Lautering is a website dedicated to beer, beer culture, beer makers, beer drinkers, and the beer curious. We hope to support the exploding beer culture in the United States by providing a place for people to learn more about beer, how it’s made, and how they can enjoy it in new ways.
We also hope to solve a few problems (at least as we see it)…
Help grow the beer blogosphere.
The idea for Lautering started after we spent an afternoon trying to find all the beer blogs we could find. As it turns out, there are hundreds of small, niche beer blogs, but they’re often hard to find or categorize. We wanted to provide a platform and central location where a beer lover could start a blog and instantly find an audience of like-minded readers and writers.
Help connect beer lovers.
If you’re interested in homebrewing, where would you look to find a local homebrew group? What if you want to start your own local tasting club? Where would you find a group who loves cooking with beer as much as you do? We have a few ideas, but they’re scattered all over the place. As with blogs, we want to provide a central place for anyone with an interest in beer to find groups of people with similar interests, connect, and start sharing with each other.
Help people learn more about beer.
We think there should be more to writing about beer than reviews of obscure Belgians and bashing Miller Lite (though we totally understand). There’s a whole growing world of beer out there — from people who want to learn how to brew, to people who are curious about the explosion of new beers they see sitting on the shelf to it in the grocery store, to people who have spent years developing their beer pallets. Our goal is to help everyone — beer veterans and beer newcomers — learn something and appreciate the world of beer. That means covering the latest in beer gadgetry, techniques, business, culture, and, yes, reviews.
Lautering functions as a beer blog, written by the official Lautering team; a social network with full member profiles and an integrated message system; user-created groups; a network user-created blogs; and forums, arranged by participating groups. We have dozens of ideas on how to better serve the beer community with Internet technology, and we plan to grow well beyond our current functionality.
If you want to report something that’s broken, someone who’s being a jerk, spam, or anything else, email us and use @admin. This is particularly true for reporting trolls — just reply to the offending comment with something like “@admin: you should delete this” and we’ll take a look.
If you’re from a brewery or gadget maker or something like that, and you have something new you want to tell us about, send it our way. We obviously run our own beer blog here, and content doesn’t produce itself. Add us to your list and we’ll see what you’re all about.
Lautering runs on BuddyPress, which is a plugin for WordPressMU. Both are completely free, and we’re very grateful for the work the open source community has done on both projects. Without the time, energy, and dedication put forth by the developers and designers behind those projects, particularly Andy Pleating of BuddyPress, none of this would have been possible — it would have cost too much time and taken far too much work to be able make this a manageable hobby project. We’re using a mixture of plugins developed by the BuddyPress community to increase functionality, so if you’re wondering how something is done, send us a note and we’ll try to explain it.
The design is our own, though it’s largely just a modification of Pleating’s basic BuddyPress theme. If there’s any other technology that we’re using that isn’t credited here, we’re honestly sorry — send us a note and we’ll give you credit for your work. We’ve lost track of everything we Googled as we were building this, and we want to give you credit.
Trying to create, host, and maintain a beer community costs money. If you would like to advertise on Lautering, or if you have any questions or requests, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out all the details. You can also buy advertising directly through Google AdWords, and you can view our rates, placements, ad sizes and formats, and other information on our DoubleClick profile.
For now, we do text, image, and flash/rich media ads in both 486×60 and 300×250 formats, but we’re completely open to creativity. We can work on a CPM, CPC, or CPA model, or some other crazy scheme you may have.
We will never, ever give your information to anyone for any reason. If anyone gave away our information without our permission, we’d wish them a lifetime of warm, skunked beer, so we’re certainly not going to do it to you.
The sole exception to this would be a court order. Even then, we believe in a free, open, and private Internet, and we seriously consider all legal options before divulging any information from our users. But if you do something that makes the police and a judge feel like they need the information you’ve given us, we don’t have many options.
Any data Lautering collects about you is done by one of a two ways…
1. You provide it. We obviously require a certain amount of information when you first register, and you have the ability to add or remove information as different site features warrant. This is all you — if you want information removed, you can remove it.
2. Analytics software. We use analytics software to determine how you may use the site, but we don’t collect any personal information in the process. This generally helps us tell how popular various parts of the website are, what people are doing when they’re around, and how we can make things better. We can tell how often you try go to the “Settings” page of your profile, but we really don’t care, and we can’t see anything more than you’re willing to give us.
If you ever have any specific privacy questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com with “Privacy” somewhere in the subject line.