David Jesudason

Freelance journalist and writer

United Kingdom

Beer Writer of the Year - 2023. Be Inclusive Hospitality's Writer of The Year - 2022.

Author of 'Desi Pubs - A Guide to British-Indian Pubs, Food & Culture' published, May 2023. Beer and Pubs Book of the Year, 2023. Best Book about Beer & Pubs, 2023 - British Guild of Beer Writers. Nominated Best Debut Book by Fortnum & Mason.

"Deeply researched and beautifully written" - Roger Protz "One of the most exciting books about beer and pubs in recent years" - Boak & Bailey "The most important volume about pubs for half a century" - Phil Mellows, Morning Advertiser

Bylines in the Guardian, BBC Culture, Pellicle and Good Beer Hunting.

Email: [email protected]

Portfolio
BBC Culture
The most remarkable Star Trek episode ever made

The sci-fi franchise has ventured far and wide over its many decades – but it has never been bolder than when it travelled back to 1950s America and tackled anti-black racism head on.

Good Beer Hunting
08/25/2021
Interrogating IPA's Identity

'The story of the IPA, then, is not the apolitical tale that so many beer businesses espouse uncritically. Nor is the beer style’s origin so singularly defined. Its real history is far muddier, and is inextricable from the horrors of empire.'

Vittles
Young Black Farmers: Where are they now?

Fifteen years on, not a single contestant works in the farming industry, nor has becoming a Black farmer got any easier. ‘The tragedy is, since that programme was made not really much has changed’, Emmanuel-Jones tells me. ‘[The countryside] is still seen as a foreign land.’

Substack
A visit to a country pub

When a black Londoner took a walk in the countryside with friends she was confronted with hate and a pub landlord who ignored her

the Guardian
11/04/2022
Avtar Singh Jouhl

When the US civil rights activist Malcolm X witnessed the racism endured by British Asians during a visit to Smethwick in the West Midlands in 1965, nine days before his assassination, he said: "This is worse than America. This is worse than Harlem."

Good Beer Hunting
03/16/2022
Breaking the Color Bar

How Avtar Singh Jouhl helped desegregate Britain's pubs, fought for an anti-racist future and enlisted the help of Malcolm X

Substack
Britain's First Desi Pubs

“I must admit I’m a bit nervous. There will be a few difficult customers, no doubt, but I think I shall be able to manage.” Few remember the modest man who spoke these words about the Leicester business he was about to take over in 1962, but unknowingly he was to become a British-Indian trailblazer who paved the way for many other desi pub landlords.

Pellicle
08/10/2022
The Southampton Arms

All things considered, this Parliament Hill-slash-Kentish Town boozer is a god-tier London pub. And it owes its success to its locals of both corners, the regulars who love to gaze at its stunning wooden bar, and its landlord Nick Bailey, who sees himself more as a “custodian” with a “steady hand on the tiller.”

Pellicle
03/06/2024
Elusive Brewing

"There's a lot worse things to be known for I suppose." I've just asked Andy Parker, the founder of Elusive Brewing in Wokingham, Berkshire, how he feels about being known to many as, "the nicest man in beer."

Good Beer Hunting
01/03/2024
The Philosophy of the Farmer Brewers

Since its founding in 2009, Hof ten Dormaal—located on a 12th-century farm in the village of Tildonk, deep in rural Flanders—has charted its own stubborn course and defied expectations.

Atlas Obscura
04/21/2022
The Triumphant Story of Britain's Desi Pubs

Despite being a long walk from a high street in outer West London, The Scotsman is very busy for a drab Monday lunchtime. Before I open the door, I hear loud voices and music, at odds with its austere-looking Edwardian exterior. I pause, wondering what welcome I, a brown drinker, will receive in a locals' pub unfamiliar to me.

Pellicle
10/18/2023
The Shirkers Rest

The layout of this particular micropub means the ‘magic’ will cause people’s inhibitions to disappear and I often overhear a diverse bunch of people starting up conversation for the first time. It feels like an island, especially as outside is the hubbub of the A2, a loud moat encircling the wizardry inside.

