In Conversation with Evin O’Riordan of London’s The Kernel Brewery

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In Conversation with Evin O’Riordan of London’s The Kernel Brewery

By Jamie Trecker from Mash Tun Journal #5


Just across the Thames, in the borough of Southwark, sits Bermondsey, a working-class neighborhood with roots that date back to King Edward III. Bermondsey has been a place of firsts: this was the home of Britain’s first railway, and the arches that litter Spa Road stand as a testament to one of this nation’s greatest achievements. Wild man “Wee” Willie Harris hailed from the town, giving it a credit in the pre-history of rock and roll. And today, it is the incubator for a number of emerging London breweries, all of which are concentrated in the industrial parks and arches that litter the area. Brew By Numbers is here, Partizan is close by – and then, there’s the Kernel, the greatest of them all.

 

Why here? “We have a lot of arches,” says Evin O’Riordan, matter-of-factly. O’Riordan, the head brewer and founder of the Kernel, often comes off as deadpan, but that quiet demeanor masks the fierce intelligence and shrewd integrity that has helped put the Kernel atop of the so-called “New Wave” breweries in London. He is widely respected by his colleagues (Jasper Cuppaidge at the Camden calls him, admiringly: “artisan with a capital ‘A’”) and slavishly imitated by others. His no-frills packaging and unwillingness to hard-sell his beer may be mystifying to some, but he doesn’t care about what people think. What he cares about is beer, and making it better every time.

 

O’Riordan sat down for this unusual long-format interview with Mash Tun, conducted by Jamie Trecker. This interview has been edited for length and clarity but not for content.


MT: Evin, thanks for talking to us. First off, you had a very unusual path to becoming a brewer, at least for us in the States. I understand you worked at a cheese shop, Neal’s Yard, and are basically entirely self-taught.

 

EOR: Yeah. I don’t know, I wonder does anybody start off being a brewer? I think we all start off as something much more amorphous than that. But, yeah, I turned to brewing about seven years ago now. You are correct that I was, I suppose, working for Neal’s Yard at the time, and they sent me to New York to help one of their customers open a cheese shop there. That’s pretty much where my eyes were open to the possibilities in beer that I had not seen before.

MT: What was so different about New York? London, and England in general, obviously have a huge brewing tradition.

EOR: It does have a huge brewing tradition and even then there were still plenty of amazing beers being made. I suppose it’s interesting if you compare New York to London. I wouldn’t be able to say the same thing now; there is no way I could have made it this far without being aware of the possibilities of beer, because of what’s happened here in London in the last few years–I think a lot of that potential and interest in beer was around then.

There are different mentalities in the two countries, in terms of how they engage with things like beer and pubs, and the way people communicate their enthusiasm. I mean, it wasn’t only the beers in NY that amazed me, although they did. But what was perhaps even more engaging was peoples’ relationships with the beer. If you want to go for a drink with a friend here, you generally go to the closest pub, whatever is handiest. Whereas the guys I met in NY took me out for a beer, and they’d say we’re going to this pub over there for these x, y and z reasons (because this brewer is going to be there, he is going to have this beer on, etc). There was much more care put into what was being drunk.

One of the joys of drinking in England and Ireland (where I’m from) is they say that the camaraderie of drinking with friends comes first and the beer is secondary. Perhaps that should always be beer’s role: to kind of lubricate the social interaction. The focus in a beer bar I was exposed to in NY was very much the beer as the reason people were coming together, so the response to the beer was much more engaged and enthusiastic. The traditional English image was people who have a regular pint or a regular pub. They didn’t have the same ideas of challenging people, or having something different, or even having bartenders that would explain the differences between things. In New York, it just blew my mind that you could have all these different beers and somebody would explain them to you, and you could then even try a few things before you decided what you want. None of that was happening with drinking in England at that point in time.

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MT: So you came back from New York, but did you make a conscious decision that brewing was something that you wanted to get into? Is it that you wanted to bring some of this culture back to England, and maybe changing some of the things over here in doing that?

 

EOR: I think you are exactly right, but it sometimes is hard to look back. Things seem a bit more concrete once they’ve happened. I’m sure at the time it was an idea, perhaps a pretty vague one. And now that the brewery has been going for a few years, it kind of makes that initial decision seem much more important. If it never happened, then would I have done something else, I guess. There was a certain aspect of wanting to change English drinking culture, or at least incorporate aspects of the American drinking culture into it.

