About The Publisher

A PSEA  Excellence Award winning writer since High School, and hailing from a small western Pennsylvania farm town, I cut my journalistic teeth in the firearms and outdoor media groups for nearly 20 years. Writing for such publications as The Blue Book of Gun Values, Survival Magazine, Northwest Sportsman Magazine, and contributing to a dozen or so more other titles over the years, the love of my pipe collecting hobby became a small business in 2010 as Born Again Briar was conceived, a small business restoring and selling pipes. Soon thereafter, I started blogging about the interesting world of the pipe industry and so I created Briar Meditations as a simple blog. It has grown to this.

Tying in my love and desire for writing, with the hobby I enjoy so much in pipes and pipe collecting seemed to be the natural next step as a freelance writer. Formerly a regular contributor to on-line pipe hobby magazines, I reviewed many pipes and pipe artisans over the years, and in the process have become friends with some wonderful personalities in the wide world of pipe crafting.

Briar Meditations is quickly becoming one of the more well respected and loved pipe blogging sites on the net. Our hope is that you become an active part in it as well.


Here’s what some industry professionals have said about Tom’s writing:

Mr. Spithaler,

My name is Mark Schultz from Overland Park, Kansas. I came across your website through a link on [another site]. I wanted to take time and tell you ” Thank-you” for great blog. Keep up the good work!

Thx again,

Mark Schultz

I am glad that you have achieved to create a literal cornerstone to this fine art, you obviously posses a strong creative potential and the knowledge to spread the word in regard to new tendencies in the pipe community, it is indeed a splendid way that you go. Your blog-spots as your reviews bear exactly this fine balance that makes pipes and all that there is sound as an art form.

Abi Natur
Canaan Pipes

“That was a great read, and very entertaining!  I love your writing style – it’s conversational and very grounded.  Excellent work! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this.  You’ve got a real talent as a writer!

Kurt Huhn
Huhn Handmade Pipes

“I loved it!”

Jared Coles
J&J Artisan Pipes

“…just wanted to drop a few comments privately about your review article.  Good job!  I enjoy your style and you treated Cooper well in the review.  

Matt Guss

Seattle Pipe Club


You did a great job with the writing and the photography! This is excellent. 
Kevin Godbee

What are they saying about the Briar Meditations Blog:

I’ve read your blog and enjoy reading your reviews. I don’t have a problem with you listing my site under the links page and if you want a banner instead of text..there are always new potential customers that are hard to reach.. anyway.. the concept is great!

JSEC Pipes

Briar Meditations, Briar World and Born Again Briar are part of the Spithaler Media Services Group.

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