First Beer Experiences – Nic Crilly-Hargrave


Nic (above right) is an Aussie, born in Sydney, who grew up on the Gold Coast and moved back to London for a second stint from Melbourne two years ago. He’s a food, drink, travel and events photographer by trade. He’s also one half of the podcasting team from The Beer Podcast who investigate beer-related topics by talking to multiple sources for each episode.

When did you have your first taste of beer?

I started drinking late in life - at around 21 years old. As an Aussie, I wanted to then only drink the good stuff, so bypassed VB and XXXX for the premium beer at the time - Corona. Coming to London, my first beer here was London Pride obviously.

What was your impression of beer before then?

I just didn’t like the taste of any alcohol so had no real reference point. I didn’t think any beer would ever win me over.

What was your reaction to that first sip?

My first sip of London Pride caught me off guard. Down Under we all hear the jokes of Poms drinking warm beer - but here I was, with a pint in my hand, the temperature of which felt like it had come straight from a cupboard rather than an icy-cold fridge.

How have your thoughts about beer changed since then?

Oh, man. I have been completely schooled! I’m now willing to try everything and anything. The funkier the better. My palate has completely changed, and I’ve learnt what I really like and know what 'meh' beers don’t float my boat.

What beer would you recommend to someone who wants to try it for the first time, and why?

The beer that gave me my craft beer spiritual awakening was Beaverton’s Gamma Ray. Just something in that can ticked all my boxes all at once. I now use it as a gateway beer for people who are on the fence about ‘good’ beer.

Mike Hampshire