Tag Archive | "intervju"


Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Andrew Baker / Summer Wine

MankerBeer storsatsar inför årets Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Inte bara kommer vi försöka att finna nya sätt att rapportera från själva mässan utan vi kommer också att satsa på mer “inför”-material. En del i detta kommer att vara intervjuer med olika bryggare och utställare på mässan så att ni får en chans att lära känna dem lite bättre. Vi tycker att det är minst lika roligt, och viktigt, att känna till personerna bakom ölen som att prova dem. Om inte annat så kan det ge svar på varför vissa öl smaker som de gör, varifrån inspirationen kommer och vad som är på gång eller har skett.

När brittiska bryggeriet Summer Wine dök upp på svenska krogar under sommaren så var det lite från ingenstans. Bryggeriet startade så sent som 2008 i ett garageutrymme där James Farran, Andy Baker och Meyrick Kirk arbetade nästintill dygnet runt för att få ut för England rätt så inovativa öl. Jag tycker kanske inte att man behöver en mycket längre presentation då Andrew ‘Andy’ Baker som idag är manging director verkligen lade tid på att besvara frågor och undringar om dem. Så vi ger er istället Summer Wine Brewery, som är ett av de brittiska bryggerierna som Galatea kommer att fronta på mässan.


MB: UK craft beer and the UK beer scene has been developing in the background of the US craft beer movement, what would you say is the current status of UK craft beer?


AB: I very much believe that the UK craft beer scene is seriously catching the US craft beer movement and in some ways overtaking it.

There are now an ever growing number of UK breweries that are seriously improving the flavour and variety of beers available to an ever receptive market. More bars and often some unlikely locations are popping up and demanding craft beer for their customers. Serious over demand is occurring for craft beer in the UK, not too dissimilar to the US Breweries, although they operate on a far greater scale.  There are also a growing number of drinkers that believe that for example UK produced double IPA’s are becoming so good and readily available and more importantly fresh, that they no longer feel the need or desire to purchase American imported IPA’s as often, some of which may be 3 months old. This is one of the reasons that we export to Sweden as the beer can be on a bar within 2 weeks of leaving the brewery ensuring freshness for the end drinker.

At present, we have around 1000UK breweries of varying size but a large percentage of these are not targeting or are a part of the craft beer market and stay more oriented around traditional bitters and/or low ABV session beers around 4.0% with very little if any experimentation in between. We do not produce low ABV session beers to be drunk in large volumes, something that is still very much the general UK standard although this is slowly beginning to change. Keg beer and more flavour forward craft beer is still in its infancy, despite the massive surge in demand and promotion that is has had over the past 2 years. That said, times are now changing with more and more pubs, bars, clubs, hotels etc opening up to more flavour forward craft beer. This is in part occurring as beer taxes & production costs rise resulting in higher prices to a point whereby individuals are becoming more interested in getting more flavour and an experience for their money rather than consuming as much liquid as possible. Craft beer has also been able to shake off the stuffy old man image that goes with the more traditional ‘real ale’ cask beer market. Craft beer is now seen as being cool with a wide ranging demographic spanning both sexes enjoying it in smaller, more attractively presented measures.


MB: Summer Wine is a very new brewery here in Sweden, how would you describe the brewery, its beers and brewing philosophy?


AB: The main brewing philosophy here at SWB is quite simple; Brew beers that we enjoy drinking. When we first started brewing in 2008, we tried to target a section of the market that we felt we could succeed in. Traditional Yorkshire bitters. These are beers that neither myself or James (Head Brewer & Co-Owner) drank but the craft beer scene as it is now was very much in its infancy and didn’t even have the craft beer tag and so we tried to play it safe. After around 12-18 months we realised that this was a market that was only going to decline and it was impossible to compete with the regional brewers on price in this market sector.  We were also beginning to become disenfranchised with brewing as we were churning out beers that we didn’t really get much enjoyment from. The change was quick but certainly not done overnight

With little money left we decided it was make or break and we made a bold decision to change tack and begin to produce the beers that we actually wanted to drink and sell. It is far easier to brew & sell a higher quality product that you truly believe in.

This new direction began halfway through 2010 and continued throughout 2011. We had a total re-brand with coherent, sharper graphic designed font badges for easier recognition. Stronger, more heavily hopped and experimental beers started to be produced, attracting the growing number of craft beer bars that were either newly opening or embracing craft beer as it grew. Up until late 2011 we were entirely a cask based brewery. Over the last 12 months we have been able to accelerate the brewery growth by offering keg and bottle as well. The problem for us prior to using kegs was that cask beer generally only lasts for a few days making it very difficult to turn a higher ABV cask quickly enough for a bar to buy it. We had pushed our experimentation in cask about as far as possible with so many of our new hoppy beers better suited to keg dispense from the trials that we carried out and our growing urge to make bigger and bigger beers.

In early 2012 we launched Cohort Double Black Belgian Rye PA at 7.5% and then Maelstrom DIPA 9.0% as new permanent keg lines to sit side by side with Diablo that was our first commercial Keg product. We now have more permanent keg and bottle products than cask as these sales continue to grow.

Our range of beers is very diverse ranging from Barista Espresso Stout at 4.8% stepped with ground Arabica beans after the boil. Teleporter is our rich, smooth ten malt porter at 5.0%. Oregon West Coast Pale Ale 5.5% celebrates the fresh and zesty Cascade hop for a crisp, fruity easy drinking pale ale. Rouge Hop 5.8% is a complex sweet malty red ale with lashings of Simcoe and Citra hops to pack a real fruity punch. Diablo IPA 6.0% is a Citra dominated IPA with a massive lip smacking bitterness rounded out by tropical fruit notes. Cohort BIPA is our American hopped black IPA brewed with Belgian yeast. The Belgian yeast takes away some of the bitterness bite from the hops to deliver a smoother hoppier flavour than say Diablo or Maelstrom. Maelstrom DIPA 9.0 has a juicy sweeter malt body to balance the 130IBU drawn from the big hops used in this beer such as Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe.

