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.