I Drink. I Take Pictures: What Instagram Has Taught Me About Beer

KimsBayBrews Instagram photo from Berryessa Brewing in Winters, CA

By Kim Schimke

Kim Schimke of @KimsBayBrews with a bottle of Oakland Brewing's Sticky Zipper IPADroplets of condensation, vibrant hues, extreme close-ups, perfect pours with a ¾ inch head: these are just some descriptors of beer porn. Yes, beer porn. It exists and it’s pretty sexy stuff. The smartphone app, Instagram, has introduced me to this foreign subculture of beer drinkers that are eager to post and view pics of beer and documenting their sipping adventures via social media. From these sultry photos spawns interaction.

Beer lovers are eager to comment on pictures as well as offer up recommendations, inquire about the beverages posted, and get to know their fellow brew enthusiasts. The camaraderie amongst beer drinkers is quite evident and the community that exists on Instagram alone shows the increasing popularity and prevalence of craft beer in America.Craft beer samples photo taken by @KimsBayBrews on Instagram

I personally enjoy seeing brew pubs and beer bars in places I would never even know existed. I also take note of the actual beers that are posted and read the tasting comments for beers that are not distributed in my area. Should I ever take a beer pilgrimage to those areas, I have a list of places to go and beers to try. This phone app has become one of the best beer resources available.

Drinking beer at Jack London Square in Oakland, California. Instagram photo by Kim Schimke of @KimsBayBrewsBeer is known for being a social drink. It only makes a boatload of sense that beer and social media go hand in hand. Where other social media platforms allow enthusiastic individuals to discuss their hobby, Instagram predominately focuses on that stimulating visual element. The scandalous imagery captivates. Like any esoteric thing, craft beer has a devout following that I have gladly become a part of. Though seemingly just a beverage, beer is a vehicle for human contact, collaboration, and innovation. Each follower is a potential new friend, networking opportunity, educator, etc.

I am not trying to promote any one product/application, no, that I would expect compensation for. Rather, I am promoting the idea of actively participating in a hobby and finding the available tools and resources that help one to discover their passion and communicate with those that share their interests. Some people prefer receiving information in an auditory manner, others need a visual component. I could read a list of beers and the breweries they are from all day and retain a very small fraction of the information. Whereas if I see a picture of the label, I am much more likely to recall the brewery, style, location, and possibly even ABV.

The popularity of both craft beer and social media won’t be dwindling any time soon. Should you care to enhance your understanding of a particular topic/hobby, meet new people, learn the nuances of particular brew styles, or simply to satiate your beer porn thirst (pun intended), you will find there truly is an app for that and an entire community who uses it.

Kim Schimke on Instagram @KimsBayBrews

Follow Kim “Kimstagram” Schimke on Instagram and Twitter to check out her San Francisco Bay-centric craft beer excursions @KimsBayBrews.



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