We always have several one-off specials available in kegs generally with an emphasis on IPA as that is the beer style that we seem to enjoy brewing and drinking the most although not exclusively. Such examples are Gorilla Black IPA single hopped with Chinook to Half Wit, an American Wheat IPA or Sin City a Chocolate infused IPA. Our more experimental beers have included KopiKat Coffee Vanilla Stout brewed with fresh Madagascan Vanilla and Kopi Luwak, Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kenyan Peaberry coffee and then aged in a 27yr Caol Ila whisky barrel and a 14yr Clynelish whisky barrel


MB: All the beers I’ve tried from Summer Wine has been quite “modern”, maybe even daring coming from the UK brewing tradition – what has been the most important influences for how you make your beers?


AB: We don’t necessarily strive to be different, we just sometimes are. We have a massive and ever growing ideas board with different beers that we will brew. Some outrageous and some for example just single hopped IPA’s.

Having said that, it was our firm and deliberate decision to move away from traditional UK brewing as we generally find these beers quite dull and often very one dimensional. As many other brewers in the UK produce more traditional beers, it is very hard to stand out as a unique producer rather than just become a number in a saturated market place.

Many breweries brew accountants beer in the UK – ‘Here is your budget, brew a beer’. We decide on our recipes, brew it, and then charge accordingly thus eliminating compromise from the beer.  We would rather be known in a smaller market place for producing higher quality, unique craft beers than floating aimlessly in a sea of ubiquity with the many other traditional UK breweries.


Although our brewing capacity is limited at present and we have a considerable over-demand for our permanent core range beers in keg and bottle, we always find time to experiment and play on the brew kit. One element of our success has been our passion and willingness to tackle a range of different beer styles and nothing is really off limits to us, no matter how busy we are. The minute we just become a production facility without brewing unique and interesting specials, we not only lose our identity, but also our enjoyment within this industry.


As for influences, this is quite hard to answer. It is fair to say that as we were beginning to brew more hop forward beers in 2010 we were definitely looking squarely across the pond at the popular American IPA’s and Pale Ale’s but since last year we have just used our own creativity and ingredient stores to devise recipes and beer ideas without looking anywhere else for ideas. We have chosen to brew with other products such as coffee, cocoa, vanilla, spices as well as malt and hops from around the world to try and conjure up new flavours and a general interest in our craft beer. Influences at present are often coming from individual countries for additional ingredients to add to beer rather than looking to certain countries to see what their breweries are actually doing in their craft beer scene.


MB: If you would pick a couple of beers and pair them with a 3 course meal, how would you pair what beers?


AB: My personal preferences would probably be something like this.


Cohort Double Black Belgian Rye PA 7.5%

Venison Scotch Egg

A big full flavoured beer but with a smooth mouthfeel and gentle prickle, Cohort will override and enhance the intensely strong flavour from the venison and seasoning. The sweeter notes from the Belgian yeast also work in effectively adding more seasoning.


Diablo IPA 6.0%

Lamb Mechoui (A Moroccan dish cooked with a slow roasted leg of lamb and garnished with herbs)

The sharp bitterness of Diablo will cut through the rendered down fat and the crisp tropical fruit notes from the citra will compliment the tender lamb meat.


KopiKat Imperial Stout Clynelish Edition 10.0%

A cheeseboard consisting of Smoked Applewood,  Monastery Cheddar & Aged Goats Cheese.


MB: Your production isnt very big, what can we expect from Summer Wine in the future?


AB: We never tire of producing interesting new beers and I doubt this will ever change no matter what our production size is. The minute we lose our brewing ‘mojo’, is the time to call it quits I think.

In terms of our beers, over the next few months we have a Bacon & Maple Teleporter to brew & a 500-Minute Imperial Brown IPA using entirely British hops. Our barrel aging program will also be expanded with the release in early 2013 of our Jamaican Rum Barrel Aged Calico Jack – an imperial Caribbean Stout brewed with ground ginger, hemp, & cocao powder sat for 6 months in the barrel. Dr Paracelsus Indigo Bombastic Elixir brewed with Liquorice root, Black Cardamom, Turkish Pepper & Blackcurrants and aged in a 17yr old Bowmore Barrel.


We also have a few non core lines that are being re-brewed especially to ship out to Sweden in late October.


Our current production capacity is quite small at around 48HL per week and we are suffering from chronic over demand for the beers with an increasing demand coming from around the world. As a result, we have put plans into place for a new brewery with significantly increased capacity for install next year to allow us to fulfil demand both at home, and also around the world. This new plant will see production increase by around 5-6 times the current level initially.


MB: What do you look forward to the most with Stockholm Beer?


AB: I understand that our beers have proved to be very popular in the short space of time that we have been exporting to Sweden. It will be good to meet and talk with those that have sampled our beers and would like to drink more of them. The festival will also allow us to showcase several of our non-core range, one-off brews for the first time ever outside of the UK. I am also looking forward to experiencing the expanding Swedish Craft Beer scene as this is something that is rarely seen or spoken about in the UK at the moment.

I also get to practice some of my Swedish; Very basic at present but hey, I’m learning.


We really thank Andy for taking his time to answer our questions and make sure to meet him and try their beers during the festival. They will be in Galatea’s monter and Galatea will announce where and when they will be available for a chat and pour some specials. Rumours are also going about that they will have a beer makers dinner during the festival; if so, when and where is yet to be announced.


Tidigare inlägg i Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012:

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