Friday, March 8, 2013

Brewer of the Week

For this first Brewer of the Week interview of 2013 we head down to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, a group of islands that whenever I see pictures of them remind me of my home back in the Hebrides, but with penguins as an added bonus. This year I want to have as many interviews as possible with brewers working in remote locations, plying their trade for their local community, so if you know of any such breweries, drop me a line. Anyway, on with the interview...

Name: Jeff Halliday
Brewery: Falkland Beerworks

How did you get into brewing as a career?

By realizing that brewing commercial quality beer can be achieved with the limited resources that I have in the Falklands.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

Be open minded with your recipes and understand that what some people like may not always be what you like.

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

I do not rate myself as a professional brewer; I have only been brewing commercially since March 2012, and in small quantities after gaining my Certificate in Practical Brewing from Brewlab in Sunderland. I have never got into home brewing and all the recipes that I use are my own designs gained from knowledge learnt at Brewlab.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

Never have done but I do keep the odd poly pin for my own consumption.

What is your favorite beer to brew?

This would be Longdon Pride best bitter. It is named after one of the mountains near Stanley where during the conflict between Britain and Argentina in 1982 there was a large battle where many members of the Third Battalion Parachute Regiment were killed or injured to help liberate us from the Argentines. Whenever I brew this beer it helps me to remember the sacrifice that many brave men and women paid so that we can live in our home under the flag that we desire.

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

I have never worked in another brewery, although I spent a day while at Brewlab with the head brewer Rob from Mordue Brewery I can't remember what we were brewing, it was a fun day.

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

This is quite hard to answer, I like them all but I must admit that I do prefer the darker beers that I brew, so I would have to say Black Tarn, which is a 3.9% dark mild. I have yet to sample my Peat Cutter Oatmeal Stout, which will not be ready for a couple of weeks. I may have a new favorite.

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

I totally believe in authenticity throughout the entire brewing process, but do not let this blinker you into not experimenting from time to time.

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

I would like to do something with Shepherd Neame Brewery, as they have already designed a beer with a Falkland theme called Falkland Ale. This was brewed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Falklands from Argentine occupation. All profits go to two separate Falkland veteran charities, SAMA 82 and Falklands Veterans Foundation.

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

Budweiser. Not because I like it, but because I would be a very rich man by now.

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