Thursday, 8 September 2011

Exciting times ahead!

What's your dream job? Like half the other cohort on the first day of the first lecture on a Media Arts degree, I wanted to be a film director. I have no idea why. I guess it was just the glamorous, glorious option and I knew no better. About 15 minutes into the lecture, as the tutor for Directing talked about his side of the curriculum, he told us to dream on and that none of us would-be movie makers would ever actually be movie makers. Welcome to your future.

The next few years didn't point me in a clear direction of where I wanted to go. Then a couple of years of working still didn't show me where I was going. All I knew was that I wanted to be known and respected for what I did; I wanted to be at the top of whatever profession I chose. Big ambitions for someone with no path.

Writing this blog is a way of being creative. I remember when I started, when no one read anything I wrote, I dreamed of the day someone would comment on it, of a day when maybe I had regular readers who felt about my blog the way I felt about Stonch's blog or The Beer Nut's or Tandleman's or Pete Brown's or some of the good food blogs. The blog was never a way for me to earn money. Over time it developed into a launching pad for me to write freelance while doing the day job. I like that because it means I can just pitch the stories which I really want to write and am really passionate about, rather than having to worry about where I can publish my next words in order to eat my next dinner. That doesn't appeal to me at all. I love to write. Earning money to do it is brilliant. Doing it full time is too worrying. Next I want to write books. But that’s for the future.

At the same time, I never really wanted to work in the beer industry; there wasn't anything or anywhere which was right for me, so plodding along in communications, marketing and social media was fine for me as long as I could write about beer.

That was until the Beer Bloggers Conference in May. That made me realise that I've got things to offer, that I love the industry, the people, the products, and that I could make a difference. It made me realise that I somehow wanted to earn my salary from beer; not just being a commentator on it, but being a part of it.

But what and where? There's 800 breweries in the UK. Looking around at them, how many would I like to work for? How many could I work for without moving? How many could I make a real impact upon? How many would have a position relevant for me where I'd fit in? There was only one but it wasn't right at the time, so it was back on with the day job.

You can probably guess where this is going... This week I started working in the beer industry. I'm incredibly excited about it because it's a brilliant opportunity for me. A perfect opportunity.

I now work at Camden Town Brewery. That's the one place where I saw that I could fit in, where I saw that they had ambitions and attitudes similar to mine.

My job is to manage social media, to develop and build the brand, to create the website, to run tastings and training, to manage events, to work with pubs and bars, internal comms, and develop anything that you can physically hold with a Camden Town Brewery logo on it. With just a logo and no brand, a website which goes no further than a holding page, and no social media activity (there's a Facebook and Twitter page but little else, yet), it's a blank page to begin with, which makes it very exciting. And all for a brewery which is doubling capacity between now and November with plans to grow further already in place.

Now I get my chance to make a difference in the industry I love (plus you should see the view from my office now and smell the aroma of fresh wort and hops which greets me when I arrive for work). Camden is ambitious and so am I. I'm coming into this with a lot at stake (longer hours, I need to move flat or pay a stupid amount for the train, working hard) but I know the sort of brilliant things we can achieve. My aim is for Camden to be one of the top breweries in the UK and I know that it'll happen.

The blog isn't changing and it isn't going anywhere. Camden starting talking to me because Jasper reads my blog (I suggested that I helped them get started with social media and we soon realised that I could do a lot more than just that). I love writing this blog so wouldn't have taken a job which would prevent me from doing this or meant that I had to do something different to what I already do. This blog post is me being excited about what I'm doing next but also for transparency; I now work full time for a brewery. I also think that now I’ll have a far better understanding of breweries, brewing and the beer industry.

I now know what my dream job is and tomorrow is my third day doing it. Here's to new beginnings and challenges. I can't wait to get properly stuck in!