This was very similar to something I already knew. What happened was that Whole Foods, your American grocery store, was setting up a cheese room in one of their shops on the Lower East Side. And I was showing them how to look after the store, how to look after the cheese with Neal’s Yard. With the cheeses, I would know the name of the farmer, what sort of cows, what they ate, what sort of land and pastures they were eating from, what effect this had on the milk, what sort of recipe the cheese maker used, the tradition he invoked and was involved with, how it tasted now, a month ago, and how it would taste in a month… these were the things that I knew and loved, and then I found guys there that were telling me the exact same facts about beer, and had known none of it. I knew probably what yeast, and malt, and barley were, but that’s it.

So, in the sense of shifting cultures, I understood the impetus behind diving deep into something, and I found beers that were worthy of that sort of attention. This was lacking in London then. I think there was actually a lot more happening that I just didn’t know about, like places in London that were serving or looking out for good beer. There couldn’t have been that many, because I did start looking when I came back. The scene certainly wasn’t obvious; you might even be going to reputable beer pubs that served very good wheat ale and all those things, but you weren’t getting quite what it is that you were looking for. There may have been a few places around that were doing something I’d be a bit more interested in, but it wasn’t evident.

MT: So when and how did you learn to brew at home? This may sound like an odd question, but in the States, that’s been legal for a long time and we now have a huge network of homebrew stores and stuff. I don’t know if that exists in England, but was it difficult to learn?

 

EOR: You probably heard of this guy called Charlie Papazian, he wrote some books. I read those. There are quite a few homebrew books which give you a start. Most of them contradict each other, but when you have the internet which contradicts itself all the time, you kind of learn how to negotiate through various levels of information. There was a homebrew shop that was technically in London, but about two and a half hours from my house on public transport. You can imagine carrying a sack of malt back; it doesn’t work. You can buy stuff online, but you miss the opportunity to ask questions when you’re just starting off. But that’s how I started, books and the internet, I suppose.

After I had been brewing about a year or so, there were a few other London homebrew groups. There was a group called the London Amateur Brewing Setup. I wasn’t one of the founding members, but I appeared at the first meeting. That had a huge effect, because you can only get so far with brewing and learning how to do things on your own. The most amazing thing about that was just the feedback. Friends might say something’s nice or not quite right, but to have people with beer tasting or beer judging experience, or who understand specific faults and styles [tasting my beer] made the most difference to my brewing life at that point, and probably to many others. There was a very strongly stated rule that said don’t just be nice, be fair, but err on the harsh side. So dig, look for and give input that isn’t like, ‘Oh you know that’s tasty, I would have several pints of that.’ With a group, you don’t just get feedback on your beers, you get to analyze other people’s beer and you learn both ways.

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MT: So you can identify flaws, learn from them, and learn how to avoid or correct them in your own things?

EOR: Exactly, you get that kind of pooling of knowledge. But also you get to taste. Flavor and taste are things you can never really translate in a book. You can kind of hint at it and suggest, but if you are all sitting around smelling and tasting something together, then you can identify what it is. Maybe you don’t quite pick it up the first few times, but you learn.


MT: But then how did you leap to the idea of a brewery? That sounds like a big risk.

EOR: Not as such. No. My situation was slightly more ambiguous than we have it down so far. Actually, I wasn’t working for Neal’s Yard directly at that point. I had worked for them for about eight years, and then I had my own cheese stall in the Borough market just near London Bridge. So I had my own stall, but the market was only running Fridays and Saturdays. Up until just before I went to the States, I was studying, writing a PhD. I would study most of the week, and then have a couple days working in the market. So it wasn’t quite as drastic a leap as all that. Were their concerns? I mean there always are, and I was getting myself into something that I really had no idea what it was really about.

I knew that replicating that on a larger scale was a different question, and you can end up way out of your depth very quickly. But I had faith that if I could make beers that were that good, that there would be enough people out there to appreciate them. Also, at that point in time, London had eight or nine breweries. I think there were five or six brewpubs and there were only Fuller’s, Meantime and Budweiser of course were importing here. Fuller’s had been there for a few hundred years, Meantime had been there for ten. Also, I think Grandaddy’s, maybe Sambrook’s had just started, and Brodies were going but they were kind of a brewpub at that point in time… So three independent stand alone breweries and six brewpubs. I’m not really into planning or business models or things like that, but I looked around and saw a lot of people and three breweries. I knew the experience I had in NY wasn’t unique: many Londoners of a certain type have spent time in NY, or San Francisco, or Chicago or Portland, and probably had a similar experience to mine. In a sense, there are many more connections between, say, London and NY than between London and Shropshire. It’s all ‘big urban’ – the fashion, the news, the cosmopolitan city sort of things. People here have a lot of experience about what life might be like in Paris, Milan, Stockholm, Tokyo, Melbourne, New York, so it wasn’t hard to imagine that there would be people out there to understand what I was working towards.

