Posts tagged ‘brewer’

April 18, 2012

Q&A: Kelly Ryan

I think that this weeks Q&A will be a firm favourite across the beer world, as we catch up with possibly the busiest man in beer. Formerly of Thornbridge, Fyne Ales and Epic; and now moving onto new prospects, we hear from Kelly Ryan.

 

Your brewing ethos…

Passion, Pride, Fun, Flavour, Quality

Beer epiphany…

I don’t think I’ve had just one beer epiphany, but sitting in a Flavour Chemistry class with my old professor, Jean-Pierre Dufour (who was instrumental in the development of the brewing division of the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium) here in NZ and tasting through Duvel, Chimay Red, Chimay White and Chimay Blue was definitely a big part of it. JP was ridiculously passionate and taught me loads about beer, brewing and fermentation science. It was his palate, however, that never ceased to amaze me. He inspired me to taste everything I could and to describe as much as I could. I still remember that first sip of Duvel. The effervescence and that Champagne-like mousse coupled with the delicate spice of the yeast. So damn good!

Best beer find of the last year…

Anchorage Love Buzz Saison – A heady mix of peppery goodness, the delightful tartness of the Saison yeast, a hint of Brettanomyces for good measure all tied together with an undercurrent of light oakiness from the French oak Pinot Noir barrels that it’s aged in. An elegant and fascinating beer and the type that should be served up to beer and wine lovers alike.

Sounds heard in the brewery…

If I’m mucking about doing trial brews, it could be anything from some good NZ reggae (Katchafire), Fat Freddy’s Drop (NZ Reggae/Dub/Jazz/Roots) or something a bit more out there like some crazy industrial Skinny Puppy or KMFDM or even some Tool, A Perfect Circle or Pink Floyd. A bit of everything really! The Beatles often pop up on the playlist.

If I wasn’t brewing I’d be…

Dead! Either that or teaching brewing :)

Before I was brewing I was…

A student on the road to being a brewer… I was studying Microbiology and Food Science degrees and got into a trainee brewer programme with a big brewery straight out of university. It was meant to be!

Favourite thing about what I do …

I think it’s probably similar to most brewers… I love recipe development. Envisaging a beer and a culmination of flavours and aromas. That mixing together of diverse and interesting ingredients and that point when it all comes to fruition and you taste the finished product. I love that.

Greatest brewing achievement to date…

A tough question! I enjoy the fact that people have had enjoyment out of what I do for a living. The odd award here and there is always exciting as well.

Things you miss about the UK…

This could be a long list! I miss being able to go to a local market or supermarket and get incredible cheeses for a decent price. I miss the snow. I miss foraging. I miss the pub we used to run and live in, The Coach and Horses in Dronfield. I miss Mark Taylor’s incredible food (the ex-chef of the Coach). I miss Loch Fyne up in Scotland where I started my UK brewing experience. I miss the Peak District. I miss our great friends. I miss the huge choice of beers that are available in the pubs of Sheffield. I miss Thornbridge Kipling. I miss the friendliness of the Yorkshire and Derbyshire folk.

What could we learn from NZ…

Be more proud of your local fare. It’s fantastic. I think the cuisine of the UK is awesome, so many interesting dishes and flavours beyond the usual roast meat and fish n’ chips.

Which brewers do you look up to…

Thornbridge (of course!), Dark Star, Hawkshead, Brewdog, Lovibonds, Fyne Ales, William Bros, Fullers, Adnams, Sharp’s, Brooklyn (US), Odell (US), Dogfish Head (US), Sierra Nevada (US), Russian River (US) Sprig and Fern (NZ), Feral (AUS), De Molen (NED), Birrificio Italiano (ITA)… in fact this list could go on forever!

Pub heaven…

That’s easy! The Coach and Horses in Dronfield. Surrounding by the hum of conversation by the locals and sitting down to a leg of rabbit done in a cider and mustard sauce and matched with a bottle of Maredsous 10 from the fridge. It would have to be snowing just a bit as well.

Pub hell…

A cold, empty pub with nothing good on tap, a menu from a freezer bag and bar staff that spend all their time on their phones and glare at you icily when you order a drink.

Favourite local pub…

I’ve just moved from Auckland and am currently working out of a great craft beer pub in Hamilton called House on Hood. A good beer selection on tap and friendly staff, so it’s an easy one!

Favourite non local pub…

I’m a big fan of The Malthouse in Wellington. Awesome beer selection, knowledgeable staff and it’s nice and relaxed. The pizzas are pretty tasty as well!

What advice would you give any aspiring brewer…

Work hard, be prepared to start at the bottom, work even harder, clean everything that you can see or reach in the brewery and then work hard some more. When you’re not working hard, read everything you can on brewing, expand your horizons and taste as many foods and beverages as you can, build up your palate and your understanding of flavour and aroma combinations and never be afraid to innovate. Have fun along the way and talk to as many brewers as you can!

What’s on the horizon…

In New Zealand, usually the ocean (see what I did there!). Doing some brewery consultancy work at the moment which sees my go from NZ to Canada to NZ to Fiji, then off to judge at the World Beer Cup in San Diego and check out the awesome Craft Brewer’s Conference there. After that it’s back to NZ to install and commission a new brewpub in Hamilton that I’m going to be plying my trade as a head brewer. Exciting times ahead!!

Finally, can you tell us a joke about beer…

Did you hear about that brewer who didn’t like Brettanomyces in his beer? He said it tasted Orval! Yeah, I’m pretty crap at beer jokes.

