What is your Brewery name and where did it come from?
Fallen Brewing Company Ltd. No prizes for guessing where it came from. Seemed like too good a branding opportunity to pass up. For once, my name is coming in handy but that’s a story for another day.
What is your brewery capacity?
I’m contract brewing at the moment so could potentially produce 5, 10 or 20 BBL batches depending on demand. We’re (as in the Royal ‘we’) only new so 5BBL seems like a sensible place to start!
What is different about your brewery?
I haven’t got one……yet! Seriously though, I decided to contract brew for a few reasons. To get products out on the market asap, to de-risk the start up process, to allow me to plan and implement the brewery properly and without rushing and also to get a better idea of what size plant to invest in. What’s different? Differentiation is really difficult nowadays. We’re going to focus on local(ish) distribution, the best quality malts, new world hops, interesting adjuncts, the green agenda, kegs and using the best technology we can afford to make the best beer possible with minimal environmental impact.
How long have you been brewing for?
5 years at home, zero years commercially!
How did you get into brewing?
My lovely lady wife bought me a homebrewing kit. Little did she know what she was bringing upon herself!
What beers do you brew regularly?
The plan is to have a core range of 4-6 beers that will be available all year round. The first releases are: Odyssey (4.1% Blonde Ale), Dragonfly (4.6% Amber Ale), Blackhouse (5% Smoked Porter) and Grapevine (5.4% Pale Ale). I’ll probably add a low gravity tasty session beer and a 4-5% Stout to this list.
What special/seasonal beers do you brew?
This is where it gets fun. I’m aiming to do a monthly special with no limits in terms of scope. Anything goes. Whether it’s a Triple Mocha Um Bongo Quadruple IPA with knobs on or a Belgian-inspired Herbal Fruit Dubbel with bells on, I’m just going to experiment. Most of all it’s got to be enjoyable and drinkable. I’ve tasted some experimental stuff recently from a variety of places that’s just undrinkable. There’s no point in brewing stuff for the sake of it, it’s got to serve a purpose and give the drinker pleasure.
Where do you think the future of brewing lies?
We’re starting to come full circle. Local-Global-Local. Every town used to have at least one brewery until the regionals and the big brewers started hoovering everyone up. I think we’re going back to the days when people want to drink their local product that’s been brewed in their town by someone they know. That’s not to say that people won’t continue to drink beer from elsewhere but I think the number of microbreweries will continue to grow. Hopefully this will be at the expense of the multi-national lager brewers and not cannibalisation of other microbreweries.
Do you bottle/keg/cask your beer?
All of the above. Some drink at home, some drink at the pub, some like their beer cold and fizzy, some like it warm and flat. I think you need to try to cater for everyone.
What is you proudest moment in brewing?
My first all-grain as a homebrewer. Never again will a beer taste so good.
Do you have any brewing regrets?
I try not to look back and regret things. Maybe my only one was not getting into it sooner but I’m still young(ish)!
What is your brewing ambition?
For everyone who tries my beers for the first time to want another one.
What was last beer you drank?
My own Grapevine (Pale Ale). For quality control purposes only.
What is your favourite hop and why?
Simcoe. It’s so unique, tasty and almost impossible to substitute in a recipe.
What is your favourite beer/food combo?
Depends how I’m feeling. My Grapevine with an Indian curry, a Belgian Dubbel with a strong blue cheese, a Wit with seafood or a Smoked Porter with BBQ ribs are some of my favourites.
Do you have a Brewing hero/inspiration?
There are so many brewers doing great things, it’s impossible to pick one out. Probably the person who stumbled across the accidentally fermented brew 10,000 years ago, drank it, liked it and decided to pass on the info.
If you could brew one collaboration beer with someone who would it be with and what would it be?
Probably Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing. It would have to be something ‘wild’. Lambics, gueuzes and the way Vinnie draws on his vintner background to blend his beers is fantastic. It’d be great to absorb a small amount of that knowledge.
Which beer do you wish you had brewed?
My next one
How do you spend your time when you aren’t brewing?
Thinking about brewing. If I can stop myself doing that…family, friends, guitar or something outdoors.
If you could have one superhero superpower what would it be?
Do you have a website/twitter/blog?