There definitely were people out there that were ready for it. I think you can put down a lot of what happened to a certain amount of luck, I suppose. If you are in the right place at the right time… I mean, we are in London, and here were all these people who would happily have drunk this sort of beer had it been available.


MT: Why wasn’t there anyone else? Why hadn’t somebody already come into London, with such a great brewing history? Why did it take so long?

EOR: That’s a good question. I wonder about that myself, because things were already happening by then. I remember when I came back from the States in 2007, around the end of April or early May, I was looking around England for something more ethereal, not just, ‘What breweries here are making IPAs like an American would rather than like Greene King would?’ I came across this brewery called Brewdog, who had just opened up in April 2007. They had a little mail order shop, I don’t think you could get the beer many other places. You could send off, and they would send you a 24-bottle crate of Punk IPA. They were great, and it was great beer. Their spiel, has always been their spiel, and that’s also fine. (It was also somebody else’s spiel, but that’s another story.) They still do make great beers, but what I got then was that they were setting up a brewery in a completely different way that I would imagine, and embracing things that hadn’t been seen here. Bringing in the idea of Punk IPA–what a West Coast IPA could be like–, it was heartening, in a sense, to know there were other people who could imagine somebody here would enjoy drinking West Coast IPA. And they were already there, they were happening, they were doing it, and they’ve done a lot of things. The way they’ve gone about things has brought some attention to craft beer world, and that has made some things easier to introduce to people who may not otherwise have been interested in beer.


MT: They have an interesting system, because it’s close to what we call in Chicago a ‘tied house;’ it’s very weird, because, in a way, it’s kind of old school. They are a beer producer that sells through their breweries, and that is not necessarily what American craft brewers do. They usually put it out to market. We have taprooms, and you guys have a taproom here, but, Brewdog seems to be an old fashioned brewer with punk rock marketing. They are making very good beer though.  


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EOR: Yeah, and recently I think their beer has been really tasty. I haven’t really looked too deeply into the tied aspect of things. We don’t have a bar or anything that we could actually use. It’s just not something that I have thought about directly. I think Brewdog also goes about things by creating a certain community, club, environment, or experience that is not just the beer; it’s the whole ethos around it. Obviously it is much easier to curate that ethos in your own space. If you are having a pint of Punk IPA in some other pub then you are not going to get the full experience of it as much as if you are in a Brewdog pub. It also to do with identifying with a certain brand, or however it works, and what they are doing as a brand, ideologically, is a huge part of what they do.

Probably before Brewdog, there weren’t that many breweries here who were embracing what would have been a transparently traditional way of presenting beer to an English public. It’s traditional in one sense, but it’s not really. A hundred years ago, the beer scene would have been very different. There would have been a lot of things other than your best bitter, as bitters only became the most popular ale style in the 60’s. Before then, it was milds, which are almost extinct. What we really have is a tradition of small breweries in this country. That means a hell of a lot: it means we have beer drinkers who are accustomed to small breweries; it means we have a legal setup that supports that tradition as well. Like you were saying about the difficulties of setting up a brewery in the States, in terms of paperwork and logistics, I think it’s easier over here because there is a tradition of it. There have always been a few small breweries even if there weren’t very many. Then CAMRA [CAMpaign for Real Ale] stepped in in the 70’s and helped make sure that the small breweries survived.

But that tradition can also hold you back, because it limits the expectations and potential of the beer community. London, being a big city, considers itself quite modern. When most brewing was anchored in the traditional (and that was associated with the countryside), if you wanted the traditional ye olde Englishy pub, you could find them in London, but they’ll get your traditionally ye olde Englishy beer from Yorkshire, Shropshire, or wherever. People could be scared off by real estate as well–putting on a brewery space in London is expensive. You do, of course, have a market on your doorstep, so it’s not the biggest consideration.

