Q and A, UK Beer and Breweries

Brass Castle | Q&A

Brass Castle | Q&A
Originally Posted on Feb 10, 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.
Today’s post features Brass Castle.

Brass Castle was founded in a garage on Brass Castle Hill, Pocklington, in 2011.  The second beer brewed won the prestigious local York CAMRA festival outright and the brewery has been flourishing ever since. After brewing for 18 months on a local all-copper historical estate brewery, Brass Castle moved to new premises in the centre of Yorkshire’s Food Capital: Malton. The brewhouse is open every day of the week for informal visits and a Tap Room opens every second SAturday of the month – serving at least eight beers and guaranteeing a grand day out.  

Who are you/what do you do?   I am Phil Saltonstall and I am the founder and head brewer at Brass Castle.

How did you get into this line of work?   I began life as a Navy helicopter pilot/instructor, before working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the UN in New York.  It was during a Security Council meeting (and a side-conversation about home brewing!) that my US colleague mentioned that he had a brewing acquaintance – and before long I was mash-monkeying my way to learning the basics of commercial brewing.  When I returned to the UK to work as a Coastguard, I began Brass Castle as a nanobrewery in the garage of my house.

What was your first drink and where were you when you had it?   The first drink that I can remember having was a pint of Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter, at the beautiful ‘Nelly’s’ (The White Horse) gas-lit pub in Beverley.  I don’t drink it any more, because of the use of isinglass finings in the cask.

What drink can you no longer face having had one too many?   Adventures in snorting Sambuca have put me off that drink forever…

What is your favourite style of beer?    My favourite beer style is Kolsch, but that might be because I rarely get to enjoy it!

If you have to pick, which would be your top three beers in the whole world?   I don’t really have a favourite beer – but my current favourite drink is Genever.
What is the best part of your job?   The best part of my job is meeting people who have enjoyed our beers.

You are stuck on a desert island, what three things are you taking with you? My desert island beers would be drinks that captured important moments in my life – rather than necessarily representing the best in their field.  The first three on the list would have to be: Red Stripe, Magic Hat No9 and Brown Cow Captain Oates’ Mild.  I’d also be taking a surfboard, my cat and a machete.

Thank you to Phil and Brass Castle Brewery for taking the time to take part.

You can view and buy beers from Brass Castle Brewery here.