Contacts and About

We’re on Twitter (@boakandbailey)  and Facebook ( and you can email us at

We write under the names Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey, and live in Bristol. We use pen names because when we started blogging, we worked in jobs where it wasn’t encouraged, but now we’ve just got to like them. (Our real names are Slack and Newman respectively, in case you’re interested.) We’ve been blogging about beer since 2007. Our first book, Brew Britannia: the strange rebirth of British beer, came out in 2014 and our second, 20th Century Pub, in 2017.

Darren Norbury actually interviewed us, if you still want to know more.

Who does what?

  • We manage the blog and Twitter account jointly and currently (as of January 2021) have writing and editing duties split about 50/50. Ray does most of the graphics and photography.
  • There have been times in the past when one or the other of us has been more involved while the other was busy at work, or just a bit bored of beer. In 2010, we had our first wobble when we were both a bit disengaged at the same time, which meant the blog took a short hiatus.
  • We discuss what we’ll be blogging about at breakfast, dinner and (more usually) in the pub. We both write posts and review each other’s work, which is how (we hope) we’ve achieved a fairly consistent ‘voice’.
  • On the rare occasions we don’t have a corporate view, we provide individual bylines so you know that whether it’s Boak or Bailey talking.

10 replies on “Contacts and About”

Greeting from USA. You say you like to travel, have you ever considered trying the US beer scene?

I’ve been living in US for about 18 months now (originally from UK, then via parts of Europe, and finally Prague); this place is just awash with fabulous beers a minute sample of which I have attempted to write about. The Porter and Stouts are quite stunning and almost every brewery attempts an IPA, some quite successfully.
Enjoying your adventures.

David — yes, it’s on the agenda, but probably not for a few years, for various reasons. We do enjoy American beer a lot when it turns up in the UK.

[…] than Pete, although PRs should take care to approach them in the right way, as evidenced by their About Us […]

Love your attitude to Beer, particularly your opinions on the big brewers. Just started a Real Ale blog myself, i’ll be looking at yours for some inspiration … but no plagiarising, promise!
Shall certainly add you as a link too
Well done, by the way

Love your blog. I was slightly startled (in a nice way) when I saw a reference to the Driftwood Spars – it must be 35 years since I went there – as I had Cornwall on my mind while looking at your site, downing a bottle of “Chalky’s Bite”

Just like say I enjoyed your article on the Dive Bar in Southwark London,Rebecca Willeter was my grandmother I never actually met her but my father ran the Golden Lion pub in Caterham with his father during the 2 nd world war . I did visit the dive bar once but never let on who I was , for personal reasons. I never new what happened to Rebecca so it was interesting to read your article, by the way she was always known as Rosie by my father and grandfather
R Willeter
West Sussex

I decend from George Shum MP , partner in Alderman Combe’s brewhouse in the late 18th century . I love history and researching my ancestors and do hope you have new information for me ! Regards .

Martin — there is quite a bit about the Shum’s in The Red Barrel, a history of Watney’s, by Hurford Janes, which you can pick up quite cheaply on Amazon or Abebooks.