We had the good fortune of connecting with Phil Bosco and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phil, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My biggest inspiration came from Michael Scott’s book, ‘Somehow I Manage.” It really struck a chord with me and gave me the strength to take the leap…That may be too much of a deep cut for non The Office fans. Honestly, I’ve had businesses in the past around my creative and consulting services. Paired Pints started as a hobby and I still like to think that even though I’ve taken commissions because of it. My initial goal was to connect with people in the food world. From my constant viewing of cooking shows to reading Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly to YouTube star, Binging with Babish, everything about the food world gave me a new spark of inspiration.
As it developed I fell in love with what I call Beerscapes. They are miniature dioramas, if you will centered around beer. https://www.pairedpints.com/beerscapes. This fun little time waster is what made me realize I could turn Paired Pints into a sudo=business, taking commissions for miniature builds as they come in. Ultimately, I’d be happy sustaining the business on miniature builds and advertising revenue – that way I could focus full time on educating beer and food enthusiast on approachable beer pairings.
Dream-state: I rent a small space for a pop-up that serves two meals every day, one veg-friendly and one carnivorous that are paired with two beers.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Starting off, I though I was delivering a gift to everything. “Wow, no one is doing this. Im going to be the first!”, I said to myself. A couple months in, I quickly realized people have been pairing food and beer quite a bit on Instagram and being a latecomer to Instagram, I put on my thinking cap. At the time, I was a digital marketing manager at a toy company in Pennsylvania. In that role, I was also the videographer, photographer, and editor and being that it was a toy company, we used super bright and colorful backdrops. The use of the colorful backdrops allowed me to separate myself from those in my same space and frankly, allowed me to stand out. I was not only attracting food lovers but also fans of photography.
Now I have a couple of differentiators like my beerscapes, 15 Questions show, my short lived Is It Stupid Food Series and colorful photography. It took me a long time to see my peers other than competition. For me, to think that I needed to compare myself to others was toxic and rife for a spiral into frustration. So now when I see a newcomer or a page new to me, I get excited that more people are as passionate as I am for beer and food pairing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a can art snob so if there was one place I’d take them would be to get a bunch of cans at Wren House Brewing Co. Every can I have seen from that brewery is well designed and engaging. If you want me to visit your brewery, I listen to word of mouth and am a sucker for creative and well designed can art.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Starting with the people that I know personally, my wife. I know it’s cliche but I need to thank my wife’s patience for me clogging up the kitchen for hours on the weekend, keeping the house hot with the oven on in the summer, for being my taste tester, and my hand model. I don’t think I’d have the half the motivation to keep this project going if it wasn’t for the fact that I get to see her smile after a bite of my food. Not directly impacted but my grandfather owned a resturant and I always heard stories about the restaurant life growing up. In some way, I feel like I wish I had a chance to work in a family owned restaurant, just to experience it.
Two standouts that got me excited to approach the world of food were Binging with Babish’s Andrew Rea and Ilan Hall, specifically his show Knife Fight. I discovered both of their shows and was immediately wrapped up in how approachable and creative food can be. In the case of Andrew, his story really resonated with me. A fellow creative who was in a creative rut that used food as an outlet. Once I read that, I immediately thought “hey, that’s kind of like me!” Obviously Andrew has achieved a level of success that very few have but he definitely was a huge part in lighting my spark. Through this project I was able to connect with the two. Andrew gave me a nice shout out at his book tour event after the show and wrote some kind words even though its hard to read (https://www.reddit.com/r/bingingwithbabish/comments/dmgc77/met_andrew_last_night_he_gave_a_shout_out_to_my/ his comment on his handwriting can be seen as the first comment). And Ilan was my first guest on my IG Live show, 15 Questions. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CaVwtuPpjks/