Pellicle
09/06/2023
Rye's Ypres Castle Inn

“When it comes to political views, we’re sadly living in an increasingly polarised world, so pubs are going to divide.”

Good Beer Hunting
03/08/2023
Bangladeshi legacy of the Curryhouse

This is where many first- and second-generation workers faced racism head on—serving white people “while absorbing their shit at the same time,” says dancer Akram Khan about his curry-house upbringing. It was common for waiters to be mocked for their accents, or to face abuse over the prices they charged.

Good Beer Hunting
08/10/2022
Resistance, Ricky Reel, and the Real Southall

I drink all day. Anything I can get ahold of works-I don't care what it is, as long as it mixes with Red Bull and can keep me awake. I need it to stop the voice in my head, the one that endlessly criticizes me for my shameful shortcomings.

Pellicle
04/20/2022
Disability, Pubs and Taprooms

I'd like to introduce you to beer and cider lover Steven Fenn. "People won’t stop me from doing what I can do or want to do,” he says. “My outlook is you can’t miss what you’ve never had. Like with walking, if I used to be able to do it and I lost that ability then it would be different. If something bad happens I bounce back or laugh at it. I make the best out of the situation.”

Beer52
How wine excludes us

E veryone remembers that first bottle. I was living in Leeds in the late 90s and I can still picture the teenage me awkwardly opening the wine merchant's door to be met with puzzled stares from the customers and the staff.

Pellicle
06/02/2021
The Significance of Desi Pubs

I found my confidence by visiting so-called desi pubs, where I was served by other British-Asians keen to make these spaces their own. Two in particular: the late-night karaoke bar-come-Indian restaurant, The Blue Eyed Maid, and the small local The Gladstone which are both in Borough, South London

Substack
This is where I heal my hurts

I want to tell the life story of Rachael Williams, a rare woman and person of colour working as a DJ and club booker. She also used to be on the staff for Television X — interviewing the channel’s sex workers — so she’s well placed to talk about discrimination in the music and porn industries

Pellicle
08/11/2021
Beer Writing's Colour Issue

Drinks journalism is one of the lowest-performing sectors for representation of people of colour. We make the United States look more progressive, especially if you consider that two of the most revered beer books The Oxford Companion to Beer, and The Brewmaster’s Table were written by Black writer and brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery Garrett Oliver.

Wellcome Collection
03/15/2022
In search of Sultan Tipu

Sultan Tipu, a powerful 18th-century Indian leader, was despised and vilified by the British. But who was he? David Jesudason finds himself fascinated by a multifaceted man who has been depicted as everything from scholar to savage

Wellcome Collection
10/14/2021
Rediscovering an NHS hero

Desperate for diversions during lockdown, David Jesudason started rummaging through skips and dustbins at night. Most of his finds were disappointing, but then he unearthed something that sparked an investigation into a forgotten piece of World War II history and the life of a talented but largely unknown female surgeon.

Pellicle
11/03/2021
Finding A Sense of Place

During lockdown, I picked up some strange rituals. From pouring beer into matching glasses to collecting vintage beer mats, it's become obvious that strange faux-pub routines are now my new normal.

Wellcome Collection
01/04/2022
A (tired) and emotional trip

David Jesudason's relationship with alcohol is complicated. He's faced racism in pubs and felt othered at festivals, while his father struggled with alcoholism. Yet David's love of beer has also provided both pleasure and employment - he's worked as a bartender and is now a director at the Beer Writers' Guild as well as an Instagram ale diarist.

BBC Culture
Is Hollywood ready to stop stereotyping Africa?

