Tribute – Bryan Bets

Bryan, an active member of CAMRA’s Richmond & Hounslow branch and the London Tasting Panel, died unexpectedly and very suddenly of cancer in February at age 61. He was universally liked and admired for his great talents, achievements and loving, kind and generous personality.

He spent his happy early years exploring the woods and fields around Weston-Super-Mare with his younger sister Jacqui and, being a bright boy, gained a place at Warwick University from where he graduated with a degree in electronic engineering. He became a journalist and wrote for many different publications, including Computer Weekly, the Register and some national newspapers.

For a time he worked in Hanover for Cebit, the computer fair. Among his hobbies was Viking re-enactment events and at such an event, in Oerlinghausen in 2000, he met Helma, his future wife. She joined him in Brentford in 2001 and they married in 2009. Son Roric was born in 2010 and daughter Elfie in 2013.

From 2016 Bryan worked as editor in chief and principal analyst at the research company, Freeform Dynamics, commenting on the latest developments in the world of IT.

Bryan appreciated real ale from an early age and was always on the lookout for new craft beers to try. He became expert in the subject, contributing to national magazines and websites. He had his own blog site using the tag #BeerViking. Christine Cryne, chair of CAMRA’s London Tasting Panel said, “Bryan and Helma joined the London Tasting Panel many years ago. Although Helma stood down when she became pregnant, Bryan continued and was a very active member, contributing many, many beer assessments and descriptions for the Good Beer Guide each year. Bryan also qualified as a CAMRA beer judge and employed his expertise on both CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain judging panels and others, such as the World Beer Awards. He became a very good judging panel chair and used this skill at CAMRA’s first Home Brew Competition and, more recently, at CAMRA’s Champion Beer of London competition. I, and all members of the London Tasting Panel, will miss him, his great palate and beer knowledge.”

Bryan often arrived at the CAMRA branch meetings on his bike, a demonstration of his commitment to environmental issues.

All at the branch were deeply shocked by this much loved man’s passing and send his family our heartfelt condolences.
John Austin