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John Wright

John Wright Biography


Over a period of nearly twenty-five years John has taken around six hundred forays

River Cottage – Expert Forager

I live in a village in West Dorset with my wife and two teenage daughters.

I am one of those very lucky people who have managed to turn a hobby (chiefly fungus hunting) into a job. Until recently I worked as a country cabinet maker (also a hobby which turned into a job, as it happens), now I spend my time foraging, and encouraging others to forage through my writing, forays, talks and, occasionally, tv and radio appearances. If you think this sounds at all fun then you are quite right.

Over the last couple of years I have taken another interest of mine - home-brewing - to absurd lengths. I have been writing an occasional blog in the Guardian on the subject and have written a book for River Cottage, unashameably called "Booze". Most fun of all has been beer-making. I have made some wonderful beers and I love the making process itself. Cheers!

Read more  open bio

John Wright is the author of the River Cottage Handbooks Mushrooms, Edible Seashore, Hedgerow and Booze and also The Naming of the Shrew, a book which explores the infuriating but fascinating topic of how and why plants, animals and fungi earn their Latin names. As well as writing for national publications, he often appeared on the River Cottage series. He gives lectures on natural history and every year he takes around fifty 'forays', many at River Cottage HQ, showing people how to collect food - plants from the hedgerow, seaweeds and shellfish from the shore and mushrooms from pasture and wood. Over a period of nearly twenty-five years he has taken around six hundred such forays. Fungi are his greatest passion and he has thirty-five years' experience in studying them.

John Wright is a member of the British Mycological Society and a Fellow of the Linnaean Society


What could possibly beat a cool pint of beer down the pub or a lazy glass of wine at your favourite bar? The answer is: home-brewed beer or your very own brand of wine. With this, the twelfth in the River Cottage Handbook series, the inimitable John Wright shows exactly how easy it is to get started. You don't need masses of space to make alcohol at home, and if you follow the simple instructions, you won't be faced with exploding bottles in the cellar. But don't forget, it's all about experimentation and finding out what works for you.

Booze is divided up by alcohol type, from beer, cider and wine to herbal spirits and fruit liqueurs. Each section starts with an introduction to the basic techniques, methods and other useful information, before giving recipes for delicious tipples like rhubarb wine, sparkling elderflower wine, mead, cherry plum wine, orange beer, lager, real ginger beer, sweet cider, zubrovka vodka, amber spirits, rose infusions, blackberry whiskey, pomegranate rum, chestnut liqueur, mulled cider and there's even a hangover cure thrown in for good measure.

Napolina Maille Thermapen

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