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28-07-2013, 11:56
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I’m a fan of Twitter. Really, I am. If you use it right it can be incredibly useful for connecting with the like-minded. *I’d hasten to guess that everyone I follow has at least had Twitter come to some kind of use for them in the last 6 months.
Late last week, an unassuming hashtag suggestion popped up from the keyboard of Ben Hodgkinson (https://twitter.com/CptCheerful), who works for James Clay and is not only is an all-round good egg,one of those beer-sellers who actually likes the stuff. Anyway, here’s what he said:
https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1591142721/big_shades_normal.jpgBen Hodgkinson*‏@CptCheerful (https://twitter.com/CptCheerful)22h (https://twitter.com/CptCheerful/status/361082787199066112)
Lots of bars/restaurants only have a small range of beers. If you could only stock 5 beers, what do you pick? RT & use #My5 (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23My5&src=hash)
(https://twitter.com/birminghamcubed)

It’s one of those questions that you ask your mates when you’re halfway through a round of beers on a lazy Sunday lunch, isn’t it? A hint of The Session (http://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/the-sessions/), a dash of Desert Island Discs. I’m not one normally to follow hashtags, but this piqued my interest. I fired off my response, and logged out.
Then logged in again. And again. And again. And…you get the picture.
It was genuinely interesting to see people’s different responses – the only hashtag in recent months I’ve actually followed. *And what was the general response? Not as varied as you’d think, actually; but that’s the microcosm of Twitter working there. Perhaps the question would be better asked outside of Ben’s beer-oriented followers.
http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/orval_1.jpg?w=207&h=300 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/orval_1.jpg)Orval has a slavish, cult-like following. It popped up on the majority of people’s suggestions (including mine) and that’s a good thing. Orval, in my opinion (and it’s my blog, so that’s what you’ll get), owes this to it’s sheer accessibilty. Plonked on more restaurant’s drinks lists – and promoted correctly – it would do well. There was a lot of IPA; which again would probably do well too as IPA, as a style, is the catalyst of a lot of the new interest in Craft Beer.* (http://beerblog.genx40.com/archive/2013/july/session77whats)
Granted, one assumes Ben is trying to forge ahead into the restaurant business and try and get more beers on the tables for diners, and that should be applauded. The key to getting diners to choose beer over wine isn’t down to choice, however. If you ask me, it’s how the beer is presented, sold and discussed with the diner. If the staff don’t push it, talk about it, pair it, or sell it, ‘The Beer List’ will remain a curio in Restuarants; *forever the poor relation of Wine.
My five? I’ve gone for balance, a typically ‘something for everyone’ approach, as that’s what I’d like to see when I open a menu. Hawksheads’s*Windermere Pale, Orval, Bristol Ultimate Stout, SN Torpedo, Cantillon.*


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