Every now and again you meet someone who influences your career and who continues to inspire you.
I’m lucky to have known a few of these inspirational people and none more so than Jane Peyton. It was Jane’s reassurance and encouragement that helped me make the decision to go freelance and I’ve worked on a few projects with her since.
As the founder of the School of Booze, she’s always looking for new ways of doing things, of sharing her love for, and knowledge of drinks with other people. From taking corporate tours of London pubs to hosting the world’s largest beer tasting, founding and championing the annual Beer Day Britain celebrations, I thought she’d done it all. But in the last few months, she’s pulled another couple of proverbial rabbits out of the hat.
Through the School of Booze, Jane has launched a series of online training courses for anyone who wants to learn about beer, wine or cider. She’s designed three levels of expertise catering for everyone – whether they want to challenge themselves, impress friends with their knowledge or learn more to improve their career prospects. The courses are a mix of written and audio tutorials that people can compete at their own pace at a time and place that suits them best. At a time when we’ve all had to change how we normally do things, Jane’s vision and understanding of the need to move training out of the classroom and onto mobile devices are typical of the positive approach that led to her being named Drinks Educator of the Year in 2016.
In the midst of developing the courses, Jane also found time to write two drinks books, published by the British Library. The first was the Philosophy of Gin and the second The Philosophy of Beer. Both chart the history and advancement of the drink styles and are a great introduction for anyone with a thirst for knowledge – quite literally.
I’m not sure how she keeps the innovation going and maintains such a high level of expertise, but she does so with great and infectious enthusiasm.
I’ll continue to learn as much as I can from her and hope you have the good fortune to meet and learn from your own Jane Peyton.