Back in 2017 I received an email from Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti about an art based project themed around pubs and the social aspect they play in the community. Usually this is one of those emails I might have taken my time replying to but something just sat right with me and I arranged a meeting with them. They popped down to the basement of the Fox & Newt, where we were brewing at the time and a friendship was born and an adventure began!
Over the next 4 years, we have had various meetings, gatherings and events based around the roles that pubs, and beer, play in communities, and it has been a wonderful experience. I'm just going to highlight a few of the experiences I have had working with Katie and Simon, and why they are important.
The first one that springs to mind is an event held in Compass Festival 2018 at the Crowd of Favours. There were several people involved from the pub and beer industry and it was all about how the pub culture has developed and the roles pubs and beer have in and around Leeds. There were several discussions going on and each discussion had it's own pint glass design. If you have had a beer in pubs on and around Kirkgate you may even have drank out of these glasses. They were designed to get the conversation flowing. It was a fun night and I think it showed how many people just got what the project was about. Pubs aren't only a place to serve alcohol.
Fast forward to 2019, and this is possibly my favourite year to date with the Public House project. Katie and Simon are based down in Cornwall and it only seemed fitting that some of their local beer people were also involved in the project. During the Summer of 2019 Mike and I headed off down to Cornwall for a small event at Granite Rock Brewery. We talked about how small town communities have a pub at the centre, you know the kind of place, where you can leave a key for a visiting friend or pop in to watch a TV programme with a bunch of friends rather than sitting on your own. We met local CAMRA members, local brewers and Nomadic Beers even got an endorsement from Chaz, the Mayor of Penryn (and a nice pic in the local paper!).
On one of the days Katie, Simon, Mike and & I headed to the beach where we designed what the Future pub might look like. It included a nice Landlord/lady, a room where you can enjoy a quiet pint with another room where you might be able to do karaoke or a Quiz. There was a garden for the good weather. It was dog and children friendly. Served, local beers as well as larger, international brands. basically something for everyone. Katie and Simon have a video of it somewhere. I'll see if I can dig it out and add a link to it.
Later in 2019 we held a similar event here at the brewery, as the one we attended at Granite Rock Brewery. It included an update of the project, what we might expect for the 2020 Compass Festival, a grain and spoon race (think egg and spoon!) and a bit of music too. We were able to fit in a collab brew with Dave from Granite Rock Brewery.
So why am I telling you all this? Next week in Kirkgate Market you can find the next instalment of the project in the form of a working bar, tours, talks and more. Find out more info and book tickets for tours and talk here.
It would be great to see you there. I'll also be pulling some pints behind the bar and Mike is doing a few events. This has definitely been a passion project for me. It would be great if the Nomadic Beers Tribe (i.e. you), pop down and give the Public House Project the support it deserves, especially after it being put on hold for a year for obvious reasons!
I'll see you there for pint or two.