We’d like to play it cool but the fact is that we’re delighted to have been named beer writer(s) of the year for 2014 by the British Guild of Beer Writers.
As it’s part of our M.O. to keep a bit of distance (literally, since moving to Cornwall) we’ve never joined the Guild but, laudably, the awards are open to everyone, free of charge, and with no especially restrictive rules. We figured that if we were ever going to win anything, 2014 would be the year, and so we entered ourselves in two categories for both the blog and book.
Winning what insiders call ‘the big gong’ was an incredible surprise made all the sweeter because the panel included people with whom we haven’t had had any dealings and who aren’t in ‘the beer bubble’. In other words, they don’t owe us anything, and if they liked Brew Britannia, it is presumably because it stood on its own merits.
We don’t know what happens next. We’d like to write another book, though we haven’t yet found a topic which is both exciting to us and to potential publishers. We don’t really want to write a list book or beginner’s guide, although we have given some thought to whether there might be any new and genuinely interesting angles from which to approach such a project.
Mostly for fun, we’re going to keep chipping away at the subject of lager, and might follow up Gambrinus Waltz with an ebook about Skol and Carlsberg in the 1960s and 70s.
We’re also going to keep up the quarterly #BeeryLongReads, perhaps using the next one (28 February 2015) as an opportunity to start filling in details of the Brew Britannia story. For example, we didn’t have space to write about Williams Bros in the book, but their pioneering 1990s experiments with unusual ingredients is very much ‘proto craft’ and deserves a bit of attention.
Our fortnightly columnettes for the Guardian Guide are set to continue for the foreseeable and, for Christmas, we’ve been asked to expand it to a comparatively luxurious 200 words.
And, of course, we intend to keep spouting off here on the blog as near to every day as we can manage, five years of which, learning to string sentences together and accumulating knowledge, preceded us even thinking about putting pen to paper at book length.
UPDATE 05/12/2014 12:55: it turns out we also came second in the online communications category, behind Martyn Cornell. Blimey!