View Full Version : Student Brewer - A Year On

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22-05-2014, 17:37
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Isn't it amazing how one little thing can change your life. And I'm extremely happy to say one of those little, tiny things happened in a pub...

It's been a year since I blogged. I don't particularly know why - it wasn't an active decision, premeditated in any way. It just happened like that. When I think what's changed in a year though, I'm not surprised. 365 days doesn't feel like a lot at the moment.

I mentioned in the last blog that I had a beautiful woman move into the house with me, but I want to go back to before that. I'd left Kilverts in March, needing a break from the day to day grind of pub work, in any sense. With no real plan, I casually mentioned the idea of doing some consultancy work for local microbreweries, offering them a publican's insight. This led to some exciting work, doing the initial ground work in setting up a bar in Wales.

The moment came shortly after this. A 28-day detox and muscle building plan at my local gym had ended. I'd missed Beer-X, the 6 Nations games down the pub, and St Patrick's night. So I did what anyone would do - headed to the pub for a couple of pints to ease my way back into drinking.

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As I walked in, I saw her. She smiled at me, I smiled at her. That was it - I ordered a pint, sat at the bar and chatted to the barmaid about what I'd missed over the last month. Then a local came in, congratulated me on seeing the detox through and bought me a pint on the condition I came out and enjoyed it with him and the other locals. And her.

I'm so glad this happened at a pub, and not at a coffee shop or waiting for a bus - I've always believed that pubs are a vital social hub in our lives, and the fact I've met my future wife (she said yes!) in the pub just sealed that conviction.

I carried on with the work I had lined up - until at one stage it all got too much for me. It wasn't a build up thing, it was a sudden drop-of-a-cliff thing. Trying to keep so many balls afloat and struggling to deliver on my promises because of others stalling. I did the only thing I could think of - completely unprofessional, completely wrong and not the right way of dealing with things at all, but at the time it seemed the only solution. I unplugged the phone and the broadband, and turned off my mobile. For a week.

I learnt a hell of a lot about myself then. Mainly how to deal with being self employed - I'm a lot more comfortable now because of that steep learning curve. Knowing to allow time for unforeseen delays. Being confident enough to say when something isn't possible. But needless to say, it was a low point for me, and a massive wake up call. I can't blame anyone except myself for it. As a slight aside, I'm happy to say the bar opened and appears to be doing well, and I wish them luck with it.

So with my income gone, and my partner's seasonal work coming to an end, a very attractive option opened to us:

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The stunning Yorkshire Dales

We moved to Yorkshire, her homeland. Obvious really. A bit of time out, getting a feel for the place, then into work. A busy little town pub, a couple of bar shifts first before settling into the kitchen there. I still work in the kitchen, on reduced hours, while I get a couple of things set up. Primarily my own business, which is starting to pick up nicely, working with pubs to improve their online marketing and social media. I also freelance currently with the excellent Inapub team (I truly wish the software they offer for free was available when I was at the pub). Work like this gives me what I had been missing - more time for myself and for my family (both old and new!) I've got another business in the pipeline, completely separate to pubs and that came about through the weight loss I achieved over 18 months.

And in just over 7 weeks time I'll have another baby in my life.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RCafg0JW23c/U34wAdC-dCI/AAAAAAAASb0/rwXI3qYJQ1o/s1600/20140508_141807.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RCafg0JW23c/U34wAdC-dCI/AAAAAAAASb0/rwXI3qYJQ1o/s1600/20140508_141807.jpg)So yes, plenty has been going on. But with the new style work, I'll have a lot more time for blogging, and a lot more things to blog about. Expect more on beers, pubs, breweries that I discover up here, with a bit of MTB thrown in.


More... (http://studentbrewer.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-year-on.html)