James Atkinson – Biography

Australian drinks journalist James Atkinson is founder, producer and host of the Drinks Adventures podcast.

A lover of all fine drinks, James has contributed to publications including Good FoodSelectorGourmet Traveller WineHalliday, The New Brewer,, Qantas Travel Insider, Virgin Australia Voyeur, Beer & Brewer, Drinks Trade and National Liquor News.

He helmed the Smart Sipping column for Executive Style until its COVID-related demise in 2020. The column featured in both the digital and print versions of leading Australian mastheads Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, which have a combined audience of 14 million people.

James Atkinson is a Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier) and has judged beer at the Sydney Royal Beer & Wine Show and the Independent Beer Awards since 2017.

He is Australia’s only dual winner of the trophy for Best Media at the Australian International Beer Awards (2017 and 2021).

James Atkinson with House of Suntory master blender Shinji Fukuyo
James Atkinson with House of Suntory master blender Shinji Fukuyo – picture courtesy LP Commercial

With Drinks Adventures, James won the won the inaugural prize for Best Wine Blog or Podcast at the Wine Communicator Awards 2021, and he was shortlisted for the IWSC Spirits Communicator Of The Year 2023 Trophy.

His entry into the drinks industry came in 2011 when he was appointed editor of the influential Australian drinks industry publication, TheShout.

James Atkinson on Japanese sake for Halliday wine magazine

In 2015 he became editor of beer industry publication Brews News, while also embarking on his freelance drinks writing career. He launched his own title, Drinks Adventures, in 2018.

James is available for expert comment on drinks, and has appeared on Afternoons with Josh Szeps on ABC Radio Sydney, The Conversation Hour on ABC Radio Melbourne and NSW Country Hour on ABC Local Radio.

He is also a frequent guest on other drinks podcasts such as WhiskyCast, Radio Brews News, Bottled In China, Uncorked Whisky Sessions, Unreserved Wine Talk, The Beer Healer Interviews and more.

James Atkinson picking up the Beer Media trophy at the Australian International Beer Awards 2021

James Atkinson is in demand as Australia’s leading drinks copywriter, working on campaigns for clients including Dan Murphy’s, Wild Turkey, Campari, Lion Beer Australia, Vintage Cellars, James Squire, Little Creatures and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits.

James lives in Australia’s craft beer capital, Marrickville, in Sydney’s Inner West. He hates talking about himself in the third person, but feels it is necessary for SEO purposes.

“A little more on my origin story… I completed a Broadcast Journalism degree at Charles Sturt University in 1999. The first 12 years of my career were rather eclectic, producing and hosting community radio and reporting for publications variously encompassing music, business, sport and general news.

It’s fair to say I haven’t looked back since lucking upon my first drinks reporting gig. Who wouldn’t want to earn a living from tasting the world’s finest beverages and meeting their creators?”

James Atkinson

Contact James here or by emailing hello at drinksadventures dot com dot au.

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