Roger Protz: A Life Through Beer
How beer writer Roger Protz stood to celebrate good beer, protect brewing traditions and saw real ale rise from threatened minority drink to the focus of festivals.
From being tucked under the pub bar stool as a baby to getting into Fleet Street pubs underage, Roger Protz's passion for beer began early. He's spent 40 years on a mission to celebrate and protect brewing traditions - writing about brewing and beers including over 20 editions of the Good Beer Guide. Arguably what he was writing about then is what many hold important today - in both food and drink. His passion and excitement about innovation and new flavours hasn't waned. He took Sheila to one of his favourite local pubs to try some new local ales before sharing more about his life and career.
His writing saw him forge a path to parts of the world where few were travelling - including hunting out beers and brewers in Czechoslovakia before the fall of the Iron Curtain, his eyes were opened to Belgian beers and tastings through France, and across to the USA, all of which he shared with his readers.
Roger has also worked for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) since the 70s helping bring real ale back from the brink of extinction as a threatened minority drink to a thriving British craft industry. His work has also seen him fighting to help save pubs - to put it simply, 'no pub, no ale'. But his opinions haven't been without controversy and while he celebrates the rise of the microbrewers, CAMRA is now asking its members on whether it should remodel itself and embrace all beers and beer drinkers.
Presented by Sheila Dillon.
Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.