Nicci Peet is a freelance photographer based in Bristol, passionate about beer and food. You’ve most likely seen some of her work with photos published in high profile magazines and an impressive client list including some of our favourite breweries such as Wild Beer and Yeastie Boys.
Last week, Nicci launched a Patreon project to facilitate her new documentary photographing women in the UK beer industry. She kindly agreed to have a chat with us about the project, her favourite beers and the women she admires the most within the beer industry.
For those who don’t know you, can you tell us how you got into beer photography?
After graduating from a degree in Photojournalism I somehow landed a job at Brewdog Camden in its opening week. I knew barely anything about beer but had a crash course and fell in love straight away. My eyes were opened and there was no going back. I decided to merge my two passions, beer and photography, and the rest is history.
You’ve worked with Yeastie Boys and Wild Beer co, right? Where might we have seen your work?
My first real project, Caught on the Hop, was back in 2014 when I traveled around New Zealand photographing female brewers. Since then I’ve worked as a freelance photographer but I’ve kept close ties to the industry I love and have worked for a number of beer publications and breweries. You may have seen my work crop up on Good Beer Hunting, in Hop & Barley and Froth Magazine.
I do the UK product shots of Yeastie Boys’ cans, worked for UK Brewery Tours, Bristol Craft Beer Festival, Wiper & True and photographed a head chef profile for Wild Beer Co at Wapping Wharf to name a few. I spent last summer documenting breweries in Bristol for an exhibition that ran throughout Bristol Beer Week which was an amazing experience.
What type of beers do you personally enjoy? Any recent favourites?
I used to only really drink stouts and porters when I first got into beer because they catered to my sweet tooth but over the years my palate has changed and I love sours and IPAs. I tend to drink quite seasonally so coffee stouts have been getting me through winter. In complete contrast to that last statement my recent favourite is Left Handed Giant‘s Twilight City Grid which is a stunning APA.
Can you tell us a bit about your favourite beer projects you’ve worked on?
I’m a documentary photographer at heart so Caught on the Hop and the Bristol Beer Week projects have been obvious favourites. Photographing Bristol Craft Beer Festival the past two years has been amazing as well just because it’s such a great festival. And finally, product shots for Yeastie Boys as it’s something thats so different from what I normally do and I really enjoy geeking out over studio lighting and the attention to detail it needs.
We spotted your Patreon project recently on twitter – it sounds really exciting, can you give us some more details?
Of course! Diversity may seem like the new buzz word in the beer industry but it goes beyond Twitter debates. The need for greater representation of the growing workforce is integral to stamp out the sexism and prejudice in a broadly progressive sector. I decided to do something about this and launched a documentary photography project to celebrate the diverse women (cis, woc, trans, genderqueer) who make the beer industry tick.
While progress has been made, part of the problem of sexism and inclusivity is the lack of visual representation of the diverse range of women who work in the industry. When talking about women working in the industry it’s much more than just brewers. If you have a passion for beer there are so many different routes into the industry. This project will showcase a variety of roles – marketing, bar managers, bottle shop owners, farmers, finance, writers, sales reps, festival organisers – to illustrate the wide range of paths and that there is a place for everyone.
There’s been a lot of talk of sexism and debate about inclusivity in the beer industry recently. What are your thoughts on the current state of the beer industry in relation to these issues?
When I first started working at Brewdog Camden at the end of 2011 / beginning 2012 (!!!!) it was such a different industry. Not just in terms of there not being half the amount of breweries there are today but just who you would see at a beer bar drinking. There are more women working in the industry and attitudes are changing. I know there is still a long way to go but with well established breweries and journalists speaking out about these issues it thrusts them into public debate in a way I’ve never seen before.
Who are some of your favourite females in the beer industry? Either people you’ve worked with, or that you know are doing really awesome work or making great beers?
Melissa Cole – they say never meet your heroes but that’s different with Melissa. She’s such an amazing woman and has spent years speaking out about sexism in the industry and we wouldn’t have gotten this far without her.
Wiper & True – they have a 50/50 split and all the women there are awesome, you should look out for Project XX, it’s made from conception to distribution by the women at the brewery.
Jenn Merrick – I’m yet to meet her but what she’s planning to do with Earth Station sounds incredible.
When will the your photo documentary be complete and when will we get to see the results?
If everything goes to plan hopefully by March 2019. I’ll be sharing results along the way and there will be exclusive access on the Patreon page.