Released in 1988, Coming to America was a brash romantic comedy; a box-office juggernaut for Hollywood comic actor Eddie Murphy. But, despite its contrived plot and fairy-tale schmaltz, it was, in its own way, revolutionary.

the Guardian
08/23/2021
Jefferson Airplane: how we made White Rabbit

All fairytales that are read to little girls feature a Prince Charming who comes and saves them. But Alice's Adventures in Wonderland did not. Alice was on her own, and she was in a very strange place, but she kept on going and she followed her curiosity - that's the White Rabbit.

the Guardian
07/19/2021
How we made Beat Dis by Bomb the Bass

I was working as a waiter in a Japanese restaurant and studying audio engineering at Royal Holloway University of London in the afternoons. I got into splicing tape and became fascinated by chopping things up and putting samples into a different order. I was 18 years old and completely naive.

the Guardian
12/04/2019
'They threw sausage rolls!' Christmas gigs bring no cheer for standups

'We would sometimes bet to see how long a comic would last on stage. We amused ourselves but they were never joyful - they were horrendous!" Dave Johns, standup and star of the film I, Daniel Blake, is detailing his experiences of a string of lucrative but excruciating shows at Christmas time.

the Guardian
06/19/2019
Lucidity and beyond: how Toy Story's visual effects transformed cinema

With its fourth instalment out this week, the legacy of the Toy Story series is immense. Woody and Buzz Lightyear's relationship anchored the films in the buddy-movie genre, allowing writers to deftly explore themes of abandonment, ageing and consumerism. There were subtle nods to Alfred Hitchcock, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg.

Substack
I'm good at the past. It's the present I can't understand

The purpose of a vinyl record is authenticity and you get to hear the same recording your parents or grandparents would’ve heard. It’s a romanticisation (my mum and dad weren’t Piaf fans) but what a good record can do is act as a time capsule for an era that now only exists in history books. They can transport you back to a slower age.

Substack
I was busy thinking about boys

“The video came before I wrote the book ,” says Clark about Boys which was co-directed by Charli Aitchison (AKA Charli XCX) and photographer Sarah McColgan. “I really liked the aesthetic of it and the vibe. I thought it was an interesting, fun idea. Even though it doesn’t seem that revolutionary, I could connect it to some films that I like and photographers in terms of the way that it looked like men.”

Substack
What we can learn from Ian Wright

The playground Wright and Rocastle used as kids is now a symbol of modern London. Affectionately known as “the rec”, Honor Oak Park Recreation Ground is frequented by both affluent and poor parents and features a mixture of modern and decaying equipment. The roundabout only works if you’re He-Man (I’m not) but the climbing frames are like something from the Aztec zone in the Crystal maze.

Wellcome Collection
06/22/2021
The catharsis of cringe

Social awkwardness is synonymous with cringe comedy, and it’s a double act we tend to either love or loathe. David Jesudason explores why, for him, watching cringe is at once exhilarating and soothing.

Pellicle
09/28/2020
Working Towards Racial Equity in Beer

When I go to a craft beer festival or taproom in a diverse, metropolitan area I’m always struck by the lack of people of colour. Why is this such an obvious problem for people of colour?

BBC Culture
Utopia and the power of the conspiracy thriller

Scientists are ignored. Schoolchildren fall ill. Vaccinations offer hope. Utopia is a new TV series so prescient that it feels like the timing of its release could itself have been part of a conspiracy theory. Released today, the Amazon Prime drama focuses on the threat of a global flu pandemic.

Wellcome Collection
01/26/2021
Written on my body

Writer David Jesudason traces the stories behind the marks on his body, from healed acne, a large birthmark, and scars from racist attacks. Most are sources of sadness and anger, bringing memories of isolation and self-consciousness, but one scar is a symbol of happiness and hope for the future.

HuffPost UK
01/27/2020
Supporting A Partner - And Yourself - Through Miscarriage

"She says it's a pregnancy 'of unknown viability'. A blighted ovum. She didn't make eye contact and there seemed like a problem with the machine. She told me to come back in two weeks to see a doctor." My partner was calling me from the hospital with news of the 12-week scan of our second child.

BBC Culture
10/25/2019
Why His Dark Materials is the fantasy epic for our times

Philip Pullman's award-winning trilogy, His Dark Materials, was a unique cultural phenomenon: a rare fantasy work that - despite the convolution of being set in multiple universes - lost none of its literary sophistication.

