db news editor dies of a haemorrhage

Alan Lodge, news and website editor for the drinks business and deputy editor for The Spirits Business has died aged 29 of a brain haemorrhage.

Alan joined the drinks business in March 2009 to bolster the magazine’s online content and quickly made an impression with his engaging writing style, perfectly pitched for such a fast-paced medium.

Alan had the rare ability to both entertain readers with his amusing accounts of unusual alcohol-related tales – be they drunken burglars or outrageous cocktails – and inform those in the industry with his authoritative analysis of topical issues, from taxation to licensing reform.

However, snappy news stories for thedrinksbusiness.com were far from his only contribution to the company, and readers of the magazine will doubtless remember his extensive articles on spirits trends, usually with a focus on Scotch, encouraged by his love of Islay single malt.

As well as his journalistic talent, and impressive knowledge of spirits and the drinks trade, Alan had a respected palate. Chairing several tasting competitions for db’s sister title, The Spirits Business, Alan became known as an able judge with a notable skill for detecting the quality differences in vodka.

Indeed, due to his experience in tasting and writing about spirits, it was announced last week that Alan would be taking on the role of deputy editor of The Spirits Business, a promotion which had elicited great excitement from Alan.

In spite of of Alan’s considerable professional achievements, he remained a modest, sensitive and hugely popular member of the drinks trade. Furthermore, he was without malice, and never indulged in unkind gossip.

Alan was perhaps best known for his sense of fun, being blessed with an endlessly happy temperament, and the ability to make light of almost any situation, unless it involved the promotion of a political party or football team he didn’t support.

Before Alan joined the drinks business three years ago, he worked on the launch of bighospitality.co.uk, although he began his career in journalism at Retail Express, where he was enlisted to revamp the alcoholic drinks section, a role which sparked his enduring passion for wine, beer and spirits.

Alan will be greatly missed by his colleagues at the drinks business, particularly those he worked with so closely in the editorial team, and will be remembered by all who knew him for his writing talent, wit and kindness.

Our thoughts remain with his family and friends at this devastating time, and we are sure that they would welcome any comments from the trade in the box below.

84 Responses to “db news editor dies of a haemorrhage”

  1. Hamish Smith says:

    You leave behind an indelible mark, Alan. The industry will remember you always.



  2. Rest in peace, Alan: One of the most colourful characters either of us met in the drinks industry. Much love, Olly & Jo xxx

  3. Terrible news. Alan was an excellent journalist with a long career ahead of him. He was a talented writer, respected by the trade and great company. He will be missed. Our thoughts go to his friends, family and colleagues.

  4. Simon says:

    Really dreadful news, such a tragic loss.

  5. Neil Ridley says:

    Absolutely devastating news. Alan was one of the funniest and personable folks in the drinks business and it was always great fun attending events with him. Rest in peace sir- you’ll be sorely missed. Neil

  6. Catherine Monahan says:

    God bless you Alan and may you rest in peace. An amazingly talented writer, with an infectious sense of humour and the kindest person one could meet. You will never be forgotten and your smile and spirit will always be amongst us. Heartfelt thoughts to his friends and family and all at the Drinks Business. xxx

  7. Alex Layton says:

    Really tragic news. RIP Alan.

  8. Agata Andrzejczak says:

    The smiliest, honest and friendly journalist in buisness. We will miss you lots Alan. Smile and keep on good writing, wherever you are now. My thoughts are with the Family and all at drinks buisness.RIP

  9. Kate Sarginson says:

    Just devastating. Alan you were a total breath of fresh air. A true talent and a top man. DB team – my thoughts are with you. Kate x

  10. Caroline Nodder says:

    This is such sad news. During my time on The Publican I attended numerous events and press trips with Alan and knew if I saw his name on the guest list it was going to be so much more entertaining. He was a genuine, funny guy and a great writer. Much love to his family, friends and everyone at The Drinks Business. I’m thinking of you. Caroline xxx

  11. David Cox says:

    So many accurate and moving tributes already said here and on Twitter and I agree with all of them. A very sad end to a young life and a big loss to all, especially Alan’s family and colleagues. Rest in Peace.

  12. Freddie Cobb says:

    Very sad. My thoughts go out to Alan’s friends and family and all of the drinks business team.

