Beers on the box
Our very own celebrity YouTuber, Jonny Garrett gives his recommendations for the beer shows you can’t afford to miss
Monday 06 July 2020
This article is from
Share this article
YouTube is now the second most-visited website on the internet, with an estimated 2 billion hits a month. That’s quite a feat for a business that was famously inspired by one tech nerd’s inability to find an online video of Janet Jackson’s Superbowl wardrobe malfunction in 2003.
Since its creepy beginnings, YouTube has continued to be a much-loved but controversial website. Assuring the quality and ethics of everything that goes live is incredibly difficult, because around 43,200 hours of video are uploaded every day. From where I’m sat, a huge chunk of that content seems to be men reviewing beers in sheds and kitchens.
I’ve been running YouTube’s Craft Beer Channel since 2013, almost entirely inspired by these beer vloggers. Back then, they were a window into beer scenes I couldn’t have even imagined: the bold IPAs of the West Coast, the gipsy brewers of Denmark, the homebrewers of Norway. Now I’ve had the privilege to visit many of these places, it’s not the beer knowledge I visit Beertube for, it’s the rich stories, catchphrases and inebriated rants that keep me clicking. It’s like Gogglebox, but with beer nerds who range from the sublime to the ridiculous, via plain weird and wonderful.
With lots more time to scrape the barrel of the internet – and perhaps plenty still to come – it seemed the right time to give you the lowdown on the brilliant, bizarre world of Beertube and the characters who make it. You’ll learn lots about beer, but lots more about humanity.
REAL ALE GUIDE
Catchphases: “Stone the crows!”
There are now too many beers in the world to ever try them all, but Simon of Real Ale Guide is giving it a bloody good go. He is by far the most committed Beertuber, with over 6,000 videos so far, and he releases two more every day, 365 days a year. Recently he branched out into reviewing the spiciest supermarket meals he can get his hands on, but he saves his hottest takes for his industry rants. Most revolve around Brewdog but he’s also engaged in a bizarre ritual hanging of a Carling can and, most memorably of all, a semi-nude carwashing episode during which he suds himself up in Budweiser.
GREG’S BEER REVIEWS
Catchphases: “time to take that walk and see what’s in the friiiiiiiidge today”
Greg is the Grandaddy of YouTube beer reviewers, and I’m not just referring to his advanced years. He wasn’t the first on the scene – although he is a decade into his Beertube career – but there is a timeless sense to Greg and his reviews that makes it feel like he’s been doing it forever. His soft, deep south lilt reminds me of Morgan Freeman’s voiceover work in Shawshank Redemption, and the serious nature of the content belies the gentle phrasing. He is the Slow TV of beer reviews, and his considered approach, good palate and complete lack of beer geek entitlement is as warming as a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.
DARWIN’S BEER REVIEWS
Catchphrases: “cheerz, later!”
Watching Darwin, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally hit fast forward. Darwin has a brilliant palate and fantastic beer knowledge, but you need to be seriously focused to catch all the breathless detail. If you’re revising for your Cicerone exams, his videos are like speed reading. He also seems to have access to some of the whitest whales out there, which is how I came across him. If you want the skinny on some of the best NEIPAs and imperial stouts in the US, then his is the channel to watch.
THE MASTER OF HOPPETS
The Master of Hoppets was one of the channels I watched religiously when starting out on my beer journey. For some reason, Scandinavia was quick to adopt modern American brewing, and its Youtubers were quick on the uptake too. Despite English being his second language, Peter is eloquent when it comes to talking about flavour, and like Darwin he seems to have the world’s rarest beers on tap, which is especially clear in his annual round-ups.
Catchphrases: no catchphrase, just jump cuts.
Bringing the world of jump-cut bedroom vlogging to craft beer, Pint Sized makes short videos about specific beers and styles while trying to make them as silly as humanly possible. It’s a relief to watch beer content that doesn’t take itself seriously, and host Oli has some killer lines, like “Westvleteren sounds like someone sneezed while naming their gang”.
Catchphrases: “We might even make some beer”
When it came to homebrew videos, I used to be a David Heath guy through and through. But in recent months Clawhammer Supply has diverted me entirely. Hosted by the nerdy-but-somehow-always-confused Emmet, Clawhammer supply is a channel born out of a homebrew shop in the US. With a look that implies he’s only allowed out of the shop to make these videos, Emmet makes super-entertaining homebrew videos that balance tech knowledge with a Matty Matheson-level of hipster nonchalance.
THE BREWDOG NETWORK
Catchphrases: “Beer for the people”
After their TV show Brewdogs got cancelled, the brains behind the brewery started uploading all their content to Youtube, where you can find whole episodes broken down into bite-sized pieces. There you’ll experience what Top Gear would look like if it was all about beer – Top Beer anyone? – and if you can cope with the Nutz and Loaded-like masculinism, there’s lots to be seen and learned there. Plus a lot of brewing on high-speed vehicles, if that’s your kind of thing.
Share this article