Together with PUB19 – the only dedicated show for the UK pub industry – I have produced a series of short podcasts exploring the challenges and opportunities facing publicans today.
The podcasts take a look behind the headlines at the trends shaping today’s market and explore issues such as food, drinks, design, technology and more. With guest including Geetie Singh-Watson MBE (founder of the UK’s first and only organic pub), Laura Willoughby MBE (co-founder of Club Soda), Lee Cash (founder of Peach Pubs), Joycelyn Neve (founder of the Seafood Pub Company), Jane Peyton (drinks writer and educator) and Pete Brown (Chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers), the conversation is sure to be lively and informative.
“Ten. My hair is like spun gold but my knees are scabbed from falling in the playground. We live next door to a pub and, each night from my bedroom, I hear the rattle-slam of the door open and close, open and close. Sometimes I’m sent round there to buy dimpled glass bottles of lemonade and bags of unsalted crisps. I enter through the door marked ‘Off-Sales’, into the tiniest of rooms, but I always peep across to the sepia-stained lounge. It’s there I learn that both ‘mild’ and ‘bitter’ have more than one meaning.”
I’m a big fan of the wonderful Stu McKinlay and his fine beers, so I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to the Yeastie Boys 10th Birthday Zine. You can find my piece, ‘Ten’ – alongside contributions from Adrian Tierney-Jones, Jess Mason and more – in ‘Decade’, available from Yeastie Boys’ anniversary events.
“As a member of the growing band of consumers who take an interest in the ethical credentials of the beer I drink, it’s encouraging to know the enrichment and symbiosis I’ve always imagined as I sip my pint, is not only a romantic ideal. The footprint left by brewing is not only getting smaller, but could be leading the way towards a better future.”
You can find my cover feature about the growth of sustainable practices within the brewing industry in the latest issue of CAMRA‘s Beer Magazine.
“It’s often said that brewers make only the wort: it’s the yeast that makes the beer. Of course, since Emil Christian Hansen discovered how to isolate individual yeast strains, brewers have gained much more control over those single-celled organisms. But creative homebrewers in Great Britain are challenging the notion that yeast must be tamed and have produced a unique blend that draws on science, history, and the very ground on which they stand.”
Check out my account of the Great Brettanomyces Megablend in the July/August edition of Zymurgy, the magazine for members of the American Homebrewers Association.
“I’ve pushed open a lot of pub doors. The flush of warm air, the growing babble of chatter, and the scent of beer-tainted wood have rushed towards me many thousands of times. But, as I stand on the threshold of an unfamiliar venue, even before my eyes adjust to the yellowed light, even before I lift my palm away from the door handle, the feeling that most engulfs me is often not one of comfort, but one of ‘will I be safe here?’”
You can read my most recent essay for Original Gravity Magazine right here.