Friday, November 5, 2010

Brewer of the Week

After a couple of weeks break, our Brewer of the Week series returns today with a trip to Grantham in Lincolnshire....

Name: Richard Chamberlin
Brewery: Brewster’s Brewery

How did you get into brewing as a career?

Thankfully through a dislike of my university course in Retail Management! After 1 year of being geared up to become essentially a fashion buyer, I decided to return home to find something better. Fortunately, the pub back home where I was working was also frequented by Sara and Sean from Brewsters. When they heard that I was looking for some part time work they offered cask washing at the brewery. I jumped at the chance and it has gone from there!

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

I think the ability to brew consistently is most important. There is no point producing the world’s best beer if you cannot replicate it over and over again. It’s important from the consumer’s point of view that brewers are consistent. It all helps in keeping the beer drinkers drinking your brews.

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

I’ve never homebrewed! It is something I’m looking into though as at the moment all of my ideas are put into full scale production which can sometimes be a little daunting, particularly if I’m going to be using brand new hop varieties, for instance.

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

Brewsters Pale Ale for sure. This beer contains some fantastic hop varieties. It makes me smile every time I get to brew it/sample it/ drink it.

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

Brewsters has been my only brewery!

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

Brewsters Hophead. At 3.6% ABV, it’s the perfect session beer but has depth of flavour from the copious amounts of hops used. It satisfies a couple of ideals; to be able to have more than 2 pints without falling over and also the hophead in me!

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

It is important to consider authenticity when developing new beers and use that as a base to build on. I think that brewing authentic beers is no longer enough to satisfy modern craft beer drinkers. It’s good to take a style and put our own spin on it and take advantage of the fantastic variety of ingredients that are available to brewers at the moment.

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

On a worldwide scale, I’d love to brew a beer with Brooklyn Brewery. The brewmaster Garret Oliver, I think, brews amazing beers with such complexity of flavours. On a more local scale I think collaborating with the beer nuts from Brewdog would be awesome. The brews they conjure up blow my mind! They are true beer lovers who never fail to surprise me.

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

Without a doubt Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the beer that created a blueprint for the use of the fantastic aromatic hops from the US. Some defining brews seem to fade into the past but this one has stood the test of time and will continue to do so as long as the brewery produces it!

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