The other thing I suppose tradition does kind of dictate is expectations of price. Again, when we were talking about doing business in the states, the prices seem to be a lot cheaper than here, but that’s a lot to do with taxes, which are pretty high in London. It’s one of those quirks of the modern world that handmade and handcrafted products like real ale are much more difficult to look after. More wastage in manufacturing is generally cheaper. So the artisanal product, which should deserve more of our attention, care, and probably money, is actually sold cheaper or at a lower margin because of the beer drinking tradition with its expectations that it is the drink of the people, working class, etc. So I think prospective brewers thinking of making the most money might not go in that direction. But there were a few London breweries that started up doing more ‘English’ and continental styles, and they didn’t seem to survive terribly well. I don’t know whether Londoners thought the ‘traditional’ beer itself was too old-fashioned, or if they associated it with their fathers, grandfathers, or that strange uncle that always sits in the corner muttering to himself–drunk, with a bad beard. At any rate, people here have always been pretty literate in terms of food and wine. Consumables have been relatively well respected and highly regarded, and people can be quite educated in terms of understanding them. And again, that’s the thing I saw in the States: this education being applied to beer. Which I hadn’t seen here.

 

MT: It’s interesting you brought up expectations, because up in Manchester we were talking with Port Street Brewing House and the owners told me that one of the problems they’ve had is people coming in and saying, ‘Why aren’t you just selling a bitter? And why are you doing this? And why aren’t you doing that?’ Did you run into any resistance when you started you sell your beer?

 

E: No, I experienced none whatsoever, almost. And it still shocks me today. But there are a couple of things that can mitigate that: one is that we never went out and actively sold beer to people–everything we sell has been people coming to us so they are already engaged to a certain degree. I mean, we have some people who will do a speculative email, just an inquiry, and then drop around here or ask if somebody can come and see them and explain what it is we do. But yeah, everything has grown through word of mouth, so hopefully the quality of the beer itself is speaking for us, without having to cold call people and push beer on them. It’s quite nice for me because it makes my life a lot easier, but I think it’s also good for the person at the bar who has already decided that this type of beer serving environment they want to be a part of. They have much more investment, engagement, and care rather than if they had it forced upon them. People do ask, of course, if they have a certain type or style they really enjoy and why don’t we make one? They like our other beers, they’d think we’d make a really good best bitter. But that’s not in our hearts, that’s not what we love. Those things aren’t so much criticism as they are encouragement.

 

MT: You’ve just poured a London Export Stout here that is a very old recipe which we were discussing earlier, from 1890, and it’s an antique recipe that just disappeared from the market. And this is not off the wall for you; in fact it seems like there is a lot focus to what you do, and I was just wondering if you could put that in your own words?

 

EOR: I’m not really sure that I can. The individual bits kind of are clear, or at least to my mind, are relatively clear in themselves, but as to how they fit in an overall coherency–it’s a bit more abstract and quite amorphous. Like anybody’s personality, you can’t necessarily fit all the bits together to create one sort of perfect understandable whole. I mean, yeah, I’m sure most breweries you talk to say the same thing: ‘We brew the beers that we enjoy drinking.’ I do on occasion enjoy a good pilsner, but it’s not something that I drink very much, so we don’t make very many; most Belgian styles are not something that make us go crazy with excitement, so we don’t brew any. We love pale, hoppy beers — really pale and quite hoppy – and crystal malts and other things that give a big sweet body are not things that we enjoy, so we avoid them. And we like beers like this that are old and in old recipes.

You asked earlier if this was a recipe from the homebrew club. It’s not, but my love of these beers comes from that club. The first time I tried any of these old recipe beers was at that club. Someone brought in a beer that they made to a 1865 recipe from Flowers Brewery in Stratford upon Avon, their ‘Christmas Stout.’ That was one of those moments when you go: ‘I don’t have a clue what is going on here.’ But it’s great, because so much of the world is trying to convince you of: a) The novelty of what they’ve just done; and b) How creative they are, and how unique. I suppose that’s like me saying there were no breweries in London before we started 4 years ago, and before Citra who could make a proper pale ale, and then you have a recipe that’s 125 years old. So, yeah, in a sense there is no reason for us to think we are doing anything better or more original than anyone else. We don’t know what they were doing back then, because we don’t even know if this is an accurate representation of what they were drinking, but beer survived this long because it is generally pretty good.

 

MT: And this [brew] is very good, it’s outstanding in fact.

