In the worlds of literature and serious journalism, the use of puns tends to be frowned upon, if not outright forbidden. Yet in the beer world, whether it's beer or brewery names or beer writing, you'll find them welcomed and, for the most part, positively encouraged.
We're certainly not afraid to head down that route when naming articles for The Crafty Pint so it's always good to welcome another pun-some one on board. In this case, that welcome goes out to New South Ales, the latest entry in our occasional Aussie Beer Blogs series, where it joins fellow wordplay loving sites such as Ale of a Time and From Beer To Eternity.
Originally launched in 2015 with the aim of providing in-depth reviews of breweries in and around New South Wales, the duo behind it soon realised that what people were really interested in were the colourful people and stories that make the local beer scene what it is. So they swiftly changed tack.
That duo is Marie Claire "MC" Jarratt and her partner Sapphire Sheedy. And here they are to tell us all about themselves and New South Ales.
BLOG NAME: New South Ales
What do you do when not drinking beer and writing about beer?
Think and dream about beer. We also both study / work full-time. MC is in her third year of a physics PhD and Saph is a designer at an animation production company.
When did you start the blog?
In August 2015. We had just moved closer to the city after living in the beer wasteland that is Sydney’s northern suburbs. We’re now within walking distance of two breweries, which is where we spend alarming amounts of time.
Why did you start it?
After attending multiple beer events every week, we decided to do something useful with our obsession. We’re also using it to improve our skills – writing (MC) and photography and design (Saph) – or at least that’s how we justify it.
What first got you into craft beer?
Previously, we were both fairly casual beer drinkers, until one fateful day when MC’s older sister – Hi, Emma! – introduced her to the concept of a beer festival. It was like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning – except instead of Santa bringing us presents, it was brewers pouring us beers.
A year later, MC and her older sister brought Saph to that same beer festival.
What does your blog tend to focus on?
Anything to do with beer in NSW – interviews with brewers, coverage of interesting events and sometimes educational pieces. We’re also looking to do more things for people with short attention spans (like us), such as photo stories and videos.
Why should people read it?
Because no matter how little or how much you know about beer, you’ll learn something new. Also, if it gets popular enough people might start to send us free beer – and that’s all anyone really wants in life.
What do you love and enjoy most about beer?
How it tastes! There are so many flavour combinations to be had and we’ll try them all – even if it’s really weird.
We’ve also become a part of this crazy, mismatched family of brewers and beer enthusiasts, which means there’s always someone up for a good chat about beer.
What’s your favourite Australian beer?
MC: Right now, Modus Operandi’s Black Lab Milk Stout. It’s a limited run, but maybe if they read this they’ll be nice and make it again.
Saph: It’s hard to choose. I’ll always try a locally made IPA, but often find myself crawling back to Wayward’s Keller Instinct.
What about non-Australian beers?
Our fridge is allergic to non-NSW beers.
What's your favourite time and/or place to enjoy a beer?
Fresh from the brewery on a Saturday afternoon!
What are your hopes for beer in Australia?
We would love to see more women get involved, in both drinking and producing beer.
We’d also like to see Australia make a name for itself overseas – last time we travelled we got asked if we have a craft beer scene at all. That poor person spent the next hour learning otherwise.
Thanks, ladies. Always good to have ambassadors correcting perceptions overseas!
Check out New South Ales here.
You can also find past beer blog features here and here (because we changed the name of the section a while back...). If you've got a blog or podcast you'd like us to feature, get in touch!