Meet The Beer Media

Meet the Beer Media – Sessionable

SessionablePodcast
Names:
Adrian Pua, Tom Evans, Liam Pereira, Brad Bonser, Lee Webb
Podcast: Sessionable
Established: April, 2013

Why do you do it?
Adrian: It’s fun to talk shit about beer with some mates (and occasional guests) and I’ve also come to enjoy the editing process for the episodes (when the sound quality isn’t completely balls).
Tom: I talk about beer a lot, all of us on the show do. We don’t shut up about the stuff. I figure, we might as well record some of it and make something of it, maybe someone will enjoy it, or learn something.
Liam: In a way what we talk about on the podcast is very similar to what we talk about any way. Didn’t see any harm in recording it. It’s also a good excuse to catch up with mates and crack some beers that you wouldn’t want to drink by yourself.
Brad: Because Tom’s in Germany.
Lee: It started out as an excuse to catch up with friends to drink and talk about beer as we spend most of our time doing that anyway.

What else have you got going on in your life?
Adrian:
Working in the beer industry and travelling when I get the chance.
Tom: Currently, I’m living in Bavaria studying German and drinking a lot of lager. Back in Australia, I’m a filmmaking student and craft beer bartender at a number of great pubs in Sydney.
Liam: Working in the beer industry. Finding really ridiculous and drawn-out ways to cook food.
Brad: Working in the travel insurance industry, with occasional overseas business trips where I get to try out new and interesting beers. The furthest flung recent example being the Cayman Islands Brewery. I’m also a long-suffering Spurs supporter.
Lee: Software developer taking some time out from the 9-5 job which has given me some great opportunities to apply my skills within the beer industry.

What makes you keep doing it if you’re not getting paid for it?
Adrian: It’s pretty much an excuse to drink great (or sometimes awful) beer with people.
Tom: At first it was just an excuse to drink beer with my mates, but it’s turned into something I’m actually really proud of.
Liam: It’s just good fun. We find cool and interesting people, get drunk and talk shit.
Brad: It’s a great opportunity to meet and chat with lots of good people in the beer industry. Plus people always seem to be impressed when they find out I do a podcast.
Lee: Not only has the response from listeners been great but it has also given us the opportunity to meet some fantastic people within the industry (brewers, publicans, other beer lovers) that perhaps we may not have done without the podcast.

What’s one of your podcasts that you like the most?
Adrian: The episodes with guests tend to be the best because we don’t have to talk as much, giving us fewer opportunities to sound like absolute gits.
Tom: I think one of my favourite episodes is Episode 32, ‘‘Actually, it’s about ethics in beer journalism.’’ I went on a lengthy rant about why beer is like board games (another passion of mine), which was a lot of fun.
Liam: The live episode we did during Sydney Craft Beer Week. That was a fun episode to do especially having Dave from then Riverside now Akasha and Shane from Sixpoint on the episode with us. I feel it was a good balance of informative beer chat and general Sessionable shit talking.
Brad: I got the bug after my first appearance on the pod talking about British beer with Willie from Cammeray Craft. The live episodes are good fun too.
Lee: If I were asked this a year and a half ago I could’ve probably instantly narrowed it down to one episode. However as we gain momentum and experience I’m pleased to say we’re getting better (perhaps if the sound quality isn’t 😉 ) so that’s a tough choice. I’d probably end up choosing Episode 31 ‘‘Live! at the Pumphouse’’ though as it had the overall package for me: great beer, great conversation, great people (not only the guests on the panel but the audience turn out was awesome).

One tip about beer podcasting that you’d like to share?
Adrian: If you feel like doing it, just go for it, you’ll get it right eventually (we’re still to reach that point).
Tom: Think about what you have to say that others don’t, or haven’t, and say it. There’s room for many more voices in this industry.
Liam: There is no real rules about how things should be done so just have a crack and do it.
Brad: In order to be entertaining you have to enjoy what you do, otherwise people will stop listening. Don’t slag people off but also don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Avoid the temptation to bang on for too long, even if you are having a blast. That’s three tips.
Lee: First, and foremost, you have to love what you’re doing. If it starts to become a chore it is quickly noticeable and your readers/listeners will lose their interest too.

The phrase ‘‘craft beer’’ – love it or hate it?
Adrian: Ambivalent; it’s bandied around so much it’s almost lost meaning, but I’m very guilty of using it on a regular basis.
Tom: I love it. I’ll admit, I’m a craft beer apologist, and still think there is some important meaning to be found in the words. I don’t think I’ll be the one to find it, but I’m sure it’s there.
Liam: A bit of both. I like the fact that to me craft involves skill. In the end we are just appreciating the skill that has gone into a tasty beverage. I don’t like when people try to define what is or isn’t craft and force their opinion onto others.
Brad: Love it. I grew up with ‘‘real ale’’ in England and, for me, when the craft beer revolution hit it meant something tangibly different and a whole lot better. I love craft beer.
Lee: I used to like it, then recently I started veering away from the term. Whilst I appreciate its connotations (hand-crafted etc.), I prefer not to label beer that way any more as it could preclude me from trying beers that I may actually like but don’t due to how it was made. I’ll drink “good beer” (admittedly a subjective designation).

One thing that still surprises you about the beer scene?
Adrian: The speed at which it’s been growing the past few years, which I guess is more evident in Sydney than in a more developed city like Melbourne.
Tom: The people, always the people. Even over here in Europe, I’ve met some of the nicest and most passionate people, all over craft beer. That’s why I love it all so much.
Liam: All the awesome people I have meet and continue to meet all because of good beer.
Brad: The continued growth and reach of the stuff, particularly in pubs. It’s amazing how much has changed and improved in Britain in the last eight years and in Sydney in the last three years.
Lee: It has to be the people (whether they be in the industry or just beer lovers). After all, I feel the notion of enjoying a beer is not only the act of drinking it but the social aspect.

And one thing you hate about it?
Adrian: Closed-mindedness of some people not only when it comes to certain beers but when it comes to welcoming newcomers into the fold.
Tom: There’s a bit of a hive-mind mentality that goes on, and I find that to be a little bit annoying at times. I don’t like feeling pressured to like or dislike something, just because Twitter/Untappd says I should.
Liam: Douchebags. People in the beer community who think their opinion is worth more and therefore are better than you because:
1. They were drinking good beer before you.
2. They travelled to (insert location here) and had (insert highly rated beer here) so you just don’t know.
3. They have a cellar with more beers than you (bonus points for aged IPAs)
You get the idea.
Brad: IPA moobs.
Lee: The bickering, whether it be within the scene or going outwards/coming inwards. Sure, there will be differences of opinion but let’s embrace those differences and work together rather than undermine each other. That’s one reason why we [generally] try to stay positive on the podcast.

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