Thursday 16 September 2010

My friend Stewart

Stewart is a M. Brew, it says so after his name. If I were to aspire to any post-nominal it would be to this one, for it identifies the holder as a Master Brewer, the highest academic brewing qualification available in our industry. He must have worked very hard indeed to get that; I, on the other hand, dropped out of brew-school long before I achieved anything. And it isn't just a scholastic gulf that divides us: Stewart's career followed the classic route through national and regional breweries whilst I fell into a Firkin pub one night and wasn't thrown out until I'd learnt how to brew, how to manage a brewery and how to manage a pub. And while Stewart is now Senior Brewer at Britain's oldest brewery, I'm Head Brewer at a pip-squeak upstart rival down the road. But this is the UK brewing industry and, as such, we get on like a house on fire. That's the way it has always been in our trade: collaboration and cooperation, altruism and benevolence. They tell me it doesn't happen in other industries, how sad.

Stewart and I brewed a special yesterday on his 4 barrel pilot plant, in preparation for the harvest lunch at Coldred, the village he lives in. Between us we're presenting 4 different beers, matched to each of the four courses, to the entire village in a barn made over for the purpose. 'Delta', the beer we brewed yesterday, is a simple pale ale flavoured with a new variety of American grown hop called 'Delta' (see what we did there?) whose parentage is Fuggles and Casade. We're expecting an earthy, fresh aroma with a strong, well balanced, juicy and hoppy flavour, though, to be honest, we've no real evidence upon which to base this; our joint brewer's intuition has filled in the knowledge gaps and come up with a fruitless speculation, again.

It's my turn next time and I'm looking forward to knocking out a somewhat larger collaboration brew with this Master Brewer sometime next year. Any suggestions?

To be sure, this doesn't mean I've gone soft - the PBD defence operation continues apace.


Mark said...

Imperial Pilsner. Not sure why ... just think you should. Something out of the ordinary, something that would test you.

Gadds Beers Hop said...

'test you'?! I get tested every day Mark, at about 6am when I try and get out of bed.

But I'll consider the suggestion.