Monday, November 25, 2013

DrinkLikaFish {ATLOnTap}

With their combined powers of inebriation, knowledge of movie and pop-culture trivia, and experience in both articulation and film editing, BiGFiSH and DOuble D are a triple "double threat" (because any idiot can get inebriated) that results in filmed beer reviews one might characterize as a delightful mix of train wreck and intelligence. With full-time jobs and families both, they began filming in 2010 and have 100+ episodes to date.

May I introduce, the men behind the bar at DrinkLikaFish, Brian and Dave! 

Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what you do? Is beer a full-time paying gig for you, or do you keep day jobs? 
BiGFiSH: If this was our full time gig we’d be two things; overjoyed and unemployed! No, Double D and I both have “day jobs” that have absolutely nothing to do with the brewing industry. We both work at the same company, but in different departments. I am a propaganda provocateur and he is a solutions specialist. Honestly, we work for a very cool company and often get to see some pretty impressive stuff. Not to mention we IM each other constantly throughout the day with cringe-worthy images, jokes, thoughts and overall foolishness. Good times.

How long have you been involved in the ATL beer scene? What’s your opinion of the current ATL beer scene and where do you think it’s headed? 
BiGFiSH: Well, we started filming episodes in 2010 but we’ve been living in GA and checking out the local beer scene since ‘05 or ‘06. The first GA brewery my wife and I (My real wife, not Double D) visited was Red Brick Brewing. It was called Atlanta Brewing Company back then, and to be honest... I wasn’t really impressed. I then checked out a few Sweetwater brews and again... I kind of felt like “meh” these were okay I guess. I wasn’t trying to be a dick or anything, it’s just that I was used to the beers I’d been drinking before I moved out to Georgia. 
You see, I was born and raised out in San Diego CA, so not only was I drinking amazing craft beer but the idea of what amazing craft beer could be and the constant evolution of it was just a fact of life. Now I will admit that my first foray into beer consisted of Coors Lite and copious amounts of Mickey’s. That being said, I soon realized that beer isn't just something you pounded to get drunk, but could be pondered and enjoyed. By the time I moved to GA my palate was used to getting assaulted by west coast style IPAs and flavor forward brews. So to be perfectly honest... the local stuff out here seemed bland and boring by comparison. 
Now flash forward a few months and I started to really get into Terrapin and especially their Side Project stuff which then sent me on a quest to revisit the GA beer scene. I was so stoked when new breweries like Red Hare, Monday Night Brewing, Wild Heaven and of course Burnt Hickory emerged and began turning heads. I also loved when established brewers like Sweetwater and Red Brick began releasing higher gravity beers, retooling their year round offerings and concocting “Whale Beers” aka "one-offs" and seasonal releases.
I think the other major thing that helped The ATL was the influx of craft beer coming in from all over the nation. Distributors and brewers began to see us as a market that they could do well in. Atlanta is one of the top relocation cities in the US due to various job offerings, so tons of folks that are used to getting craft beer at the supermarket or bars are expecting to see not only their favorite beer, but like a 1,000 other choices! The GA beer scene simply had to adapt or risk a beer geek revolt.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you and Dave met? How did you get started doing the video reviews? 
BiGFiSH: I started doing video reviews on my own at first. I realized that I just wasn’t getting what I needed from a text review, no matter how detailed it was. So I went on YouTube and discovered that a select few were doing video beer reviews. I found that explaining the tasting notes on video was the same as reading them, so what I focused in on was the look of the beer and more importantly the reaction of the reviewer. I then realized that most of the reviews had the same overall look, feel and delivery. Some dude sitting at a table or desk, the camera is facing them dead on, and they talk ad nauseum for 10 minutes. I thought, "Dude, I could do what these cats are doing and possibly work in a little production to the videos to help entertain as well as educate."
DD: Before Brian, I didn’t even like beer all that much. The only reason I drank it was because at the bars I frequented they often had specials on different brands. When Brian started doing DLF, I didn’t even want to be a part of it because why would I want to drink something I didn’t like? He talked me into it, mostly because I could be the antithesis of the majority of ‘every beer is amazing’ reviewers you see out there. Doing DLF has opened me up to the diversity of beer that is out there that I otherwise would have missed out on.
Do you have recommendations for other’s looking at getting into filming beer reviews?
BiGFiSH: Don’t come across as a snob. Seriously, I feel that beer geeks are more pretentious and elitist than wine aficionados ever were. Double D and I are Beerists not snobs or geeks. We love not only the taste of a good beer but the camaraderie and social interactions that comes with the ‘Hey, let me get you a beer!’ kind of vibe. I also recommend finding your own tone or style. Whether it’s “successful” or not, you’ll be doing something you are truly proud of. Double D and I joke all the time that DrinkLikaFish is a show for [an audience of] two.
How long have you been working together, and what are some of the best things you’ve learned while doing the show?
