Beer Me Up – drinking my way on your bookshelf

When I was a young girl I wanted to be a writer and write books about ponies.

Well, I wanted to be my version of a writer. Which involved penning best-selling books for an hour or two a day before wandering off to enjoy my house located on a horse stud and puppy rescue centre. My house was also somehow no more than 10 mins from both a beach and the middle of some major international city – I think I had vague plans that I would be able to fly my own helicopter from my patio to the city centre when I needed to get milk. Flying ponies may also have been involved. They usually were with my fantasies.

When I was in college I wanted to be a writer and drink beer.

This version of writing  involved working on the next great American novel in my garret by day, and drinking beer with lots of artistic friends by night. Ponies were still involved – after all, I had to leave the garret and the pub to get some fresh air occasionally. I think I planned to use horses as my major form of transport all the time until someone revealed that you could, in fact, get demerits on your license for horse-riding while drunk. (He had actually managed it. The police apparently didn’t accept his defense that the horse knew exactly where it was going.)

Now I am (technically) an adult I still want to be a writer. I’ve accepted that it involves a lot less money and a lot more work than I had originally presumed, and the odds on it ever paying for a helicopter is pretty slim, but it will occasionally shout me a round in the pub. I might not be a novelist with titles on the New York Times bestseller list but I get paid to write features and articles. I have seen my work  published under my name in magazines, national newspapers and online.

But – while I know now that features suit me better and novel-writing is not my forté – I have always wanted to see my name on a book. So I’m delighted to announce that my writing has finally made it on to the bookshelves, if only as a chapter of a travel guide. If you flick to page 42 of the Ultimate Beer Guide, you’ll find my name there at the top of my guide to Sydney’s beer, breweries and best days out. It took two months and far too many hangovers to research and write and I am looking forward to seeing if the ATO will accept receipts from pubs as tax-deductible.

The Guide aims to offer beer-loving visitors the low-down wherever they find themselves, covering 33 destinations in Australia and listing 1200 beers and ciders across Australia and New Zealand.  If you’re at a loss for what to get your Dad for Father’s Day and he likes his craft beer, this might be just what you were looking for. Anyone who is as passionate about beer will find plenty of inspiration for new things to try in it, even if that just means discovering a few new breweries close to home. (When I was writing this piece, I found 5 craft breweries I never knew about within 30 minutes of my house. Sydney really has a lot of beer.)

I had a lot of fun writing this piece and I particularly enjoy  the way it combines my dreams; my childhood dreams of seeing my name on a book, and my college dreams of drinking lots of beer.

Well, some of those dreams at least. The flying ponies are pending.