Friday, March 22, 2013

Brewer of the Week

For today's Brewer of the Week interview we are staying in the South Hemisphere, though in a part of the world distinctly warmer than the Falkland Islands. In another first for Fuggled, we head round the Pacific to New South Wales, in Australia. So without further ado, I give you Chris from 4 Pines Brewing Company...

Name: Chris Willcock
Brewery: 4 Pines

How did you get into brewing as a career?

A science degree and a healthy appreciation for alcohol. I actually really fell in love with beer whilst wagging seminars during a genetics convention in Freemantle. The Little Creatures Brewery had me hooked.

What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?

An acceptance that there is always more that can be learnt about beer and brewing, no matter your experience.

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 homebrew a little, but never all-grain until I learned the tricks in my first professional job. Most of my recipe development since then has been done on the job. At 4 Pines we have the fantastic luxury of a 500L pub system to complement our new 5000L brewhouse up the road in Brookvale. We have a lot of opportunities to experiment with new ingredients and recipes.

If you did homebrew, do you still?

Any homebrew I do these days tends to be just for fun. Often with friends and pretty unscientific.

What is your favourite beer to brew?

Anything new is always the most fun.

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

I worked at the old and new Bluetongue Breweries in Newcastle and Warnervale. I still believe the Pilsner is an exceptional beer.

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

I honestly enjoy each of the 4 Pines core range equally. But if you’re making me choose between them, the Pale Ale is probably my beer of choice at this very moment. In fact, I think I’ve got a few cold in the fridge…

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

Attention to detail on method and ingredients definitely makes a huge difference to the final beer quality. I’m a big proponent of good yeast management in particular.

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

There are some exciting new breweries popping up around Sydney. Young & Henry’s or Riverside would both be great to get together with in the interest of promoting the up-and-coming scene here.

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

I had the pleasure of sampling the entire barrel-aged range at the Russian River brewpub while in California last year. Every one of those beers is genius.

1 comment:

  1. I have had the pleasure of 4 pines while in Sydney.
    Their brewpub is the best place to drink in Sydney I thought.