I have spent a bit of time pondering what the collective noun is for a group of twitterers on a twissup. I decided upon twonk. This Saturday a twonk of twitterers were meeting up in sunny Manchester to drink pongy ale and discuss pongy ale with like minded pongy ale drinkers in an event known as a twissup. I’m not entirely sure why I decided to join them. Possibly part anthropological curiosity and an opportunity to see the lesser spotted beer geek in close proximity and view their strange habits up close. Also it was an excuse for an afternoon pint and all the decadence of drinking in the afternoon, and possibly even a desire to meet people that write beer blogs I so enjoy.
My day didn’t start auspiciously, and I only set off an hour after the meet up at the station. Thank goodness for twitter. Hardnott Ann had twittered they were all in a pub called “The Marble Arch”, and a look on google maps gave me directions from the train station. I twittered back in the hope that if they moved on someone would be kind enough to update the location.
The walk from the station was a bit of a traipse and I pondered that they would be better off in a nearby Spoons. That’s not a traipse from the station and it’s a cheap pint to boot. One dumpy pub is much like another, what’s the big deal?
Upon finding the pub I was sweating like a rapist and scooted in for liquid refreshment. Anything would have done at that point. I looked around and saw the familiar faces of beer blogging. I was in the company of masters. I felt my beer knowledge increase as I walked through them, as if by osmosis. The first person I met was Rabid Glynn followed by Dredgie. Charming fellows all. They were all heading off but with such a large group; a fair few hadn’t drank up. A half of some dark pong called “chocolate” something. I said hello to Mr Zak Avery and saw that he was drinking out of a regular pub glass. Eh? A nice chap that didn’t glass me. With large groups of people it is difficult to remember names but it was interesting to put faces to many of the blogs. From this pub we went on to another. Why I don’t know, there was nothing wrong with the last one, but I guess there might have been different pongy ale on in different pubs. That’s the nice thing about lout, it’s no different anywhere you go so there is no reason to want to drink it in lots of different places. I drank one of the pongs, can’t tell you which one. Oh and I got given a twadge. A badge with my avatar on. Very nice, I will treasure it.
I thought I’d neck pong for the afternoon for a number of reasons. Lout is a bargain in supermarkets but often a rip off in pubs. I suspected the pong would be cheaper and it would enable me to fit in as a beer geek. In my travels I have noticed if you embrace local customs, drink and cuisine you are more readily accepted so a go of the pong was in order. It wasn’t that bad, very much like beer but more hoppy than it needs to be, not undrinkable. This had some thinking that cooking lager is a wind up and not a genuine campaign for cheap lout appreciation and I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or offended at those that thought the campaign for lout to be amusing. In the second pub I got served quite quickly so that place gets a thumbs up. The third pub was nice enough but I didn’t manage to skip the long queue in there and had to wait my turn. They had a beer in there called “twitter and busted”, so it had to be done.
I was quite enjoying it and thinking that beer geeks are quite nice and dare I say it normal. I’m not the most sociable of people but on rare occasions you can quite enjoy sitting in a pub and talking to people almost as much as sitting at home necking cheap lager. It was interesting to see the difference in motivation for bloggers. Some building a career in beer writing, some just having a laugh, some wishing to campaign for pong in the same way I wish to campaign for lout, some building a brand for whatever purpose. Mr Hardnott Dave didn't bite to my comment "I don't see the point in brewing stuff when you can buy cheap grog at Tesco", and I largely failed to offend anyone.
When people buggared off to Huddlesfield I was pleased some hung around, and I pottered off to a different boozer with the one and only Mr Tandleman. To be followed by other bloggers not up for Huddlesfield. I got given a taster of “interesting” bottled beer and sadly realised I hadn’t converted anyone to cheap lout. However the sight of beer geeks spending all their money in pubs does invigorate you to raise the joy of keeping your money and enjoying cheap lout and as Tandleman left under orders from Mrs Tandy I had a hope he’d pop in a Spar and treat himself to a can of Stella for the journey home. One last one with Mr Baron and I was off home myself. Glowing rather than drunk. The smell of pongy ale upon me didn’t offend the squeeze but I did have to wait for the telly programme to be over before throwing her over my shoulder.
All in all, an enjoyable afternoon with nice people. I’d do it again at some point. Thank you all for a nice afternoon.