Our Alter Ego
 
You may not have heard of the eccentric Belgian brewer Pierre van Klomp; and if you have heard of him, you might not have realised that we 'fessed up to being behind that Twitter account about a year ago.

It's not something we work hard at -- just a bit of fun, among all the other bits of fun. We can go weeks without posting and then read an interview with a pretentious film director or fashion designer and suddenly we hear his voice.

Writing each Tweet takes maybe 10 minutes -- it's hard to squeeze in something 'profound', a joke, and get the voice right all in 140 characters. We read them aloud to each other (doing a gruff old Belgian voice, obviously) several times to check they work before posting.

You know how it is -- the ones we're proudest of and think are really hilarious get no attention at all, while the ones we knock off on the bus earn plaudits. 'No clue who this guy is,' one esteemed beer commentator wrote, 'but I think I'm in love with him.'

The weird thing is, we don't always agree with what he says. As in, we write and post the Tweet and then think, 'Blimey, what a tosser.' He's much less tolerant of innovation and experimentation than us, for example, and much less conciliatory by nature.

Or is he? Does what we say through PVK betray our subconscious feelings? Do we secretly wish we could be as rude as him? No, surely not...

On a related note, though, it is funny that there are people who follow him  on Twitter but don't follow us. He's funnier, we suppose, and less likely to post boring pictures of banquettes in pubs in Birmingham. As yet, we've found no practical use for this 'additional reach'. It would really ruin the fun if he started plugging our stuff, for example, because he never would. (He kind of hates us, and people like us, truth be told.)

At one point someone asked permission to compile the best of PVK's Tweets for publication in an anthology of beer writing -- we're not sure if that's going ahead.

One thing we've sometimes thought might be fun is to get someone to perform the part in an audio recording or short film. The specific person we have in mind is the world famous beer writer Tim Webb who also happens to be involved in publishing our new book. Whenever he talks about Belgian or Dutch brewers he puts on an utterly convincing accent which we reckon would work perfectly for M. van Klomp.

Or maybe we should just cave in to the inevitable and get someone to contract brew PVK Saison Extra. After all, there are plenty of Belgian breweries that don't really exist.