Life's peculiar twists and turns have led James Knott to a hand-built basement studio, where he and his friends tape online beer videos as the Better Beer Authority. Here's more about how an economist became a semi-pro drinker.

Life's peculiar twists and turns have led James Knott to a hand-built basement studio, where he and his friends tape online beer videos as the Better Beer Authority. Here's more about how an economist became a semi-pro drinker.

In college, I studied economics. Then I got a job in Washington, D.C., as an economist. I worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but I decided that I didn't want to do that anymore and that I wanted to work in TV or film.

I had a friend who worked at CNN, which was only two blocks away from the bureau. So I took a TV-production course at the local public-access station. When these video producers I was talking to saw I was actually taking a class, they were like, "You know, we actually need people in the newsroom."

I'd get off at 5 p.m., walk down the street and work the evening show. I would move the cameras around, give time cues, run scripts into the anchors, run the teleprompter. I started out as a production assistant, but then I worked my way up to video producer.

I worked at CNN for eight years, about seven doing "Larry King Live." After doing the show every day, I just felt like it seemed time to move back home and be a little closer to family. We moved to Columbus because my wife had an opportunity with work.

Three things I can't live without are beer, mountain biking and family.

When we started the Better Beer Authority, none of us were experts. Our goal was to learn about beer. I decided I wanted to do a talk show, but I didn't want to do it about anything serious. It's kind of like "Larry King Live" - just about beer.

What I love about beer is the social aspect of it. You can drink a couple and just hang out. I know you can do that with other beverages, but to me beer is just perfect.

Something people might not know about me is that I speak a little bit of Japanese. That's where I met my wife - in Japanese class. Hokkaido is the northernmost island in Japan, and I have a dream of going there and hitchhiking around.

The best advice I've ever received is turn the other cheek. That's from my dad, but I hear he stole it from Jesus.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com