February 26, 2014 by 250 Beers
Remember this guy…?
His name is Marty Keetels and the photo above went viral across social media last December. To date, the photo has been ‘shared’ more than 400 times on Facebook and has received more than 2,000 ‘likes’. Viral indeed.
The man must be a lunatic to throw away full-time employment in the name of a beer and cider festival! I have to admit that I shuddered when I first saw the photo and it had nothing to do with the shock of red hair or the fact that he’d obviously raided the stationery cupboard before leaving his job. It was the word ’boutique’. I’m not a fan of it.
One of Marty’s first initiatives was to form the Beer inCider Social Club. No doubt the grand plan behind the social club and their monthly meet-ups is to generate a steady following and equally gain some momentum ahead of any large-scale festivities.
The first social club gathering was held at the Brewhouse last December. Sadly, due to work commitments, I couldn’t make it which was a shame because man-about-town and friend of 250beers.com, Daniel Rickard from Calibre Craft Beer Trading, was the guest speaker.
The second meet-up was just last week. Last Wednesday in fact. The host venue was the International Hotel & Microbrewery in Spring Hill (stay tuned for a blog post featuring the International soon).
Foolishly, I’d agreed to help Marty out and say a few words to the crowd. What he didn’t realise was that I’m hopeless with a microphone! The last time I used a mic in a pub I cleared the place out. Although, it was during a karaoke session. I’m not proud of it. I’m less proud of the fact that it was a song from Grease. I was all ‘Danny’. Anyway, moving on…
Aside from having a good time and socialising, one other major purpose of the meetings is to taste beer and cider. No doubt Daniel provided the masses with some tasty beer and cider from his portfolio last time. Most recently, two beers came courtesy of the International in the form of their Noble Pilsener (4.6%) and the Irish Red (5.0%). There were also two ciders being showcased by Victorian-based Napoleone & Co. – more specifically by Michael, the Queensland rep.
Proceedings include the tastings, a few words from guest speakers and also entertainment usually in form of a musician or band. Last week, the crowd got a treat. Not only did Chris Tamwoy prove himself as a mind-blowing, mega-star in the making with his unorthodox yet amazing guitar skills but the congregation also had the benefit of witnessing fuddled ramblings from a halfwit that forgot to read the notes he’d pre-written for a little speech. Bonus.
In all seriousness, the one major thing about the Beer inCider Social Club that I wasn’t prepared for was the demographic. I honestly had no preconceptions but having been present at a number of craft beer-related events over the past few years I certainly wasn’t expecting a full room where females outnumbered their male counterparts easily by two to one. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just wasn’t expecting it. I’d comfortably say that the average age of paying members was around the 25 mark. There’s nothing wrong with that either I’m just suggesting that generally, and in my experience, there are usually older blokes at these types of events. Perhaps there will be at future Beer inCider functions now that I’m promoting the volume of ladies that attend!
I made a point of speaking with a few people during the evening mainly to ask them about their favourite beers (and to plug my blog). The general consensus was the James Squire range and Little Creatures although one fellow said he couldn’t walk past a six-pack of 4 Pines pale ale without buying it. Also, a number of people commented that they were there solely for the cider. I felt that, in the most part, attendees were either at the beginning of their beer journey – exploring new things – or cider drinkers. At the end of the night Marty said exactly the same thing himself. Having only knocked over two meet-ups, he’s still finding his feet and getting used to his target audience.
With the quantity of new beer explorers that Marty is attracting I can’t help but feel that the social club is a good thing and certainly has a place in the ever-evolving Brisbane beer scene.
So, the bigger picture. Where is this rolling social club with no fixed abode heading? I’ll tell you…. Albion Park for the Beer inCider Experience on September 19th, 20th and 21st. It’s still too early to confirm any details of what beers, ciders, breweries etc might be present over that weekend. However, now that dates have been set things might start falling into place. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain. Albion Park (or any outdoor venue for that matter) won’t lend itself kindly to wet weather. Personally, I much prefer to drink beer inside(r)….sorry, couldn’t resist.
The next Beer inCider Social Club meet-up is scheduled for March 29th at The Boundary Hotel in West End. Keep an eye on the Beer inCider Facebook page for details.