As a top designer of wine bottles and spirits Kevin Shaw gets more than his fair share of samples to keep him going, but up to recently there has been a gap not only in his drinking but in the projects that his agency, Stranger & Stranger, has pitched to work on. Until he rediscovered his love and interest in beer. He had for years fallen out of love with what he felt was all uninspiring lager. But now he has once again seen the light. Here’s why…
Kevin Shaw has been more than happy to put down the corkscrew during lockdown and reach for another bottle of craft beer.
I’m drinking beer. We’ve got new beer projects coming in so I’m drinking beer, playing catchup so I know what I’m talking about in meetings. See, the zombie apocalypse has changed things, probably forever, and we always see it in the briefs that come in. Everyone’s downgrading and drinking cheap stuff like beer because no one’s trying to impress anyone.
These days I don’t dress to impress; hell, most days I don’t even dress so who cares what I drink? That’s not quite true, there’s still that bottle of ouzo that’s about 30 years old now but, even with the curiosity factor of wondering what a 30 year old ouzo tastes like, it’s still a nah.
Anyway, beer. It’s been a while since we hooked up. I think we fell out when beer went all lager and I moved on to wine. Bit more sophisticated, innit. There was always the old Guinness in the corner, last resort, but you always hate yourself in the morning. Well, turns out beer’s been working out and has got a revenge body, beer’s definitely dressed to impress, giving me the eye and beer’s still a cheap date. Happy days.
A funny beer related incident happened today, a relatively new beer client pitched up at the house. I’ve been in lockdown with the family for what feels like years and Kevin McGee brought lots of beer to the house. For me! Can’t stop, he said (from a safe distance), just thought you might like this. I was so overwhelmed by the random act of kindness I rustled up some eggs from the chickens and some esoteric whiskey we’re working on as a kind of zombie apocalypse barter. Was that enough, a fair exchange? What’s the scale for zombie apocalypse barter? And do I get a trade discount?
Anyway, beer. Beer is not just beer anymore. As I write this I’m drinking Anderson Valley (new beer client) Salted Caramel Porter and it is gobsmackingly delicious. Don’t take my word for it – the winemaker wife sniffed it, tasted it and ran off with it. She started rummaging through the cases, reading the sexy names and staring into mid-space all glassy eyed, imagining the couplings of the flavours. What’s a hazy sour, a blood orange gose? Swiping left, swiping right, all beer-curious. She’s never done that with wine.