So, I went on tour with Iron Maiden.
Yes, that is a bit unusual for a drinks writer but, as we know, Iron Maiden does have an incredibly successful beer in the form of Trooper and so it's not so far removed from my day job.
Plus, as I told Inapub boss Matt Eley, the invite had come from Trooper brewer, Robinsons, so it really was a totally legit use of my day.
And that's how I ended up on the tour bus on the M1 to Nottingham on the opening night of the UK leg of the Book of Souls tour. One beer journalist among a myriad of music journos (entirely male, it has to be said – and I thought the beer industry had a gender imbalance issue) and a chap from Unilad.
There was also a proper journalist there from The i newspaper but somehow that's not as funny.
The band was not on the tour bus with us sadly. But, as the bus looked like this (below) that sort of didn't matter because everyone else on the M1 thought they were, which in turn made us feel a bit special.
There was also A LOT of Trooper beer to consume. And, may I say, the music press really can go through a lot of beer (we ran out and were replenished twice) but on the whole they sure can't hold it as well as us drinks hacks, even girl ones like me *self-satisfied smirk.*
But no more of that. What goes on the tour bus, stays on the tour bus after all.
After a quick backstage reccy and a meeting with the band's legendary bassist Steve Harris - just look at my face, I am so far from keeping it cool:
It was time for the gig. We got great seats, of course, and so far so amazing, but for a beer writer, not so much about the beer...
Until mid-set lead singer Bruce Dickinson, lover of beer and the mastermind behind Trooper ale did this great rant about beer (I have to apologise I missed the start of it but managed to capture the most part):
So there you are. Ever wonder why Trooper is the most successful celebrity ale of them all? (And let's face it there have been a LOT of celeb beers, including Elbow, Mötorhead and New Order. Goldie Lookin' Chain even got in on the action with a Christmas brew).
Yes, it's the branding and yes, it's the right product for the right audience, but it's also because it's something Bruce Dickinson really believes in and so it's made with heart too.
On top of all that I also got a mention in Unilad for having "planet earth's best job".
And it is really, isn't it?
- This isn't Inapub's first brush with Iron Maiden, either. Remember that time Bruce Dickinson wrote a blog for us?