Ok, I get it, a lot of breweries don't have an in-house ability to write a press release, or the funds to hire someone, so I am giving you the most basic of templates here to send information to journalists.
We want to write about you, we really do, but after the past few years of not being able to travel around festivals and places, it's got ever harder to keep up with what's going on, so here's a small tool to make your, and my, job easier.
Generally, most places will have a brew schedule, just as we have a writing and filing of copy schedule, so please think about longer lead times for people like me who write some columns in advance.
Rough rule of thumb, you should think about sending out a release four-six weeks in advance of the beer's release - with the planned release date and high res artwork mocked up on a can/bottle included, on a white background is generally what's needed.
Ok, so here is just one way that you can write a release - it's not absolutely cast in stone, but if you don't have experience, it's a good structure to start.
Headline Goes Here
Standfirst goes here - this is a brief overview of what the story/release/brewery news is about to whet the reader's appetite.
Intro: this should succinctly sum up the message you are trying to get across, don't go big on the hyperbole, save that for later.
Body text: this is where you can jazz it up a bit, give more detail, flesh out the story, why was the beer made, who came up with the idea, how did it come about, what actually is it including style, ABV, format it is available in, where is it available from and when?
And if a beer release isn't the point of the release, please remember: who, what, where, when, why and how - the answers to these questions are the core of nearly every story.
Notes to Editors:
I CANNOT OVERSTATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE! If you include a boiler plate bit about your brewery (which brings us back to: who, what, where, when, why and how) you will imprint yourself in writers' minds. Also, don't be shy to include links to 'our brewing process' or offer to answer any questions a journalist may have. Trust me, when I was first starting, the releases and people who helped me feel more confident in my questions about what is, let's not forget, a speciality subject, got written about way more than snooty elitist berks!
A PHONE NUMBER! I don't want to hear about how you hate talking on the phone, if I'm on deadline and I need something in the next half hour, trust me, I'm not waiting for you to answer an email, I'm going to someone I can speak to personally, who will reassure me they are sending it ASAP.
Make sure you have a high-res image, lifestyle shots are normally best reserved for social media, packaged beer shots on a white background are vital. Preferably, send me links to permanent online product shot libraries.
The Beer Kitchen Corrections
So, hopefully you have your hands on a copy of the new book by now and are enjoying it thoroughly.
However, I have always tried to be honest and, as I literally write it in the book, I have to ‘fess up that there are a couple of errors in there.
These things happen (especially when you are trying to sign off proofs when you’re on the other side of the world) and they are being corrected for the next version but I still feel it’s important to be honest about these things - and I’m sure as I look more and more I’ll find other little flaws and will include them here as I go.
Anyway, before I run the risk of sounding like I’m excusing rather than correcting, I shall crack on with the two big ones I’ve spotted so far (although I’m sure the beer-savvy amongst you have already picked these up!).
Red Onion & Fruit Lambic Quick Pickle
The beers on pg 54 for this recipe are incorrect - if you refer to the beers on pg 89 or 184 for the cranberries or use any other sour berry fruit beer you’ll be in a good place for this recipe... and whilst we are speaking of pg 89...
Quick Chocolate Pots with Kriek Cranberries
The beers listed in cook do not match the style listed in the ingredients (which should read spiced, imperial or barrel-aged stout) if you reference the beers on pg 184 or 204 you’ll be in the right area.
The Beer Kitchen
So, you know all those pictures of food and beer I post on social media that make you all hungry? Well, I’ve gone and done a thing with it all...
The Beer Kitchen: the art & science of cooking, & pairing, with beer has been a long time in the making in my head (and tummy) but it’s only just become a reality and I am utterly overwhelmed with how many people are looking forward to it and, very importantly, the support my publishing company Hardie Grant UK has given me during its creation.
As many of you may know, I have a huge passion for beer and food matching, but I also love cooking with beer and hate bad science, so I’ve combined all those things to create a book that I sincerely hope will become spattered with grease, smeared with chocolate and get generally battered (but hopefully not deep fried!) through use.
I believe there’ll be something for nearly everyone in there, and I’ve tried to keep it really accessible by breaking it down into four different sections: So Simple, Some Effort, Show Off and Say Cheese.
Inside you’ll find a wide range of options from dishes for dedicated carnivores, to vegetarian & vegan recipes, to sweet toothed temptations and some more refined dishes, that take beer beyond the dull and cliched ‘dude food’ arena.
Out in October, you can pre-order it here https://tinyurl.com/y76nneoz, and thank you all for all your drool emojis, finger wags, requests for home delivery and just being so supportive of me over the years and I hope this doesn’t let you down.
I also want to add a huge thanks to my editor Kajal Mistry, photographer Patricia Niven, designers Not On Sunday and food stylist and hand holder Kathy Kordalis 😘