How was your Christmas / New Year / Dry January / Lockdown 3 / Homeschooling?
It's been two months since Matt & I last had the time to record a podcast. Well actually that's not QUITE true... we did manage to met briefly between Christmas and New Year to record some World Cup of AF matches around the back of bike shed. What has the world come to?
We also recorded an interview with Sonja Mitchell - the Managing Director and 'Beer Admiral' of Jumpship Beers. You might remember that Matt once described Sonja's flagship 'Yardarm' as "A bit watery" and asserted that the 'Made by Sonja' on the side of the can was just a made-up marketing ploy.
So I was really looking forward to this interview - mostly because of how awkward Matt would be! We finally got around to recording it a few days before Christmas - but I've been REALLY busy ever since and by the time I got around to editing the interview it had dated really badly.
Thankfully Sonja is one of the nicest people around and agreed to re-record the interview. So here it is.
(PS - also included some more first round matches of the WC of AF... including Sonja's Yardarm against an Aldi AF beer. It'd be AWFUL if Matt put through the Aldi beer. Wouldn't it...)
Shall we start with the caveats?
Matt and I recorded this episode at the end of Lockdown Part 2 - when the only way to meet was socially distanced at either end of a bench in the park. So it sounds a little different to usual.
We've got some fixture congestion in the World Cup of AF - so it's a double header of two matches today. We're going to hold a few matches between episodes and announce a load of results in the next podcast - watch out Jeff Stelling - THIS is the results show the nation needs.
Also in the episode we discuss the difference between 0.0% and 0.5%, and I have a confession. A really little one.
I can't even begin to tell you how hungover Matt was during this episode.
It might just be the last time I see Matt given the latest lockdown announcements - and this is how I have to remember him!!!
On this episode we channel our inner Mark Chapman as we draw the first round of the AF World Cup, and chat to three inspiring guys looking to change the way we drink.
Let us know what you make of the AF World Cup draw - there are some interesting match-ups - all lovingly recreated in the spreadsheet below.
We're into the final quarter of my year off drinking. Time for some big decisions. I've been swaying between sobriety and moderation quite a bit in terms of my plans for 2021... so I'm thrilled that Jamie East joins us on this podcast as he 'celebrates' the third anniversary of his sobriety. He definitely seems to be thriving, and at one point in his interview he tells Matt and I that he's a better husband, father and employee as a result of giving up booze - well who doesn't aspire to be better at all of the above? It's a great interview - massive thanks to Jamie for giving up his morning (he'd already recorded a show and been for a run at 9.30 in the morning - now if that's not an advert for sobriety I don't know what is!!!)
On a different note - this episode sees the first match in our World Cup of AF. Brewdog's Nanny State takes on the new 'Low Down' from Aldi's 'Hop Factory' brand. Who will come out on top and win a place in the next round?
S2.Ep1: 'Tequila' Mockingbird, and Matt's confession...
Don't worry - I haven't fallen off the wagon.
After a break for the summer we're back! And to celebrate we're cracking open a bottle of tequila.
Well, sort of.
In this episode we chat to Fern McCoy, who has BOSSED her lockdown. While most of us were watching Hamilton for the 17th time on Disney+, Fern was creating, making and launching her own non-alcoholic spirit - Mockingbird. Born of her love of all things Mexican, and in support of her sober boyfriend, she's created something incredible. So get your salt, lemon and lime ready... for the first episode of Season 2.
SPECIAL OFFER: If you like the sound of Mockingbird, then Fern's offering 15% off for listeners of our podcast. Just enter the code WETANDDRY15 to your purchase on the Mockingbird website.
In the words of the great Jon Bon Jovi; "Woah! We're half way there." Yep, since the last episode I've passed the mid-point of this year off drinking. The biggest lesson I've learnt from my sober six months is that the habit of beer drinking can easily be separated from alcohol. As Fergus from Adnams told us, the beer in an alcohol-free product is THE SAME BEER that's in the regular product. There are some additive differences, but in terms of taste... it's come from the same source.
