Raising a glass to new beginnings

When I first started Beeson on Beer back in December 2015, it was merely intended as an outlet for a subject I was deeply passionate about, rather than as a tool to help further my career in journalism. I’d recently discovered Matt Curtis’ excellent Total Ales site, and had been inspired by his entertaining storytelling and vibrant photography. I wanted a website that gave me the creativity and freedom to write about a topic I was enthused by, without feeling the need to cater to a mass market audience.

Flash forward eighteen months, and Beeson on Beer has taken on a life of its own. The website has provided me with unparalleled opportunities, but also taken up more of my time than I could ever have possibly imagined. I’ve had the chance to meet and interview some of my favourite brewers in the industry such as Mark Tranter from Burning Sky, and have made some great friends; from fellow bloggers such as Matt Chinnery and Rebecca Pate to the lovely team at Pig and Porter. I’ve been invited to fantastic festivals such as Indy Man Beer Con and Craft Beer Rising, and visited breweries and bars in BristolBerlinFlanders and more. I’ve also written about beer for a whole range of other publications during this time, from national papers such as The Independent to specialist magazines including The Brewers Journal and Ferment. With the help and feedback of others, I’ve improved hugely as a writer and a photographer, and had a huge amount of fun along the way.

It was never my intention for writing about beer to be anything other than a hobby for me. I didn’t see it as a viable long-term career path, and felt that my interests in music, politics and current affairs were far more likely to help me get a full-time job in journalism. However, whilst undertaking my Masters in London this year, I came to realise that writing about food and drink was the only thing that excited me anymore. I’m passionate about a whole range of subjects, but the more time I poured into Beeson on Beer, the more I realised that I didn’t really want to write about anything else. I persevered and kept plugging away, until eventually I managed to secure some semi-regular paid work writing for Ferment magazine. From there, I started to branch out, writing features on tea and gin, whilst also expanding Beeson on Beer to include restaurant reviews and an increased focus on food.

Today I am delighted to announce that after two interviews and an agonising weekend of waiting, I have been offered a job at The Morning Advertiser as a food and drink reporter. I will be starting next month and couldn’t be happier. I’m thrilled to have been offered a role on such a prestigious and long-standing publication, being paid to write about a subject that has dominated my adult life. However, I couldn’t have achieved this without the help of each and every single person to have read and/or shared one of my posts, so I want to thank you all for supporting Beeson on Beer throughout the last year and a half. In particular, I want to say thanks to Matt Curtis, who has always been willing to offer his advice (and sometimes criticism) in order to help my improve as a writer, and to my Dad and Alex Greig, to both of whom I owe a huge amount of my knowledge and passion about beer.

As with any piece of good news, however, there are always sacrifices that need to be made. After some discussions with the editorial team at The Morning Advertiser, it has been agreed that to continue Beeson on Beer on a regular basis in the same format would represent a conflict of interest. My focus now needs to be on producing insightful, informative and entertaining journalism for The Morning Advertiser, and hence I expect the level of content appearing on this site to reduce significantly when I take up my full-time position with them. Nonetheless, it has been agreed that I will be able to reproduce some content written for The Morning Advertiser on this site, as well as the occasional piece of work that is of less interest to their readers. I am not yet sure exactly what form this will take, but it will hopefully enable Beeson on Beer to continue to exist, whilst also increasing the reach and exposure of my work for The Morning Advertiser.

Thanks again for all your continued love and support. This won’t be the last you hear from me, I can promise you that!

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2 thoughts on “Raising a glass to new beginnings

  1. Congratulations on your new position James. I’m sure you will do well at the Morning Advertiser. I will miss your blog, as even though I don’t often post a comment, I always read it.

    Btw. Please give Matt Curtis my regards, next time you see him. I have found his tips on photography, and the use of hi-res photos, particularly useful and have tried, wherever possible, to put them into practice on my own blog.

    Perhaps see you on the Dark Star/Downlands trip tomorrow?

    Like

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your message of congratulations. I’m glad to hear you’re still following the blog. Hopefully it will be able to continue in some capacity if time allows it/once I’ve got settled into the new position.

      Unfortunately I won’t be on the Dark Star/Downlands trip tomorrow as I’m in Cardiff doing a piece on Tiny Rebel for Ferment. Enjoy the trip and hopefully see you soon !

      Like

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