Showing posts with label interviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interviews. Show all posts

Friday, April 16, 2010

Brewer of the Week

This week's Brewer of the Week is really the epitome of every homebrewer's dream, becoming head brewer at a craft brewery - though I am not sure how many would cross the Atlantic to do so!

Name: Stephen Schmidt
Brewery: Head Brewer, Meantime Brewing Co. LTD


How did you get into brewing as a career?

I as so many other craft brewers in America was a fanatical, obsessive homebrewer (brewing about 2X+ a week). I managed to impress the owners of a brew pub opening it’s doors in my hometown (Syracuse, NY USA.) to bring me on as the assistant brewer.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

To me the most important characteristic is having a passion for brewing. If you have that it will also drive your motivation to learn, your creativity and your attention to detail... all crucial to being a successful brewer.

Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?

I guess my answer to question 1 covers part of this one. There are a few of my recipes that have made it into full scale production (Barley Wine, Porter, American IPA, etc). However those were at the previous breweries I brewed at. However I might slip one into the line-up at Meantime in the future, we’ll have to wait and see.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

If you can consider a 5 hectoliter batch homebrewing ......then YES!

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

Currently it is the London Porter, love that beer. However with the coming of warm weather the Helles is starting to gain in it’s preference.

If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?

I have worked in 3 other breweries (Empire Brewing Co., Cambridge House Brew Pub & Redhook (Portsmouth, NH)). For Empire Brewing my favorite brew was the K?lsch. Brewing a clean yet flavorful lighter colored beer really builds your skills as a brewer. Not to mention 16 years ago that was an unheard of style in the US. For Cambridge House my favorite was the American IPA. Being a hop head and also putting a twist on the style I combined the best malts of the UK with the best hops of the US.. the result ..well I liked to call it a “New England IPA”. It even got a runner up in the GBBF 2 years ago for the International section. Hands down though the most fun brew for me was brewing the Treblehook Barley Wine for Redhook. Brewing a double mash, first runnings barley wine, with 10 hop additions on a top notch 120 hl brew house was well...... a brewers dream come true!

Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?

See question 5.


How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?

To me it depends on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to represent a traditional style then I think authenticity is very important. However if you are brewing anything else to me it is all about creating the flavor, aroma and visual profile you want. That means calling upon all of your tools and bag of brewers tricks to accomplish that goal, regardless of tradition. As far as ingredients, you should always use the highest quality ingredients available... no compromises!

If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?

That is a tough question.. Currently I have been in talks with my friends at the Smuttynose Brewery in Portsmouth NH USA (where I used to live). We have an idea about doing one connecting New England and the UK, we’ll have to wait and see how that works out. There are also some other of my US brewing friends who have expressed an interest so not sure, but once the new brewery is up and running there could be a few collaborations.

Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?

That is easy... Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!!! Those guys are the best brewers in the world as far as I am concerned.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Brewer of the Week

This week's Brewer of the Week is based in Fredericksburg, here in Virginia.


Name: Lyle C. Brown (on the left of the picture)
Brewery: Battlefield Brewing Co. at The Pub


How did you get into brewing as a career?

Began as a homebrewer (26 years!) and BJCP Judge (Master rank). Won a silver medal in the GABF Pro-Am in 2008.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

Passion for the beer. One a brewer’s wages, that is the only thing that will keep you going on one of those “everything went wrong in the brewery days” where you end up doing 14+ hours to brew one batch.

Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew?

If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production? Yes. All but one of our recipes at Battlefield have been brewed as homebrew at least once before being brewed at the brewpub.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

Absolutely. And frequently.

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

Coral Sea Kolsch

If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?

I have only brewed professionally as a guest brewer, and only at 2 breweries. I enjoy the higher degree of automation and sophistication of their systems.

Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?

Chancellor American Pale Ale

How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?

It depends on what your are trying to brew. If you want to brew a true to style traditional Kolsch style ale, you need to be as authentic as you can, but if you are brewing an APA or even an ESB there is more room for variation. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with brewing something generally in a particular style but intentionally going out of traditional parameters, such as adding NW hops to an ESB (which is being done by some brewers in England now).

If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?

Schlenkerla because I love rauchbier!

Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?

Tripel Karmeleit.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Brewer of the Week

For this week's Brewer of the Week we head to the East Midlands, and regional brewery .

Name: Mark Tetlow
Brewery: Everard's



How did you get into brewing as a career?

I started out to be a dentist but it wasn't for me, so I moved to food science. During my hols I worked in a brewery and decided to do a brewing degree, so went to Heriot Watt and did a BSc in Brewing and Micro biology. I have always been more interested in the science side of things and of course I like beer, so brewing seemed a natural choice

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

Passion, you have to love what you do. Although you are a scientist who applies their knowledge you also have to be an artist to create something new and unique.

Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?

No, I never homebrewed. I did have a go at making wine and I also like cooking, so food and drink production in one form or another seems to inspire me

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

Sunchaser. Its unusual being brewed with lager malt and hops but fermented with ale yeast. You get a very light beer with lots of fruity characters from the ale yeast. Refreshing and flavoursome

If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?

Marstons Pedigree. I loved the opportunity to work with traditional union sets to produce a true burton ale from the heartlands of the British brewing industry

Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?

