St Albans CAMRA man recounts his lifelong pub crawl
THE LONGEST pub crawl in history has resulted in the publication of writer Roger Protz s memoirs of his beer career. Roger, who lives in Charmouth Road, St Albans, has been travelling the world for more than 30 years in search of perfect pubs and pints.
THE LONGEST pub crawl in history has resulted in the publication of writer Roger Protz's memoirs of his beer career.
Roger, who lives in Charmouth Road, St Albans, has been travelling the world for more than 30 years in search of perfect pubs and pints.
He has now written of his adventures in A Life on the Hop, Memoirs from a Career in Beer, which was published this week.
Roger's journey began outside a pub in East London where as a boy he nursed a ginger beer while his father and uncle enjoyed pints inside. Even at such a tender age he knew that it was a world he wanted to join.
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He achieved his aim when he worked in the boozy world of national newspapers in Fleet Street but it was not until the mid-1970s that he turned his beer-drinking hobby into a career when he went to work for the St Albans-based Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
Roger's beer-related travels have taken him all over the world including one brewery in Prague where he was chased away by a guard with a machine gun and a snarling dog, and Germany where at one of his many visits to the Oktoberfest, he found himself sitting on Hitler's favourite bench in the Hofbrauhaus beer hall.
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Belgium is also high on his radar where he struggled to save the great ales brewed by Trappist monks and his involvement in the successful campaign to rescue Hoegaarden from the mercies of the world's biggest brewer InBev.
Roger has a remarkable beer-writing pedigree - he has written 18 books about beer and pubs and his 300 Beers to Try Before You Die, published by CAMRA in 2005, is one of the best-selling books on the subject.
He has twice been named Glenfiddich Drink Writer of the Year and he was the first beer writer to be granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Guild.
A Life on the Hop is available from bookshops and the CAMRA website at www.camra.org.uk