Everybody’s at #instabeerupCLT and you’re missing out

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If you were sitting around on Thursday, February 26, between the hours of 6 and 9pm eating something you microwaved, watching Netflix and thinking, “Is this life? What are other people doing right now?” The definitive answer is: NO IT IS NOT. And: They’re at #instabeerupclt hanging out with human beings they met on the internet.

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#instabeerupCLT, masterminded by Amy Herman and Corri Smith, is a casual monthly meetup centered around different locations that serve beer. That’s it. No sponsors. No agenda. No registration. You just show up and drink beer and hang out with people. It’s all very human.

The inaugural event took place on June 5, 2014 at VBGB and has circulated through different watering holes each month since, bringing with it a devoted following of more than 200 people who like to hang out with people and drink beer. The novelty.

In this the age of texting and tweeting and liking and swiping and all these things that take place behind the comfort of a screen, Amy and Corri have taken something innately inanimate and born on the internet–the hashtag–and turned it into a real life event forging real meaningful connections. And all, as best I can tell, for no other motive than because they like to hang out with rad people.

#instabeerupclt is happening tonight @craftgrowlershop so @corriasmith and I made you some goodies!

A photo posted by Amy Herman | Vintage Charlotte (@vtgclt) on

Hanging out with 200 internet strangers is my introverted idea of a true life nightmare, but even I have been to two #instabeerupCLTs and have lived to tell the tale. It’s not that I don’t like people; it’s that I LOVE being alone. But there’s just something so supremely awesome about the energy buzzing around this event that even I am inclined to socialize.

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What’s cool about #instabeerupCLT isn’t the event, it’s the people that attend it. The event in and of itself is fluid. There’s no website, no permanent location, no promotion beyond word-of-mouth social spread. It exists only insofar as people talk about it online, but it’s executed in real life. It’s not an event that has a hashtag, it is a hashtag. The whole concept lives and dies by whether or not anyone shows up and so the whole thing is defined by who’s there. So be there.

It’s stuff like this that makes Charlotte Charlotte, and we need more of it all the time. In a city that many (myself included) would argue grew up faster in size than its personality could match, events like this are what is defining our collective community. And we need it so bad.

So when’s the next one? Honestly, who knows? Just get on Twitter and Instagram and search #instabeerupCLT to see when the next location is announced. See you there probably. Sometimes I bring cookies.

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