Most of Portland’s beer geeks have speculated at one time or another as to the real identity of the infamous beer blogger known as Dr. Wort. His vitriolic posts have inflamed more than a few writers and readers, and sometimes the line between online “troll” and blog author has been a little blurry with this character/author.
And while we appreciate his ability to avoid “sugar coating” issues, it is beer we’re talking about here, not Watergate secrets, and the pseudonym seems unnecessary. Honest reviews, while very much appreciated, shouldn’t start with dishonesty. Plenty of other bloggers are promoting honest reporting without hiding behind a nom de plume.
For that reason, we’ve decided to reveal Dr. Wort’s true identity. Is it our job? Nope, but neither is blogging.
Dr. Wort is Mike Winslow, a former California homebrewer who now resides in the Portland area. Fun fact: he won the old Guest on Tap column’s Steinbart’s gift certificate drawing (see first item under “Beer News”) a few years ago.
How’d we discover his identity? We first assembled a list of what we knew about him, based on his own posts and comments on other blogs:
- Dr. Wort is a homebrewer (seen in a homebrewing-related Facebook status shown in his blog’s sidebar)
- Dr. Wort is/has been a beer judge (which he’s not afraid to tell you)
- Dr. Wort lived in San Francisco at one time
- Dr. Wort is/was involved in the medical field (related post)
These facts provided some helpful background in doing a little Google detective work, but his own blog ultimately proved his downfall. Dr. Wort publishes a list of his favorite links in his sidebar (what, no link to BS Brewing, doc?), and one of the links is to the Homebrew Chef, aka Sean Paxton (thanks for using your real name, Sean!), someone who frequently comments on Dr. Wort’s posts. The Homebrew Chef’s link page provided us with our name (not the one we thought we’d find!):
Dr. Wort’s Buzz – Northwest Brew perspective from Mike Winslow
Seeing how the comments posted by the Homebrew Chef were pretty familiar-sounding, we felt confident the two writers were friends, and that the information could likely be trusted, but we dug a little deeper before revealing the name on Twitter late last night.
A few google searches for “Mike Winslow” and some beer terms like “BJCP” and simply “beer Portland” eventually revealed an e-mail address (which I won’t divulge for spam reasons – just outing the guy, not trying to fill his inbox with spam … ). There aren’t too many in Portland’s beer scene we haven’t corresponded with at one time or another, and a quick inbox search revealed a few August 2007 messages from the e-mail address in question, signed affectionately, “Dr. Wort,” or simply, “DW.” The event he was organizing (the reason we were corresponding) didn’t happen, but it provided the confirmation we needed.
What say you, Mike Winslow, alias Dr. Wort? We know you’ll keep up the straight reporting and no-holds-barred commentary, but now, you can proudly sign your real name to it.