Jim Oldfield was made redundant from the Johnston Press title last year, but together with his partner Alex Vessey, who was a reporter on the title and also made redundant, has started his own media business, publishing real ale news at Hand-Pumped.co.uk.
Speaking to Journalism.co.uk Vessey said inspiration for the new venture came after Oldfield had been reading a CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) magazine in a pub when he read about the growth of breweries in the UK.
She added that having then immersed herself in the active brewing community online, she discovered a strong community within the industry which mirrored her previous work in the local press.
"It's a community again. The beer and brewing industry is very much a community, really quite tight and close and everybody knows everybody, so it's almost like writing for your home town paper, it's got that sort of feel to it. Which makes it quite easy in a way, as well as the challenge of it being something completely different and alien to me at least it's still got a nice feel about it."
With Oldfield having taught himself CSS and with the help of a designer the pair built the website themselves, experiencing what Vessey described as having been "an enormously steep learning curve".
"We've got to the stage now where we are getting the hits, it's all been organic, word-of-mouth, Twitter and Facebook and that sort of thing."
A few months in and the site is recording around 35,000 pageviews she said, with more than 10,000 visits a month.
Currently the business is focused on an advertising model through a PR service for brewers which is kept "quite distinct and different" from the editorial content published, she added.
"So editorial's uncomprimised. Meanwhile we're funded by brewers taking PR with us which we put on the site in a separate place on the site but also into the mainstream media as part of our PR business."
And the pair have not turned their back on print, she said.
"We like print very much and ideally ... I think there's still a big market in print, we both do, and our research and our experiences tell us that there is, it's a question of resources at the minute.
"... I think when we get the site growing a little bit more we would certainly consider making a print product to go with it."