The Whisky Circle is an event in Western Sydney, NSW. Music, food, drinks (especially of the scotch whisky variety) and conversation are shared. This makes the event a safe space for men and others to meet up and encourage each other.
By “safe” is simply meant there will be no judgements. Talk or don’t talk, we’re all here to wrestle with the topic and encourage one another. The format and content therefore make the event men-friendly, although not exclusively male.
In this post, I’ll describe the event in hope of encouraging you to come along. And why not bring ya mate!
The Whisky Circle is the brainchild of Kevin Crouse, the founder behind the inspirational, but now-closed, Mars Hill Café in Parramatta, NSW.
When I heard Kevin describe his project, I instantly recognised this as a suitable “mode” (Kevin’s word) for an idea of my own. I have, for a number of years now, imagined how I might encourage and equip those good at being men to be good men. The Whisky Circle is the perfect event for bringing men together in a helpful and relevant way!
I therefore met up with Kevin and proposed to him that we run his event in Liverpool NSW —my local area. After getting him drunk, he agreed … okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but our meetings do always seem to involve a drink or more, even when it’s a breakfast meeting! 😃
What Happens At A Whisky Circle?
When you arrive at The Whisky Circle, live music sets the tone and creates a buzz, much like it would do at a pub. Which is convenient because The Whisky Circle will be held in pubs or bars or cafés.
You will be offered a cocktail when you arrive. Finger foods will circulate through the group as you catch up with friends or make new ones. We’re all there for the same reason so don’t be shy!
Eventually, one of the hosts, Kevin or I, will get everyone’s attention. A quick welcome and explanation of how the seating arrangement facilitates the conversation: If you sit in the inner circle of chairs, you indicate you want to participate; if you sit in the outer circle, you indicate you mostly want to listen. You can join in the conversation as little or as much as you want. Your proximity to the centre gives everyone a sense of where you have chosen to stand.
After introducing our guest conversationist, he or she will make a short, 10-20 minute presentation on the chosen topic. The emphasis at this point is active listening.
Then Kevin, because he’s the expert, will guide us all in tasting our first whisky. In this way we all slow down together and become fully present to the moment. We share an experience of a truly delightful drink, responsibly.
Tasting finished, Kevin or I will then get the main conversation rolling. We will all wrestle together (my words) with the topic the conversationist has presented. No holds barred, although respectful dialogue will be enforced. No question is out of bounds, although we will encourage staying on topic.
After about 20 minutes, we will then have our second tasting. A break to lighten the mood, if necessary, and allow further questions to develop. Not all of us are so quick witted as others!
More conversation, more drinks, and a fuzzy ending to the evening … “fuzzy” not because we’ve drunk too much but because our hope is the conversation won’t end with the evening. Both Kevin and I want the conversation to continue, whether on Facebook or a website, so that an encouraging and equipping community will grow organically from these events.
The Future of The Whisky Circle
The goal is to hold an event every quarter. Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter so I can keep you informed of each event.
Now, as I wrote above, my goal is to create safe spaces for men and others to meet up and encourage each other, to discuss topics related to masculinity, life and meaning. While this means I will ensure the events are men-friendly, however, this does not make the event exclusive to men. It is an open, private event. Tickets are $50 but anyone may attend. This may change in the future but not yet.
In the comments section below, let us know:
Would you be interested in attending The Whisky Circle in Blacktown or Liverpool?
What topic(s) would like to have brought up at future events?