Friday, May 6, 2011

Brewer of the Week

In the North Atlantic there sits an archipelago of more than 6000 islands, covering some 120,000 square miles - an area roughly the size of New Mexico, half the size of France and 10 times the size of Maryland. Today we head to the ninth largest of those islands for our Brewer of the Week, the Isle of Man, which sits between Great Britain and Ireland.

Name: Mike Cowbourne
Brewery: Okells Brewery

How did you get into brewing as a career?

Did Microbiology for a B.Sc at Newcastle University, coudnt decide on a job and saw an M.Sc in Brewing at Birmingham University, the rest is History

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

Passion for Beer and good taste buds

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

Not Homebrewed since University and never scaled any recipes up

If you did homebrew, do you still?


What is your favourite beer that you brew?

My favourite Okells beer is Alt

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

Worked for Wilsons in Manchester and Watney Mann in the East End of London at the old Watney Mann Paulin Brewery, cant say I enjoyed any of the Watney Beers,

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

Got to be Okells Alt again its not as easy drinking as some of the others it’s a more challenging beer

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

There no point in copying beers and if it’s a style then stick to the style of brewing but I think you can introduce twists on the flavour

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

I’m not sure at all about this collaborative brewing. To me it says I’m not good enough to stand on my own 2 feet I need help

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



  1. Mike gave the guest speech when we had the CAMRA AGM in the Isle of Man last year. He is very hairy.

    Seems like a man of few words and firm beliefs too.

  2. One gets the impression he was rather busy.


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