Understanding the realities of writing about beer

Beer expert: British Guild of Beer Writers chair Emma Inch
Beer expert: British Guild of Beer Writers chair Emma Inch

Related tags Beer Brewing Training

Do you remember that meme that did the rounds on social media a few years ago with the heading ‘what people think I do versus what I actually do’?

It was usually a series of photos, illustrating the often bizarre and highly inaccurate perceptions of what people think members of a certain profession – for example an artist, a surgeon, or even a publican – do, versus the often-mundane reality of what that role actually involves.

I regularly think about this when I have to describe what a beer writer does to people outside of the beer and pub trade. Not because being a beer writer is often mundane (although, like any job, it occasionally can be), but because people’s perceptions of what I and my fellow members of the British Guild of Beer Writers spend our time doing is often so inaccurate.

Most people seem to think my job involves sitting at my desk all day, drinking bottles of beer and writing about what they taste like. Of course, some days are like this but they are few and far between.

Many facets to the job

For me, being a beer writer involves writing opinion pieces, contributing to books and magazines, creating audio for drinks companies, writing copy for brewery websites, video editing, beer judging, making podcasts, writing tasting notes, delivering talks and training sessions… and probably spending too much time on social media looking at memes.

But this is nowhere near everything that a beer writer does and, if you asked another member of the guild what their job looks like, you would no doubt get a very different answer.

That’s because communicating about beer can take many different forms. In fact, even if you’ve never described yourself as a beer writer before, you might be communicating about beer in a way that makes you eligible for membership of the British Guild of Beer Writers.

For example, you might regularly write press releases or manage the social media for a pub group, or maybe you pen a regular blog for your brew pub, or perhaps you’re an individual licensee who creates content for your pub’s website.

Members from all backgrounds

Whatever you do, if you are writing about pubs or beer (or cider – the guild is open to both) regularly, membership of the British Guild of Beer Writers could be for you.

Our members are journalists, sommeliers, tour guides, beer judges, influencers, PR professionals, marketing specialists, photographers, bloggers, social media specialists… and perhaps you?

The guild aims to promote excellence in beer, cider, and pub communications, to educate, inform and inspire people about beer, cider, and pubs, and to support beer and cider communicators in their professional and skills development – and there are plenty of benefits to membership too.

So, have a think about that old meme and what the picture depicting ‘what you actually do’ might look like.

We all know that a publican’s job involves so much more than pulling pints but perhaps you’re more of a beer writer than you thought.

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