Sunchaser when I want a fresh clean flavoursome beer. Original when I want a beer to savour by a warm fire reading a good book

How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?

Authenticity isn't important, its about being innovative and creating something that people want to drink. After all I would suspect that a lot of the older beers when first brewed were cloudy and sour hence the use of herbs and spices to mask the off flavours. The brewing industry has a lot of history but we shouldn't keep looking back we need to look forward. If we spend too much time trying to make it what it used to be like we lose todays drinker, who as a rule doesn't care about the past, they want something that represents now.

If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?

I would love to work with some of the American micro's as they seem to be prepared to experiment and push the boundaries. I love what they are doing with extreme beers, it suddenly makes beer exciting, not a drink that old men in flat caps drink. They are not hamstrung by history !

Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?

It's not been invented yet but beer that appeals to women and they can claim its virtues for themselves. As brewers we are not targeting half the population, we are still too chauvinistic. We're missing a trick.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Brewer of the Week

This week's Brewer of the Week brews one of my favourite tipples whenever I head home to Scotland, the magnificent Fraoch.


Name: Scott Williams
Brewery: Williams Bros Brewing Co.

How did you get into brewing as a career?

Homebrew. I have a homebrew shop in Glasgow which I took over from my dad via my brother years ago. I work in the shop one day a week and chat to brewers – sharing ideas and talking about malt n hops etc.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

To love beer. To be open to variety and seemingly opposing styles.

Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?

Yes. Loads.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

Yes – but truth be told mainly I brew at work.

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

Ask me which of my children I love most why don't you.

If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?

Didn't. But would like to brew in Japan.

Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?

See #5.

How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?

I feel very strongly that using authentic ingredients is important – i.e. using heather picked in Scotland and in the right way – picking pine and spruce at the right time etc. However. I brew a lager using a single stage mash and lager yeast (ferments at 8 degrees), Saaz hops blended with bobek and Amarillo – Belgian lager malt and then lager the beer for 90 days. So using the word "lager" is correct and unusual, however non-traditional in that the ingredients are a blend of influences.

If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?

Lets say 'Little Creatures' – sounds like a fantastic place to hang out and watch the Ocean after I have been kicked out of the brewhouse for interfering.

Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?

For the sake of my family I would have to say Carlsberg – nothing to do with the beer but could do with the distribution (and dosh). Just think how many fantastic microbrewies/brewpubs I could build with those resources.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Feature - Brewer of the Week

A new feature here on Fuggled for the coming Fridays is a questionnaire for brewers around the world, first up is Jeff from Lovibonds.



Name: Jeff Rosenmeier, Founder / Head Brewer
Brewery: Lovibonds Brewery, Henley-on-Thames, England


How did you get into brewing as a career?

I started home brewing about 15 years ago after a friend of mine showed me that you could brew really excellent beer at home. I got pretty burned out from an IT career and decided to try a second career in brewing by starting Lovibonds Brewery in 2005.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

I think if a brewer wants to make clean and consistent beer, he needs to be a clean freak. One of my heroes is Charlie Papazian, as he taught me to brew through his writing and I think his Relax, Don’t Worry attitude is also a key characteristic. I find that if I am the clean freak, it helps me relax!

Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?

I’d say all my commercial recipes started as home brew recipes. We still test all new beers on a pilot level (100l) and probably always will.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

I don’t homebrew per say anymore. I still play on the pilot kit and a majority of production happens on a 700l plant, which to me still feels like homebrew.


What is your favourite beer that you brew?

I really love to brew our Henley Dark, which is a Smoked Porter. I traveled to Alaska about 10 years ago and was really inspired by the things that Alaskan Brewing Co. were doing in Juneau, including their famous Smoked Porter. I still hand smoke about 5% of the grist for this beer with lovely smelling beech wood on my Weber BBQ. When you combine that with the other malts in the mash tun on a cold winter morning, it’s pretty easy to understand why brewers do what they do.

If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?

n/a


Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?

This changes all the time depending on my mood really. I’m currently working on a keg of Henley Amber (Pale Ale) in the kegerator and it is tasting pretty good. I like the fact that this beer is only 3.4% abv, yet the flavours haven’t been watered down. Drinkability is the key to me for every beer we brew. If you don’t want to have that 3rd pint, then I haven’t done my job properly. I find this beer very drinkable at the moment.

How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?

To me it is very important that each of our beers has a story, to me that is authenticity. I’m maybe not the most creative person in the world, so most of my beers are inspired by something else that I have experienced, but with my own little spin on it.

If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?

Tough one really…there are some great breweries here in the UK and I’ve made a lot of friends and hope to be doing some collaborations with them in the near future. A bit further a field, I would love to do something with Lagunitas. I love their attitude and love all of the beers that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting thus far.

Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?

Brew Dog’s Punk IPA . Punk IPA, because I think it gives the big finger (or fingers) to the establishment that has made IPA in the UK into an insipid drink without any hops or alcohol. Brew Dog have their naysayers, but I cannot say enough about how I admire what those guys are doing for the UK craft brewing movement. Obviously, their beers rock as well.

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

I have to admit that there really are not that many things that I miss as a result of this pandemic. I am sure that comes as something of a ...

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