Having grown up outside Southwold, home of Adnams brewery, I have always had a keen interest in beer. I've always enjoyed a beer and working behind a bar. I've pretty much been in the trade my entire working career, serving pints at The Lord Nelson or the rugby club, I had my name above the door at The Red Rose and left there to pursue a career in free trade sales. I worked for four different breweries covering West London to North Norfolk, always in the free trade, mainly selling beer and wines. My career took a different path when I decided to leave Heineken and go it alone providing training to the licensed trade, I set up in business, got myself accredited with the BIIAB and haven't looked back. It has given me the opportunity to progress my own skills, learning whilst training all the time. I have had the pleasure of teaching many candidates, one of which was on his journey to become a beer sommelier, this caught my interest, a beer specialist yes please! After chatting with my Cask Marque colleague, Annabel Smith, I thought why not, time to give it a go, signed up and my journey began. It's been an eye opener (mouth opener is probably the correct term) and I was ashamed at my lack of international beer knowledge. Yes I've been to many breweries and been on many rugby tours but it's normally been the standard local pint that I've drunk. I've really enjoyed stretching my taste buds and as a trainer have found the Beer Academy courses to be of great use when doing my day job. The fridge no longer looks the same with Belgian and international beers now stocked on its shelves.