Join the virtual beer festival from AF Beer Club
We’re counting down the days until the AF Beer Club Virtual Beer Festival. Back at the start of the first Lockdown, Robin put the wheels in motion to organise an alcohol-free virtual beer festival. Here’s a little more from him about how he started the AF Beer Club, and his upcoming festival.
‘Back in the early days of Zoom and the odd family online quiz, there wasn’t really a rulebook for this sort of thing – back then, we were still experimenting with our backdrops and learning how to unmute ourselves.
Having run an Instagram page featuring AF beer for over a year, I contacted a few of the brewers I had gotten to know and asked if they would like to talk to me about their beer. With a few of them keen, I roped in Wise Bartender to put together a mixed pack of beers from the producers I had lined-up, and within a couple of weeks we had almost one hundred keen drinkers signed-up!
With twelve brewers in total, interviewed across three days, I was also joined by Laura from Club Soda, as well as Millie from Sober Girl Society, to add a non-beery dynamic. The whole event went really well, with drinkers joining in in with the conversation via YouTube live chat. It was a real celebration of the AF beer community that’s been growing online since early 2019.
This year, almost a year on from the inaugural event, we return in April with a new virtual festival. Back in June 2020, we were talking about “when pubs open”, yet here we are 10 months later still wrestling with how to contain this virus. To soften the blow, I’ve put together another festival, with 12 amazing brewer chats alongside a box of fantastic drinks. Over the weekend of 9th April, I will be speaking to twelve producers about their drinks, the year we’ve just come through and optimistically looking ahead to what the future holds.
We’ve got some of the biggest names in the beer world joining us, including Mikkeller, Northern Monk, Tiny Rebel, Beavertown and Big Drop, as well as Germany’s Nittenauer, famous for their range of amazing AF beers. From the UK, we’ve got Birmingham Brewing Company, Ridgeside in Yorkshire and North London’s Hammerton, as well as Mash Gang, who have been taking the AF beer world by storm.
This year we are also delighted to be joined by two drink producers who have fingers firmly wedged in the AF beer pie. London-based soda specialists Square Root will be joining us, with a surprise new beery collaboration up their sleeves, and we’ll also talk to Cloudwater Soda, the softer arm of the famous Manchester craft brewery, who make amazing fruity ‘sodas’ rammed with interesting hops.
You can watch the sessions for free but for the full experience you can pre-order the Festival Box, which will be sent out in time for you to enjoy over the weekend. It features a drink from every producer, some brewery swag and a limited edition festival glass!