  13. Fiona Taylerson says:

    Alan was a face you were always excited to see at any event/gathering – such a lovely man with a uniquely ‘sparky’ personality and a cheeky smile. It was always a pleasure to be in his company; such a unique combination of personality and talent – the drinks industry has lost someone truly special. All my love and thoughts to Alan’s family and the DB team. Fiona xx

  14. Nigel Huddleston says:

    Deeply saddened. Alan brought a welcome spark to every press event I saw him at. He was funny, generous, intelligently-opinionated and refreshingly honest. Doing this drinks writing thing will be less fun from now on. We’ll miss you.

  15. We’re all devastated on Drinks International to hear of Alan’s untimely death. We all liked him a lot. I particularly liked his modesty and self deprecating sense of humour. He went far, far too early. Our thoughts go out to his colleagues at DB/SB and to his family.

    We all hear about the ‘angel’s share’. Well, they’ve got Alan now. I hope they know what to make of him…

    To the spirit in the sky – RIP.


  16. Francis Weier says:

    We are all very saddened to hear the news – please pass on our condolences to the family.

  17. Michael Cox says:

    This is very sad news indeed. Alan was a delightful and engaging young man and a credit to DB and his profession. I will miss his cheery disposition and quick wit. My prayers are with his family.

  18. Such very sad news. A guy so full of charisma and enthusiasm for his subject matter. He will be missed. RIP Alan.

  19. Caitriona Roy says:

    Such sad news. It certainly won’t be the same in our industry without Alan – always positive, always enthusiastic, always professional. His infectious good humour will be sorely missed. His family, friends and colleagues are in our thoughts at this sad time.

  20. Lottie West says:

    Terribly sad news. Alan was one of the wine trade’s great characters and will be sadly missed. Thoughts are with all of Alan’s friends, family, and colleagues at this awful time.

    Lottie x

  21. Katharine O'Callaghan says:

    They say only the good die young and it’s so true in this case. Alan was one of the most popular characters in the wine trade. He was such a genuine person – bright, funny, kind and always smiling. He will be missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know him. My thoughts are with his family and friends and of course with Patrick, Gabby and the rest of the DB team. You must be in total shock. Katharine x

  22. Tina Gellie says:

    Such tragic news. Alan had such a positive and buoyant attitude to life, and his presence always enlivened any event he attended. A talented journalist who will be sorely missed by the trade. My thoughts and condolences are with his family and db colleagues. Tina x

  23. DK Cheung (Margaret) says:

    So sad to hear about Alan’s passing. Too young and too lovely to be taken away so soon. He will be missed by everyone who’s had the pleasure and joy of meeting/working with/knowing him. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at DB. Such tragic and shocking news. RIP Alan. x

  24. Helen Chesshire says:

    Such sad news about such a top bloke. Alan – you were and always will be a legend.

    I like the Angel’s share. That is very apt and I hope a source of small comfort for his family who I send my deepest condolences to.
    Thoughts to the whole team at DB who will no doubt miss him hugely, as we all will.

  25. Ali Mann says:

    This is truly sad and tragic news and I wanted to pass my condolences on to Alan’s family and his colleagues at Team DB. What an enormous loss and how grossly unfair. I also like Christian’s Angel’s Share. Alain’s smile, friendliness, humour and wit made him a pleasure to see and spend time with and I know the magazine will miss his journalistic talent hugely.

    RIP Alan. Ali xxxx

  26. Barnaby says:

    So very sorry to hear this. Alan was always amusing and gave the business some youthful exhuberence and hunour. Rest in peace.


  27. David Longfield says:

    Truly shocking news, at such a young age. My thoughts and sympathies are with Alan’s colleagues at DB/SB, and his family of course. I shall greatly miss bumping into Alan on the circuit – great company, and always a guaranteed laugh hearing of his latest exploits. Clearly his talent and upfront good nature will be sorely missed. All the best, old son.

  28. Incredibly sad news, the industry will be all the worse off without Alan’s lighthearted and intelligent contribution. My thoughts and sympathies are with all of Alan’s friends and colleagues at DB/SB and his family and friends.

  29. Claire Smith says:

    Such tragic news. Alan was such an energetic and passionate character within this business. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Alan’s family, friends and colleagues at Drinks and Spirits Business.

