There’s no denying just how much we’ve come to depend on social media, especially Instagram, to stay abreast of all the latest happenings in the beverage industry.
When the pandemic hit and took the country into lockdown mode, it was a relief to find people from the industry stepping up and hosting interesting chats and fun conversations to keep audiences engaged. We ourselves celebrated our first anniversary by hosting a series of four Instagram Lives in a single day at the height of the lockdown.
As a way of thanking them and to commemorate 10 months of the lockdown, here’s a look at some of the most prolific and interesting people and brands that helped us survive the pandemic.
1 – Angad Singh Gandhi
The brand ambassador of Glenfiddich India and an ex-theatre artiste, Gandhi joined several Instagram Lives and also entertained with his fun whisky cocktail videos. Recently, he also hosted actor Boman Irani on what was the first-ever Glenfiddich Irrepressible IG Live. Follow him here.
2 – Nitin Tewari
Co-founder of Together At 12th Kitchen and Bar in Gurgaon, Nitin Tewari hosted the who’s-who of the beverage world with Instagram Lives that were a hit with the fraternity. Indeed, one of the joys of the lockdown was hearing perspectives from a bunch of talented bartenders about the industry and the way forward on Tewari’s page. Follow him here.
3 – Devi Singh
If we had to use the word irrepressible to describe anyone, it would be Devi Singh Bhati. We loved his personality so much that we even profiled him earlier in our publication. Even so, the lockdown months saw Devi Singh speak to a bunch of national and international bartenders in his own unique style that made for a fun encounter. Follow him here.
4 – Suchana Bera
The sheer energy and variety of guests with whom Campari Queen Suchana Bera held conversations made the entirety of #LockdownWithSuchana worth following. Lifestyle content creators and people from the drinks industry featured heavily during the Instagram Live sessions that Suchana held and was a part of throughout the year. Even though her account was recently hacked, you can still find a bunch of those sessions here.
5 – Sonal Holland
What a powerhouse performer. Sonal Holland not only held important conversations with the who’s-who of the wine world but also held one-on-one sessions with viewers on Wine Basics and Sake Basics that was a treat to listen to. India’s only Master of Wine made sure that the wine kept flowing through her interactions during the lockdown months. Follow her here.
6 – Nikhil Agarwal
The face behind All Things Nice, Nikhil Agarwal held spirited wine conversations with some of the more obscure wineries and wine personalities and brought a fresh perspective to his conversations with his guests. He also did a Live session with Jim Murray before the latter got embroiled in the sexism controversy surrounding Whisky Bible 2021. You can find them all on Agarwal’s page here.
7 – Gaurav Dhyani
Bartender Gaurav Dhyani was a surprise discovery for us and we were impressed with the guests and chats on his Instagram Lives. Dhyani’s ability to get guests like Bob Nolet, Ketel One’s Master Distiller, for example, was one of the good things about the lockdown as one could simply log on and hear legends like Nolet do all the talking. Some of the saved chats from Dhyani’s page are here.
8 – Moonshine Meadery
Rohan Rehani and Nitin Vishwas who run Moonshine Meadery ensured that visitors to their page were kept informed and entertained about the various happenings in the beverage industry. From technical chats about excise laws with Doolally’s founder to learning about coffee with Subko Coffee and Black Baza Coffee and more, visiting the Moonshine Meadery page was always a breath of fresh air. Find some of their chats here.
9 – Sidecar
From listening to co-founder Yangdup Lama chatting with industry professionals to taking part in Sidecar India’s J&B Rare Trivia Nights hosted majorly by Sheet Dila, this was one page that kept viewers coming back for more. Of course, more fun was reading all the ‘wrong answers only’ posted by bartenders with a sense of humour during Trivia Nights! Some of the saved sessions are here.
10 – The Table
Co-founder Gauri Devidayal has been one of the pillars of the F&B sector and has herself participated in many chats hosted by different accounts. When it was time for The Table to do something, there was no doubt it was going to be on a different scale than others. Their series titled ‘What Matters’ saw topics as wide-ranging as brand design to hiring during Covid-19 and the future of farming among others, making for some intriguing sessions with lots of food for thought. Find the series here.
Did we cover all the important handles? Let us know if we missed any in the comments below.
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.