Q and A, UK Beer and Breweries

The Hop Studio | Q&A

The Hop Studio | Q&A
Originally Posted on Mar 31, 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 The Hop Studio.

Who are you/what do you do?  Dave Shaw, I founded The Hop Studio.
We founded The Hop Studio in 2012 with a simple mission to brew great beer. We love beer. We hate rules. We don’t mandate facial hair.
We brew small batches of artisanal beer. We like our beers to be full of flavour, aroma and charisma. Our beers can be loud and shouty, they can be subtle, outrageous or exotic. We call it Original British Craft Beer.
We make beers that can quench your thirst, enhance what you eat, surprise you, entice you and lose you in a world of flavour. Our beers are accessible and like great wine there is far more than first meets the eye.

How did you get into this line of work?   I worked in local government and saw the writing on the wall shortly after the 2010 election.

What is your favourite beer, wine or spirit?   Tough question.

What do you think makes a great beer?   Presence and Charisma! To be a great beer it has to have a quality that stops you in your tracks and makes you say ‘wow’! It could be flavour, aroma, and unusual agreement. Having done that it needs to be well made and have balance.

What was your first drink and where were you when you had it?   Embarrassed to say John Smiths, Prince of Wales, Oakham, 1/2pt 14p, Aged 15.

What drink can you no longer face having had one too many?   A Tower of Babel (if that means nothing watch Sir Henry at Rawlinsons end).

What is your favourite style of beer?   It varies but its difficult to say no to a decent IPA.

Bottled or canned beer?   It makes no difference but there is some very fine beer in cans these days.

If you have to pick, which would be your top three beers in the whole world?   A list of my favourite breweries would include Magic Rock, Marble and Beavertown.

What is the silliest thing you’ve done whilst drunk?   Most of them are unrepeatable for legal reasons or to spare the innocent.

What is the best part of your job?   Playing with beer for a living is pretty good all round.

You are stuck on a desert island, what three things are you taking with you?   Wife, kids and beer.

What inspired you to start up the brewery / what was the inspiration for starting the brewery?   I went on holiday in the summer of 2011 and we kept on walking past a microbrewery. I was itching to go inside, eventually we did and that sowed the seed. I then went on a short course and the seed germinated and the rest is history. We’re getting increasingly exciting carving our reputation as brewers of Original British Craft Beer.

Where do you see, or hope to see, the brewery in 5 years’ time?   To be recognised as one of the top 20 British Craft Breweries would be good.

How long have you been brewing at The Hop Studio?   4 years in March.

Out of all the beers you brew, which is your favourite? Why is that?   Depends on the time of year? Our Porter surprised me. Originally brewed as a winter beer it hit the spot pretty much first go. It’s now in demand all year round. It’s very light tasting for a dark beer, in the summer it’s like drinking ice cream.

Where did you learn to brew?   At home in plastic buckets.

What is the hardest thing to master when learning to brew?   Balance. Getting close is easy, getting it spot on requires a good feel for how all the variables hang together. I think it’s an art. Mat our head brewer thinks it’s a science. It’s the source of endless discussion…

Thank you to Dave and The Hop Studio for chatting to us.

You can view and buy beers from The Hop Studio here.