TV, DVD, podcast

Arriving late to the party

There’s something to be said for being a late adopter. Sure, being an early adopter gets all the press, because people like to bang on about how they were ahead of the curve and identified something cool before the unwashed hordes came along and ruined it for everyone. And then they can say ‘‘Well, you know, it was much better two years ago’’ (I hate people who say that).

According to Google, this is the microphone used by Phil Cook and George Langlands to record their Beer Diary podcast. And we know Google is never wrong.

According to Google, this is the microphone used by Phil Cook and George Langlands to record their Beer Diary podcast. And we know Google is never wrong.

But being late to the party does have its merits. Especially when you can measure that lateness not in weeks or months, but in years. See, one party I was late to was the Beer Diary podcast, hosted by New Zealanders Phil Cook and George Langlands. In fact, I was nearly three years late – their first podcast occurred in May 2011.

I’ve been listening my way through their podcasts for about a month, ever since I realised I could download an app and listen to them on my phone (see, I’m a late adopter when it comes to technology too. Or maybe just staggeringly clueless about it. So clueless that, when I use an FM transmitter to listen to the podcasts in my car I think I’m high tech).

So the winning part about being a late adopter meant I had 26 podcasts just sitting there waiting for me to listen to. Whereas those guys who were quick off the mark have already heard all of them and have to wait around for the next one.

But me, I’ve still got hours of enjoyment. So sucked in, early adopters. Though I do wish I had chosen to listen to them sequentially rather than my random approach. Has made it much harder to remember which ones I’ve yet to listen to.

If you’re a beer geek and you haven’t gotten on the Beer Diary podcast wagon (that’s a metaphorical wagon, not like an actual thing you can get a ride on) you need to fix that up now. Because it’s quite fine. I really like the podcast, even though I have no idea about half of the beers, bars or even towns they’re talking about – because they’re all in New Zealand. Hell, sometimes I even think they’re talking about ‘‘bears’’ until I realise that’s how New Zealanders pronounce ‘‘beers’’.

Why it works is because Langlands and Cook take the NZ-specifics and broaden the discussion to make it relevant to those of us in other places. So you get interviews with brewers, discussions on beer festivals, mid-strength beers, beer business, the dodgyness of Moa and other examples of beer marketing as well as a stack of other stuff.

What also helps is that only Cook is a beer geek. He’s the one who knows just about everything about beer – but he manages to impart that knowledge without coming across as a boor or a snob (which is actually harder to do than you might think).

Langlands, on the other hand, just likes good beer and appears to pick up a lot of his knowledge by talking with Cook. That’s great because it means Langlands serves as a beer newbie surrogate; he’ll ask the question ‘‘what’s a grey import?’’ or explain a bit of back story which makes the podcast accessible to a wider range of beer lovers.

You can find the podcast here. And by the way, should you listen, let me know whether I’m weird that their theme music always makes me think of Mambo No 5 by Lou Vega.

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