Thursday, 23 May 2013
The Reluctant Scooper, aka Simon Johnson, is dead.
Just a few days ago he was leading a pub crawl or “bimble” through Derby and blogging about it, now he’s gone. It is as shocking as it is unexpected.
I only met Simon a couple of times. Twice, in fact. I was too drunk to remember the first time and was gauche enough to introduce myself to him again a second time. “Hi, I’m Barm” — “Yes, I know.” Oops.
But even those of us who only ever encountered him briefly must have been impressed by his warmth and intelligence. He was one of the most insightful beer bloggers Britain has seen and the scene will be a poorer place without him. His beer writing was always human and undogmatic, and many a more feted beer writer could have learned from him.
I still cannot believe it. On the one hand I would like to think — that it would be just like Simon to want to see what people would say about him, while he was still around to read it. On the other hand, he wouldn’t cause his friends such pain for a joke. We have to accept it’s true. The Reluctant Scooper has gone.
This reminds us, as Simon’s writing did, that life is short and that beer, while a constant part, is not the be all and end all in itself. It’s the friendships you make and strengthen over beer that are important. Tonight, get in touch with your friends, and tell them you love them.
RIP Reluctant Scooper. Fortunately, I do have a bottle of Orval in the cupboard, although it’s a tad warm. Cheers Simon.