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Will move for beer

There is a large built-in cupboard in our bedroom, of which the real estate agent said at the time of purchase, “That could make a nice ensuite one day.”

EXCELLENT, I thought. Though in reality you might squeeze in a loo and a small sink if you were lucky. The micro-ensuite budget never seemed to eventuate, but I enjoyed the possibility of an upstairs loo, every time I trudged downstairs at 2am, cursing that 10pm cuppa.

But then Gareth discovered brewing.

It started innocently, with a basic beginners kit during the 2010 World Cup. After a few of those he moved on to the brew-in-a-bag method.

Then he took over the garage and built an elaborate brewery with catering-size tea urns, a big Esky/cooler box and a shitload of pipes for all-grain brewing.

Then he turned an old bar fridge into a temperature-controlled conditioning thing, then another old bar fridge into a beer dispenser complete with taps on the front for that at-home pub experience.

He started entering competitions and the freezer was full of hops and the fridge was full of yeast experiments and the bookshelves were stuffed with brewing bibles. The micro-ensuite had become a cellar and 90% of our conversations went like this:

“Taste this beer.”

“I told you a million times, I don’t like beer!”

“You have to like beer, I have 40 bottles of it in the cupboard.”

“I’m sorry!”

“Well can you at least smell it. Do you get blackcurrant?” (or coffee or citrus or some random aroma)

“I get… BEER!”

“You are a shite assistant brewer!”

“Dude… have you ever wondered if this moving slightly beyond a hobby?”

This is not a giant beer! Just a screwy camera angle.
This is not a giant beer! Just a screwy camera angle.

Then came many long months of pondering, calculating, soul-search and research. Finally last September he went back to university to start a Masters in Brewing & Distilling. A year on, he’s finished the course, wound up his engineering life and has just this week started his first job at a real live brewery!

It’s not in Gareth’s nature to jump up and down and allow himself a moment to actually celebrate doing something cool, so I will do it here on his behalf, darnit. I’m so freaking happy that he made this happen. It’s scary and new and crazy but it feels so right.

He really loves this brewing malarkey. The blend of geekery, creativity and graft suits him so well. He can’t stop talking about it and I have no idea what he’s on about but I love how his face lights up. I feel a wee bit teary just typing this.

Best of all, he now gets to wear a hoodie to work. “I’ve finally fulfilled my ultimate career ambition!” he declared.

So, I’d mentioned moving the other day and this is the long winded explanation of why! The brewery is near Inverness and I am on-the-verge-of-spewnami excited for a Highland adventure. I’ll be heading up at the end of the month, just as soon as I clear out the bloody cellar.

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


65 thoughts on “Will move for beer

  1. But..but.. I was going to visit you in Edinburgh! What´s in Inverness?? Mind you, I quite like beer so suppose that solves that dilemma 🙂

    Great news though, am so, so in awe of people that actually just go for it! Well done Dr G, well done.

    1. Hello Svava! We can each sip a wee dram of whiskey and lament this move. I don’t know how Shauna can leave Edinburgh without a visit from me. I mean I was dreaming one day in my dreams of a dreamy visit to Edinburgh (not that Shauna and I ever discussed this) and of course I would hang out with dreamy Shauna and her dreamy brewmaster man. And now this? Inverness! Packing extra sweaters now for the still as yet unplanned visit. (And congratulations on living with a man who pursues his dreams because that is a seriously inspiring way to live and I am certain you fabulous you with your dream pursuing goal achieving beautiful laugh sharing self is pretty awesome to live with as well).

      Inverness…the Highlands. Well, is a college town right? Should be fun. And plenty of people to let Gareth know if they smell the blackcurrent.

  2. Oh my goodness I am so jealous! That sounds like an amazing job, and I don’t even like beer either! Hope the move goes smoothly and you get a lovely house…should be able to get a castle up there for the price of a place in The Kingdom! Awesome adventure!

    Hope the MIL is improving? And hope the moving goes smoothly! xx

    1. Hey cheers dear Jo! Turns out, Inverness is more expensive than the Dunny, eeep!

      Mary is making improvements, looking much more positive! Thanks for checking in! 🙂

  3. Three cheers for new directions! That’s inspiring, that is. Best of luck with everything. I’ll be spending some time in Scotland soon but not in Inverness, darn it, so I guess we won’t be meeting for a beer – not that I’d touch the stuff ;).

  4. As an American I had to look up the word “ensuite” to figure out what your were talking about. Thank goodness for Google! And I am the same way about beer. Good luck with the move! It’s always great to see someone following their passion.

  5. How exciting!!! Inverness was the first stop on my great UK adventure of 2011. 🙂 It is insanely beautiful and peaceful. I can’t wait to come back for a visit after the children are a little older. Congrats to you both on the new and exciting adventure!!

  6. So exciting!!! Congrats to G on his new adventure. Sounds like he has found his niche. I can’t wait to hear what you get into in your new “digs”!! Hooray!!

  7. What a great story of following your passions – does he have to do a lot of test tasting in the job 🙂 Must be a wonderful vibe in your house apart from the boxes in the way. Good luck with the move.

  8. OK, so, just as I was reading this I got excited for Gareth (and you too). That’s so cool that’s he’s pursuing something he loves. I’m just thrilled for both of you!

  9. How brilliant to discover what you really love and then have the courage to make it your career. Well done Gareth.

    Also, Inverness is excellent and you will be on the doorstep of some of the most fantastic countryside in the whole of Europe. Mind you you’ll have to get those walking boots out and bring a warm coat – it’s freezing up there.

