Friday, September 10, 2010

Brewer of the Week

This week we head back across the Atlantic to Northern Ireland, and to a brewery which has recently featured on The Beer Nut.

Name: Mark Pearson
Brewery: Clanconnel Brewing Company

How did you get into brewing as a career?

The blame has to sit fairly and squarely with the Appollo Bryggerie, Copenhagen. I was travelling quite a bit to Denmark with my job and this was a favourite place especially at Christmas, with their selection of ales. It was my inspiration!

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

I think you have to be a little bit mad!!! But no seriously, I think you have to be tenacious and inventive in how you go about your work and how you differentiate the beers you brew from the variety in the market place.

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

I had brewed on and off for a few years – I’ve converted one recipe to full scale production…with a little tweaking and a little magic along the way.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

No as much as I would like to I’m too busy with brewing and bottling as well as still working full time in my ‘day job’.

What is your favourite beer to brew?

It has to be my new beer – McGrath’s Irish Red. The aromas of the mashed malts and boiled wort are very rich and almost opulent in terms of the sweet toffee and heavy caramel.

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

No I’ve never worked in another brewery.

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

McGrath’s Irish Red.

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

I think the flavor profile from the hops and malt has to be consistent over and over. If you use good quality hops and malt then consistency in terms of ingredients can be achieved. However this has to be balanced by consistency in the brewing methods used. Temperature control and good hygiene is a must to ensure that the product is as consistent as you can possibly make it. If both these are achieved then you can stand over your beer as an authentic product, that is consistent from gyle to gyle. Plus it helps when you throw in that little bit of magic that makes your beer unique.

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

I’d love to work with the guys at Harviestoun, I’d love to know the secrets behind Old Engine Oil……..

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

Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil – I think it’s a fantastic beer, very smooth and tastes great either cold or at room temperature.

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