Don’t you just love beer? I mean a nice cold pint at the end of a hard day’s work is one of life’s ultimate pleasures and one which we should all indulge in more often. But have you ever had your cold brew with a side of social consciousness? Well, now you can by heading to one of London’s more alternative events: Beer Here. Organised by the fellows of Year Here, a postgraduate programme in social enterprise, Beer Here aims to bring together young Londoners’ love of Beer with their love of creating change. All sounds like a good time doesn’t it, but what does this mean in real terms? I’ll tell you.
The first Beer Here I went to – and the first one they had organised in fact – was held at The Collective in Camden and it was based around the idea of social change. So, in amongst the mingling, beer drinking and burger eating we were treated to talks from economists, social designers and social enterprise entrepreneurs to get our brains working a little bit. They discussed the issue of creating change for social issues – homelessness, youth crime etc – when most investors and organisations only recognise change in terms of profits and losses. I was not overly familiar with these issues before I arrived but by the time I left I felt not only educated but also refreshed that I had enjoyed an evening of drinking, table tennis playing (oh yeah there was table tennis) and meeting like minded people.
The second event was the same set up but it was called ‘Gang Stories’ and it was held in a church in Hackney with the focus being on London’s gang culture. David Cohen from The Evening Standard and documentary film maker Adeyemi Michael were among the speakers and it was certainly eyeopening to an issue that I had only heard about through snippets on the news.
So would I recommend going to a Beer Here event? Most definitely. If you are looking for something to do in London that won’t cost you the world but could help you learn a bit more about this imperfect place we live in, then Beer Here is a good place to start. You will also be pleased to know that it is not just beer on offer at these events (but let’s be honest Wine Here doesn’t sound quite as good), there are also snacks on offer from the likes of Propercorn, burgers from Up My Grill and if you do fancy a beer you can have a gluten-free Celia.
If you want to attend more Beer Here events then you can like them on facebook for updates and to find out about the Year Here program you can look on their website. Also my good friend Sarah happens to be a fellow of the programme, you can read all about her experience of the programme on her blog and her website.