Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The people you meet ...
When you’re having a beer.
While enjoying the simple pleasures of Trappist Ales and perhaps a few quiet birthday ales as well, when a new-comer arrived after the official proceedings had concluded. Dr Lager, Chris and I had just been speaking about the kinds of people who turn up to The Local Taphouse after an Ale Stars evening and the kinds of laughs we get, so we were watching this bloke with interest.
He was one of those blokes who ‘kinda-sorta-look-familiar’ but you don’t think you’ve met them before, yet you figure you know them. He was chatting to Guy and Justin next to us when I overheard Guy saying, “Yeah he IS. He’s standing right behind you.”
“G’Day, Prof, I’m Beer Matt,” he says. If only for the fact that I may have been on my fourth birthday drink, you could have knocked me down with beer label. Beer Matt, is Matt Kirkegaard, former editor of Beer & Brewer magazine, beer writer, host of Beer Events extraordinaire and fellow beer blogger – see his feed in my list of ‘Drinking Mates’ on the right hand side of my blog.
We have swapped comments and shared views on each others’ blogs for a while and it was a very nice surprise to meet him as suddenly as I did. Matt was at The Local Taphouse to host a corporate beer dinner upstairs – BEER DINNERS for corporates?? Where were they when I was out in the mud shooting the CEO with paintballs or running the Food & Beverage Manager off the Go-Kart track!?! Nice gig if you can get it! Let me know if you need a ‘sidekick’ next time you’re down in Melbourne, Matt!
There was something very Beer Karma about meeting a fellow beer blogger in person. It just goes to prove that beer really can make the world a smaller place and one in which people with shared interests can connect much more easily than in days of old. Now, settle down, Mrs Lager, that does NOT mean I am about to embrace the evil empire of Twatter. Yet. I just mean it was a strangely warm feeling to have ‘made a friend’ due to the Wide Wide World of Webs and a common passion for good beer. That’s all. Good to meet you, Matt.
And just to clarify an earlier point, the kind of people who usually slide in to The Local Taphouse (late on a school night, remember) and give us a laugh are the ones like Sean served a couple of Ale Stars back. This scraggy bloke, who looked as though he may have been already reasonably ... refreshed ... straddled the bar and surveyed the blackboard next to us.
After Umming and Aaahing for a minute he says, “Um, I’ll just have a .. orrr ... something simple ... how about a .... a .... a .... number 7??” Number seven was something like an Erdinger Dunkelweizen or similar – certainly it was something a million miles away from his ‘usual tipple’. He hands Sean the cash, takes the glass, strides purposefully away from the bar ... straight out the front door and onto the Number 27 tram to Caulfield. Just like that. Funny, funny shit.