So, yeah, I’m writing a book


What you’re looking at in this photo is a USB shaped like a beer bottle. It unscrews in the middle and, voila – USB. It carried the promo stuff for the release of Coopers Extra Vintage a couple of years ago – as you may have deduced from the fading label.

Anyway, I figured a USB shaped like a beer bottle was the perfect thing I could use to save the back-ups of the book about beer I’m writing.

Yep, I’m writing a book about beer. More accurately, a book about the history of beer in Australia. Well, actually, that’s not all that accurate either. The working title is The Slab – 24 Stories of Australian Beer – because it has 24 small chapters.

Each chapter looks at a time in our history that is somehow related to beer. So that includes the first beer drunk in Australia, the pub that is located on the site of the first hanging in this country and the history of some of our iconic beers like Coopers, XXXX and Reschs.

There’s also the tale of the government’s attempt to start its own brewery, drunken soldiers rioting in Sydney’s Central station during World War I, David Boon’s beer-drinking exploits and a look at how close we came to having our own version of the United States’ prohibition.

The book comes out of my interests in reading about the topics of beer and Australian history (which sort of prompted this blog’s History in a Bottle series). From time to time, I’d be reading a book about one of those two subjects and I’d find a one-line reference to what seemed like a fascinating piece of our beer history. So I’d go off and try to find out more about it.

It was initially for my own edification, until I thought, ‘‘someone should put these in a book. If they did that I’d buy it for sure’’. Given that no one else seemed to be bothered to do that, the responsibility fell on my shoulders.

While the writing style is aimed at being light-hearted and calls on my journalism training to tell an interesting story, there is a very serious historical slant to the book. It even includes a bibliography, that’s sitting at four pages so far and lists books, newspaper articles and academic journals.

So, yeah, I’m not totally pissfarting around in writing this.Unless some publisher decides they want to take it on, I’ll be self-publishing the book through a print on demand service, as well as making it available on Kindle via Amazon (if I can work out how to do that).

Of course, I will let readers of this here blog know when it’s available. If I’ve got a beer blog, it’d be foolish of me not to use it to plug the bejesus out of my book on that subject.

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