An unlikely duo of Hawaii beer enthusiasts have developed a following online.
Some people train for triathlons in their spare time. Others hit the surf. But Russel Kealoha and Bully O’Sullivan prefer to spend their free time holed up in a dingy garage in Kapolei filming and producing a weekly podcast about beer.
Known as the Two Beer Queers, these 29-year-old friends from Kamehameha Schools have become an Internet sensation in less than a year. The duo do not use their real names; Russel Kealoha (at left in the photo) and Bully O’Sullivan are their “beer personas.”
Try O'Sullivan and Kealoha's favorite brews:
Coconut Porter, Maui Brewing Co.:
“If the rest of the state knew how good this beer was, the Superferry would never have left.”
Already, their laid-back, often hilarious webisodes, in which they sample and rate two brews, have earned them a large and fiercely loyal following of beer enthusiasts around the world.
“We may not be the most knowledgeable beer reviewers, but we pride ourselves in being two of the more entertaining,” says Kealoha, who has a bachelor’s degree in film from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. “We do and say a lot of crazy things that other beer shows don’t do.”
Like hang a bottle of Primo Beer, execution-style, to show their extreme dislike for the iconic local brew. (It’s still hanging in the background in their current videos.)
Neither are self-proclaimed beer experts. They don’t even pretend to be. But since the podcast—and sampling some of the world’s best ales—the two have moved past their former favorites, Heineken and Bud Light, in favor of more sophisticated offerings. Their mission is to let Hawaii beer-drinkers know there’s more out there than beer in green bottles.
“It’s a change we can believe in,” Kealoha says.
Kealoha is the mastermind behind the podcast, but O’Sullivan, who works for his family’s catering business, knows his beers. Together—and with the help of co-producer and graphics guru Kaeo Kepani (real name)—Two Beer Queers has garnered thousands of YouTube views, about 2,000 followers on Twitter and hundreds of Facebook friends.
“In the beginning, we were happy if just one person watched it,” O’Sullivan says.
In fact, they weren’t planning to produce beer podcasts at all. They wanted to create a Web-based comedy show and used Two Beer Queers to gain some real-time practice on camera and in production.
Then it took off.
“We weren’t expecting this to go anywhere,” O’Sullivan says, laughing. “It’s like a lanching pad for the variety show … We didn’t expect anyone to watch it.”
Not that they’re complaining.
“As long as the audience keeps watching,” Kealoha says, “we will keep making them.” You can find the podcasts at www.twobeerqueers.com.