The Black Malt Bottle Share Club is—as is, perhaps, given away by the name—a bottle share devoted to dark beer. Run by self-professed "malt-head" Alexandra Sewell, the bottle share often includes an element of discussion through talks, Q&As, or, as was the case recently, panel discussions.
In light of a more prolific opening-up around the subject recently, the topic was mental health. The panel consisted of beer writer Pete Brown, general manager of Cloudwater’s soon-to-open London taproom Alice Hayward, lego-loving beer Instagrammer Tom Delcourt, and myself. We each discussed our own experiences of mental health issues and the subsequent interactions of working and existing within beer’s universe.
Erring on the side of heavy-going at times, it was honest and vulnerable, but also funny and affirming. It was less group therapy session, more "hey, I struggle too, let’s talk about it." It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it’s one that needs addressing with increasing frequency, and, like last night, more openly at that.
Reach out, have a conversation, talk to people. Of course, it doesn't hurt if there’s a bottle share happening around you.