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?
Where can people find your work?
What topics do you regularly cover?
Beer, cider and spirits — basically anything that can get you drunk that’s not wine. And occasionally I’ll cover non-alcoholic drinks too. I particularly like writing deep-dives into a world where these drinks have something to say about the ways we live now.
What topics would you like to cover more in the future?
I’m leaning more into the spirits and cocktails side of things at the moment but I’ll always come back around to beer. I’d like to write more about pubs and why they’re such wonderful places, just as soon as I can drag myself away from London’s cocktail bars.
People should consider me an expert on ____ … and why:
Beer! I’m a fully qualified Beer Sommelier and international beer competition judge. Also cider, as I’m training to become a Cider Pommelier.
What’s a favorite thing you’ve created in the last year?
Probably my article on perry for Good Beer Hunting. It has it all: hallucinogenic visions, fruit harvested from trees older than the Battle of Waterloo, and the pleasure and pain involved in making this wonderful drink. It helped me win the Guild of Food Writer’s Drinks Writing Award in 2022.
What’s the last great thing you read or heard? (beer or not)
Murder Your Darlings by Roy Peter Clark, a writing book that distills the advice found in about a hundred other writing books. Clark digs around and extracts practical lessons on the craft “from Aristotle to Zissner”, which he delivers in an approachable and engaging way. Great stuff. Makes me wish I could travel to St Pete in Florida and share a Green Bench Postcard Pils with him.
What’s a fun fact, hidden talent, or something you enjoy that has nothing to do with beer?
Weirdly enough, as my non-fiction reading has become broader over the years my fiction choices have narrowed to the point where if it’s not a whodunnit set in 12th-century England then I just don’t want to know! But if it’s monks solving murders then bring it on. Turns out there are more books within this strange little niche than you’d imagine. Probably because it covers a period of English history (the Anarchy) that is rich with conflict, intrigue and discord — very fertile ground for fiction.
How did you get into covering beer?
I’d been working in book publishing for a while and needed a change. I’d always been interested in beer, so after studying for my Beer Sommelier qualification this seemed like the best fit for my skills. I started pitching articles to websites and beer magazines and just built up from there.
Who is a reporter/author/podcaster and publication/show that inspires you?
I’ve been reading a lot of John McPhee lately. He can write about anything and make it interesting. He wrote a whole book just on oranges and I was hooked from start to finish. I’ll read it again soon to see if I can figure out how he did it.