Introducing John Porter – Beer Sommelier, Journalist, Editor

What is your name?

John Porter

Briefly sum up who you are and what motivates you.

I’m a 57-year-old South Londoner, I enjoy music, theatre, travel and I’m a bit of a sci-fi geek. Married 30-plus years to Ruth, and father of four ‘kids’ in their 20s.

If you have a job, what do you do for a living?

I’m a journalist, editor, PR, copywriter and general media hack-of-all-trades. After many years writing about the beer and pub industry, a few years ago I decided to qualify as a Beer Sommelier with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling – a process which took about 18 months and a series of exams, as well as practical work with pubs and restaurants to host beer appreciation and beer and food matching events. So, I now also host a range of beer tasting and knowledge session for consumer events, corporate events, staff training etc.

How long have you been doing this?

Scarily, I started as a local newspaper reporter almost 35 years ago. I’ve been focused on the hospitality sector for about 25 years.

I’m quite proud of being a good journalist and a clear communicator, although I often look at the amount of misinformation and poor communication out there, particularly online, and wonder how much those skills are valued today.

Is your work primarily a means to an end ie money or the motivating force of your life?

Like many people, the amount of time I spend working is inversely proportionate to the importance I place on it. But the bills have to be paid, and I know that I have a far more interesting and diverse working life than many people.

When you were 8, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Batman. I became a journalist mainly because writing was something I was good at, and unlike most other subjects, didn’t require a huge amount of study on my part. I’m now far more interested in history, science etc. than I was at school, and wish I’d paid more attention.

Did you get there – and if not, are you happy/sad that you didn’t?

I think the crime rate in Gotham City speaks for itself.

What is your dream job?

Starship Captain.

You can find John at his website: