Highlighting #My5

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, 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:

Ben Hodgkinson ‏@CptCheerful22h

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

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, 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.

Orval_1Orval 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. 

Ben was carrying out a little research for a project, and I’d like to applaud him for asking the question. 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. 


About leighgoodstuff

Blog: https://goodfoodgoodbeer.wordpress.com/ I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 28/07/2013, in Beer and Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. John Clarke

    Good list but (says he nit picking) “Cantillon” does cover quite a broad specturm. I guess gueuze is the obvious choive but for a beer/wine cut-over St Lamvinus might be the one to go for (ignoring the obvious drawbacks that it’s quite rrae and very expensive).

    By the way, Jay Rayner waxes lyrical about Frinds of Ham in today’s Observer mag:


    Still not bene – but luckily have CAMRA trip to Leeds on 7 September so will drop in then with luck.

    • Hi John – I guess what I mean is ‘a great lambic’ , if that makes sense? Yes, I appreciate it is a little broad! That’s twitter for you….as for FOH, let me know what you think. I’ll try and meet you, actually, if I can.

  2. John Clarke

    Sorry about the particularly rubbish typing there by the way.

  3. I thought this was a great idea once I caught up with it which was I admit a little late.

    After writing out a list of about 15-20 beers and then whittling them down, hoping to submit a UK and International section. Ben, being the hard taskmaster that he is refused and said “5 only, it’s supposed to be difficult..” (the swine 😉 )

    Eventually I went for Buxton Axe Edge, Boon Mariage Parfait, Camden USA Helles, Rochefort 10 & Schneider W Tap 7 for #my5. I was trying to get a broad spectrum of beers for my punters rather than each being my top beers every so to speak. What you think?

    I reckon this would make a really good Session style group blogging thing, where folks actually give reasons bend each choice, could be fun….

    • Yeah, I went for a similar angle, Phil – a beer for every taste, for every occasion – although an esb-type beer is missing. tough call, isn’t it?

  4. Damn right it is Leigh, I required a lie down having crossed some of my favourite beers off my list….

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