My name is Matt Maslin, and I am the founder and author of Boston BarHopper. I started this blog in 2012 with an objective that was both simple and personal – find an outlet for writing. Professionally, I was working as an editor at the time, which paid the bills but didn’t allow me a great deal of creative freedom. I’d periodically embark on personal writing projects, but I’d just get distracted and abandon them. I needed to find a topic that would stick.
Boston’s bar and restaurant scene was booming at the time, and since writing about that would entail eating and drinking in interesting places, it sounded like a promising subject. I didn’t have any particular direction or mission; I just wanted to be writing on a regular basis. How else to justify my master’s degree in English?
What I didn’t know then was that a phenomenon commonly known as the Cocktail Renaissance was in full swing. This movement – which I’ll briefly describe as a return to traditional cocktail techniques, a rediscovery of classic recipes, and an emphasis on quality spirits, fresh ingredients, presentation, and creativity – picked up steam in the mid- to late 1990s and began truly flourishing in the mid-2000s, nationally and around the world.
Boston was not without its own respected players in the early days of the craft cocktail game, most notably Eastern Standard and Drink. But when I started writing in 2012, local cocktail culture was exploding. I cannot begin to list all of the excellent cocktail bars that opened around that time and in subsequent years. You could argue that the market has since become oversaturated, but as I see it, the cocktail community has only grown and become more vibrant.
My timing may have been dumb luck, but I could not have chosen a better topic at a more exciting time.
Today, Boston BarHopper is a blog focusing on cocktails, spirits, home bartending, and the beverage industry at large. I write about individuals who have devoted their careers to this industry. I focus on brands that I respect and admire, whether they’re new or well established. I write about bars and restaurants that work hard to create quality beverage programs while emphasizing hospitality.
And while I have a more deliberate focus than I did when I started, the blog is still a personal endeavor. It’s a way to document my own discoveries in the cocktail world and share them with anyone who may be interested. If that’s you, then thank you for being here. I’ll try to keep you entertained and informed, and I welcome your feedback.