The Lodger – GLENN PAYNE
As many of you know Richard and I are not ones for social media, but Glenn deserves us getting over this phobia, we may even get to like it…
The Lodger (as some referred to him when he stayed with us in Rotherhithe over the years) is a name that says so much less than he was to us, and many others.
Always someone willing to listen, even if it was when we had all had far too many excellent beers, often supplied by him. He was someone you could talk to about plans, successes, fears and failures in the knowledge that it would never go further than it was meant to.
Having seen some of the comments written from all over the world, and I mean all over it, reinforces our belief that one of his many skills was his incredible ability to introduce people to each other, then let them get on with building relationships, sitting back and watching it blossom, with no thought of personal gain. It was only through him that Richard and I have met so many friends in the world of beer and beyond.
Having been in ‘craft beer’ (not a phrase I think he was ever entirely happy with) for a bit, we are of the firm belief that blooming quality of beer, both from within and outside the UK, is partly down to his work done with Safeway, where he took the plunge to bring in the likes of Goose Island when most around would have said US beer was tasteless and fizzy, my haven’t times changed.
It was his massive knowledge of the beer scene that often amazed us, if you needed a name, a brewery or some obscure fact he was always on hand to provide it, if he did not know he would go out of his way to find what you needed, this always stuck us as odd as he always claimed ‘I don’t do details’.
Frankly though, this information and help often came at a price, namely some extraordinarily bad jokes, even worse singing and really bad accents.
His knowledge and expertise was not only in beer though, he was a bit of a gastro polymath.
As many of you will know he was a judge for the likes of the British Pie Awards and the Quality Food Awards both here and overseas and he acted as mentor to people looking to supply supermarkets where he always honest with them about the reality of that world.
We would say he was a shopper of style… his own. When staying over he would often kindly volunteer go to get the Sunday papers, although never from the local Nisa literally one minute away, ‘I do not shop there’, so he would walk an extra few minutes to go to Sainsbury’s, even if that meant Sunday papers were not available till after eleven.
And his food shopping skills would best be described as ‘careful. There was often a preponderance of yellow stickers which resulted in some rather bizarre combinations. Trust me, they did not always work.
However, I think we would all forgive him all of those jokes, songs, accents and shopping just to have him in our lives again. I hope we are all able to find a suitable way by to remember this true friend to all and one the world’s good guys.
Mike and Richard.