Staunchly independent. Often irreverent. Sometimes irascible. Always fair.
I started writing about craft beer as a hobby in 2006, during my lengthy career as a crime & justice reporter at the Calgary Herald. I left daily journalism in 2016, but I’ve kept writing about beer — most recently via a regular column in Avenue Edmonton, a monthly arts and lifestyle magazine. And now, Original Levity.
Although I’m no longer a full-time writer, the values I learned during nearly 25 years in journalism underpin my approach to beer writing. I believe in being accessible and approachable: this is not a blog for beer snobs. Or, to put it more positively: this is a blog for everyone. I want readers to come away informed and entertained, whether you’re a BJCP-sanctioned judge or someone just beginning to explore craft beer.
Independence and transparency are also important to me. I have no material relationships with any breweries I write about. I’m someone who covers the beer industry, rather than a part of it. No one will receive coverage or special consideration in exchange for free product or swag (see my published sample policy for more detail). If I’m a fan of a brewery or a particular beer, it’s because I genuinely like it. This piece I wrote for The Daily Beer in 2016 sums up how I view my relationship to the industry.
The name of the blog, Original Levity, is an admittedly nerdy play on a brewing term, original gravity. In this case, “original” means the blog is original content authored by me, with “levity” signalling my intent to take a light, engaging approach.
About the logo: it was created by Janet Matiisen, an award-winning designer who was once a colleague at the Calgary Herald. I paid her with actual money, instead of exposure, because creative professionals should be paid for their work. People can’t pay their bills with exposure.
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about me, visit my LinkedIn profile.