March 21, 2012

Q&A: Sara Carter, Brewer, Triple fff Brewing Company

Pub Diaries Q&A this week comes from Sara Carter of Triple fff Brewing in Hampshire.

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Which 5 words sum up your brewing ethos…

Fun, Creative, Local, Excellence, Value

First beer experience…

I grew up in a pub in Yorkshire so beer flows through the veins! My first beer memory was helping my Dad check the beer after he had cleaned the lines from when I was about 10 years old

Best beer find of the last year…

Williams Bros – Profanity Stout
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What sounds are to be heard in the brewery…

The steam boiler, pumps, Rammstein and baa baa black sheep… don’t ask.

If I wasn’t brewing I’d be…

Drinking too much, seriously!

Before I was brewing I was…

A live music sound engineer for BBC Radio 1 & 2

Favourite thing about what I do…

Developing new recipes, using ingredients that I haven’t used before, then the anticipation of the first taste.

Greatest brewing achievement to date…

From a personal point of view it would be winning Overall Champion at a London and South East homebrewing competition in 2008 with my Bombay IPA

Which brewers do you look up to…

Derek Prentice of Fuller Smith & Turner, who has such passion for the craft and is a fantastic brewer.

Pub heaven…

Warm and welcoming with a decent selection of hand pulled ales in top condition and there’s always a seat next to the open log fire. Beautiful view of our superb countryside. Oh and an old man smoking a pipe in the corner. I like a pipe.

Pub hell…

Loud music, loud locals, fruit machines, mass produced tasteless ales, no loo paper, hand dryer doesn’t work – oh and it’s Karaoke night.

What advice would you give any aspiring brewer…

Learn as much from the internet and books as you can then brew at home and enter competitions. Prepare yourself for more cleaning than brewing!

What’s on the horizon…

Triple fff ales finally in bottles and five new recipes planned for 2012

February 27, 2012

Q&A: Flo Vialan, Purity Brewing Co

Pub Diaries Q&A has a Gallic twist this week with words from Flo Vialan, head brewer at Purity.

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Your blurb…

I was born in Lyon into a family of butchers and the eldest of three children. I studied in France, starting with agronomy then finally graduating in bio-technologies and fermenting processes. After two years brewing in the French Alps I decided to spend some time in England for a change and new challenge. What began as a few months work experience brewing cask ale ended up with me staying for the past eight years. Along the way I met my wife Sarah, a beautiful Cornish lady, and we have two wonderful children. When I’m not brewing I play rugby for Stratford-upon-Avon – I’ve been playing rugby for the past 22 years. I’ve been the Head Brewer at Purity Brewing Co for 5 years.

Which 5 words sum up your brewing ethos…

Passionate / Focused / Perfectionist / Artistic / Craft

Beer epiphany…

I had some terrible early experiences with beer, but at the risk of sounding clichéd my most memorable beer experience was when I first came to England and had a pint of Timothy Taylor ‘Landlord’. It was a beautiful pint.

Best beer find of the last year…

‘Postman’s Knock’ porter from Hobsons Brewery – it is outstanding in its category.

What sounds are to be heard in the brewery…

Pumps, barrels banging and brewer’s whistling.

If I wasn’t brewing I’d be…

A farmer.

Before I was brewing I was…

A typical student. Beer, rugby, women.

Your favourite thing about what you do …

When the whole team comes together in a feat of harmony to brew the best beer we can.

Your greatest brewing achievement to date…

Mad Goose winning the gold medal in its category at the SIBA National Awards 2009.

Which breweries do you look up to…

Timothy Taylor and St Austell for their consistent, flavoursome beers.

Pub heaven…

Warm welcome, no music, a log fire and a good range of quality pints behind the bar.

Pub hell…

No real ale, loud pop music, flashy lights and fruit machines.

Favourite local pub…

The Hollybush in Alcester

Favourite non local pub…

The Merchants in Rugby

What advice would you give any aspiring brewer…

Listen to your customers and don’t cut corners.

What’s on the horizon…

Building a bigger brew house.

Finally, can you tell us a joke about beer…

A French brewer, a Scottish brewer and a German brewer are in the pub having a few beers. They all go to the toilet together. When finished, the Frenchman goes to wash his hands and takes lots of soap and paper towels proudly stating “in France we are very hygienic”. Next the Scotsman walks up to the sink, takes a tiny bit of soap and one paper towel and says “in Scotland we’re hygienic but we’re also cost efficient”. Lastly the German finishes and marches straight past the sink and out of the door saying “in Germany we don’t piss on our hands”.

April 1, 2011

Truman’s Ghost

You can see the Ghosts of London’s pub past around every corner. Derelict pubs boarded and decaying, converted pubs stripped of their past and signs of long defunct Brewers etched in stone and glass. It’s rare that once gone these ghosts can pass back but I’ve being seeing apparitions in Vauxhall and Clerkenwell in the form of Truman’s Runner.

Copyright: Truman's

A few years ago I sat with English in a pub having one of those conversations that you tend to have after a few pints. It revolved around reviving names like Truman’s. The beauty of such an idea being that the name already has recognition for many and that name is on old Truman pubs across East London. As with most of these conversations it’s lost in the mind fog that you tend to get by pint 5 or 6. Then years later and I’m reminded of this conversation by the first apparition in Vauxhall’s, Black Dog and again in the Peasant, Clerkenwell.

It passed me by that the Truman story had started a new chapter in 2010 and judging by Runner, a solid sessionable ale, it won’t be the last. For more info see their website.

Copyright: Truman's

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