EOR: Then in a sense it’s little to do with us, it’s just us trying to channel a bit of the past. Because we’re here in London, we’ve been talking about the new things that have been happening here. But there are a hell of a lot of old things that have happened here that we really don’t know much about. We look in, have a route ‘round the archives, walk around the streets, spot the old breweries. There is a whole history of brewing here that we are not really engaged with. The guys who brew at Fullers are great people to talk to about this. They have a bigger sense of engagement because their brewery started 200-odd years ago. Of course those individuals weren’t around, but they are partaking in a tradition of what it means to brew in London. I suppose beers like this old Export Stout are our attempts to try to figure out how to engage with that. I think it’s important to acknowledge the strong history here, that is, as long as it makes really good beer. There’d be no point in doing a perfect recreation of an old recipe if it tasted crap.

 

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MT: And that makes me want to ask about this space, and where you are. One of the things that Americans don’t know anything about–and I just have to ask after you showed me around this beautiful brewery– is that you’re in an old railway arch. This is completely foreign to Americans. I read in another interview that one of your clients advised you when you started a brewery, to get an arch and start a brewery in an arch. What is the deal with the arch, and why is it an attractive space? I know you and a number of other people have moved into this space and created a little community of artisan makers and sellers.

 

EOR: There are thousands of old railway arches across London, because all of the train lines that run in and out of the city are raised above street level so they don’t interfere with traffic. The next generation ones are going to start being buried, but that’s another thing entirely. These are Victorian constructions of solid brick that have been around for a long time. They tend to be really wet, dank, musty, and moldy. Most of the time, in the past, they would have been used as storage or more so, for mechanics, engineering workshops, cars, things like that. Primarily they were relatively cheap in terms of rent, up until recently I suppose. I think Network Rail, who control these things, started lining the arches with this sort of white corrugated metal which kind of creates a seal around it, so you don’t get all the wet and dampness that clings to the walls. It allows the spaces to be used for things like food production or brewing, or other things that require a controlled hygienic environment. It wasn’t the initial plan to end up in an arch directly, it was more that an arch became available. When we moved into our first site, we shared one of these arches with cheese maker Bill at Kappacasein, which is now our neighbor ham and cheese company adjacently that direction [points]. There were three of us in one arch. Neal’s Yard dairy has the arches that were next-door to that, and they knew we were looking for a space. The architecture has benefits for perishables and agricultural items, because there is so much brick overhead that it creates a kind of huge amount of thermal mass that helps to even out temperature fluctuations. In Winter it’s a bit warmer than outside, and in Summer it’s a bit cooler; it doesn’t go up and down too much, it’s like a cave. So in terms of maturing cheese, it’s ideal; if beer sits, the fact that it’s pretty temperate makes looking after things a bit easier. Fast temperature fluctuations cause a lot of trouble in wine, beer, or cheese.


MT: It’s fascinating to me walking around this complex. We’ve already referenced this, but you moved here, you’ve got a little community, on the weekends you open up. You don’t really have a taproom per se, but you serve your beers to the public. People can get cheese, there’s a butcher shop next-door…it seems like one of the important things here is community and how you connect to it. In fact, with this recipe, you are talking about old London, and this whole setup is a really perfect representation of that idea. That is something that we are very interested in obviously at Mash Tun, but why is it so important for you? It’s sometimes a difficult concept to explain to people: why community, and why is that sense of belonging so important, not only for a business, but for a human reason?

 

EOR: I think there are about 6 questions in there, but that’s the sort of question I appreciate really. I haven’t really thought about that myself before, so I’m going to have to think. But also I like the way you’ve put your finger on that connection aspect; it is something that’s very important to us. Our little community around here — the butcher next door, the ham and cheese company, the honey company, the coffee roasters, the veg guys — we all moved in here for a reason. Maybe it’s that collectively we can do more than we can individually. So not just in terms of attracting people down to our storefronts, but also we rent out all these arches together and we can get a better deal collectively. So somebody comes down to try some beer, they own a restaurant, ‘Oh well what, shall we go next door and try some cheese? Where do you get your meat from?’ They all bring guys to come see and hear together, and you can work a certain magic, I suppose. I don’t know, I always think there is a certain futility standing in your own corner. It’s almost like you are spiting yourself, like, ‘I am standing alone!’

I think one of the things that is maybe behind the question is that these sort of things become…I mean, I am originally from Ireland which is a very small country, not many people in there, but I’ve been here 15 years now, and even the big cities are relatively small. One of the things about Ireland is that everybody knows everyone else, and if we bumped into each other randomly in the street, we would have some friend in common and we would find out about it in about 3 seconds, which is great and friendly and warm and developing but also slightly limited. When you come to London, there is absolute freedom, city of 13 million strangers, you never bump into anyone you know, and it’s great, but then you realize that’s not exactly what you were looking for anyway. So then you begin building things, communities. It’s impossible to engage with London as a whole because it’s so big, and most cities are probably the same. So we just do things and intervene as we can in our own little world, these food producers that we work with down around here. And where I live there is a network of people I know, neighbors and people, and it’s very strong in brewing too because now, there are six breweries in a mile, on either side of us. It’s mental, and most of them are brewing really good beer. Some of them are very close friends. And throughout London, we have London Brewer’s Alliance where we get together monthly wherever feasible and try to do things as a collective for the reasons of furthering good beer in London.