  30. Bertie Cason and Emily Ashbolt says:

    Completely devastated to hear one of our favourite people back in the UK has passed away. The funniest and kindest friend and colleague you could ever ask for. Thinking of everybody at db and hope you’re holding up ok, and wishing our deepest condolences to Alan’s family.
    Bertie & Emily

  31. Dominic Roskrow says:

    I am in India and have just heard about this terrible news second hand and in the worst possible way. I only worked with Alan for a short time at The Spirits Business but he and Marinel were the best thing about that magazine. Alan was a joy to work with and was my type of journalist – enthusiastic, energetic, talented, irreverent, cheeky, cynical, comical, in love with his job and more than willing to have a drink or three – a proper old-fashioned writer who worked hard, played hard and had ability in abundance. I thought he had a great career ahead of him. I’m devastated -and I didn’t even know him that well. So I’m pouring a large whisky in my hotel room and focusing on that smile.
    My deepest condolences to his family and close friends. For the very last time, Alan, Slainte.

  32. Corinna Kuhn says:

    This is shocking and sad. I had no chance to meet him personally but always enjoyed his writing. My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at db/sp.

  33. Anne Burchett says:

    I’d like to offer the condolences of the Sopexa team to Alan’s family and his colleagues at the Drinks Business. Alan was a pleasure to do business with and a thoroughly nice and fun guy. What a tragic loss…Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  34. Sue Skeats says:

    So so sad. Such a terrible loss of young talent and nice bloke. Deep condolences to his family and the db team.

  35. Our most sincere condolences for Alan’s untimely departure. Our prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues at Drinks & Spirit Business.
    Andrea Ilabaca, MontGras Winery Chile

  36. John Porter says:

    Seeing Alan’s grin across the room at a trade event or press launch meant that I knew that however dull the product, it would be a convivial occasion. We jointly took advantage of the hospitality shown to the trade press several times. Sadly, the last time we spoke I had to disappoint him by confessing that I’d sourced a statistic he wanted to quote from a rival publication to DB. But we laughed, and that’s how Alan will be remembered – enjoying his job. My sympathy to his family and friends.

  37. Jeremy Rockett says:

    Such shocking news and such a sad loss of a great character in our industry.

  38. Paul Symington says:

    What very sad news. Our deepest sympathy to Alan’s family and to all at DB.

  39. Alan will certainly be remembered fondly and his absence from events will be enormous. He pretty much made any event, however boring it may have threatened to be, bearable. He just did what he wanted, said what he thought, laughed at the industry, at himself and others. This was brilliant. His rants were hilarious. He was one of a kind. He’s going to be greatly missed. Somebody, please name a whisky after him. And make it a bloody good (no-nonsense) peaty malt.

  40. Chris Stroud says:

    This is really very sad and shocking news and thoughts and sympathy go to all of his family, friends, and colleagues at DB & SB

    Alan was always present at all the key events and as so many have said always with a smile on his face which no doubt brightened many peoples days. He will undoubtedly be much missed. RIP

  41. My deepest sympathies to all of the family members, friends and every person whom Alan left a mark in their lives. The world lost a person but heaven surely gained an angel.

  42. Emma Roberts says:

    I was so sad and shocked to hear this news. Alan was great at what he did and a lovely person to work with. My thoughts go out to his family and friends and the DB team. RIP Alan. much love Emma x

  43. Everyone at Imbibe has been deeply shocked to learn this sad news and we send our heartfelt condolences to Alan’s family, friends and of course, the team at DB. We’re sure the office, and indeed the whole drinks trade, won’t be the same without him. We’ll remember his sense of humour and appetite for life (not to mention a decent dram) and will miss his banter and cheeky grin.

  44. Bruce Losee says:

    My thoughts are with Alans family and the entire drinks family and industry…This is indeed a sad day.

  45. Angeline Bayly says:

    I was so shocked to hear this very sad news. Alan was a favourite of mine – and he knew it! x My sincere condolences to his family and friends at this very difficult time.

  46. Paul Evans says:

    Too young for this, last week he showed me the way back to Euston, and we joked about a charity football match. News like this puts everything into perspective. A loss for his family, DB and the trade.

  47. Justin Howard-Sneyd says:

    The worst kind of tragedy – out of the blue, sudden and shocking. Alan was a hugely likeable, engaging and talented journalist, and it is so unfair to lose him at such an early age. Our thoughts are with his family.

