Quality, Balance & Drinkability Head Brewer wanted: “Must have the ability to produce great beers whilst being a public relations officer, agricultural consultant, psychiatrist, accountant, nursemaid and diplomat.” Adapted from Doug Insole’s description of what makes a cricket captain
A brewers advice to his lad• A head brewer is externally judged on the quality of his beers.• Great session beers and premium ales through to niche beers for the connoisseur.• Unique raw materials as well as novel ways to use traditional ingredients.• Internally judged on their ability to run a brewery, where quality and great beer becomes a given.• The purchasing of quality raw materials and their appropriate and efficient use in the brewery is vital, the balance of what is a quality ingredient, what is commercially astute and what is PR.• There is a balance but never sacrifice quality and don’t brew a beer that costs the earth and is undrinkable.
MALT• Quality and fit for purpose • Variety • Specification• Continuity of supply • How many suppliers • Supply, quality and leverage• Commercial reality• Local supply• Speciality malts • Crystal, Chocolate, Amber, Munich, Aromatic …….• Organic
HOPS• Protection of recipe and character• UK vs non UK • Challenges to the UK grower• Niche hops and exciting flavours vs overtly bitter and undrinkable • Vindaloo doesn’t work every time• Beer styles• Challenges to the UK grower
YEAST• Top• Bottom• Flocculation• Flavours• Unique or otherwise• BUT remember - It is a living organism and just like you and I it reacts differently when put in environments it likes or dislikes
LIQUOR• Ensure you make the most of what you have.• Borehole vs mains• Calcium• pH, buffering. Physical and microbial stability• Impact of brewing salts on flavour• If the brewer does not understand the basics of liquor they leave themselves open to inconsistency and instability.
NPD• Don’t be scared, be brave• Opportunity to experiment with: – Malt flavour and colour – Hops – Yeast if you so desire – ABV – Colour• But much much more – Bitterness, sweetness balance – Novel ingredients – Niche beers• A portfolio of beers – Light, dark, malty, biscuity – Hoppy, estery, bitter, sweet – Strong, weak – Novel flavours
Use what you want to create• Quality beer should be a given• Breadth of beers • Brewed for the consumer, it does need to sell • PR • A plethora of traditional and novel ingredients• The right raw materials for the right beer• Never sacrifice quality• Have fun