Twelve beers, 60 minutes and 984 characters
It was like changing a tire on a moving bus.
On the second afternoon of the Beer Bloggers Conference, the group gathered around 12 tables, glasses at the ready. Twelve brewery representatives were on hand to feature themselves and their products–five minutes at a time.
One of Twitter’s beauties is its brevity–140 characters is all you get. With deep and swirling thoughts abounding, it doesn’t take long to reach the limit. You’d think that it would have been relatively easy to hear about, sample and tweet a first impression about a beer. Not so. Five minutes felt like a millisecond.
Once the bus left the station, it was all we could do to hang on for the ride.
I took a photo of my group’s first beer–Breckenridge’s Christmas Ale–and thumbed out a quick description. By the time the tweet uploaded, the next rep was at our table launching into a product description. No more photos, thought I. It turns out, that more than a photo could make the tempus freaking fugit.
One, the brewery reps quickly learned that they would have to distill down their presentation on both their brewery and the beer they were serving. Two, the rest of us quickly learned that a leisurely pace of sniffing, swirling, eyeing and tasting wasn’t going to get the job done–we were forced to hustle both impressions and opinions. Three, thank goodness my table-mates seemed to have the time to ask questions–I didn’t feel like I did. Four, I found very few seconds remaining on the clock to pound out a tweet. I biffed hashtags, barely managed an opinion and misspelled three letter words.
It was fast and a blast and was over in exactly one hour.
Unfortunately, there were some spectacular beers playing along: Great Divide’s Oak-Aged Yeti, Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout (’06) and New Belgium’s La Folie immediately come to mind. The detestable element to this ticking-clock pressure was this: I wanted to just hang with these beers awhile–and this little game said, “no.”
World Wide Stout, for example, is a beer that I could sniff all evening without even taking a swallow–and still find immense pleasure. So when that five minutes was up, a dilemma reared its ugly head: dump or slam? Fortunately, La Folie was the last beer on my rotation–I lingered over that one, but the other two I slammed. I felt bad, but I woulda felt worse if I’d dumped them, let me tell you.
My 984 characters:
Speed dating with Breckenridge’s Christmas Ale: 7.4 and smooth. Spicy and enjoyable
New Planet 3R Raspberry. Glutenfree. More body than other gf beers I’ve had. Drinkable if u need it.
Hell yeah 06 world wide stout & chocolate. Deep. penetrating.
ed fitz porter great stuff as you’ve heard. Can’t keep up geez
colorado native clean with toast and a touch of earthy bitterness drying the finish
karl strauss fullsuit belgbrown. Chocospicy and would be great w food
rob widmer himself on barrel aged brrrbonn well balanced groove and preferable to me over the reg
rogue choc just yummy. You know this
gd oak aged yeti just effing sexy. Nearly ruined my marriage once. And smelling it again I see wht
odell mountain standard. Being released 2day at brewery black ipa. Hop chocolate aroma with dankity hop flavor and alcowamth
deschutes hop trip smoothed out grassy hop angle. Not mean at all time up
ending the live speed date w drumroll la folie that’s why I ignored your call Chelle u understand
Long story short
This was a hectic, but great experience, and I look forward to doing it again. But. Two more minutes, that’s all I needed per beer. Just two more minutes, I swear.