UPDATE: this show first aired on Brighton’s Radio Reverb on Sunday 22 April 2018. To listen to it, you can catch up on iTunes or Podomatic
The April edition of the UK’s only regular beer and brewing show on FM radio will air on Sunday 22 April at 3pm. And it’s a big-name show that is vying for your undivided attention!
After spending half a lifetime working in the public sector, my recent visit to BrewDog HQ left me feeling a little like I’d accidentally wandered into the head offices of Google – but that probably says much more about me than it does about the coffee-scented, neon-lit, street art covered corridors of power. The brew kit itself shone in stainless splendour and Dog Tap – the onsite tap room – felt like the kind of place where deals might be struck, where small ideas might germinate. Halfway through the day I was handed a bottle of Punk IPA straight off the clattering bottling line, and it’s unfamiliar, fresh-hop sting was a reminder that even the most placid of hounds occasionally nip at your fingers. But the BrewDog team were, without exception, welcoming, entertaining, and generous with their time. Even the sometimes publicly abrasive founders, James Watt and Martin Dickie, are undeniably charming and seemingly self-effacing when seen up close.
From their proclaimed mission to reshape the UK beer scene, to their sometimes controversial self-promotion, it’s hard to feel neutral towards the big boys of British craft brewing. But whilst with one paw they’ve been distracting us with Pink IPA and the acquisition of a chain of bars, with the other paw* they’ve been cracking on with developing OverWorks – one of the most impressive mixed fermentation facilities in the UK.
With a massive barrel store, it’s own coolship, some towering foeders, and even an amphora, OverWorks – overlooked by it’s mezzanine tap room – is a sleeping, breathing hall of fermentation. Overseen by the enthusiastic Richard Kilcullen – previously of Wicked Weed – and supported by the deeper-than-most pockets of BrewDog, I can’t help feeling that there are good things to come, and that OverWorks, (as Adrian Tierney-Jones pointed out in his recent Imbibe feature) has the potential – at least in theory – to mainstream sour brewing in the UK. What the consequences of this will be remain to be seen, but the feeling I came away with is one of optimism – I honestly cannot wait to see what kind of yeast comes floating through the windows on the Aberdeenshire breeze.
Whilst in Ellon, I took the opportunity to grab an interview with James Watt himself, and you can hear him talk about the brewery, OverWorks and some of the more recent BrewDog controversies on this month’s show.
Also on this month’s show:
- beer writer and historian, Des de Moor, talks porter and it’s place in the history of the London beer scene;
- resident homebrewer, James Torr, explains how to work with wild yeast captures at home;
- Steve Parr and Lotte Peplow from the Brewer’s Association share some thoughts about the thriving craft beer scene in the USA;
- resident beer sommelier, Jane Peyton discusses tannins in beer and the role they play in food matching, and
- we hear what’s new at Fourpure from Brewery Ambassador, Rob Davies.
We taste three beers on air:
- Kernel Brewery – Export India Porter
- Six Point Brewery – 3 Beans ( Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter with Cocoa Husks & Coffee)
- BrewDog X Fierce – Very Big Moose (Imperial Stout)
* Yes, I know a dog has four paws – I just can’t even begin to imagine what the hind legs might have been doing.