A Week @ BrewDog by Tom
our newest sales recruit on his hardcore induction
Our newest sales recruit on his hardcore induction!
I arrive at the brewery to find not quite what I expected. Every brewery i have been to has either been on a small scale where there is one or 2 brewers and perhaps one other helper and one on admin work or you have the big breweries where there is no one about as everything is automated. Here there seems to be lots and lots of work to do and a large workforce getting right stuck into it. I met with Martin and Stewart who show me round and have me fairly mesmerised by the sheer amount of good beer I’m surrounded by. But that shall have to wait, as there was work to be done.. Now to put it into scale I’m used to seeing craft cask ale breweries making up like 15-30 casks a day, today we casked up 215 casks and that was out of one of the mid sized fermenters. To finish my day off I ended doing some temperature readings and gravity reading, which as a beer enthusiast was a good “on the job” learning curve.
Now I always thought doing the double shift in a pub was something to ruin yourself, but 11hrs working in here makes all thought of everything other than sleep go out the window, Nite nite!
A proper monstrous sleep and a hearty breakfast then straight back on it. Today I was told I would be brewing Punk IPA. This is probably my favourite beer from Brewdog so getting to brew it had me all giddy. Firstly we had to cast off the current batch that was in the kettle from the overnight shift, before we could think about brewing our own. The first thing I found myself doing was cleaning out the kettle, this was my choice and I’m glad I did it, but not something to do again soon. A roasting sauna inside a claustrophobic tank where you spend an hour doing back breaking work, is not really my idea of fun, an experience and a chance to see what hard work goes into the brewing process without which you couldn’t have consistently good beer. We can now get onto the brewing. Just over a ton of malt goes into this guy and lifting and moving all of those sacks into the mash tun is again a great workout; the smell of the mash is excellent, very biscuity and having tasted it, quite yummy too. I’m a massive fan of hops and the amount of hops that go into this is awesome! 5kg bag after 5kg bag of fresh citrus hoppy goodness goes into this however waiting for the times between additions meant once again more waiting. This was a serious day, 13 ½ hr shift. I felt like a walking zombie all the way home.
After 2 heavy, heavy days, this was a bit of a chill out. I started the day by bottling some of the elusive Sink The Bismark! and tasting the 41% IPA at 9 in the morning wakes you up faster than any coffee could hope to do. However I was only at the brewery for 2hrs before heading over to Aberdeen to the Grampian Food Awards. This was held at the Marcliffe Hotel, a very nice place indeed, we were in the running for 3 awards for our innovative product Tactical Nuclear Penguin. Our other new sales team member Jo Tennant was there also and so with 4 of us out in force there was some capital banter around the table. Oh and we picked up a couple of awards too!
The brewery was very busy with an entire days line up of bottling and packaging to be done, around about 33,000 bottles total. Hardcore IPA was also to be brewed. Later in the day I said I would help out with the brewing of the Hardcore IPA, I was told this was to be a far smaller batch than the punk, therefore I assumed less malt. My mistake! Around 1 ½ tonnes of malt go into this for a 30HL batch, no messing about here.
Looking back at the experience, and it was an experience far more than work, it has completely changed my view on the company. I never thought I would come home thinking that the next time I go up there I shall be properly prepared, as before I went I thought I would never want to go back. So much work is put in at the brewery site and there’s so much enthusiasm with everyone involved with the company that I can only see good things ahead. Now its time to start dealing with London. Both sleeve’s are up and the angry fist is out! Watch out London, BrewDog is about to be unleashed on you!