Peter started his working life (in as much as he has yet to start it) as an explosives engineer, and the travels this life took him on allowed him to develop his love of pubs. Increasingly curious about pub history he started collecting everything he could find, but it wasn’t enough. There was a book there to be written, and so – since the life of the exposives man is either fallow or frenzied – he used the periods in between contracts to research and write the definitive book on the history of the English pub. Published in 1994 it is, happily, still in print as ‘An Inebriated History of Britain‘.
The book was Peter’s introduction into the world of beer and brewing. Having edited Explosives Engineering magazine he soon found himself writing for the journal of Britain’s exploding microbrewery sector -The Grist – and, in due course, sitting in the editor’s chair. He also edited the 1999 edition of the Which! Guide to Country Pubs.
Being editor of The Grist was the ideal position from which to also edit the house journal of the trade association for Britain’s increasingly vocal small scale brewers – SIBA – the Society of Independent Brewers. When, in 1997, SIBA decided they wanted to up the ante in their campaign to introduce a fairer beer duty regime into the UK, Peter was ideally placed to join the Society as their General Secretary.
That campaign was successful and Progressive Beer Duty was passed into law in the 2002 Budget. Today the number of microbreweries has trebled from the 300 or so that existed before PBD was introduced to around the 1000 or so that will be listed in the 2013 Good Beer Guide. Peter is still waiting from someone from SIBA or CAMRA to say thank you.
Job done it was time to move on and in March 2002 Peter took offices in the Meantime Brewing Company and became increasingly involved with the Greenwich brewers. Over the next 10 years he undertook almost every job in the brewery from accounts to deliveries, marketing, IT, website , PR, packaging the occasional sale and of course, brewing, taking a major shareholding in 2005 and becoming a non-exec director for a time.
Looking for pastures new once Meantime moved to its new home in 2010, Peter saw the opportunity presented by the Florence Brewery and seized it with both hands. In 2011 he became one of Britain’s first accredited Beer Sommeliers. As the picture shows, he has never been happier.