Guild of Beer Writers upweights offer to members

The British Guild of Beer Writers is upweighting its offer to members with a busy and varied schedule of training, seminars and lectures planned for the rest of 2017.

A new ‘Pitch & Deal’ training course in April will provide emergent beer writers with advice and hands-on practice to sell their story to a newspaper or other media and how to secure a good rate of pay. The course, which is also applicable to freelance photographers, filmmakers and PRs, is delivered by NUJ trainers and offered at a subsidized rate to Guild members.

Later in the spring, members can attend a lecture on ‘Rebutting public health misinformation’, with speakers including Dave Roberts from the Alcohol Information Partnership and author and journalist Christopher Snowden. The Guild is also holding a ‘Meet the Editors’ evening, where members will hear editors from a variety of media channels talk about how they like to work with freelance writers and PRs.

In the autumn, the Guild is teaming up with the Brewery History Society for a seminar on ‘Ingredients in Beer’, with experts talking about the use of adjuncts, from heather to honey, fruit to gruit (the herb mixture used, pre-hops, to bitter beer). Held at Thornbridge Brewery in Derbyshire, the day-long event will also include a panel debate, brewery tour and tasting.

The Guild’s traditional pre-Great British Beer Festival reception takes place on 7 August and this year is combined with a celebration of the life of the great beer writer Michael Jackson, who died 10 years ago.

Finally, the industry’s pre-Christmas festivities would not be complete without the Guild’s annual awards presentation and dinner, held in early December. Guests will once again enjoy an outstanding dinner matched with beer, before finding out which talented communicators about beer and pubs have taken the honours for 2017.

Other events including a seminar on beer in the off-trade, and partnerships with other bodies including the Guild of Food Writers, are also being planned.  All events – apart from the training, which is delivered to a limited audience – are free of charge to Guild members.

Guild chairman Tim Hampson said, “We’re delighted to be adding greater value to Guild membership with this schedule of events which holds appeal for new beer writers as well as seasoned stalwarts.

“Ultimately, the Guild has a role to play in helping its members –  be they journalists, bloggers, photographers, filmmakers, marketeers or PRs – to become better beer communicators. By staging events that address communication skills as well as beer expertise, we aim to ‘upskill’ our members, enabling them to secure more and better-paid work in their chosen field.”

He added, “Individual membership of the Guild currently costs just £40, which we feel is excellent value, given the schedule of events to which it buys free or subsidized attendance.”

The Guild offers two levels of individual membership: full membership for established writers and associate membership for less experienced communicators.  For more information on events or how to join the Guild, visit www.beerguild.co.uk or email the Secretary on secretary@beerguild.co.uk