Originally Posted on Feb 24, 2016
Are you curious to know about the people behind the beers you buy? Or perhaps you want to know what inspires brewers to brew and beer bloggers to blog? Our “Q&A” posts are a light hearted way of getting to know people working in, and connected to, the beer and alcohol industry.
In today’s post, we are chatting with Mark, Brewer at Beeston Brewery.
How did you get into this line of work? I have been involved with beer festivals for many years as a volunteer. When I felt ready to leave the security of employment & start my own business, my previous experience sowed the seed of learning to brew commercially & form Beeston Brewery
What is your favourite beer, wine or spirit? I may be biased but our “Village Life” takes some beating for me.
What do you think makes a great beer? Perfect balance. This can either be the simplicity of pale malt and the right blend and level of hopping, or a full on complex beer. The important thing for me is that the ingredients all work together to enhance each other. It also needs to be enjoyed at the right temperature.
What was your first drink and where were you when you had it? Cider at home with Sunday lunch.
What drink can you no longer face having had one too many? None!
What is your favourite style of beer? Depends on the day, venue, company etc. For refreshment – something a bit hoppy (but not insanely bitter); pub chat – pale and easy drinking; festivals – anything a bit unusual. I enjoy the journey of exploration.
Bottled or canned beer? Bottled but we are exploring the possibility of canning some beer.
What is the best part of your job? Watching grinning customers drink our beers. Mashing in is fun too.
You are stuck on a desert island, what three things are you taking with you? Malt, hops and yeast so I could make beer for the rescue “party”!
What inspired you to start up the brewery? I became disillusioned with being employed. I looked at several possibilities of things to do. I liked the feel of brewing as it combined my background of engineering & supply chain. I also like the creativity from nature’s ingredients. I really like producing something that can put a smile on the customer’s face. One sunny spring morning on the way to view some equipment, I just knew that it was the right thing to do.
Where do you see, or hope to see, the brewery in 5 years’ time? We have no aims to grow into a huge empire. We have a good and happy life. Our staff are happy and we hope this reflects in our beers. We hope we can learn something every day & continue to create enjoyable beers. We are slowly increasing our customer base but the important thing is to continue to provide a reliable personal service to our existing loyal customers. Beer quality is fundamental and we won’t be forced into increasing production if it could compromise quality or customer service.
Are there any other breweries which have influenced you? Wylam Brewery. I did my placements there from Brewlab. Andy Mitchell from Spectrum Brewery has been a great help with advice on technical issues and Brendan Moore for his help and advice on getting started.
How long have you been brewing at Beeston? We have been brewing for 9 1/2 years. Our first decade is just around the corner and we will be celebrating that.
Out of all the beers you brew, which is your favourite? Why is that? Village Life 4.8% for me it has the perfect combination of maltiness and a biting hop character.
Where did you learn to brew? Brewlab, based at Sunderland University.
What is the hardest thing to master when learning to brew? Getting the quality consistent with the variation in natural ingredients and different seasons.
Have you always been a brewer or did you do different jobs before this? I’ve worked as a Draughtsman, Buyer, Engineer, Supply Chain Manager and a Project Manager. So a well-rounded background to start my own business!
Thank you to Mark and Beeston Brewery for taking the time to talk to us.
You can view and buy beers from Beeston Brewery here.