Just a short Christmas message, posted by timer as I neck beer in Spain with my gal and her family. Technology, son.
This year has been fucking huge. It started out with me working like crazy on Craft Beer: the 100 Best Breweries in the World and is ending now with me and most of the guys I worked with putting together another project in the same vein.
In between all this I kept up an admittedly and embarassingly slow trickle of work for RGCD, where I write about video games, put in a contribution to The Carouser (a London-based booze and tunes mag) and guested over on Bum Wine Bob’s blog, which was a lot of fun.
I also tried my best to keep up a decent pace on the beer blogging side of things, and I would like to thank all of you for reading my articles.
I really mean it. You’re all ace.
Through my writing work I’ve been introduced to some awesome people who I’m proud to call friends and my life has been enriched by it just as The Ruari Show was going through its darkest, most critically derided season.
As many of you know, this year I have been going through a divorce. Getting divorced is like spending months on months of eternal night locked in a fairground full of alcoholic clowns that keep picking your pockets, and at the end of it give you a certificate for taking part. It’s totally fucking shit. My mates from all over, running the gamut from lads I’ve known since I was in school to fellows I met through the business of writing Craft Beer, got me through it in fine style.
If you’re reading this now the odds are good that I owe you thanks.
I’ve certainly racked up a few accomplishments this year, of which I’m very proud. Having mates and strangers alike tell me they enjoyed the bookazine I helped produce was just amazing. The really positive reception that my probably-a-bit-too-emotional response article to the “BlameJohn” campaign was really humbling. Like, holy shit, people liked it!
The most important achievement of 2014 was asking the wonderful human being and talented artist Emma Catherine Friel if she would be my girlfriend, and hearing her say “yes”. She’s pulled me through so much shit and is just the best friend, best girlfriend and best everything ever. Next year will see us collaborating on video beer reviews, a bunch of art projects under our joint Staghound brand and also brewing! I’ve dusted off (literally, because it’s fucking filthy) the one remaining piece of my late dad’s homebrewing equipment and our garage is soon going to be stinking of yeast in a good way. I’m so psyched.
ACQUIRED 1 BREWING EQUIPMENT pic.twitter.com/JE4QzjCxac
— Ruari O'Toole (@RuariOToole) December 14, 2014
So to sum up, Merry Christmas from Cramlington’s foremost (and only, so keep away from our manor) media power couple. Get drunk, overeat, and feel awkward around your weird relatives that you only see once a year. We’ll see you in 2015 with hella good content all over the place.
Love, Ruari and Emma