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Why sharing beer is good

Anthony Gladman believes that “bot sharing” is a great way to discover new beers and try something that you would hardly ever be able to get yourself.

After a bottle of beer crosses the threshold of my house, it can be in several places. I can put one in the refrigerator so I can get it and drink it soon. Such beer does not linger for a long time. Another can go to the kitchen cabinet – a dark and cool place. This applies to a slightly stronger beer, which I will not drink spontaneously or while eating, as well as dark beer, which does not need much cooling. Be that as it may, in most cases I drink this beer for a couple of weeks.

But there is a third category: special, rare and unusual beers in large bottles that require a special occasion in order to enjoy them. I also hide them in a closet, but in its farthest corner. Sometimes I specially protect them for a certain event, but more often than not. They are stored with me for the longest time, and after some time I more and more often begin to recall them. Right now in my closet is a bottle of Burning Sky Saison de Pêche, which I really want to open, but I can’t do it yet. Partly because I rarely want to drink a whole bottle of 750 ml myself, but an even more compelling reason is that drinking a special beer alone is boring, uninteresting, gray … You feel that you are missing something. To fully enjoy such a beer, you need to share it with someone.

For this, we need “bot-sharing” – joint tastings in which like-minded people are able to appreciate rare beers and give them their due. Sometimes such events are organized by liquor stores, pubs or breweries. Sometimes they take place in an informal setting with the participation of close friends or acquaintances. In both cases, the principle is simple: a bunch of beer lovers gather, each of whom brings with him a bottle or two of beer to share with the rest.

At small tastings, the bottles are usually opened one at a time, and their contents are enough so that everyone can try an unusual beer. Sometimes the one who brought the bottle talks about where the beer was brewed, how he managed to get it and what it means to him. At larger events, brewers or store staff can make a small presentation of their beer before guests can open the bottles they bring with them and dive deep into the process.

“I’ve been to several shareings where no one was in charge of the process,” says Nick Crillie-Hargrave, an Australian photographer based in the UK. – It seemed to me that the people around me know about beer a thousand times more. They talked about all these special varieties and breweries that I had never heard of, but did not explain why they like them and why they chose them. People were just going to try beer and chat with each other. ”

What is the difference between beer lovers and beer snobs?
It may seem (and sometimes it actually happens) that bot-sharing is only for birgiks. For people who are just starting to discover the world of beer, this can scare away. Lotte Peplow first came to a joint tasting in 2016 to expand her horizons and try beers that had not previously attracted her. “It was a rather bold decision, because I was not familiar with anyone and expected that there would only be fashionable young people with beards. Being a woman, and far from fashionable and not young, I was the exact opposite of the stereotypical image of a birgik-hipster. ”

However, Lotte’s concerns about this small informal sharing did not materialize. “All the tasting participants were very friendly, and most of them were completely ordinary beer lovers, not experts at all,” she says. “I was afraid that everyone else would know a lot more than I did, but it was not like that at all.”

In fact, bot-sharing is one of the most democratic and tolerant phenomena on the beer scene. Ruvani De Silva, a resident of London of Sri Lankan origin, said that she felt comfortable at all the tastings where she had been. “I never felt that I was not accepted because of my gender, race or knowledge of beer (or lack thereof). “I always had the opportunity to participate in discussions, ask questions and express my opinion, without fear of ridicule from the beer snobs.”

There is one thing worth noting here: the most friendly atmosphere is usually inherent in small shareings. Perhaps this is not surprising, but sometimes people really do not expect such a good attitude to themselves. Prior to her first bot-sharing, Lexi Newlands had no friends who shared her passion for beer.

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