“This is my friend Pete, he’s a Sagittarius” #BeerTwitterIRL

I had a marvellous time at the London Craft Beer Festival last Saturday. I had a spare ticket and I had no hesitation in reaching out to Pete McKerry (@PJMcKerry) to see if he was keen and luckily enough he was so I had a drinking buddy for the night.

Now I’ve only met Pete a few times and really enjoyed his company but haven’t really known him that long. How did I know to ask Pete?

In short, Beer Twitter.

When you first get into beer and blogging its not too difficult to find interesting people to follow on twitter (all roads lead to @totalcurtis). I discovered Pete on twitter and met him for the first time over a few drinks organised by Steve (@beerolockshow) at the DraftHouse in Old Street. I’d interviewed Steve and Mark for my podcast after meeting them through beer twitter where I discovered their podcast.

During the podcast Steve said, “I now have a bigger group of friends than I’ve ever had as a result of doing the podcast”. I didn’t really know what he meant at the time, until the weekend.

It was great to have a few beers with Pete and have a chat and we also met up with loads of other people from Beer Twitter in London. One of things we did talk about that got me thinking was what happens when you meet people from Beer Twitter In Real Life?

Is there an etiquette to it? What are the different scenarios and how do you react? Have you ever noticed someone you interact with on Twitter and thought about introducing yourself? All questions we pondered.

When you recognised someone from Twitter IRL

At a beer event there is no doubt going to be someone from BeerTwitter there that you’ve never met before. Do you introduce yourself? How? Do you shake hands? Mention your twitter handle?

For me, this really depends on the situation and what type of mood I’m in. I first introduced myself to Matt (@totalcurtis) at a beer event a while ago referenced I followed him and that was the start of our IRL interaction.

Sometimes I’ll recongnised someone but not make the formal introduction, either because the stuation doesn’t allow or I simply get the fear.

I don’t think I’ve ever had someone come up to me, sadly.

When someone from BeerTwitter that you’ve never met IRL invites you to something

This can be a tricky one. You don’t know the person, you’ve never met then, they could be using an anonymous name. I met a Luke McGlynn (@mcglynn784) at BrewDog Shepherds Bush for a Cloudwater Tap Takeover after he’d gotten in touch via twitter as a fellow West London. Since then we’ve met a few times and I’d definitely consider him a beer buddy.

When you meet someone then start following them on twitter.

This is something I’ve done loads. You meet someone, introduce yourself and have a chat and then follow it up with a tweet later. This is nice way for the person to link the name to a face to a twitter handle.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other scenarios and other stories for people to share on their Beer Twitter IRL experiences. I’ve now met plenty of people from BeerTwitter IRL, some I would consider friends, and will hopefully meet loads more (looking at you @thabearded1).

Either way I think connecting through social media and in person is great and should be encouraged, especially over beer!

I’d love to know your BeerTwitterIRL stories.

Picture taken by @gingerdaniels13

Episode 11- Evin O’Riordain

The Kernel Brewery sits at the heart of the Bermondsey beer community alongside a number of other producers including cheese makers, bakers, butchers, coffee roasters and honey makers. Evin O’Riordain, the founder of The Kernel, has not only built a great brewery but a sense of community amongst these local producers.

I sat down with Evin over a few of their amazing beers to hear his story and came away with a better understanding of the philosophy of the man behind The Kernel.

Episode 10 – Tom Palmer

Welcome to Episode 10, with Tom Palmer from Mondo Brewing Company.

One of things I love about doing this podcast is hearing the story of how people got into beer. I am lucky to sit down and talk, usually over a few beers, about how people began their beer journey. For some it’s a pub idea that they just run with. For others its more considered. They make a conscious, deliberate decision to do it differently, exactly the way they want to do it.

Tom and Todd at Mondo Brewing Company took the considered approach. Two Americans, they ended up in London for personal reasons, started working together in a brewery and began talking about how they would it differently.

This is the story of Mondo Brewing Company as told by Tom.

Episode 9 – Sam McGregor

Welcome to Episode 9 with Sam McGregor, Co-Founder of Signature Brew.

Beer and music are a great match. But they aren’t often presented well together – why is the beer always terrible at gigs and festivals?

This was a question that Sam was trying to answer when exploring the concept of their brewery. We explored this and more in a very candid chat.

Sam was honest, philosophical, engaging and not afraid to give his opinion, which makes for a great conversation. Listen in.

SouthWestLondon BottleShare | #ShareTheRare

Beer is the most social drink in the world. Fact.

And a BottleShare is one of the best ways to bring this to life. The concept is simple, you all put in a tenner, which goes towards buying some great beers for you to all share.

I’ve been fascinated by this idea ever since I uncovered these events existed for a few reasons. One is that is defied modern beer drinking trends which is either pints at the pub or beer at home, which is increasingly shared online. The concept of sharing the good stuff in person sounded magical.

There was a catch, however, in that none of the great events were anywhere close to where I live. So I decided to start my own, with a little help from my friends. Charlie Pountney, Beer Sommelier and alround nice guy, who I met recording Episode 2 of my podcast, was also keen on the idea. So together we created the SouthWestLondon BottleShare and we want you to join us.

Its being held at Out of Office in Battersea on Wednesday 8th June.

You can find all the details here. 

Hope to see you there to #ShareTheRare


Episode 8 – Matt Curtis

Matt Curtis is a thinker, an obsessive, and envelop pusher. He’s also one of the best and busiest beer writers in the country. Whether its commissions in magazines, beer events or more impressively the fact he was handpicked by Michael Kiser to be the UK storyteller for Good Beer Hunting.

Matt is also a talker and in our time we covered a lot –his days in a band, the story behind why he’s known as Total Curtis, his journey to beer writing, his take on CAMRA and the opportunities and challenges for the industry.

I also found out about what he’s really interested – an emphasis on modern beer culture in the UK in addition to the beer itself. In that respect Matt is one of the thought leaders in the UK beer scene.


Episode 7 – Wilf, Co-Founder of UBREW

It’s fair to say the UK has always had a home brew culture. Many craft brewers started out as home brewers and with the beer revolution we’ve seen more and more people take an interested in brewing.

Sometimes taking the first step can be intimidating. Luckily, there are more and more places to obtain advice and materials, either online or instore.

Then you have a concept like UBREW. Inspired by modern work share environments, it allows people to try brewing for themselves – with modern equipment in a social setting. The reaction to this concept has been incredible and for me is a great example of beer related entrepreneurialism.

I spoke with Wilf about the story of UBREW – still only a very new company – including their recent crowd funding and their future plans – watch out for an exclusive during the conversation.