Say hello to our undisputedly quirky brewer, Graeme.
Brewing up a storm
Say hello to our undisputedly quirky brewer, Graeme.
Here at BrewDog we want to do more than just make great tasting brews. In fact we want to do
all we can to share our beery knowledge - no matter how obscure, bizarre or trivial – so you can become a more informed beer drinker or at least be able to astound your mates the next time you're down the pub.
It's no surprise then that some of our brewers started out with us from scratch and are hopefully the first in a long line that will hail from the BrewDog School of Brewing (sometimes dubbed the 'parlour of chaos'). Take Graeme for example. Graeme's been with us for almost two years now and started off like all good brewers should – packing boxes. It wasn't long before Graeme got hooked on honing his beer wisdom though and in doing so set his sights on becoming an apprentice brewer. Needless to say he's never looked back.
When we caught up with him Graeme, he was looking forward to a long night shift of bottling and maintaining the tanks although it's the unpredictability of the task in hand that keeps him coming back for more.
“Every day at BrewDog is extremely different and I've given up trying to guess what each shift will hold! Tonight, for example, we're hand corking a Saison which is a first and also a really, really slow process! We'll also be brewing some Punk and bottling some 77. What's exciting is all the weird and wonderful ideas – not to mention penguins and dogs - that crop up whilst we're brewing. When it comes to new concepts or creating recipes I think people tend to assume it's done in quite an orderly, gradual fashion whereas it's more a case of just bunging it in and seeing what happens.”
If spending almost every hour of the day in the brewery wasn't enough, Graeme's also got some home brewing aspirations up his sleeve which must be a good sign...unless he has Stockholm Syndrome.
“Home brewing is something I'm looking to get into. There's a wealth of stuff online to get you started but home brewing is so free wheeling that you can be as creative as you like. Using a variety of hops or fermenting with different strains of yeast can make a big difference and if it ends up tasting like something you'd not want to inflict on your friends and family even for pride's sake, just try again!”
Given Graeme's penchant for beer has earnt him something of a reputation amongst his friends whilst his work at BrewDog is the envy of many, he's still not afraid to set the record straight.
“Working in such close proximity to beer I'd like to think I'd be a dab hand at organising a piss up in a brewery. My friends certainly seem to think that I must be drunk all the time but the truth of it is we actually only get to taste the beer when necessary and even then it's in small amounts. Despite being surrounded by some of the best tasting beers in the country, let alone the world, is awesome but you have to remember a brewery is a place of work, not a frat party!
Point made. So instead of organising frat parties, tapping kegs and generally causing more of a nuisance than they already do, BrewDog brewers are turning their attention to ways of pushing beer to its limits and for Graeme this all lies in the power of the humble kiwi.
“I've got a plan to add some kiwi fruit to an IPA. The idea of fresh kiwi just sounds appealing given the flavour will fit perfectly with the zesty, hopping aroma in beers like Punk. I've yet to hear of a beer with kiwi fruit in it so who knows, a small batch could be in the offing shortly."
While kiwi fruit might be new to beer, the idea of adding fresh ingredients that bring out the best in the hops and malt certainly isn't; especially within the craft beer industry. Craft beer naturally lies at the heart of everything BrewDog does and it's the dedication to the cause that got our brewer hooked.
“There's a real, unshakable passion for craft beer and people particularly covet brews that are produced in small batches. Take Dark Lord as an example; people camped out at the brewery to get a bottle of that! That, for me, is pretty inspirational as is meeting other brewers from the likes of Mikkeller who've been honing their craft for years and show no sign of letting up.”
With last year's total beer sales down while microbrewery beers were up, it would seem that the likes of the gang at BrewDog aren't the only ones to have cottoned on to the lure of craft beer.
“With things like going organic pushing people to become more knowledgeable about their food, it's natural that the same will be asked of beer. Craft beer is full of complex flavours, weird ingredients and new twists on old styles which is exactly what people are crying out for in a world where mass produced, poorly made and generally ill-tasting produce is no longer acceptable.”
With this idea starting to be echoed right across the board – from supermarkets to music festivals, local drinking holes to high-end hotels – it would seem everyone can get in on the action and enjoy their own piece of the craft beer movement. Including your Nan.
“Beer used to be pigeon-holed as the drink of a certain group of people but just like wine and cccktails it's started to become something that's much more appealing to a broad range of folk, even to the Nans out there! There's no reason why something like Paradox can't be enjoyed as a night cap and with flavours of chocolate, roast malt and a nice touch of whisky – not to mention the 10% ABV – she'll be sleeping in no time!”
Posted in - brewdog-news
- i really, really, really, really want to be an apprentice brewer at brew dog!!!
just considering a recipe for an IPA about 5.5 ABV
i want to dry hop the fermentation with a fuck load of cascade hops! this will be a serious beer...
much love from your biggest fankit Campbell18.05.2010
- i've really enjoyed BrewDog and also lookin forward to it from now on too!:)
btw i've got my AB:01s!!! thx for the poster as well:))
cheers from jpnyuki10.05.2010