x brewery, and some pearls of wisdom from their brewmaster. Provided they are is vertical when I meet him, or her.

Another area that I have enabled for the time being is the beer aficionado tab. This is where you will be able to find stories from people just like you and me, regular every day Jane’s and Joe’s that enjoy beer, and have a few words to say.

This is where you will find monthly interviews with beer stewards, bartenders, and people from every walk of life imaginable. Thanks to technology, I have also decided to host a “Beer With Blake” hour, this is where, once a week or so we can all sit down together thanks to the marvels of Google+ and have a live video chat about beer. So, kick back, relax, get a beer (Do that before you put your feet up) and enjoy. Don’t forget to follow my snippets of beerdom on Twitter (@BeerWithBlake) and “like” me on

Last, but certainly not least, a huge shoutout of thanks to those that help make this possible. My Mother Peggy Murrah whose seemingly endless resources have provided not only the insight for troubleshooting, but this wonderful visual masterpiece that is. My Dad for giving me support through the years, and buying me beer whenever I came home. Also for drinking my beer that I brought home, the discontinued beers of course.

My friends that have aided me in the collection of numerous bottles, Bill Coats, Scott Plattsmier, Callie Fontana. My Brother Taylor for choosing only my most expensive beer on which to indulge, and then telling me that he prefers Keystone.

To each and everyone that I didn’t name here that has supported me in this venture, from Sereth, my Beer and Wine Steward at HEB that ordered me off the wall beers, and saved special editions until I could get my hands on them, to Katie who has done the same thing for me, and put me behind the table doing beer tastings and giving me the podium on which I could stand and share my love of beer to the city of College Station. Also to Lisa Lowe who on more than one occasion perpetuated my beer list by dragging me out of the house to partake in the Harvey Washbangers sixty beers in sixty days challenge.

A huge thanks to you all!

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