  48. Lucy Britner says:

    You were a big part of the gang, Alan. I loved you dearly, even if there was a liberal amount of piss-taking! I will miss you.
    I doubt the angels will get much of a look-in from now on. I think the Alan Share will become a recognised industry term. Rest in peace, mate.x

  49. Joel Harrison says:

    An incredibly sad loss for a man who always made me laugh on a press trip, no matter how tired I was! RIP Alan.

  50. It is devastating that such a fizzing young star has been taken from our galaxy so early. James Dean’s dictum to dream as if we live for ever, live as if we die tomorrow plays in memory of Alan.

  51. clemence de Crecy says:

    We are praying for your family Alan – It is a devastating news that we have heard from France yesterday – You have been a true friend throughout the year and a real support for my agency – You will not be forgotten – Rest in piece wherever you are.

  52. Nicky Smith says:

    Such sad sad news. A great guy with so much enthusiasm for life (and especially booze!) and always fun to be around. Thinking of you and your friends and family at this very sad time. xx

  53. Amanda Sheat says:

    This news is so shocking, I can’t believe it. Thank you Alan for being a great friend and being my go-to guy while I was working in London. You were so happy and funny and I can’t quite believe this has happened. You will be so missed.

    xxx Amanda Sheat, formerly at Clementine Communications.

  54. Katie Siegel says:

    Such tragic news am so sorry and shocked to hear this …. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Alan at Clementine Communications and mirror everything that everyone here has said … a lovely lovely man and am lost for words. My thoughts are with friends, family andd of course everyone who had the pleasure to work with him …. a very sad time. xxx

  55. Mark Ludmon says:

    Devastating news. Alan was always so full of energy, enthusiasm and good humour. He livened up the many press events we attended together. He will be deeply missed. Such a terrible loss.

  56. Natalie Potts says:

    What a terrible loss for the drinks industry, the DB team and of course, Alan’s friends and family. As all have said above, Alan was a top guy, genuine and enthusiastic. RIP Alan x

  57. Peter English says:

    So sorry to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers are with Alan’s family, friends and colleagues. RIP Alan

  58. Jim Long says:

    All the team at Chivas Brothers and Pernod Ricard were extremely shocked and saddened when we heard the news of Alan’s loss. He was a bright light that shone quickly in the drinks industry and will be missed deeply

  59. David Kelly says:

    Just shocking news. A sad loss of someone full of life and entertainment and certainly a character who made my induction into the industry more enjoyable. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the DB team.

  60. Christine Boggis says:

    Alan was such a vibrant character, always funny and entertaining and his witty, insightful comment pieces were a real asset to Drinks Business. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this terrible time. God bless you.

  61. Chris Kelly says:

    Tragic news – a bright, talented and energetic light of the drinks industry as gone out. Alan will be sadly missed by the drinks industry , myself and my fellow colleagues at the WSET .
    Our thoughts are with his family and friends and the team at db

  62. Claire Dodd says:

    Still stunned. It doesn’t seem real, or right, when someone as young as Alan passes. More so when they’re as exuberant as Alan was. To echo some of the other comments here, Alan was always the life and soul of any gathering. On the drinks circuit, he was as much as reason to attend any event or trip, as much as the product launch etc itself. If you saw his name on the list, you knew you were in for a fun evening. And he was on the list a lot. At one point we’d bump into each other a couple of times a week at various events and often sneak away early for a pint and a good chin wag at a local pub if things got dull. I’m going to really miss that.

    That he was completely unafraid to say anything, and I mean anything, that popped into his mind was one of the things I loved about Alan, no matter if that meant he always mercilessly took the piss out of me. It was also just one of the things that made him so brilliant at his job. I saw him last in late January for an indulgent afternoon of Japanese whisky tasting, where needless to say, he was in his element. Seems a fitting way to remember him. Goodbye Al, you were a great friend and I’m going to miss you an awful, awful lot.

    To the Lodge family, friends and all at team DB, I can’t imagine how you feel, but my thoughts are with you. The industry has lost a star.

  63. Ian Harris says:

    Devastating loss – somehow it just isn’t right that someone so young is struck down. Condolences from me, and my team at WSET to Alan’s family, friends and colleagues.

