Originally Posted on Nov 18, 2015
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 write? 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 Keri and Duncan from TicketyBrew.
Tell us about the brewery and how it started: We started TicketyBrew on 14 February 2013. The brewery was built during the day and then the first brew took place throughout the night. It was a very romantic Valentine’s, as you can imagine!
TicketyBrew began because Duncan and I were looking for a flexible way to make a living, while raising our children. Duncan, had been an actor from an early age (check him out in Agent Z and the Penguins from Mars on YouTube!) but had decided it wasn’t for him anymore. I wasn’t enjoying my career and also wanted to see my kids more.
One of our great loves has always been beer, and after brainstorming all our options, we believed starting a brewery would allow us to have a job that we enjoyed, while giving us the flexibility we craved.
So while, TicketyBrew might not have been started with some great ambition to turn the world of brewing upside down, it has been started with great love and commitment.
We try and come up with new ideas and give them a whirl as often as our small brewery allows, keeping us excited about our day job. We are very lucky to be feeding our family through the beer that Duncan makes.
2014 saw our tiny brewery go from strength to strength. Wonderful people have helped us distribute our beer nationwide. The fabulous Paul Walker has joined the team. We expanded with more vessels and more casks, and also got keg ready – so hopefully 2015 should see the Dubbel on draught.
So thank you all for your support. It can be a bit overwhelming the support we’ve had since Feb 2013. In particular with a little trademark hiccup that came our way. You’re amazing!
And finally the answers to the questions I get asked the most:
Our name and our labels: They are a loving, tongue in cheek gesture to Duncan’s previous career. TicketyBrew is the phoenix from the flames of an acting career.
Yes, we do label by hand, and no, I don’t really enjoy it, but it does allow me to catch up with TV.
And yes, the first thing we will buy is a swanky bottling and labelling machine when we win the lottery! Apparently, closely followed by the original Han Solo in carbonite – which you will be able to see on brewery tours, as there is no chance of it going in my house!
What is your favourite beer, wine or spirit? We are huge fans of Belgian beer. We went to Bruges for our honeymoon! Whilst I think there are plenty of amazing breweries all over the world, we always go back to Belgian beer as I think it’s truly spectacular. And that’s why we use our Belgian yeast in all the beer that we make. While there are many great beers, some wild, some wonderful, Tripel Karmeliet never fails to hit the spot. It’s a true classic.
What do you think makes a great beer? Balance! I think it’s safe to say that great beers don’t always follow a formula. But what they all know how to do is to create great balance with the ingredients, so they are all carefully thought through to ensure they complement and showcase the best in one another.
Bottled or canned beer? We love bottled beer at TicketyBrew. We started out as a bottle only brewery, albeit we are now in cask and keg!
I have enjoyed some wonderful beers out of cans, but I don’t think they add much to the actual drinking experience, just convenience really.
Canning isn’t in our foreseeable plans at the moment, as I’d be hesitant to outsource the packaging of our beer, as I like the control and quality assurance doing everything in-house gives us. And getting a canning line is quite expensive. I think we’d getting swankier brewing equipment before we invested in canning equipment.
Out of all the beers you brew, which is your favourite? Why is that? It’s difficult to pick a favourite but I think we’re both particularly proud of and keen on our Coffee Anise Porter. Not just because it’s a knockout brew, but it was a team effort: I conceived it and Duncan realised it.
Where did you learn to brew? I’ll let Duncan answer this: I learned in the kitchen of our old flat in London (we now live and work in Manchester). I just kept trying and trying to work out how to brew a Dubbel. I was reluctant to go online and find a recipe and copy it; I wanted it to be a process. While I eventually did search for a bit of help, it taught me a lot about ingredients along the way.
Thank you to Keri and Duncan for taking the time to take part.
You can view and buy beers from TicketyBrew here.