Podcast rewind – transcript of our chat with Kirrily from Beer Style/Beer Diva

Taken from this episode

Direct link to audio here.

Luke: That’s kinda, that’s what got Dave and I talking when we saw Beer Style, which is your new blog, which is centred around bringing those things together. Music, beer, fashion and art as well. And we looked at it and admittedly we went “I don’t get this at all”

Kirrily: ‘What is she doing?’

Luke: Yeah and we also are clearly not the target market for it.

Dave: But we understand so we thought what better way to find out more about it.

Kirrily: To get me in and explain it.

Luke: Yeah.

Kirrily: Look it’s something, they are all loves of mine anyway. They are all things that I love and I guess, with beer and maybe being a female in the beer world, there’s a lot of really blokey stuff out there and I guess everything I’ve tried to do with Beer Diva and now with Beer Style is almost remove beer -take it out of that world and put it into a world that to me can engage a wider audience and you know, I think beer as well is very sensory.

It’s quite emotive as well so to me music is obviously as well so bringing the two together, I just love that whole sensory experience and then obviously clothing as well…. ummm I’m probably not explaining it very well but it’s 1) taking it out of the world that it is so deeply entrenched in and you know I know we are all in this little craft beer bubble but I get outside of that a lot  doing a lot of corporate events.

I do a lot of training in fairly sort of upmarket venues but not “craft” beer venues and you know it’s the same old attitude towards beer that you’re having to go in and sort of break down those stereotypes and change people’s perceptions and to me Beer Style was a great way of doing that. Of sort of tying beer into things that most people would never associate with beer, and it’s been great in terms of the audience that I am attracting. I’ve got over 60% of my viewers are female. Which is brilliant, that’s what I wanted. I want men to like it as well but I want women to see it and see that beer can fit within the sort of fashionable world. It can sit in other contexts that maybe they hadn’t thought of before.

Luke: Is it sort of giving them a bit of a touchstone, you know, they are familiar with the fashion or they are interested in the fashion. That’s what can draw them in.

Kirrily: I think that’s what is drawing them in actually, is the fashion side of things for sure and I’ve now got some of those bigger labels following me and seeing what I’m doing, which is great as well because I think you know, again, even with those brands to endorse something that has beer in there as well I think is quite a big step for them. And it’s probably not something they, you know – you’d probably associate champagne or wine more with fashion houses so it’s great that I’m getting a tick from those guys too.

Dave: It’s just a great way to engage completely a different market.

Kirrily: That’s exactly what I’m trying to do and I know people within the beer world have sort of looked at me like “I don’t really get it?”

Luke: That wasn’t us at all by the way….

Kirrily: And the way I write the reviews as well, I guess, there are a lot of great sites out there reviewing beers and to me it’s more about how this beer makes me feel. The sort of ocassion, the setting, the emotion and the music. How that sort of all plays together as well. You know my reviews are a bit weird and wacky and I’ve seen some comments just going “had no idea what she was talking about but I really loved the beer so…”

Dave: Well no one cares about IBUs and

Kirrily: That’s the thing, it’s taking all of that out of it so I actually… the actual sort of descriptor of the beer is a very small part of the review but I’m just hoping people will go “I see myself in that scenario and this might be a great beer to be drinking in that scenario”. And obviously all the glassware is in the shot as well and you know it’s putting an elegance I hope into something that people outside of… your “non traditional” beer drinkers suddenly look at it differently.

Luke: I recommended a book on this show a while ago which was about perfume, and the reason I really enjoyed the book was the descriptive language the author used and I’ve never worn perfume, I don’t know anything about it, but I really enjoyed reading the prose and I guess that was… that brought me in to the world of perfume and now I’ve read this book and no quite a bit about it. So I guess that might… is that sort of similar to what you’re doing?

Kirrily: That’s the hope and it’s really fun. I love it.  It is a really fun thing for me to be doing as well so you know, yes there’s obviously that whole side of engaging a bigger audience and it does get really frustrating when you’re sort of… you walk into a space and you know, you’re just constantly being told the same things about beer. “I don’t drink it, it’s really unlady-like, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole, maybe on a hot day if I’m really thirsty would I drink it”. You know, it’s just constantly hearing all of that and to be able to go “look at it here in this you know… isn’t this pretty”.

Luke: I know, I’ve seen you say in the past that you’re a big proponent of putting beer in a wine glass as well, which I guess is sort of the same thing.

Kirrily: Yeah, the glassware to me I think is probably the biggest opportunity to changing some of those misconceptions about beer, particularly with females. I think the majority of beer glassware is really pretty unattractive for women and I still… I go into venues that serve beer often and I’ll ask for a wine glass and their like “oh… yeah ok, sure”, and I think ‘it’s so easy, it’s so easy to do. So yeah, look I think that’s a big untapped, easy opportunity to think about how beer is actually being served. And it’s not just females either. I don’t know, what do you guys think about most of the beer glassware that’s out there.

Luke: I’m a little bit… I’m getting slightly obsessed with glassware lately and I really like a nice glass.

Kirrily: It makes a difference doesn’t it.

Dave: One of our earlier episodes we did quite an extensive glassware tasting, off air, and then discussed the results on air and it does make a ridiculous difference.

Luke: Yeah and also the glasses we’ve been using at home at the moment, because we’ve broken a few of the Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsners – we only have one left – but we went to a wine event and got given, as part of the event, two Riedel glasses. I can’t remember what style they are but I think we’ve just been drinking out of those now and you know, putting an expensive bottle of beer in that… yeah it makes you feel a little bit classier.

Kirrily: And it changes the flavour and it changes even the experience. The nice fine glass rather than the big chunky lip that you have to sort of get your mouth.. it just gets in the way.

Dave: My glassware at home are big brandy-balloons and whenever you sip your nose is right in there and you’re getting all the aroma of it and that’s just the way I like to roll.

Luke: And when you look at Belgium and that’s the strongest beer culture in the world and everything has it’s on glass.

Dave: It’s not for no reason is it…

Luke: Well a lot of them are pretty aesthetic, you know, the Kwak glass for example is clearly made to look rather than made to drink nice, but it’s really fun. You’re sitting round the table and everyone’s got a completely different glass and it’s got a different brand on it.

Kirrily: Well it becomes a talking point and I guess it, again, changes that sort of conversation around beer because it is all about the presentation and it’s stimulating conversation about beer, which often doesn’t get spoken about. It’s just something that sort of sits on the table and everyone drinks it but having that different glassware I think is a really great way of getting people to actually consider a little bit more what’s in their glass.

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