Darren Packman is a former news journalist, copywriter and PR consultant who started writing about beer in the UK in the mid-90s as a media consultant for a regional brewery in Kent.
He was comfortably on his way to his dream of a comfy job with long lunches and a company BMW when he met Sara, a breathtaking vision of Scandinavian blondness who somehow managed to persuade him to move to Umeå at the top of Europe when it had always been his ambition to live at the bottom of it.
That was back in 2000. Since then Darren has worked full-time within the international beer industry, firstly as export manager for Shepherd Neame and in recent years as a beer blogger (he founded BeerSweden back in 2009), a consultant and a brand ambassador.
In 2011 he created the BeerSweden Forum which is now the country’s most active online beer community. and became the Svenska Ölfrämjandets Guldpin winner in the same year for his blog’s contribution to beer culture in Sweden. He is also vice-chairman of the Skandinaviska Ölskribenters Förening (Scandinavian Beer Writers Association).
In what he himself describes as something of a mid-life crisis Darren has bought an entire brewery set-up and is planning to open a world-class local craft brewery in his adopted home city very soon.
Along the way Darren has met many amazing beer people, been to lots of breweries, drunk some incredible beers, given hundreds of beer talks and is particularly proud of his unbroken record of never having made it down for breakfast at any of the hotels he’s ever stayed in.
He describes BeerSweden as ” the ideal way to combine the two things I really enjoy in life – writing and beer”.
“I hope via BeerSweden you’ll get to see just what an amazing drink beer really is. If you disagree with me that’s OK too – I live in the far north of Sweden, so the chances of you finding me are very small indeed”.