Don’t Call It A Comeback

The Brew Hui project arrived at its natural conclusion at the end of last year – you may recall my performance at the SOBA National Homebrew Competition; a delightfully-aromatic turd on an otherwise-delicious cake – at which point I was more-or-less certain that my foray into beer writing had run its course.

(And just in time, too: because I was starting to dish-out advice to people – and the path from Dishing Out Advice To People and having them shout “Shut The F**k Up, Ya Donkey” ­is very short-one, indeed.)

But much like a smack addict chasing that elusive final fix, I’m afraid to report that I’ve been quite unable to let this particular habit slip so easily from my fingers. In the months that have elapsed since Christmas, my loins have been filled with a renewed zeal and juicy gusto: and unless I find a creative outlet soon, I’m going to suffer from the writer’s equivalent of blue balls.

(Blue fingers, I guess.)

So it’s with great trepidation – combined with a general sense of scared-shitlessness – that I announce my foray into the world of podcasting.

The elevator pitch for the Brew Hui Podcast project is simple enough: first, I’ll record a brew day with one of my favourite commercial brewers – creating whatever beer the brewer thinks is best-suited to the project. Then, while the beer is fermenting and conditioning, I’ll edit the podcast together. Lastly, we’ll release the podcast two weeks (ish) before the beer is released – with the closing remarks of the podcast dedicated to letting you know precisely where and when you’ll be able to grab a pint of it.

(The last bit tickles me in all sorts of grubby places – since it’ll effectively make this an interactive podcast experience.)

The opportunity to brew with (and learn from) some of the finest brewers in New Zealand is an incredibly exciting prospect!  I’ve already approached several brewers, all of whom are dead-keen to participate – and while the plan is to release three ‘episodes’ per year (vis-à-vis Sherlock), I can foresee my excitement running away with me…

The first episode will feature one of my favourite human beings: Kelly Ryan, brewer at Wellington’s Fork and Brewer. In retrospect, it was probably a Tweet of his at the tail-end of my last project that first turned the cogs in my tired brain, and catalysed the current project:

With my brew day with Kelly a mere two sleeps away, I’m busy testing recording devices and working on my radio voice; oh, and utterly shitting myself at the prospect of traversing unmapped territory. But as Ewan McGregor once said, nervousness is a good thing: it proves that you actually care about something enough to be worried about it.

I’ll post some snaps of the first brew day (and perhaps some sneaky audio) on the Brew Hui Facebook page over the coming weeks, if only to whet the appetite – but look for the main-event on the Brew Hui website sometime in early-July.

photo 4(2)

My sincere thanks to the brewers who’ve taken a punt and already signed-up to participate – identities to be revealed in the fullness of time – and also to Phil Cook (of Beer Diary Podcast fame), from whom I stole borrowed several podcasting tips during an excellent Skype session. Also, enormous thanks to presently-defunct Wellington band Harbour City Electric – who have generously lent one of their soul-enriching tracks for use as a frame for the podcast, thus ensuring that at least the beginning and end of each episode will be aurally pleasurable.

So that’s the pitch. It should be a fun ride, and I hope you’ll join me on it; but like my previous projects, I’d be lying if I told you that my motivation was selfless. The chance to gleam brewing tips from the masters and to tick “Make A Podcast” off my Bucket List is, quite simply, too good to pass up: so you know what?

I ain’t gonna.  Twitter: @jasegurney

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