UPDATE: This show first aired on Brighton’s Radio Reverb on Sunday 27 May 2018. To listen to it, you can catch up on iTunes or Podomatic.
Fermentation Beer & Brewing Radio returns to Radio Reverb at 3pm on Sunday 27 May – with a smattering of philosophy, a ringing endorsement of brewing local, and some speculation about the future of British beer.
“If you take fermentation away from brewing then it’s just a cooking process; you’re a chef. But a brewer is more than a chef.” (John Keeling, January 2018)
It’s not often that you meet a legend of brewing . In fact, at a time when a person’s status in the industry is quickly made and even more hastily lost through ratings on Untapped, or the bitterness of Twitter, there aren’t many true legends left. But John Keeling, former Head Brewer at Fuller’s is most definitely one of them. Having spent a lifetime in the British brewing industry, he is uniquely placed to give an insight into how things have changed for brewing and brewers, and what the future might hold.
“The craft beer revolution has put the brewer back to being the most important thing in the brewery, no longer the dogsbody, and they decide what beers and what flavours we’re going to work with because they understand it far more than anybody else.” (John Keeling, January 2018)
Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to share a pint or two with him up at the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick. He was very generous with his time, and our wide-ranging discussion forms the backbone to this month’s show. John is optimistic about the future. He may be retiring from Fuller’s but he will not be lost to the beer world any time soon. In fact, he’s hoping the London Brewers’ Alliance Craft Beer Festival (taking place on Saturday 23 June) will showcase London’s brewing to a new audience.
“I’m interested in making London the premier beer city of Britain, and maybe the premier beer city of Europe and maybe the premier beer city of the world.” (John Keeling, January 2018)
If progress involves a combination of consolidation and experimentation, then we have a lot to learn from John Keeling.
Also on this month’s show:
- Drinks Maven herself, Jess Mason, joins me in the studio to talk about an exciting new project she’s spearheading – BritHop – that will both highlight the potential of new, progressive British hops, and join the dots between great beer and fantastic music;
- Olav Blancquart – Duvel’s Master Brewer – tells me about the challenge of serving such a highly carbonated brew on tap, and teaches me the science behind pouring a perfect beer;
- Tom Norton from Little Earth Project talks about the importance of representing his own little piece of the planet in his unique brews;
- Continuing the ‘local’ theme, resident home brewer, James Torr, announces a new homebrew competition – Brew Brighton, Brew Local;
- Resident beer sommelier, Jane Peyton, urges us all to join her in celebrating Beer Day Britain on Friday 15 June with a nationwide #cheerstobeer at 7pm;
- And I announce the very first Brighton & Hove Beer Week – a celebration of beer and brewing in the city – which is set to take place from Friday 24 June – Sunday 2 September 2018.
We taste three beers on air:
- Duvel Moortgat Brewery – Duvel (Belgian Strong Golden Ale)
- Fuller’s x Marble (Fullers & Friends) – Matariki (New Zealand Saison)
- Emma Inch & Jane Peyton (International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day) A Good Year for the Roses (Rose NEIPA) – not commercially available