1. What does a normal day at work look like for you?
It depends… A large part of my role is looking after the customer brews that happen mostly at the weekend. When I come in on Monday morning I look to see who is coming back to bottle their beers this week, then find out what stage in the process their beers are at. I need to check fermentations, do any dry-hopping or fining additions, then empty out the fermenters into kegs for carbonation. If all the customer brews are looked after, then we can use the Craft Beer Kitchen kit for trials brews and one-offs. There’s an event at the dockside tap on 21st of July I’m brewing several specials for, so this morning started by mashing in for that.
2. What is your favourite thing about your job?
I really enjoy working at the festivals. Pouring beers you’ve made for people and seeing them enjoy it. Getting that direct feedback is great. And if the beer sells out on the day, even better!
3. What beer from Stewart's past would you bring back and why?
Elysium, but maybe in different casks this time. Rum, or red wine maybe. It’s a real treat of a beer, an indulgence.
4. What is your favourite current Stewarts beer?
I’ve just tried the Sour Sitron, going into cans imminently, it’s going to be the beer of the summer!
5. What is your favourite meal to have with it?
I can see myself taking this to lots of BBQs. The lemon sour notes will cut through any BBQ’d meats.
6. If you could name a beer after yourself what would it be called and what type of beer would it be?
Coming up with names for beers is great fun, I often try to shoehorn an obscure musical reference in or just a terrible pun. In my homebrew days, a friend and I brewed a Belgian Dubbel called Dance Like a Horse, I’ll give a prize to anyone who can tell me where that’s come from!
7. Tell us about the first time you had a beer? (or remember having one)
I don’t recall a specific occasion, but I used to be given Shandy Bass as a child, then migrated onto making bitter shandies with half of something like Stones or Trophy bitter and lemonade. By my late teenage years, I was drinking cask Boddingtons, which in those days was a great beer.
8. Tell us about the last time you had a beer?
At Summerhall last night for a gig, I finished on a Barney’s Capital Porter.
Big thanks to James for answering all our questions. You can book your brew it yourself experience in our craft beer kitchen online or buy a voucher as a great gift.