If anyone wants to say hi to me at work, wants to talk about the beers or the brewery or come for a look around, or whatever, then my email address is


  1. That is a news, you'll do great.
    Now start shipping south!

  2. Congratulations on the new job Mark. Camden is a very promising outfit with some good beers. As you, er, know.

  3. Congratulations Mark! Camden Pale Ale is unsuprisingly very popular at Sheffield Tap whenever it's on and it would be great to see some more Camden Town beers up north!

    My girlfriend likes Camden Pale Ale as well!

  4. If it helps, I'll take a couple of cases of Helles as a 1st order :)

  5. Thought you'd been a bit quiet since the weekend! Congrats on the new job and look forward to when you get to do the offering of bottled beers for review to interested parties ;).

  6. Welcome aboard. Now, DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY!

  7. Congratulations, Mark! Living the dream indeed, and a nice melding of your skills and passion :)

  8. Without being too gushy and stuff, it is brilliant to have you at Camden. I still need to teach you to brew though.

  9. You lucky sonofabitch—Livin' the dream.

  10. Find a job you like and never work another day, eh?

    Congrats on the move and best of luck!

  11. A perfect match and very shrewd move on Camden's part. Congrats!

  12. good luck!!! if you need any tips you know where to come hahahhahaha

  13. Congratulations. I bet you will be shoveling out the mash tun by the end of your first month!

  14. Congratulations! Excellent news,

  15. Well done Dredgie! Look forward to the fruits of your labours as you leverage synergies to creat win-win scenarios... ;-)

  16. Nice one!

    MORE FILTHY RED PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Congratulations mate, all the best! :)

  18. Congratulations and well played.

  19. Thanks everyone - much appreciated! I'll reply personally and in more detail later, but I'm busy at work right now :)

  20. Sounds like a brilliant opportunity, good luck!

  21. Congratulations! Perfect role! Not at all jealous ;-)

  22. Congratulations!

    Ship to Belgium, we need more British beer over here!

  23. Congrats, pal. Do you get free beer with this job?

  24. Well done Mark. It must be an awesome feeling to have found your dream job.

  25. Top work my good man, hope it all goes well, exciting times ahead in Camden :)

  26. Leo - Thanks! We need to make enough beer for our current account firsts, then we'll see about Milan ;)

    Barm - Thanks!

    T_i_B - Cheers - glad to hear it's popular in the Tap and with the misses!

    Ed - Thanks!

    Source Deli - As soon as the new bottles are branded up then jump right in line!

    Steve - No freebies coming out but if you want to come to the brewery then you can drink us dry!

    Zak - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... fuck it, I'm going to have some unfiltered lager straight from the tank.

    Barry - Thanks! Nice to mix what I know and what I love :)

    Pete - I know how to brew! I read it in a book once. Malt, water, mix them, add hops, put in another tank, add yeast, bingo!

    Craig - Livin' the dream indeed!! (apart from all the hard work but I can handle that...)

    TBN - Something like that! And cheers.

    Dubbel - Thanks mate!

    Andy - You'll be getting lots of questions about websites, that's for sure!

    Tim - You obviously haven't seen the Camden brew kit? No need for shovels there!

    Sam - Thanks!

    Boggle - Cheers!

    Stuart - Yep, we like the red a lot! HOPS!

    Mark - Thanks!

    Bailey - Cheers! Next time you guys are back in London there's a space at the bar with your names on it!

    Arn - Thanks!

    Lois - Thanks!

    ChrisO - Cheers!

    Toine - We can't get enough to our current pubs but maybe soon we will!

    Cooking Lager - Do you think I'd accept a job that didn't come with free beer?!

    ToA - Cheers! Feels great still :)

    Leigh - TTHHAANNKKSS!!

    Ian - Cheers - exciting indeed! Bring it on.

  27. Haha, no am yet to see Camdens brew kit. I have not been back to the UK since August 2009.

    Glad to hear things are still going well for you.

  28. A beer blogger that works with a brewery? I like your style Mark! Welcome to the dark side.