Contrary to public opinion BrewDog beers aren't made by magic, clowns or penguins. Or machines. Or even Bracken...well not entirely anyway.
Believe it or not our beers are actually hand crafted by real people, real people who get the pleasure of manning the BrewDog parlour of chaos 24/7 and getting to run around, arms flailing should mash tuns or fermentation tanks decide to pull a sicky.
One such individual carrying the weight of expectation on his shoulders is Stewart our chief arm flailer – and Head Brewer.
Stewart's been with us for the past two and a half years and now we've signed his adoption papers we're proud to say he's a keeper. When he joined the company he was our first full time employee.
In typical BrewDog style, Stewart's career in brewing was more off the cuff than her Maj' popping into Tescos for a bottle of Blue Nun as the man himself explains.
“When it comes to brewing professionally it all feels like a bit of a blur and something I guess I fell into – I say that in the most unintoxicated sense possible, of course! I actually started off doing chemistry at university but quickly saw the error of my ways and switched to studying brewing instead."
“Very quickly I realised that the guys at BrewDog don't give a damn. They make beer they like, not beer to entertain the masses. BrewDog has the punk ethos at its very core – not playing to other people's boundaries or other people's rules. This is an approach I've always found a resonance with and a way of life I completely admire which makes working with the boys a pretty sweet gig."
Of course, BrewDog's punk ethos is best manifested in its far out beers that push the expectations of consumer palettes in the UK and beyond and this certainly isn't something that's ever going to change.
“At BrewDog we've done a lot of extreme beers and this will always be one side to getting where we want to be. What's so enjoyable about brewing with the guys is that almost anything is possible and nobody's afraid to try out combinations or techniques that other breweries simply wouldn't go near with a barge pole. Personally, I want our next cutting edge brew to be a sours, maybe a Lambic or a Gueuze with a twist. Souring uses microbes and a second fermentation that aren't found in conventional beers let alone the funky, acidic taste you get from the process.”
Crazy beers and unconventional recipes aren't just reserved for professional brewers though. No siree. As Stewart points out it's all about who you know and how much passion you have for the craft that makes for a libertine brewer at heart.
“Before I started brewing professionally I had dabbled in home brewing. The key here is all about good quality ingredients as well as getting to know other people with a similar mind set. Once you get a group together it makes the task of tracking down strange malts and weird hops easier. Generally home brews can taste quite similar which is why it's important to follow your own creativity as well as being able to sweet talk the people you buy your ingredients from!”
When it comes to BrewDog however, it's not all about the beer. A fusion of music and art not to mention pairings with everything from food to film it would seem there's more to changing people's perceptions of beer than the fabled four ingredients.
“Every type of beer we make is unique and is a work of art in itself given it's made with the same passion, care and attention that you'd find in someone who paints, writes or makes music. I believe you can pair beer with anything in life since it's about creating emotions. Music creates emotion and so can a fine craft beer whether its subtle or loud, truly bizarre or a gentle twist on the traditional. Beer compliments other arts forms and when it comes to breaking down people's preconceived ideas about the what beer is or stereotypes like the lager lout, art and music are great ways into this. For me, music plays a big part in the fluidity and rhythm of the brewing process – we actually just finished bottling a batch of Bismarck! whilst listening to the Deftones so keep your taste buds on high alert for tones of funky alternative rock!”
With the music on full blast, the brew crew set back to work in tackling a lengthy list of orders which Stewart describes eloquently as 'never ending sheer craziness'. Naturally this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an average day in the BrewDog brewery. So what should punters and diehard 'Dog lovers alike be watching out for over the next few months?
“People should get excited about what they can drink at the BrewDog Bar! That's all I can say at the moment but it's going to be well worth the wait.”
Posted in - news
- How long did it take you to hit all of those squirrels and stoats with your car? John Harkins22.07.2010
- ..i really think i've already seen the place of the last picture...:) Matteo16.07.2010
- Nice blog Stew, you da man! Laurie Mckay15.07.2010
- Is that the same hat you had in uni or have you upgraded?
Looking forward to seeing what insanity you have planned for the bar. Not as much as I am looking forward to tasting it though...Graham Cowie15.07.2010
- Hey Stuuuuuuuuuu. Just standing in the hall reading a book.
What's that? Have I seen your Lasagna?
- just when i thought it couldn't get any better, I read.. "we actually just finished bottling a batch of Bismark! whilst listening to the deftones.."
My 2 favorite things combined, ale and the deftones.
Brewdog FTW.Alan Hannah15.07.2010
- Nicely done Stew! Glad to see you're doing well! Colin Venters14.07.2010