Why do you do it?
I was finishing off my journalism training in Wellington in 2011 when I managed to get a job in Palmerston North. From what I remembered, getting a good beer in Palmy was like trying to shoot fish when the barrel is empty. So I decided to get into home brewing. Joseph Wood from Liberty Brewing – then in Taranaki and with a home brew supplies arm – gave me lots of advice on how to get started. He also said I should blog about it, providing a guide for other new home brewers. That’s where the name came from – from beer drinker to beer brewer. Since then it has morphed into more of a “traditional” beer blog, which also wades into more generic alcohol industry issues when I have an itch that needs scratching.
What else have you got going on in your life?
What makes you keep writing if you’re not getting paid for it?
I do get paid for it, but when I add up all the work I do for the blog outside of work hours I am not getting a good deal. I also do voluntary stuff for SOBA’s magazine Pursuit of Hoppiness.
What’s one of your blog posts that you like the most? The piece I wrote on faux-cider went down a treat. I banged it out in about five minutes just for the hell of it, and it went nuts. Knowing what I know now I would have written it differently (there are a few factual errors) but it was good to get discussion going. That’s what I want to try do; if people agree or do not agree, they can at least talk about issues with me or their friends. It is only going to heighten awareness in the long run.
Put yourself into it. My favourite blog is Jason Gurney’s Brew Hui, purely because he inserts himself into all aspects of the writing. He appears to never hold anything back, which draws people into the content. It makes people feel like you have invested something into the writing, which I think they appreciated.
One thing that still surprises you about the beer scene?
The growth. Before transforming from beer drinker to beer nerd, I was in the coffee industry which has been fairly established. On the other hand, New Zealand brewing, just like in Australia, is going through something of a renaissance. So many new brewing companies are popping up that it is difficult to just keep track of them, let alone try all the new beers they and more established brewers are making.
And one thing you hate about it?
Being in Palmerston North. While the beer scene here is better than some might expect, it is nothing like Wellington’s. I hope it is only a matter of time, but it still gets me down when I walk into a bar and there is nothing I feel like drinking. Great for the bank balance, but not for my social life.
Categories: Meet The Beer Media