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Phil Mellows is a freelance journalist living in Brighton


 About Phil 


Phil's Testimonials

''I've known Phil Mellows for 30 years. He's an experienced journalist whose fine touch and editing skills have won him the praise and respect of his fellow professionals. His nose for what makes news and what is relevant, his intolerance of jargon and prejudiceand his respect for clarity and sharp presentation are precious qualities in an age when people are increasingly overwhelmed by information overload, much of it toxic and unreliable. Mellows understands better than most that informed journalism, laced with style, humanity and solidarity in equal measure, is what makes information credible and trustworthy.''  
Aidan White, general secretary International Federation of Journalists


"Phil has been a valuable contributor to The Publican for well over a decade and is a really vital resource for us because of his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things pub. His copy is sharp, witty and always in on time and his flair for quirky feature ideas ensures we entertain our readers as well as informing them."
Caroline Nodder, Editor of The Publican


''Phil Mellows is a recognised journalist and authority on the licensed retail sector in Britain. He has written extensively about the macro and micro changes that have impacted upon the sector over the last couple of decades. I have known Phil and his work for more than ten years and have always been impressed by the quality of his work. I am currently working with him on a project which aims to expose some of the hidden political agendas behind the current moral panic associated with binge drinking and the liberalisation of licensing laws.''
Professor Conrad Lashley, Director of the Centre for Leisure Retailing, Nottingham Trent University


"I've known and respected Phil for many years, an unassuming, perceptive and observant journalist with a sharp eye for detail and a light, entertaining writing style. Not much passes him by and his analysis is crisp, shrewd and often revelatory, but it's no hardship to read his work; quite the reverse, in fact. He's a rattling good read as well!"
Robert Humphreys, honorary secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and
The British Beer Club in the European Parliament


''Phil has a great way with words, not to mention wit – I think he was born to be a features writer! His sparkling copy has certainly livened up my pages and he hits deadlines bang on time. What more could an editor ask for?''
Maxine Perella, editor LAWR


''I first met Phil several years ago when he was a journalist on The Publican. I was impressed by his grasp of ‘people matters’ and his innate ability to get to the bottom of the issue. He is an experienced and talented writer who is skilled in communicating the essence of a subject in a manner that's relevant and accessible to the audience. I was, perhaps, surprised to learn that his knowledge extends far beyond the word of pubs and this flexibility makes him a definite asset to anyone he works with.''
Jane Sunley, managing director LearnPurple


''Put simply, Phil Mellows is a first-class journalist. His experience and knowledge of the drinks industry makes him, without doubt, an expert in his field, and his articles reflect this.
Where other journalists often labour the point, Phil is able to succinctly sum up all the relevant points in a clear and concise manner. He is respected by PRs like myself for his straightforward approach and his style of writing.
When Phil writes about the drinks industry, people listen. His name and his writing is synonymous with the best in this sector and in the 20 years that I have known Phil, first working alon side him as a journalist and now as a PR, he has remained the best.''
Eddie Gershon, Eddie Gershon Media Relations


"... and he's a top shag too!"


Following a grounding in local newspapers I've written about pubs and the pub industry for a quarter of a century, interrupted now and then by writing about drinks. I've worked for both weekly trade titles, the Morning Advertiser and The Publican, mostly on features. From up close I have reported and commentated on the massive changes the pub and brewing industries have gone through over the last couple of decades – and the uncertainties and challenges that continue to this day. Until going freelance in August 2008 I delivered weekly business advice to licensees through the pages of The Publican and online.

I've also worked in contract publishing, editing the award-winning Bass Brewers News, pioneering an intranet news service back in the mid-1990s and launching a trilingual magazine for Bass Beers Worldwide, Horizons.

My work now currently appears regularly in the Publican's Morning Advertiser, Off Licence News and Host magazine. Online, as well as the Politics of Drinking blog on this site, I post weekly for CPL Training.

Business advice

Although I’ve never run a pub, over the many years I’ve been writing for people who do run pubs I’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge from the best in the business. My contacts book is full of experts in every aspect pub operations, from keeping a good pint of beer and recruiting and training staff to financial controls and retail technology. 
If I don’t know the answer to a question I’ll know a man, or woman, who does. And there is advice here that is, of course, transferable to other small businesses.

Awards judging

I have been a judge for The Publican Awards since 1998 and was chair of judges for the Great British Pub Awards 2012. I have also judged for various beer and drinks awards.


Since turning freelance I have also been researching a book, provisionally titled The Politics of Drinking, which aims to analyse the structural changes that have taken place – and continue to take place – in the pub industry over the past 20 years in the context of government alcohol policy. Surprisingly, this has taken me into a variety of alien disciplines including political history, anthropology, sociology, medicine and statistics. As a result I feel I belatedly have a clue as to what has been going on. I have consequently been asked to speak on alcohol policy at several events, including the Westminster Forum

Portraits by Becky Netley

Phil's CV

Phil's Q&A with Journalert

Contact Phil For freelance rates etc



Writing... Journalism... Research... Awards Judging... Pub Business Advice... Pub Crawls
  Contact Phil