When you invite people into your home and ply them with alcohol, it's very unlikely they're going to say anything negative, or even particularly critical, about the experience. So I was scared but also drawn to the brewshare night at the local taphouse in darlinghurst like a fat blowfly bouncing into the deadly blue light of a mozzie zapper. I was daunted, walking into a room full of 30 or more strangers to have my beer tasted and dissected by a group of people who mostly know more than I do about beer. The daunt was literally flaking off my arms leaving a mess all over the floor (it smelled like gruyere)
It turned out I was among friends. What unfolded was a night of civilised drinking, tipsy conversation and all-round good cheer. I tasted a lot of beer and still had a hoppy flavour in my mouth a day later. There was some stand-out entries, including a mango beer, some kind of crazy belgian raspberry beer and some american pale ale that was so strongly hopped it made my eyes water, with beer tears, which is more pleasant than it sounds.
The next brewshare is on the 18th of may, and it's worth going to even just for the experience of not having to share the local with after-work-suited-wankers. I love the vibe and the thing of the place and getting to hang out with beer nerds drinking bubbly grain alcohol in there is one of those experiences ... do you know the kind I mean? When you're right at the point of drunkeness that you mostly have bodily control but a pleasant layer of cheer and goodwill has settled on your brain. You're losing the ability to speak but you don't need to cause everything mostly makes sense, people are smilling at you and you have a comfy couch under you, keeping you stable. That's the moment that I love and being in a pub like the local, with it's dark wood and tarnished furniture, it's uncountable rows of condensationed taps*, I can just sink, comfortably, into it and let the conversations flow right through me.
*ok, someone's probably counted them