Two possessives in a headline? Pete wouldn't allow that sort of thing for sure - even if I am a bit puzzled at him having the title of "former beer marketing guru" given that it hovers over his article on UK lager marketing printed in this weekend's Daily Mail. I've jokingly portrayed him as the greatest beer writer in the English language but I actually think he may well be the greatest beer writer in the English language these days. His lager article certainly makes the case:
As drinkers become less brand-loyal than they were, and the codes of responsible advertising grow ever stricter (most of my favourite beer ads could not be made now; it's not permitted to suggest that beer enhances your performance or improves your social or sexual success), they have to turn to ever more inventive means to capture the imagination of the discerning drinker. Lager is no longer just lager: in adverts, the gags have been replaced by widgets, extra-cold chilling, smaller bubbles and low-carb variants. In the pub, fonts (beer taps) rise two feet from the bar and obscure the person serving you, and your beer is increasingly likely to be served in a uniquely shaped branded glass with etched or painted designs. If you're still getting a little bored of your usual tipple, why not try a new beer from Poland, Estonia, Brazil or Russia?
For me, that sort of writing is good humoured, accurate as well as from an insider's point of view. He has access to people and quotes them by name rather than presenting the information just as part of his own data base. There is also a hint of self-deprecation in the side-story in the arc of his own career into and out of lager marketing that is a hallmark of good writing. For me this is telling as the inverse is often true. Most of all, however, there is a clearly informative purpose to the article that mirrors what you will find in his books. Whether it is an uncomfortable ad man at a desk or a 18th century newspaper archive in India, he describes sources which, in turn, describes his diligence and then presents what he has gleaned plainly - in the best meaning of that word. He is writing for everyone and does not echo those before him who were labeled as beer writers - aiming presumable to serve beer readers. Subject matter and style differ though, in a way, I relate him to early 70s beer writer Richard Boston in the sense of the conversational tone but not in the sense of being off the wall bonkers.
You may also want to read the article for it's own sake, too.