1. What was your first brew?
I completed a one year brewing pupillage at Harvey’s in Lewes, England – the first beer I brewed was Sussex Best Bitter – a superbly balanced bitter with a prominent hop character.
2. How did you get this job?
I visited the Brewery in 2005 and introduced myself to the team – evidently they liked me and I’m still here now!
3. What’s your favourite beer that you have brewed?
Harvey’s Tom Paine – brewed to celebrate the English revolutionary who penned the “Rights of Man” – as Billy Bragg once sang “ I went out drinking with Thomas Paine”. Well if he did, he’d surely enjoy this truly wonderful bitter; on cask this is a thing of joy and beauty indeed.
4. What’s your favourite beer brewed by others?
The Northern German Pilsner that is Jever – Christoph Von Finckenstein and his team do a world class job – this beer is simply outstanding. Go find it!
5. Which beer would you like to brew?
I would like to dig out the brewing records and brew Royal Oak – the Eldridge Pope flagship – this was a true English classic and unfortunately a lost gem of a beer.
6. What name would you really like to give to a beer, and what type of beer would it be?
April Skies Porter. Why April Skies? This is the first single from the Jesus & Mary Chain’s LP Darklands from the soundtrack of my youth. I keep coming back to Porter for the good of my health.
7. What’s your favourite beer style?
Pilsner – simple, hoppy, refreshing – among the most difficult to brew and a beer that spotlights any flaws in the process. When you get it right and its bang on, this beer style is simply genius.
8. What’s your favourite hop variety?
Perle, Goldings, Chinook, Cascade, Fuggles, Saaz, Mosaic, Brewers Gold – I love all hops!
9. What’s your favourite malt variety?
Maris Otter – surely the finest of ale malts? Heirloom varietal that is world renowned for its rich deep flavour. The Great British Beer Festival Champion beer statistics do not lie!
10. Which do you prefer – draught, bottle or cans?
Draught – fresh is best and generally you’re at the pub socialising with friends. Beer brings people together in conversation for fun times! Bottles and cans I can work with though – you just need to check the Best Before dates.
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