Friday, December 10, 2010

Brewer of the Week

This week, Fuggled heads back to Blighty, to the place where my family spent many a holiday when I was young, Norfolk in East Anglia, to Norwich in particular. They used to say of Norwich that there was a pub for every day of the year, as well as a church for every week of the year. So with further ado, I give you......

Name: Jenni Nicholls
Brewery: Northcote Brewery


How did you get into brewing as a career?

I’m very new to brewing, this is my first commercial brewing business, I’ve always been interested in food and drink and it seemed like a natural progression to go from drinking to brewing. I wanted to have my own business and with the recent surge of interest in real ale in the UK, it seemed like the logical step.


What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

You have to be hard working, and thorough. Obviously traits like being inventive and having a good palate are useful, but you wont get anywhere if you’re not willing to put in the hours.

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

I did home brew, our first beer – Cow Tower – is based on a home brew recipe. It does change the final product to some degree, it will never be exactly the same, every brewing system does change the character of the beer.


If you did homebrew, do you still?

Not really, although I have my small pilot brewery system that I use to test recipes on.

What is your favourite beer that you brew?

I think Golden Spire is the favourite, I need to tweak it more to get it exactly how I want it, but it’s getting there.


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

I’ve never worked in another brewery.

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

Again, probably Golden Spire.

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

It depends, if you are calling your beer a certain style, ie a Trappist type beer, then it should be fairly true to style. However, IPA is so open to interpretation these days, you even get hoppy porters getting called a black IPA, that you can’t be too picky with names, you end up with hundreds of different style names that are really just a slight tweak away from something else that already exists.


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

There are a lot I’d like to work with, I think Hard Knott are very interesting they’re not worried about breaking some rules and creating really unusual and innovative beers.

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

Jaipur!

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