Say Hi To John
In our quest to create awesome craft beers, we stop at nothing. This includes stopping in general - which is why we keep our brewery running 24 / 7. While our swanky new set-up has better kit and a helluva lot more stainless steel than our Fraserburgh outfit, it doesn’t contain robots, which is why our dedicated brewery crack team work right round the clock to keep every stage of the process ticking over.
Split into three small teams who each work an eight hour shift over the course of a 24 hour day, the role of the Senior Brewer is to oversee and attempt to manage each team as well as the madness at BrewDog’s parlour of chaos.
John AKA John Allen (John prefers his name to be double barrelled like the Pope), is one such Senior brewer. Say hello to John Allen:
“Hello! As a Senior Brewer here at BrewDog I’ve got direct responsibility for all aspects of filtration, separation and bright beer operations. More importantly however, it’s my job to decide whose turn it is to go out and buy the Wispas (strangely, it usually ends up being me).
“One a daily basis I work with two other brewers on shift. I am usually found shouting at the centrifuge and running around avoiding/forgetting to make tea. I also do a bit of brewing when needed and keep an eye on various things like yeast management, fermentation tank turn around and dry hopping. There is also the never ending cleaning. Brewers = Janitors that cook I was once told.”
With the arrival of the new brewery, our brew team have been enjoying things that our Fraserburgh base couldn't offer – a lauter tun, additional miles of stainless steel and bigger tanks to play with. For John, the new brewery also allows more control, meaning it’s now possible to make more precisely brewed, delicious beers with a little helping hand from technology:
“The best thing about the new brewery is that it allows us to have precise control over all aspects of the process. This means we can produce more consistent high quality beers and a hell of a lot more of it.
“That’s not to say that all the new equipment has taken the challenge out of brewing. We’re currently brewing Black Tokyo Horizon and it’s beyond challenging. I think it left more than a few grey hairs on us all.
“With it being such a dark and high ABV beer it involves collecting the strong wort from 3 separate brews into the kettle to hit the high starting gravity. We had to work some brewing voodoo to trick the system into doing what we wanted and even then it fought back by opening drains at the wrong time and trying to mess up all our hard work. It took nearly a day and a half to produce a volume that usually takes 8 hours when doing ‘sane’ beers.”
Luckily the number of chaotic incidents at BrewDog HQ has been relatively low; despite our best attempts to brew complicated, insane or innovative beers. Then again, when John’s in the room there’s always scope for madness…
“At my last job (Little Creatures in Western Australia) we were brewing a stout that had so much malt in it that the brewhouse ended up dropping 2+ tonnes of malt on the floor instead of into the spent grain bin.
"We then had to organise getting a guy with what was basically a giant hover on a tanker to suck it off the floor along with the black mush from the hop back. Then after everything was cleaned up, we had to do it again!”
So when he’s not making a mess, making beer, shopping for Wispas or avoiding the tea run, John can generally be found drinking beer. There’s quite a few in the tanks that he’s looking forward to getting his mitts on:
“I can’t wait to find out what Black Tokyo Horizon turns out after all the pain that went into brewing it. Also we have a few different wheat beers that are tasting top notch. We just brewed a hoppy imperial wheat bock, so can't wait to try to end result. It’s pretty much all guns blazing in the FV at the moment!”
It’s only fair to let John have the last word on his Say Hi To. So, in his own words, how would our Senior Brewer describe himself:
‘Cool. Calm. Rambunctious.'
Want to see more action from inside the BrewDog brewhouse? Check out #BrewPix on our official Facebook page.
Posted in - brewdog-news
- Will you be releasing any merchandise with John's face on it in your online shop? If so, can I please place an advance order? JohnAllenGroupie27.04.2013
- Belated birthday greetings congrats ...up the Rossies Uncle Gerry26.04.2013
- have a wonderful birthday john great to see such happiness not stress in the workplace
- Hi John when can that be got in Doorleys??
- Hi John.
Keep up the good work, and I can't wait to try the BTH. Bring it on ....
Pete H., Nottm25.04.2013
- I am sure you will be tasting some of your great beers today. Happy Birthday!! Maire25.04.2013
- Hi john just remember i am angry birds champion and i will have beaten every single one of your high scores. Although you probably make better beer than me as i'm only a home brewer, so you probably win overall bullet proof wolf25.04.2013
- Fantastic John...oh and happy birthday!! I know it's one of these days
- So your the 'unruly ' one. Is that after tasting the beer your concocting ? Great to see what your up to in the new premises. It all looks good. Ish24.04.2013
- Good man John ! Im a big fan of the Brew Dog stuff, nice to know someone from home is in charge of what im drinking ! Sol24.04.2013
- So that what you do I thought you were a brewer, not a tea boy. Rambunctious...............what!!!!!!! Frankie Gilleran24.04.2013
- I'm loving all these insights into the brewery, especially the people who make Brewdog what it is! Keep 'em coming :) Lupuloopy24.04.2013