When you think of people discussing beer, CAMRA members banging on about bitter or bearded hipsters and their "sessionable" and "aromatic" IPAs probably spring to mind. But there is another medium through which to elaborate on that totally hoppy pale ale with a crisp tropical finish. And it's a lot more fun, too.
We spoke to Tom about how bricks and beer can go hand-in-hand.
MUNCHIES: Hi Tom, why did you start the project? Tom Delcourt: It's funny you call it a project! I don't think of it as a project, it's just me goofing around. About three years ago, just after The Lego Movie came out (which I liked a lot), I got given a set of Lego as a joke. I was already posting pictures of beer when I had a good one and then one day, I built some of the Lego and included it in a post with a beer. My friends found it really funny and it just went from there.
I started buying more and more Lego, drinking more and more beer. Before I knew it, it had turned into Beer Farts.
Why do you think the account has become popular? I think Lego is a bit like a guilty pleasure for adults but also craft beer has been booming over the last couple of years. I think more and more people are interested in what they're drinking and where the beer is from. Beers seems to have more of a story to them now, not just some mass-produced drink. I also often have a silly story included with the picture so it makes it a bit more interesting.
Although the stories are often stupid or ridiculous, they normally are linked to the beer—what the beer is about, the brewery, the name of the beer.
What comes first, the beer or the Lego? It's definitely finding the beer first. I often see a Lego and then have in my head a beer that it might go with. But more often than not, the beer comes first. I'll get a new beer and then depending on the style of the beer or who's brewed it, I then try and link it somehow to the Lego. It also depends on the story that I'm going to tell in that post.
How do you put the posts together? It can be really frustrating sometimes because I just want to drink the beer and often I can't pour it because I need to get the Lego ready. So 20 minutes later, I've got all these Lego men sprawled across the table and I have to set them up in a scene. Then I can finally pour my beer and it's only when I've taken the picture that I can drink it. As soon as I've opened one beer, I'm thinking about the next one and how I'll take the picture.
How do you go about finding beers? I'm a huge beer geek. Although the Lego is in there, it's all about the beer. I try and make it as much about the beer as possible. I'm a sales manager for a craft brewery in South London so I'm aware of new beers as and when they come out and the breweries, especially ones based in the UK.
Also, I live in London and we have a few really cool bottle shops here. They always get new beers from all over the UK. There's such a great scene now. Even though I post every day, I can't keep up with the amount of beers coming out.
Was part of the intention to take away some of the seriousness that can be attached the craft beer? It's really just meant as a bit of a joke. There can be a bit too much seriousness and sometimes snobbery in the beer world. Similar to the stigma that can be attached to the wine world, people can look down their noses and be a bit judgmental. Beer is meant to be fun! For me, it's important to keep that.
The label artwork can play a role in your pictures. How has that changed as craft beers have become more popular? Labels are a huge part of the beer world now. For me, a bottle or can of beer is more like a story now. It used to just be that you had a can of beer, you cracked it open, poured it in a glass, and threw the can away. Now, when you get given a can of beer in a restaurant or have one at home, people are holding the can, reading what's on the can, and looking at the artwork. All the while drinking a beer which is hopefully as good as the artwork.
The beer inside is an art so it makes sense that there's a piece of art on the outside as well.
What's your favourite Beer Farts post? It's really hard to choose! Off the top of my head, I did a post with Camden Town Brewery's Strawberry Hells Forever lager. It's a play on their Hells lager which was infused with strawberries and The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever." I made up a Beatles Lego scene which I was really pleased with and it was a really cool bottle.
Could a Lego-inspired beer label be next? It's funny you mention that. I'm not sure how much I can say but I'm about to do a collaboration with a brewery which will hopefully come out in a month or so. That's probably all I can say at this point without giving too much away!
Thanks for talking to me, Tom.