Names: Bladdamasta and illiards
Established: November 9, 2009
Why do you do it?
Bladdamasta: It started as a way of documenting our journeys home from work. It was largely for my own amusement as work was pretty slow and I enjoyed writing. We’d go to the Manly Ferry via a different pub and we’d try and get a different beer at the various bottlos on the way, and I’d write about it. People said they were amused, so I started writing about beers and bars on the other side of the ferry ride in Manly.
It snowballed and at one stage we had 10 correspondents, all of whom had been inducted to the ferry ride. For some time there it also was the basis for my social media education, which has stood me in pretty good stead at work. The ebbs are now bigger than the flows in terms of posts and the contributors are fewer and less frequent. I do it because I still enjoy writing and it will be a great record of a passion that I have for beer and bars.
My father also likes knowing where I am from time to time.
illiards: Adding to what Bladdamasta answered, I feel these beers need more than to be just consumed. They are all so unique and different they need to be venerated in some way. So writing a story about a beer and then sending into the interweb does this.
It also gives me an outlet for my inner curmudgeon. I’m not one to show this side in person so writing a blog about a beer enables me to both venerate a crafty and also grind my axe about my personal peeve of the day.
What else have you got going on in your life?
Bladdamasta: Let’s just say it’s corporate and dull. Also four kids, all of whom enjoy the excursions to bars in Australia and when we travel OS.
illiards: Surf. I surf a lot. And three kids who cringe every time I photograph a beer for Untappd.
What makes you keep writing if you’re not getting paid for it?
Bladdamasta: Well, we got a media pass to GABS! That’s enough. Seriously though, I do enjoy the creative aspect of writing. I do enjoy the odd notoriety of Back of the Ferry being recognised when we check in somewhere.
It’s an unusual but fun way of keeping a travel journal, and a post is better than a postcard. It’s also gratifying when I get told that someone went to somewhere that appeared on BotF and enjoyed it and it made their trip to wherever more enjoyable. I also enjoy building up our bank of BotF trademarked terms like ‘‘squintingly’’, ‘‘oncer’’. ‘‘knitting the beer vest’’ etc.
illiards: Related to what Bladdamasta says, it is a great way to stay connected to what is still a small industry where nearly all participants know each other. I feel like we are contributing to its growth and every mention we make of a beer or a venue gets shared in some way and creates a ripple – however small.
What’s one of your blog posts that you like the most?
Bladdamasta: The last one, because it means that Back of the Ferry is still going. That’s kind of half serious, because it has been become harder to maintain the output, particularly with work becoming more intense. I like a post about the demise of Murray’s at Manly because it was almost serious journalism and it generated plenty of discussion.
I’m also fond of post written on the occasion of the 2000th check-in on @Untappd, which happened at the Pony Bar in New York City. That’s the hangout of the founders of @Untappd. Post was nothing special, but it signified everything about the journey. Some of our BeerP0rn has been recognised on US blogs, which is also pretty cool.
illiards: The first one …. and every first post after a hiatus. It means the passion is back and writers block is gone.
One tip about beer blogging that you’d like to share?
Bladdamasta: Do it for fun. Keep it different. For example, you can’t write about the same beer or venue twice – unless you are writing about a different beer in a repeated venue or a repeated beer in a distinctly different venue.
illiards: Don’t take it seriously or you sound like an A-grade tosser.
The phrase ‘‘craft beer’’ – love it or hate it?
Bladdamasta: Love it.
illiards: Yep … like it.
One thing that still surprises you about the beer scene?
Bladdamasta: The infinity of it all. Venues, styles, brands, people. I was in Cambodia last year and there’s a craft brewer operating out of a five-star hotel at the junction of the Sonle Tap and the Mekong Rivers. How cool is that?
illiards: The passion the small brewers put into it. They simply can’t be making money from punching out one-offs, collaborations and other small runs. But they still keep doing it.
And one thing you hate about it?
Bladdamasta: Nothing – really – nothing.
illiards: That I’ll never taste every craft beer that was/is/will be brewed.
Categories: Meet The Beer Media