Tennis and Beer (a Great Match)!
Sam Burke turns her passions into her professions; so she trained in theatre. Then as a tennis coach, wine-maker, LTA tutor and beer brewer!
Just finished bottling my latest brew of Shin Kickers. All 240 bottles of it! That’s how I spend my Mondays. Cleaning, filling bottles, capping and more cleaning. I started my microbrewery in 2017. I’ve always loved beer, well, I did grow up in a pub! Apparently, our Doctor then, it was the 1970’s, recommended I drink a small amount of Guinness every day, as it was a good source of iron. But after a year and some secret experimenting, I told my parents I preferred lager! So, my passion for beer began.
I’ve always tried to turn my passions into my professions. I'm really lucky to have been able to make a living from them! I like to be doing one thing while learning another. First it was theatre. So, while working in the West End in the evenings I was training to become a tennis coach! Then as a full-time coach, I learnt to become a winemaker and taster. Then as a wine maker I learnt to be a tennis tutor. And while being a tennis tutor, I learnt to become a brewer and start my own brewery!
I didn’t come from a tennis playing background. So, becoming a coach was very daunting. All the people on the courses were past players or had been coached and were so much better than me. I just loved tennis and loved to play! When I was younger, I used to run down to the park after school to play anyone who turned up! But it’s always good to scare yourself, work hard and try new things. I felt the same starting my brewery. Once I received the letter from the HMRC to say I could sell my beer, I was terrified…what if no one buys it…or no one likes it! I remember being behind someone at the checkout in Budgens and they were buying my beer! Should I say something? Tell them, that’s my beer! I made it! I was so excited. I didn’t say anything… when they had gone, I turned to the young guy on the till and said, “That’s my beer! I made it”. He looked at me with a big smile, “Sick” he said… That felt good.
So, my time now is divided, beer during the week and tennis tutoring at the weekend. It works really. There are always ups and downs. Brews not working, courses being cancelled, but mostly is great to be able to do the things you love. Better get ready for brewing Blockley Blonde tomorrow! No tennis tutoring at the moment, sadly with Covid 19, but hopefully soon. Then I’ll be back into the routine again at the weekends.
But I wonder what I’ll do next…? Hmmm….
Visit Burke's Beer at: www.burkesbeers.co.uk
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