Q and A, UK Beer and Breweries

Q&A with Graeme Denton, From the Notebook Ltd

From the Notebook Ltd | Q&A
Originally Posted on Jan 22, 2014 by

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? This post introduces Graeme Denton of From The Notebook Ltd.

Who are you/what do you do?   I’m Graeme Denton. I am the MD of the company From the Notebook Ltd

How did you get into this line of work?   I was made redundant in 2011 and decided to do something different. It was one of those “now or never” moments.

What is your favourite beer, wine or spirit?   Beer. I could easily give up wine and I hardly ever touch spirits. But I couldn’t give up beer.

What do you think makes a great beer?   The aroma, the taste and the consistency of product. Yes I like to try new beers (don’t we all) but sometimes I just want a tried and trusted favourite that I like and I know what the taste will be.

What was your first drink and where were you when you had it?   Beer (Bitter) as a small boy. My dad and my uncles were stood round a party can at Christmas in the 70s and offered me a sip. I couldn’t believe anyone could drink that stuff. Now look at me!

What drink can you no longer face having had one too many?   Whiskey.

What is your favourite style of beer?   A tough question, since I like all styles from pale to dark and from hoppy to malty. But as is the trend these days and thinking of my current favourite beers, I’d have to say IPA.

Bottled or canned beer?   Bottled every time (with the only exception being Brewdog Punk IPA in cans).

If you have to pick, which would be your top three beers in the whole world and why?   Guinness when served correctly is, IMHO, the best drink on the planet. Closely followed by Brewdog’s Punk IPA – it blew me away when I first tasted it and I think, set a new standard in craft beer. Timothy Taylor’s Landlord has been a favourite bitter of mine for a long time. Again when served correctly, a very fine beer indeed.

What is the silliest thing you’ve done whilst drunk?   I have never been drunk!

What is the best part of your job?   Being allowed to be creative and seeing positive responses to that creativity when introducing the product to the consumer. That gives me a real buzz and an enormous sense of pride.

What inspired you to start up the brewery / what was the inspiration for starting the brewery?   I haven’t started a brewery as such (our company utilises the spare capacity and talent of experienced craft brewers) but I was inspired to set up a beer producing company based on my holiday experiences in Northumberland. I had an idea for some products which I thought would sell well.

Where do you see, or hope to see, the brewery in 5 years time?   Hopefully FTN Ltd will have a nationwide presence and a thriving range of beers.

Are there any other breweries which have influenced you?   Allendale (of course – with whom we presently brew) and The Ship Inn Pub and Brewery at Low Newton by the Sea, Northumberland.

How long have you been brewing with Allendale?   We started test brewing with Allendale in March 2012, with the first commercial sized brews going on sale in September 2012.

Out of all the beers you brew, which is your favourite? Why is that?   Arctic Tern IPA. The idea is to “characterise” the Arctic Tern in beer form. I think we have achieved this and in so doing paid due homage to this magnificent creature with a cracking beer.

Where did you learn to brew?   The rudiments I learned at home but I leave the actual brewing expertise to the talented and gifted people I work with.

Have you always been a brewer or did you do different jobs before this?   No. I am a scientist by training and was a laboratory based cancer researcher for over 2 decades. I have a PhD in Cancer Biology and currently, a drug which I helped design, is being assessed in clinical trials for the treatment of malignant melanoma. So running a beer producing company is somewhat of a career change!

You can find out more about From the Notebook by visiting their website, or by following them on Twitter or Facebook.  Thanks to Graeme for taking part. Who would you like to find out more about? Leave a comment and we’ll see what we can do!