First was a request from a character called Uncle Wilco, who introduced himself thus:
Hello I follow you on the interwebs and read your beer stuff (but I am different from the other nutters)Hullo, I thought, makes a change from claims that the contents of the email will increase traffic and help me monetize. This guy runs what I'd call a beer porn site called beercupboard.com, but I've encountered him before in his guise of garden shed enthusiast, when I posted this pic of Frank Sidebottom on flickr. He runs a site called Readers' Sheds, so definitely not your usual nutter... anyhow, seems he wants to do for beer what he's done for sheds, and he's signed up such luminaries as The Boy Dredge and Zak Avery to reveal all, so watch out for my dirty little beer secrets being revealed alongside theirs.
The other email was from Meanatime, announcing their College Beer Club. This was trailed earlier this year, and expressions of interest invited from 'aficionados' to see if the limited subscription of 500 memberships would be taken up. Interestingly, at the beginning of the week, my source 'Deep Pint' texted me to enquire rhetorically, whether I knew how many members there were. I assume there weren't any because the club hadn't formally launched, but if you know different, drop me a line.
My initial thought was, who is this for? £350 for 12 months is a lot, even if the core offer of 24 bottles of exclusive Meantime spooge means access to beer nobody else will drink. Is that a good thing? Peter Haydon, who wrote out to the blogerati, proudly exclaims that
When you join the College Beer Club, you are not just buying beer you are buying a first class ticket on a journey of discoveryHe goes on to describe some of the other benefits, including:
...exclusive brewery tours, brewmaster’s dinners, tutored tastings, and a range of exclusive events and offers with Club’s affiliate organisations including, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Sir John Soane Museum, Class Magazine and 86 St James.Class Magazine? 86 St James? Really, I mean, who IS this Club for?
As a mate of mine said only this Thursday, it's only beer.