Riverford
Rural racism: A closed door

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has had far-reaching repercussions and will continue to do so. In the UK, it has led to a growing awareness that ingrained racism means people of colour are discriminated against on a daily basis, across every sector.

Circus magzine
09/01/2020
The size of it

Bristol icon Roni Size on rave culture, breaking the mould and getting down to old Elvis records

Wellcome Collection
12/16/2020
The father of handwashing

Doctors performing autopsies and then delivering babies - with not a hint of soap in between - was the grim recipe producing a lot of motherless offspring in the 1800s. But one man's gargantuan efforts to upend accepted medical thinking turned the tide.

Inverse
10/23/2020
How two twins and an egg took on Nintendo's Super Mario

When you think of NES games, a legendary pair of brothers always springs to mind - Mario and Luigi. But another fraternal duo, the Oliver twins - Andrew and Philip - should be equally lauded for making the 8-bit gaming system synonymous with addictive side-scrolling platformers.

SYFY WIRE
02/14/2020
How Sonic and SEGA sparked the UK's Grime music scene

British music producer Joker, aka Liam McLean, listens to the classic Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks at least once a year. The Genesis (called the Mega Drive in the UK) music whisks him back to his childhood where he spent hours playing the game when he was as young as 5.

Retro Gamer
12/23/2020
The making of Madden

Alongside Sonic, Madden 1990 became the Mega Drive’s must-have game, drawing a whole generation to Sega’s console and ushering in the era of the blockbuster game franchise. The creators of this killer app talk to us about how it changed sports gaming as we know it

LaptopMag
01/30/2021
Retro Gaming 101: How to make your laptop a retro games dream system

In the 1990s, I begged and begged my parents to buy me a Sega Genesis. The Christmas it finally arrived was legendary - I was allowed to eat turkey while playing Sonic the Hedgehog - but the months afterward grew repetitive as I, like most British 12-year-olds, couldn't get my hands on the console's games ($40 each - $80 in today's money) unless I tried a Bart Simpson-style four-finger discount .

Retro Gamer
09/04/2020
The history of Brian Lara

in the nineties and noughties, a homegrown cricket franchise named after record-breaker Brian Lara enthralled gamers. the enthusiasts who passionately created it speak to us about its unexpected runaway success

Wellcome Collection
01/21/2020
How chloroform shaped the murder mystery

Chloroform has been used by everyone from experimental surgeons to crime-fiction writers, and even a pregnant Queen Victoria. Journalist and murder-mystery fan David Jesudason explains how a one-time Edinburgh party drug went from operating theatre to henchman's kit bag.

Retro Gamer
08/02/2020
The legacy of Myst

Time passes and things fade,” begins Rand Miller, who is trying to comprehend the legacy of Myst, the game he co-created with his brother Robyn way back in 1993. “But we, now as much as ever, are getting people who are saying how much it infl uenced them.”

Riverford
Plantain, plant-based and proud

Plant-based Nigerian cook Tomi Makanjuola was told her work was 'unsellable' because she 'wasn't a Nigella Lawson' - now a successful self-published food writer, she tells David Jesudason about the realities of racism in food publishing, cultural barriers to veganism and the versatility of plantains.

The Calvert Journal
Inside Creaks, a video game world inspired by Czech Cubism

Against a backdrop of decaying libraries, untidy desks, and peeling wallpaper, platform-adventure game Creaks begins as an earthquake shakes the foundations of a crumbling mansion: breaking floors, smashing lightbulbs, and revealing an underground world below.

Wellcome Collection
05/26/2020
Mass murder and marvellous medicine

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element with a chequered past. From treating ulcers to bumping off rivals, David Jesudason charts how the chemical has been used to cure and kill for centuries.

Kerrang!
Peeling Back The Skin: Who Are The Real Melt-Banana?

"Our music is like a chimera." This is how vocalist Yako describes Melt-Banana; the shape-shifting, genre-defying Japanese noise band who formed in the early '90s. Now a two-piece, Yasuko Onuki (Yako) and guitarist Agata produce fast, electronic-led grindcore and they're set to tour the UK for the eleventh time this October.