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Guild Member Profile

David Jesudason

Freelance journalist and writer
  • Full member
  • London
  • nctj
  • nuj
  • I specialise in writing about culture - films, tv, music and video games

What is the one thing you'd like to tell visitors to the Guild's website?

Beer writer and author of Desi Pubs published in 2023.

What you can offer as a writer/beer lover?

I am interested in diversity, as a British-Asian campaigner for racial equality. I strive to interview people of colour where possible. Beer writing offers a different demographic to other work on race and, therefore, can be more transformative.

What do you like most about being a Guild of Beer Writers member?

The guild offers writers a network of individuals who will work help you to gain a foothold in the industry.

Pieces of work by David:

  • The Inherent Whiteness of British Beer Writing

    Journalists are used to calling out industries that lack diversity but rarely is the same scrutiny applied to the one they work in themselves. But they should look inwards, because the figures are stark.

    Somewhat embarrassingly, drinks journalism is one of the lowest-performing sectors for representation of people of colour. We make the United States look more progressive, especially if you consider that two of the most revered beer books The Oxford Companion to Beer, and The Brewmaster’s Table were written by Black writer and brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery Garrett Oliver.

  • Desi Style — The History and Significance of England's Anglo-Asian Pubs

    Desi pubs were first set up in the 1970s in places such as the West Midlands to give refuge to Indian immigrant workers escaping the discrimination of “colour bars” where they were banned from drinking in lounges or smoke rooms. In fact, Malcolm X had seen this apartheid first-hand when visiting Smethwick, on the west side of Birmingham, to meet the Indian Workers’ Association a few days before his assassination in 1965.

    The first desi pubs became true community hubs, with immigrants also able to access services such as legal, marriage and employment advice within them. Some even had a community pot where people would contribute funds that paid out to anyone suffering illness, accident or misfortune. But the hostility these pubs and Asian landlords received is also an important part of wider British social history, as it runs parallel to how England treated other groups of immigrants such as the Windrush Generation.

  • Empire State of Mind — Interrogating IPA’s Colonial Identity

    It is against this backdrop that we are given the history of the IPA. Repeated credulously by family and multinational breweries, still recited today by contemporary craft beer businesses, the story goes that brewer George Hodgson, based in Bow, East London, made a new beer that could survive the long voyage to India, and called it an India Pale Ale. It was a turbocharged version of an English Pale Ale, brewed with greater quantities of hops (whose antimicrobial properties helped prevent spoilage), and a higher alcohol percentage to help it weather the time at sea. Today, that tale is so widely known that it has become a legend, the romantic origin story of craft’s favorite beer style.

    Unfortunately, that cozy fairy tale glosses over most of the realities of the era.