In “Meet a Member,” we highlight the people who make up the North American Guild of Beer Writers. It’s a chance to learn more about the wide collection of journalists, podcasters, bloggers, and vloggers who cover the industry. See and archive of these Q&A profiles.
Where can people find you on social media?
On LinkedIn. I’m also on Facebook way more than I care to admit!
Where can people find your work?
Having written five books (“Beer for Dummies” will be in its 3rd edition next January and “Homebrewing for Dummies” will be in its 3rd edition this Summer) and scores of articles for a dozen different print and online publications since 1987, a Google or Amazon search will pull up most of them.
In my heyday back in the 90’s and early aughts, I managed to win ten NAGBW awards, including Beer Writer of the Year, second runner-up.
You can also check out my website.
What topics do you regularly cover?
Beer and Brewing primarily, over the course of my writing career. Lately, there’s been more focus on beer and travel. My vacations are always centered on beery destinations; I stopped counting breweries visited a decade ago, but estimate that I’m over 500 now in over 15 countries.
What topics would you like to cover more in the future?
Beer evaluation and beer competition. I’m spending more and more time teaching these topics as well as participating as a judge at high visibility competitions in the U.S. and abroad.
People should consider me an expert on ____ … and why:
Beer and beer evaluation. I’ve been writing about these topics for over three decades and I’ve been teaching them for over twenty years. I recently celebrated my 37th year as a BJCP Judge and I continue to travel internationally to gain better insight to competitions held elsewhere in the world.
In addition to the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer cup, I’ve judged Festival of Barrel Aged Beers, Copa Cervezas de America in Santiago, Chile, and African Beer Cup in Capetown, South Africa. I have Brazil’s Concurso Brasileiro de Cervejas and Mexico’s Aro Rojo on my radar for next year.
What’s a favorite thing you’ve created in the last year?
My two self-published books on Amazon: “Tapped Out” and “How to Judge Beer Like a Pro“. During Covid I had a lot of pent-up energy as well as a lot of material to work with. I decided almost on a whim to get these projects done while socially distanced from others.
What’s the last great thing you read or heard? (beer or not)
Book: “What the Nose Knows. The Science of Scent in Everyday Life“. I’m endlessly fascinated by the human sensory systems.
What’s a fun fact, hidden talent, or something you enjoy that has nothing to do with beer?
I am an unabashed dog lover. My wife and I love fostering abused and displaced dogs and helping them find their forever homes. I may retire from working but I’ll never retire from being a dog’s best friend.