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a mutineer to revere Print
Written by Nikitas Magel   

A Mutineer to Revere

An Interview with the Editor & Publisher of Mutineer Magazine

Consumer interest is shifting.  The current global economic state of affairs notwithstanding, industry stalwarts — companies like Motorola, Sony, and even Microsoft — are gradually losing their grip on the very products with which they've became dominant in the command for consumer currency and attention.  Why?  Because they've obstinately and tenaciously clenched onto the market paradigms they spawned, but which are showing prominent signs of age.   And so it is with the mainstream of print media (the bankruptcy of Tribune Co. being but one prominent tip of the iceberg) and the niche of wine media, in particular.  An increasingly prominent reality is that these periodicals are steadily their losing their relevance on the landscape of wine journalism to emerging alternatives — media with more contemporary voices, versatile platforms, and compelling content.  Traditional media's flippant disregard and arrogant disdain towards these newer players only accelerates their arguably imminent demise.  While they allow the band to play on, fresher alternatives are taking root and growing strong.  Could there be a bit of a mutiny underfoot?

Apropos, one alternative seeking to do its part to change the direction of wine journalism is Mutineer magazine.  It's a very new publication in the domain of fine beverage journalism, and one that's targeted to a generation that's growing in size and sophistication.  Many will say that this audience is feeling increasingly underserved by the dominent lineup of wine magazines whose journalistic formula, albeit tried and true and one that invariably comes delivered in glossy jackets, is frankly beginning to show a rather dull finish.  I spoke with Mutineer's editor-in-chief, Alan Kropf, about his vision for the magazine, what he sees as a void he seeks to fill, and his speculations about the future of wine journalism as a whole.

NM:  How is Mutineer Magazine different from other publications covering the beverage industry?  And what prompted you guys to launch it?

AK:  The inspiration to start the magazine came from my experiences as a sommelier.  While there has certainly been people who have made efforts to make wine more approachable, I didn't feel anyone was doing it with a magazine format.  I explored the idea and found a beer expert by the name of JJ Bagley to go in with me on it, along with a couple of other business partners to put it all together.  It's been an organic product that has grown: Issue 3 just came out two months ago at 84 pages, as opposed to the 32 pages of Issue 2.  The vision for the magazine also continues to grow.  And that vision is, really, capturing fine beverage culture.  But what's different for us is that we don't put 100-point scores on things, we don't tell you what you should be drinking.  Rather, we try to capture stories about beverages in general — wine, beer, spirits, coffee, tea, soda, water, anything you can drink — and then share those stories with our readers.

NM:  The magazine has a fresher, younger, more of a hip approach, and something that's much less traditional than your typical beverage or wine magazine.  Can you say a bit about your intentions with that approach and direction, not only visually, but also in terms of how you're presenting the information, in terms of content, photography, and the overall voice?



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