I’m back where it all began. (Just briefly!)
I’ve largely moved over to a new website, BeerwithNat.com, hence why I’m no longer posting on Watson’s Corner.
But as this is where I really got my start in beer writing (after a brief stint posting on my friends’ beer blog way back in 2014 — thanks again Evan & Marissa!), I thought it would be the perfect place to share my latest news.
I started Watson’s Corner in 2015 as a place to discover and discuss great beers with great company. I loved sharing the stories behind the beers I was tasting and wanted to bring them all together in one place so other beer lovers could easily find and enjoy them, too.
Then after qualifying as a Certified Cicerone® in March 2017, I began hosting beer tastings here in London to share the fascinating stories I learned from my studies — essentially bringing my blog posts on Watson’s Corner to life.
In May 2018, my Beer Sommelier accreditation followed.
From there, I wasn’t quite sure what challenge to set myself next. But, always rather relentless in the pursuit of my passion — to help people discover and delight in beer — I started thinking…
After hosting two tastings on the history of beer, one focused on how beer changed during the 19th century, then (by request – thank you, Alix Shaw!) a follow-up on the 20th century, I knew there was something there and began exploring ways to share these stories with an audience beyond blog posts and in-person tasting events.
Inspired by my brilliant friend, Jessica Elliot Dennison, chef and author of not one but two cookbooks (Salad Feasts and Tin Can Magic — go buy them, they’re wonderful), I thought, if Jess can pen a book about her passion, why don’t I try to do the same for mine?
And so began countless hours of research and proposal writing until my vision became clear: I was going to write a taster’s guide through the history of beer.
I spent much of May and June fine tuning my proposal (after first Googling ‘How to write a book proposal’, of course! This whole book world was, and still is, rather unfamiliar territory for me.)
By July, I was ready to submit.
Completely by chance, the day after I submitted my proposal to Kyle Books, I happened to be in the same room as Kyle Book’s Publisher Joanna Copestick, as we were both judging at the World Beer Awards. I mustered up the courage to pop over to her table and say hello, only to have her let me know that my proposal had just landed on her desk. Talk about timing.
From there, our conversations continued as the rest of her team reviewed the proposal and a few weeks later, I received an offer. I was going to write a book.
Not to mention, all the while, I was still working full-time as UK Marketing Manager for Duvel Moortgat. (Thank you again to John and the team for being so supportive and understanding of my ambitions.)
From January through April, most nights and weekends were spent researching, writing, and re-writing, until my first draft was submitted on May 1, 2019.
Then, the draft was out of my hands and off to my editors — Isabel Gonzalez-Prendergast at Kyle Books and freelance drinks writer and Beer Sommelier Anthony Gladman — for much of the summer.
By autumn, it was time to incorporate the edits and get the book laid out and illustrated. (Illustrator Sarah Greeno’s work is incredible! I can’t wait for you all to see it!)
Finally, in October 2019, it was time to stop tinkering and send the book off to print. Gulp.
And now, here we are, January 2020, and my advance copy of Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles has just arrived in the post. What a moment.
I have a (very long!) acknowledgements section in the back of the book, as I have plenty of people to thank who have helped me along on this journey. But for now, I just want to again thank Jo and the team at Kyle Books for bringing this book to life.
To learn all about the book and find out how to pre-order your copy, head on over to BeerwithNat.com.
But before you go, please know that you if you ever dream of becoming a published author some day, you certainly can. (As the old adage goes, “If I can do it, so can you.”)
It’s a lot of hard work (I will never be able to thank my boyfriend, Nigel, enough for all of his love and support throughout this process), but if I can offer you any help or advice to reach your goals, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
Thanks, as always, for joining me on this journey!