So these communities kind of work in their own way in terms of how you negotiate and relate to the whole city, because you can’t know everybody. But I think it’s about being part of something that’s bigger than yourself. If you start a brewery, it’s not just to make beer, it’s to support yourself and the people who work there…But that stretches out, because the beer you make starts to be sold in other places, which gives other people jobs, and so on. Any relation that you have with your neighbors over stuff like this is creating bonds that are hopefully building something that will yeah extend beyond you. It’s a question of health I suppose: I find the interlinking networks of a community to be the healthiest way of building a better society.

 

MT: Since we’ve talked a lot about community, alliances, starting off in 2007 in a whole new world, opening a brewery, becoming successful…I guess the natural question is where do you want to go from here? In America, a lot of people have big dreams of being commercially successful or making all these styles or opening a taproom. The aspirations range everywhere from being very small to being very big. Sitting, drinking and talking with you, it doesn’t seem like business concerns are necessarily the most important thing; it seems what you are really interested in is making quality beer and making sure all your staff is taken care of.

 

EOR: Yes, and way I maintain this is by not making any rash decisions now. I think part of the integrity is reacting to circumstances as they come up, rather than prescribing a planned program of development. I can tell you how I feel right now, I’m quite happy to do so, but things may change. I think you’ve identified precisely what the important things are here: the community we’re in, the people who are working here, and the quality of the beer. Most of those things can line up in a way that they are not fighting each other. I’m not sure how we got to the way things work here, but it’s great. There are ten of us, all ten of us brew. In turn, all ten of us will run the bottling machine, we all answer the phone at the front, and we all put together orders, drive the forklift around, and move pallets of beer. So within the brewery, there is quite a flexible, flat system of organization, which means that everybody is responsible for the whole. It works at this scale, but I don’t necessarily think it would work so well if you were a bigger organization. Obviously if everybody is looking after everything, and everything is really big, that might get a little bit tricky. So I guess that’s one of the things that makes me think we won’t go much, much bigger. There is space in here for us to produce a bit more beer, but there is also the nature of what we do: a lot of bigger breweries would brew 3 or 4 batches of beer into one large fermenter, whereas we’d like each batch to be individual. So that sort of scaling system wouldn’t really work well for us.

 

MT: Even your labels are very individual. It’s not insane graphics or what have you: it’s just ABV, the name of the beer, and what it is.

 

EOR: Yeah, that goes back to what I was talking about at the beginning: having faith in the person who is tasting the beer. I don’t want to have to give them tasting notes. The beer should tell them enough. Obviously if it’s in a bar or a shop, then you want the person who is selling it to have enjoyed it and be able to recommend it. Having any blurb on there that kind of shouts, ‘Drink me! Buy me! I’m really tasty!’ is unnecessary. Our labels just say, ‘please drink fresh’ on the back and have hops on the front. There is nothing more need be said, really. I mean, most of the way we grow is somewhat organic, for the sake of not having any other word. It’s pretty slow and steady, and we are comfortable with that. If something should change in the future, it will be slow and steady and we will adjust. If one of the guys here really wants to set up a taproom and wants to look after that themselves, that’s great. It’s too much work for me that I don’t even want to conceive of it.

I’m afraid there is no profound answer to that question. There are no fireworks on the horizon. We stick to the things we really enjoy, pale beers some dark beers, and we also love drinking sour beers so we are really excited you brought over a Berliner Weisse [from Marz]. Most of our private stash of beers here tends to be lambics and exciting delicious sour beers. Those barrels you saw in the next room, most of them have a saison we tried, but once we lose a bit of the barrel character and they become a bit neutral, we will start adding things to them just to start kicking off something that would be more of a spontaneous sour lambic style fermentation rather than a Berliner Weisse…but you know that whole thing, the gestation period of that sort of beer is long and slow, and we are moving that direction because that’s what we love to drink.


MT: Very cool, we love to drink that too. Thanks so much, we really appreciate it.

EOR: No, thank you!

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