Natalya Watson is an award-winning beer educator, Beer Sommelier and Advanced Cicerone® passionate about sharing her knowledge of beer with others because she believes that beer is simply too delicious to remain undiscovered. She’s the founder of Virtual Beer School, host of the ‘Beer with Nat’ podcast, and author of Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles.
She regularly teaches both online and in-person and judges at international beer competitions.
Natalya’s had a rather round about way into beer. After studying microbiology at UCLA, she pursued her Master’s in Public Health at UC Berkeley, focused on food safety and nutrition. After a short food policy internship in Washington, DC, she moved to New York City and worked in communications and marketing for an organic babyfood business.
Introduced to good beer by friends in graduate school, her interest in beer only continued to grow. Natalya visited bars, breweries, and bottle shops across NYC and beyond, even taking on a part-time bartending role, home brewing and blogging with friends, and formalising her beer education through the Cicerone Certification Program.
A few years later, Natalya was ready to see if she could work in beer full-time. So she took the plunge and relocated to London. She got her start working behind the bar at Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green. From there, she learned about an opportunity with Belgian brewery Duvel Moortgat and became their UK marketing manager, a role she held for the next three years.
During her time at Duvel, Natalya committed herself to developing her beer expertise, achieving both her Certified Cicerone and Beer Sommelier accreditations. She began teaching at the Beer & Cider Academy, judging at beer competitions, and launched her podcast Beer with Nat to help shine a spotlight on the incredible women in the beer industry that she was meeting along the way.
Focusing in on her passion for educating others, Natalya decided to set up her own business, Beer with Nat, centered around tastings, training, and consultancy.
As of 2020, Natalya is now an Advanced Cicerone® and a published author with her debut book, Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles, released by Kyle Books in March. A taster’s guide through the history of beer, it explores beer’s evolution one sip at a time. Learn more and order your copy here.
Why beer? Natalya calls it her “A. B. See.” philosophy.
Beer allows her to:
A: Achieve expertise. As a Beer Sommelier and Advanced Cicerone®, Natalya understands the value of these certifications in building confidence and credibility and is happy to support others at any stage in their journey.
B: Bring people together. From her earliest days exploring the beer scene in New York City, to meeting the Crafty Beer Girls in London, to tastings, trainings, beer festivals, or even just a pint at the pub with pals, beer brings people together. And connecting over a shared passion allows us to realise were all much more alike than we are different.
SEE: See the world. From America to England, Belgium to Germany, beer is global and the best way to understand most beer styles is to seek them out at their source. Following her passion for beer has led Natalya from local brewpubs, to behemoth breweries; from the underground cellars in Pilsen, to beer gardens in Munich, and the cafes in Belgium. Want to see the world? Let beer be your guide.
If you’re keen to learn, connect, and explore, get in touch for a tasting or training.