This is a beer review with a twist as it’s not actually me reviewing the beer, having more to do with the outside influences that really enhanced my enjoyment and the fantastic way that social media can be used at it’s very best.
The beer in question was Coalition Old Ale. Brewed in 2009, Coalition is the result of a collaboration between two of my favourite breweries, Thornbridge and Dark Star.
I saw a review of this beer back at around the time of launch and thought, “I have to try that”! I seem to remember it being this post on The Thornbridge Blog which tells the tale of how the beer came about, although I recall there also being a lot of excited chatter going on at the time on various blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc. Anyway to cut a long story short, a purchase was made and on arrival I put the beer away waiting for the right moment to drink it to arrive.
I had a moment of clarity thinking, “I’ve got a bottle of that in the fridge”, replied as such and before I could read all the responding tweets telling me as such it was open.
I took my beer outside to sit in the cool evening air and so sitting down at the garden table, glass in hand, I started to read Leighs fine blogpost (read it here).
As I was doing so @baron_orm chirps up on twitter that I should also check out his blog post too (there is a connection to Leighs), also to listen to the inclusive audio review on his own blog The Ormskirk Baron.
So now I find myself not only enjoying one of the finest beers I’ve had for some time, I’m also reading the extensive tasting notes and listening to the live beer rating chat from three established beer critics, this including @BGRTRob from Hopzine.
It was I can honestly say a really enlightening experience, akin to having an actual live tasting event in my own back yard. As each aroma and flavour was described I’d take another taste or sniff and think to myself “oh yeah, I can really get that”. Marvellous!
Now some folk may say that they would prefer to try and glean that information for themselves so as not to be influenced by the opinions of others, that could be true, that said for me, at that moment it really enhanced the experience.
As a consequence of the initial twitter conversations and my own continuing tweets on how things were progressing, we were joined in twitter conversations by several others including
@Darkstarbrewco @tuff86 @baron_orm @abarth50010 @leighgoodstuff @mybrewerytap @thornbridge
and @GhostDrinker amongst others. Essentially we now have brewers, retailers and customers all busily chatting away about how much of this wonderful beer was made, what is it like, is it still available (it is) and where from. All this of course, being visible the many hundreds if not thousands of followers not actually actively involved in conversation, a marketeers dream.
From a personal perspective, I’d just like to say a big THANKS to everyone above for a cracking evening of beer enjoyment!
If you want to try Thornbridge/Darkstar Coalition, I know of at least two online retailers: www.beerritz.co.uk and www.mybrewerytap.com, there may be more out there on tinterweb, specialist beer shops and I suspect at the Thornbridge brewery shop, so I’d definitely advise grabbing one now before it’s too late.
If you enjoyed reading this post please spread the love, Facebook share it, RT on Twitter or send on by email. I’d love to hear your comments and shared experiences too in the comments section of this page. Cheers Phil