Today’s guest is perhaps someone who could be described as the “hardest working person in London’s beer industry.” As well as heading up Marketing, Events & Comms for The Five Points Brewing Company in Hackney, East London, Doreen Joy Barber also co-runs the quarterly London Brewers Market, is an active member of all-female beer group, the Crafty Beer Girls and even finds the time to pull a few shifts behind the bar at The Chesham Arms, also in East London.
What’s surprising is that back when she lived in her native Florida, apart from a little bar work, Doreen wasn’t an active part of the beer scene, even though it feels like she’s been working in beer all of her life. After taking a chance on applying to study a master’s in anthropology here in London, Doreen moved overseas, even writing her dissertation on CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
I asked Doreen to come on the podcast in part because of the way she kinda just “fell into beer” and became such an integral part of it. But also because of how some people describe the brewery she works for as, how Doreen puts it: “normcore” for concentrating on a tight core offering, instead of just throwing out an increasingly myriad selection of specials, like so many of their peers.
If you’re ever in London, it’s very difficult not to bump into Doreen if you visit one of her many favourite pubs, of which there are just too many to mention. And in her own words, if there’s a drink in her hand, then she’s working.