This is huge. We've talked about pubs quite a lot, and we both love their atmosphere, the friendship, meeting-place, as our Irish friends would call it; the craic. Being able to keep this in my life, but massively reducing the alcohol intake is key to the 2021+ version of me. I know this is hard for some people to comprehend, but I can completely see a future where people meet in pubs to drink AF lager as a group... just think about the recent shift from cigarettes to vape - yes, it took legislative change and a MASSIVE advertising push, but the tobacco lobby seem to have realised that they'd rather have their customer-base vaping than giving up... well perhaps booze is the next frontier?
The big challenge? Convincing people that AF beers are good drinks. Enter Adam from Sober Sauce... he's set a company that looks to provide mixed taster boxes of AF beer to those thinking of joining 'my' team. In this episode Adam explains that he's targeting Matt as much as he's targeting me. And if I heard correctly... he might just have convinced Matt that there's a non-alcoholic future for him!
Enjoy the episode... and as a bonus you can find below a video of an interview I recorded with Adrian Chiles at the weekend as part of Club Soda's HUGE festival of mindful drinking. Over four days speakers from around the globe shared their experiences, tips, and products to like-minded drinkers, and those looking to be a bit more moderate. It was great fun, and I'm hoping to get Adrian on our podcast soon...
Firstly an apology: we've been talking a LOT about pubs in recent episodes. They say; "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" and since mid-March we've been unable to meet in the place where we've held court since we've known each other.
Apparently a quarter of us have felt lonely during the lockdown. Of course we've lacked interaction with colleagues, but socially... it's the pub I've missed the most.
So excuse us one further episode on pubs and then we PROMISE we're moving on... but last week, we went back to the pub where this podcast was born for the first time in months, to enjoy a drink, some food, and a chat with friends. And for an hour or so... everything was okay in the world.
One more thing before we get into the podcast... I've been asked a fair bit to recommend my favourite AF beers from 6 months of trial and error. So I've put together this top five, but over the next few episodes we'll be discussing the options, and tasting a few new lagers for good measure.
Enjoy the podcast.
Meet Fergus. He's the Head Brewer at Adnams in Suffolk, and he's the guest on this week's podcast.
A lot has happened since the last episode:
Boris has announced that pubs will reopen on 4th July
Matt & I gave 'drinking in the park' a go
And the results of the drinking survey are in.
Thanks to everyone who took time to fill in the survey - if you haven't had your say yet then you still can we'll leave the survey up while I delve a little deeper into the numbers. You can find it here
What a joy this episode is! We're sat in the beer garden of the Rose & Crown (our local) chatting to Chris the landlord. For much of the last couple of months that's been a pipe dream, but on the day London officially registered ZERO coronavirus deaths, and the front doors of the pub once again open (albeit for take-aways only) it seemed the right time to reflect on the past couple of months.
This podcast is an an exploration of what drinking means to us, and and in much the same way that you'd talk about churches quite a bit in a podcast about religion, we talk about pubs a lot.
So what's next for pubs? When can we expect to sit inside, order a pint of (non-alcoholic) beer and chat?
Chris reveals all... and Matt is very happy to be 'home'!
Vera Lynn was RIGHT!
Matt and I DID meet again in Tooting Common, and thanks to the magic of shotgun microphone technology we stood 2m apart, drank beer (non-alcoholic obvs!) and ate pork-scratchings. Just like the old days. Sort of.
On this episode we've also spoken to Laura Willoughby MBE - the founder of Club Soda the mindful drinking movement. It's one of the first support groups that was recommended to me when I started on this project, so it's great to hear her very personal story, and get the benefit of a decade of good advice.
As if that's not enough we're also launching our very first drinking survey - we're very excited about this, it's a chance for us to gauge YOUR attitudes to drink. As we enter the second trimester of this experiment we'd love to include you in the conversation. So take the survey, it won't take more than five minutes, and we'll announce the results in a future episode. Don't worry, it's completely anonymous.
Geoff & Matt
Geoff turned 40 recently, and decided to have a dry year*. Matt is worried that this will make Geoff a really boring friend.