  64. Maria Antonia says:

    Very sad news. Our deepest sympathy to Alan’s family and to all at Drink B
    Maria Antonia Fernandez-Daza

  65. Richard Halstead says:

    Deepest sympathies from all of us at Wine Intelligence. A big loss to the industry and to journalism.

  66. Russell Dodd says:

    So sad to hear this news. Alan was a real talent, a truly nice guy, and a great character. It was a pleasure to work with him at BigHospitality. Thoughts are with his family.

  67. Matthew Handrahan says:

    I lived with Alan during our first year at Bournemouth university. During that year he suffered a tremendous personal loss and bore it with a strength of character that I have seen in few people since. A great guy.

    What a senseless waste. My thoughts to all who knew and cared for him.

  68. Paul Charity says:

    I only went on a single Press trip with Alan – but I remember the vivid impression he left as someone absolutely brimming with energy and life. Full of smiles and good humour, he made the trip memorable. Later in his career when he worked on Big Hospitality it was clear that he was someone with bags of talent. My condolences to Alan’s friends and family.

  69. Anne Jones says:

    From his early days on the Wharf paper when I started to work with Alan through to recent times at the Drinks Business, Alan was a treasured friend and a light in every room he walked into. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Alan x

  70. Kay Harrison says:

    Totally floored by this news. I had the great pleasure of working with Al on the Wharf and he became a good friend. He was the reason Monday mornings were never grim – unless we had been drinking champagne and eating miniature burgers at a networking event the night before. He was charming, hilariously creative and just the most entertaining person you could wish to sit opposite. My thoughts are with his family. Can’t believe I am not going to hear from him again.

  71. Amanda Garnham says:

    So terribly sad and shocked to hear this tragic news today. Alan touched so many people and will always be in our hearts. An extremely kind man with time for everyone. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.

  72. Audrey Fort says:

    What a sudden tragic and sad news ! All my thoughts go to Alan’s family, friends and colleagues. We’ll miss you Alan.

  73. David Taylor says:

    Everyone who ever meet Alan will testify he had the energy to power a small planet and a heart of gold. 1 in 10 billion. Big hug to all that knows him. DT

  74. Alex Beckett says:

    A genuine top bloke. Rest in peace

  75. So sorry to hear the tragic news. Rest in peace Alan.

    Lots of love to all the family from the team at Naked Wines.

  76. Geoff Kelly says:

    Alan, it was a privilege to know you. Your warm smile, charm and humour lightened up every meeting. I will mix that cocktail recipe you sent me and always remember you.

  77. Sam Combes says:

    We only learnt of this incredibly tragic news today, what an absolute and devastating shock. Alan was a really great guy and a real credit to the DB team. Our heartfelt condolences to everyone at The Drinks Business and especially to Alan’s family.We will certainly miss him.

    Our very best wishes from Sam and the La Riojana team – Walter, Nick and Bjorn

  78. I worked with Alan for three years at The Wharf newspaper, had some great times together. Rest In Peace dude.

  79. Such tragic news and a sad loss to the drinks trade and journalism. R.I.P Alan. My thoughts and condolences are with you, your family, friends and colleagues.

  80. Ian Westcott says:

    Rest in peace Alan, it was always a pleasure sharing smoke breaks with you. I was a friend of your sisters previously by pure chance, and it was great to know you and read your work. Great guy.

  81. Alice Lascelles says:

    I didn’t know Alan well, but just a few weeks ago I found myself sitting next to him at an industry dinner and he was fantastic company – funny, irreverent and vibrant. He made a big impression on me. What a terrible loss, I’m so sorry for his family and everyone at Drinks Business.

  82. Eileen Livingston says:

    Alan was an inspiration to everyone in the industry who had the pleasure of meeting him. Alan’s passion for great drinks and brands was unfailing; his energy and enthusiasm always strong.
    Alan will be missed by everyone here at Maxxium UK and our throughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.
    Alan, may you rest in peace.
    From all at Maxxium UK.

  83. Ian Buxton says:

    What a waste. Truly, the good die young.

  84. Simon Warburton says:

    I only met Alan a few times, but he was interesting and fun – I’m shocked at his tragically early death. The many tributes here speak volumes and my thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone at Drinks Business.

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