BiGFiSH: We’ve known each other for four [plus] years and have been filming together for three or so. When I really started to get to know Double D I learned pretty quickly that he is genetically incapable of lying. It’s a trait that is both endearing and frustrating at the same time. I would often hand him a beer and say, “Hey man, try this.” And after a sip or two he’d go, “Meh, it’s OK.” I almost became obsessed with finding a beer he’d fall in love with! 
Along the way it became evident that we had the same sense of humor, knew all the same random movie quotes... that combined with an almost “odd couple” approach to how we lived was just right for the creation of an on-screen duo. Double D is very meticulous, composed and organized. I on the other hand am very insouciant, spontaneous and haphazard. Now in addition to learning about each other, we soaked up a bit of knowledge about beer and brewing and learned a ton (through trial and error) about filming and editing our episodes. First thing... don’t drink and edit. Second thing, if you do drink and edit... post post it. If you post it... smile and say you meant to do that!
DD: What the hell is insouciant? Did you look up an adjective just to sound smarter?
Where did your screen names come from (DrinkLikaFish and Double D)? Who came up with them? 
BiGFiSH: My nickname growing up was BigFish. I went to very, very, very small high school so my other buddies that didn’t attend there used to call me a big fish in a small pond. So I decided to bring that moniker out here to the ATL.
The name of the show is play on that nickname. DrinkLikaFish. I decided to use ‘lika’ instead of ‘like a” because it’s much more fun to say and when I originally heard it in my head, it sounded like a brooklyn guy was saying it, “Hey! Oh! it’s drinkLIKAfish!”
Now Double D was my spin on the term DD or designated driver. back when I first started hanging out with Double D he was often the DD... not so much these days!
For Brian… what’s you’re favorite thing about working with Dave?
BiGFiSH: We play off each other so well! We often race each other to the same punchline or when we're editing we ‘get’ the same jokes and why certain edits or clips should be used. He’s also one the few people that can get me to focus during an episode and I think I help bring him out of his shell a little bit. At the end of the day, I’m sharing a beer with one of my best friends. What’s cooler than that?
For Dave… what’s you’re favorite thing about working with Brian?
DD: Brian is the exact opposite of me in a social setting. Going out to different events we’ve been a part of, he’s the first to walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation about nothing. It’s a gift. Doing the show with him has forced me into meeting people I never would have otherwise.
What’s your process? What editing software, film gear do you use?
BiGFiSH: We try and film several episodes at one time and then edit them throughout the month. If we can, we try and have a new episode out every week. We do not have an extravagant budget so we are currently using our iPhone and Droid to film and capture the audio, then doing all the post production using Adobe Premiere Pro. In the past we used our steampunk powered video equipment.
What do your wives think of your video blogging efforts?
BiGFiSH: At first they were like... Okay, sure, whatever. But they were always supportive. My wife especially because when I first started filming these I spent a lot of time learning the editing software and trying to gain some more insight into the “BeerTuber’ culture I was immersing myself in. Later on a lot of the footage was filmed by them, and every so often they make a guest appearance. Those episodes are their favorite for some reason.
DD: My wife has enjoyed the variety of beers that I drink now, and I think that she also appreciates the fact that the show has gotten me out more. She’s pretty supportive of the whole thing… except those nights where we’re “just going to film a review or two” that turn into much, much longer sessions.
In Atlanta, do you have a favorite place to try new beers? Outside of ATL?
BiGFiSH: I love going to the Brick Store Pub down in Decatur is my all time favorite. The Wing Cafe & Tap House is just ridiculous. If you’re looking for a great little beer bar that’s outside of the city, Old Havana up in Cartersville is a really cool cigar and craft beer bar.
DD: No place in particular. I’m just happy to see that you can get craft beer just about anywhere these days.
Do you and DD have any big beer plans for the future?
BiGFiSH: We’d like to get into brewing. I guess that seems to be a natural progression for a lot of craft beer lovers. We’re also kicking around the idea of filming more ‘sketch comedy’ videos and upping the hijinks regarding what we are currently doing. We’ve recently joined forces with and we are now thier offical ‘Craft Beer Correspondents’ and you can also hear me give and drink my two cents worth on Under My Host as a occational guest host. 
We’re also looking to get back into organizing more beer themed events. In the past we help create and organize a pretty substantial benefit concert for the victims of hurricane Katrina and teamed up Red Brick Brewing for an event benefiting the victims of tornadoes that hit north Georgia. I’m proud of that fact that we, as DrinkLikaFish, strive to enlighten and entertain by not only lifting a beer, but by also lifting a helping hand for those that needed it. We love every second of what we are doing and hope more people come along for the ride. ‘Merica.
DD: Aww.

To connect with DrinkLikaFish, check them out online via their website, Twitter, Facebook, or via

{ATLOnTap} is a series that highlights the people and places that make Hey, Brewtiful possible, probable, and purposeful. It's about personal connection, community, and real-world contacts that keep our glass full. Do you know us? Would you like to? Email heybrewtiful{at} for more information.

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