  10. Wow! Amazing job and career change for Gareth and a wonderful adventure for you. Exciting times! Now, on a different note, I’m going to be in Edinburgh on my first holiday with my lovely new(ish) man (squeee!). Do you have any recommendations for lovely places to go? Breakfast, dinner, tea and cake, or sights to see? x

  11. So excited for Gareth – well done, young man! Also excited that you’ll be starting a new adventure (and because I’ve never been to Inverness despite my strong desire to do so).

    Glad the Mum-in-Law is making good progress and I’ll keep sending healing thoughts in your direction for the whole lovely family.

  12. Now, THAT is SUPER EXCITING! =) Having taken a break mid-reading of this post (’cause I had to make coffee, natch), I was thinking it really was a great match for a geeky inclination (into learning and figuring stuff out) and a personal love.

    My husband is also a non-jumping-up-and-down-er. That is my job. And his culture (Midwestern) is VERY anti-calling-attention-to-yourself (if you brag, you’ll be shot), so I exclaim his fabulousness, ’cause I’m from California, and a family of boisterous, tall, cheerful chatterboxes. Declaring how fabulous something is what we do.

    I think it’s a great role for a spouse. “He is SO GREAT!!!” =) Nice job, Shauna! Wife-points!

  13. Wow – that’s brilliant Shauna! Well done to Dr G and GOOD LUCK with the move – having lived in Inverness twice it’s a fantastic place and I’m sure you’ll love it .. Make sure you take a trip to Hootenanny’s when you get there!

  14. What a great story! And even better because it’s true. Congrats to you and Gareth, maybe you will actually have an ensuite bath in your new digs instead of an imaginary one?

    Jennette, you just don’t watch enough episodes of “House Hunters,” where an ensuite is simply non-negotiable, along with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

    We have around-the-corner, not ensuite.

  15. Shauna! THAT is just the coolest thing ever! Bloody hell! And Black Isle, too! But they are fab! Oh, this is all just wonderful! What a guy that Dr G is. Wishing you both all the very best. Much love DB

  16. How very exciting for you! Now you’ll be able to assure your purchaser that the cupboard would make an ideal en-suite… or brewery.

    Maybe you might get that… um.. budgie once you settle up north?

  17. Good on Dr G for following his dreams, and smart man marrying a woman who supports him in doing so.

    Exciting time for both of you.

  18. That is SO exciting! Yay, Gareth!

    I don’t drink beer either, but I’ve become an accomplished sniffer/taster anyway. “Do you get chocolate/orange/old man’s undies?” is a regular conversation topic in our house. (I might have made that last one up)

    We are definitely visiting Scotland next year and plan on a short highland adventure, so I shall track you down in Inverness, mate. I’m sure our spouses can bang on for hours about beer and brewing. That takes the pressure off us, doesn’t it? 😉

  19. I’m a bit late to the party, but how freakin’ cool!!?! Congrats to G on that wicked cool career move. I’m a beer drinker, so I find it all kinda interesting.

    And Inverness – I’ve heard it’s nice there – haven’t been, but I’m sure Nessie will make you feel welcome!

    You should give Kirsty and Phil a ring and see if they’ll help you find a new place! 😉

    1. How cool would that be!? “Today we’re househunting in Inverness, looking for a 2br house with ensuite and homebrewing space” 🙂

      1. I wonder how hard it is to get on the show? I’m sure “homebrewing” space would be a unique thing to search for! Phil would find you a place with an old shed or barn or something and Kirstie would complain about how difficult it all was 🙂 Hope the search goes well!!!!

  20. Congrats to Gareth! It is so fantastic when someone follows their passion. Good luck with the move and if you two ever want to do a brewery tour in Vermont (home to many many micro-breweries), don’t hesitate to be in touch!

  21. Love how you both follow your passions. I have never met you in person but I just know you’re such a wonderful lovely couple. All the best from San Francisco.

  22. It must be in engineers DNA. Fox waited until he retired to start brewing and has taking over part of the cellar, building cupboards and bottle drying racks and special little boxes to carry the precious beer bottles around in. I too don’t like beer but am continually urged to try it. Oh well, it keeps him off the street.

  23. That’s awesome, good on Dr G for getting his masters and living his dream, not many people can say they love going to work these days!
    Love Inverness, was contemplating a job up there myself!
    Good luck with everything.

  24. Taking a year-long course of study and then quitting your supposed profession to follow your vocation is so admirable. To Gareth: “you go, guy” (I guess it’s appropriate to sub “guy” for “girl” in that expression.) And so nice that you can do what you do from any location with an internet connection. Now, perhaps you’ll become a connoisseur of single-malt scotch, you know, to balance the liquor preferences in the family.

  25. THANK YOU so much for your comments comrades! And Gareth says a huge thanks too 🙂 Sorry I have been slack with replying, I am knee-deep in moving stuff. Arrrghhhhhhhhhhhhh

  26. Moving for beer seems particularly reasonable in so much as your G seems to have elevated himself from imbiber to creator! I have fond memories of helping my dad sort the hops, clean the bottle and bash on the lids at the end of the whole process. Most of my childhood was spent with a hairy eye on the big plastic tank thing wrapped in an old electric blanket in the laundry, bubbling away to itself… If I ever make it to Scotland I will be volunteering to taste on your behalf…

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