It’s been a whirlwind few days. Just under a couple of weeks ago my colleagues at Good Beer Hunting Michael Kiser and Hillary Schuster joined me in London where we ran a series of events and fit in a lot of travelling to boot. We hosted a two-day symposium at the Beavertown Extravaganza, packing in two keynote speeches and 10 seminars. We also hosted just over 100 folks at the first ever Uppers & Downers London with our friends at Brew by Numbers, incorporating collaboration beers from 8 brewers and 8 coffee roasters. These were simultaneously the most exhausting and most rewarding experiences of my professional career to date.
While we weren’t hosting events we travelled to Herefordshire and spent a couple of days learning about cider with Tom Oliver. We also hit Leeds and Manchester on a whistle-stop tour of the north, taking in plenty of beer spots including Northern Monk, Magic Rock and Cloudwater. Of course I made sure to show them some of my favourite London spots too, hopefully leaving a lasting impression of my home city as they head back to Chicago.
I’m very happy to announce today that I’ve taken the position of Good Beer Hunting’s UK Editor. This means that as well as producing more content for GBH myself in the form of both writing and podcasts I’ll also be commissioning work from other great writers and photographers within the UK. In fact we’ve already commissioned James Beeson, who will be helping to support a UK version of our Sightlines industry news pieces. We’ll also be expanding our coverage to bring you more stories from within mainland Europe and the Republic of Ireland in addition to the UK, making GBH one of the most internationally focused sites in beer.
In the two and a bit years I’ve worked for GBH our UK and European audience has grown much faster than we could’ve anticipated. A significant proportion of our Fervent Few community, who donate a monthly contribution to GBH via Patreon, is UK based – including two of our top tier subscribers: Fourpure Brewing and Cloudwater Brew Co. Thanks to the folks who’ve subscribed to GBH so far, you’re directly responsible for this expansion and my new position – beers on me when next we meet.
This new responsibility doesn’t mean that I’m giving up freelancing – my relationship with GBH still works on a client/freelance basis meaning that I’m still free to work for other outlets. However it does mean that I’ll be investing a great deal more of my time in GBH. As a result of this I’ve decided to bring Total Ales to a close. It’s been a labour of love updating this blog for the last 5 and half years and it's taken me several months to finally rest on this decision but it feels like the effort spent keeping this site updated is now best invested back into Good Beer Hunting.
Being GBH's UK Editor means that I can make bolder calls on the content we choose to produce. It also means that I can pitch and publish almost everything I had planned for Total Ales but with added resources, including a shit-hot Editorial Director in the form of GBH’s Austin Ray but also great designers, photographers and more. It means I can carry on doing everything I was going to do anyway, but do it even better.
Another added benefit of my position means that I can run more events under the Good Beer Hunting banner – and this means more perks for our UK based Fervent Few community, such as early access to events and discounts on tickets. As an example we opened up last weeks Uppers & Downers event an hour early for the Fervent Few. These perks are in addition to stuff like exclusive merchandise and access to our Slack powered message board, which is already home to over 200 like-minded beer fans and industry professionals. If you love the content GBH creates then please consider supporting us and helping us bring GBH to more people than ever before.
You’ll still be able to find my regularly published articles in Ferment and on Hop Burns & Black and I’ll still be hosting regular events with the folks from The Duke’s Head along with the other bits and bobs that keep me going. I’ll also be keeping hold of the Total Ales URL and email address (the site will remain here for evermore, for posterity’s sake) but if you want to get in touch about anything then get me on firstname.lastname@example.org - you can, of course, always find me lurking on twitter and instagram @totalcurtis
I still can’t believe that starting this little website led to me finding my dream job, it has been and will continue to be real folks. See you over on www.goodbeerhunting.com