OK so a while back I wrote a blog post about virtually travelling around the world by drinking brews from all over the globe.
Since then I've thought about it and before I kick it off I've changed it a bit.
Firstly, five beers have, erm, disappeared... hiccup. This isn't a major thing, the ones that miraculously disappeared can be easily replaced (Red Stripe, Zwiec, Camerons Strongarm, Tiger, Dragon Stout). I'll replace them when I get through the other 20, as I reckon this may take a while.
Secondly, I've decided to simplify the formula. I have planned to map out the journey between all the beers and where they were brewed, and then circumnavigate the globe in a logical manner as though I were really travelling between the destinations. Thinking about it, I think it'll just be smarter to work on the beers when I manage to find a person in each location. Put simply, I'll fit in with the plans of the people I'll be chatting to instead of getting them to fit in with my plans.
Lastly, the beers that turned up were different to the ones that were on the website. Which is nice.
The plan is I'll find people in each of the locations listed below, organise a time, then Skype them or Twitter with them and have a chat over a beer just like you would if you were sat at a bar in the local area. I'm sure each chat will be different, some with strangers/ some with friends, some in the same industry/ some in different walks of like, and I'm sure some will be more interesting than others. We'll see eh?
It'd be good to get any of your opinions on things you would like me to think about. Got any ideas about things I can chat about? People I can chat to? Pop them all in the comments, please.
(It's difficult to be 100% accurate with those locations, as some of the beers are brewed under license across several different breweries. I've tried to find the first or local brewery for each. Do contact me if you think I'm wrong with any of them.)
OK so now it's over to you. I need your help.
Let me know if you're close to those places (needn't be the same town, but in the general location and in the same country at least?) and fancy a chat one day while we're both drinking one of the beers. We can have a chat on Skype or Twitter if you like. Nothing more than you would do if you were sat at a bar at the end of a day. Maybe we'll chat about work, life, politics. My only aim is to share a beer with a local even though we may be thousands of miles way. Alternatively if you know someone that may like to chat to me please send them the link and ask them to get in touch.
And as I said, if there's anything you'd like to offer to improve the experience please do - I just thought it'd be an interesting thing to do to add some context to the beers I had delivered. Just pop all your feedback in the comments section or email me at madesignstudies at gmail dot com.
So - who is up first? Look forward to 'meeting' some of you soon. Mark
In the North East I started drinking when I was 14. I was in nightclubs that same year supping on pints of Diesel (snakebite and black). We had a rule when we used to go out drinking when we were in our early teens: drink 4 cans of normal lager (Carling, Scorpion Dry, Viborg) or 2 cans of Special Brew.
In short, I grew up drinking to get drunk. I was like that for a while.
Now I'm in my early 30s, I have a (coiffed) beard and I'm trying to appreciate something I have grown up seeing as a means to an end.
Recently I've started drinking in a different way. My local pub is a lovely real ale, craft beer pub called The Jolly Butchers. I've started reading some great books about beer and the social aspects of drinking by a chap called Pete Brown. You should readhisbooks, they really give you some context about what you drink. Before I read his books I saw beer as a commodity, now I see beer as an art. And like art, some of it's cheap shit, some of it's twee and over-intellectualised but some of it strikes a chord with you and just feels right.
At the back of one of his books, there was a link to Beers of Europe - an online beer shop. Confusingly, but happily, they stock beers from all over the globe. So I bought some. I bought an International Mixed 24:
Not having money or the time to physically get to all these places, I started thinking about how I could virtually enjoy them in something like their natural surroundings.
Then I thought: What better way to try beers from around the globe than to drink them in their home land? Virtually...
So, I've got 25 beers. (I know there are only 24 in the box, but I also bought a case of my local ale from the North East...) Now I need 25 people at least - in each area where the beers come from.
The plan is something like this (but it'll undoubtedly evolve):
I'm going to travel around the world. Virtually. I'm going to start in Hartlepool, then travel logically around the world. (I'll post an itinerary linked to the beers soon). Before I travel to each location I'll find a 'local' on Twitter or Facebook or something. When I drink my beer, they drink their beer. We chat like we're sat in a bar. We chat about life, work, politics, food and all the things people talk about at a bar. We'll have a single beer and bridge the thousands of miles that may be between us.
Then I'll blog about it.
Why am I doing this? Well, why not?
I'm interested in the people I'm going to meet virtually. I'm interested in how my life is different from the life of the people around the world, but how we probably appreciate a beer the same way - as a way of escaping, a way of relaxing, a way of thinking about life in a nice way.
What I need from you: What should we talk about? Are there any specific things you'd like us to touch on? Do you have any friends in each of the countries/ towns/ cities above? What would you suggest would make it better?
Let me know what you think. Travel itinerary to follow.