“This is Beer On TV 2”

IMG_5352This is  a follow on post from something I read over at The Good Stuff this morning, in it Leigh discusses the history, highs and lows of beer on TV. It’s well worth a read and has some great links to old clips of shows (check it here) but ultimately asks what do we want from a beer show on TV?

This post actually started as a comment in reply to Leigh, but I wittered on that long I thought it may as well be a post on here in support of the cause.. You should though really read the original first to put this into context, so go on, do it, do it now, here’s that link again, I’ll hang on here for five and go and make a cuppa….

“A short time passes”

It’s an interesting point on how to present this, I quite liked the laddish charms of the Oz and James etc shows as mentioned in Leighs post, they were easy watching and often quite informative, I first learned of Brewdog and Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer on that show. They were fun too which I definitely think is important, beer is for enjoyment, it should involve laughter, smiles and good times.

michaeljacksonA historical section included maybe? Trying to dispel a few myths about beer, show some old clips. Saturday Kitchen have Keith Floyd, we can have Michael Jackson?

Some of the Hairy Bikers stuff was quite good too when they toured Belgium for example, although clearly more food based. I particularly loved seeing them drinking in places I’d visited as it brought back memories, so some of that has to be in there.

I’m not sure I actually want to see beer on Saturday Kitchen either, even though I admit to joining the twitter deluge last year. For me that was about getting voices heard rather than having some flouncy over exuberant beer ponce throwing him/herself around Morrison’s only to pick up a bottle of 3 for a fiver supermarket averageness to pair with a steak and kidney pie. Beer and food though is a must.

twitter_beauty_profileBeer reviews. Now I’m not dissing the video reviewing community here, but I’m not convinced lots of beer reviews dominating a TV show would have much mileage (as with written reviews too), there definitely should be some, but perhaps as part of a wider spectrum of info share interspersed with stories and  visits to live events. Talking to real people and asking them what they think.

We already have some great presenters out there at the moment who know their stuff and have TV experience, Marverine Cole, Sophie Atherton, Pete Brown to name but a few. Great writers professional and amateur, video and written bloggers too that could all have some sort of input, especially on a regional basis.

So what do we (I) want, I’m not sure either, lets look at what we have so far…

  • Laughter, smiles and good times
  • History
  • Food or more specifically beer and food in all it’s various guises.
  • Beer reviews (any flouncy flamboyantness will be banned)
  • Real people, get out there at events and talk to folk

I’m thinking maybe something like a mixture of Sunday Brunch, The Gadget Show and Country File. Studio based with food and guests involved but also with a series of field reports from across the regions of the UK and beyond. Showcasing new beers, breweries and brewers and reminding folks of old classics they may have forgotten.

A starter for ten on a new TV show, that isn’t too much to ask is it?

Any takers…..

A blog about a blog about a blog… Featuring Thornbridge Hall Coalition Old Ale 7%

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.

Flicking through Twitter last night, I noticed a note from @LeighGoodStuff announcing a new post on his blog The Good Stuff.

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