Friday, April 30, 2010

Brewer of the Week

For this week's Brewer of the Week we head back to the Garden of England, Kent, and to Gadd's, maker of some excellent beers which I thoroughly enjoyed back at Christmas 2008 when my family all got together at my brother's place in Ashford.

Name: Eddie Gadd
Brewery: Gadd's

How did you get into brewing as a career?

I was pulling pints in the Flounder & Firkin waiting for a tunneling contract to start and the head brewer, Steve Lawson, invited me to a days work cleaning casks. Been stuck ever since.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

The willingness to wear a hat, without doubt.

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

No. In fact I didn’t have a home: I was a young couch surfer.

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

The one I’m brewing, always. It’s such an engaging occupation that each and every brew is special. This remains true even after the 3000th time.

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

Dogbolter. I brewed an awful lot of it in 1994 and it was hard work, but great fun.

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

The one in my hand. Seriously: choosing which beer to drink at any particular moment is intuitive, so as long as you let that happen it’ll always be your favourite beer because if it’s hitting the spot there’s no room to think of any other.

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

Best practice within a particular location is so often encompassed within the authentic brew of the area that it’s difficult to ignore. However, we can control an awful lot more factors than we used to be able to so authenticity, from purely a flavour perspective, is becoming irrelevant. And I certainly have no truck with tradition or sticking to arbitrary rules. If it’s good beer and my customers want it, I couldn’t care less about authenticity.

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

John Smiths in Tadcaster. My old mate Iain works there and he’s learnt a great deal since he left Ramsgate, it’s time he taught me some things. Or Wye Valley Brewery because the head brewer is a genius.

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

Orval, but I’m glad I’m not that old.

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