Anyone who knows me will tell you I like a challenge. I’m never happier than when the pressure’s on, never more excited than when there’s a prize at stake or adversity is looming large. It’s not always healthy and has got me in trouble a few times but for me life has to be hard. Thanks for allowing me the indulgence of writing that. Over the last 11 years I have fulfilled the majority of my ambitions as a brewer. Taking a successful microbrewery from producing 10,000 hectolitres to 350,000 hectolitres per year, taking Doom Bar from local popularity to the status of the biggest-selling cask ale brand in the UK, building a brewery, a highly-skilled brewing team and with them winning hundreds of national and international awards and accolades are some of the things that someone less modest than me would blog about. After 11 years of blood, sweat and no shortage of tears (some of them mine, even), Sharp's Brewery is now more stable and well-resourced than it has ever been. I am blessed with a fantastic production management team and a brilliant Technical Brewer in Carl Heron. So it’s now time to take on a new challenge.
Today was my last day as Head Brewer of Sharp’s Brewery.
My new title is Head of Craft* Brewing and Innovation. Sounds nice doesn’t it? They did want to call me Grand Overlord of Craft* but I thought that was bit O.T.T. It’s not completely possible to explain the extent of my new role without giving away our craft* beer strategy but I will be involved in developing technical capability and new beers in existing breweries (Sharp’s, Franciscan Well, William Worthington and watch this space?) developing new brewing and packaging facilities and working with partner breweries in Europe and the North Americas to develop and improve the craft* beer we brew. So part-tech brewer, part-building and engineering project manager, part-development brewer, part-collaboration brewer, part-man from Del Monte. My focus is still going to be on Sharp’s for the short term to support Carl Heron the new Head Brewer as he takes over the reins. Or rather tries to pull the reins from my clenched fists as I hurl abuse at him.
So who is this Carl Heron?
|Carl enjoys talking to horses|
Carl is a Master Brewer with more than 3 decades of brewing experience covering the management of every area of brewing operations. He has brewed in England, Scotland, Belgium, Slovenia, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, even Yorkshire! Before joining Sharp’s Brewery, Carl was a development brewer for AB InBev. His last project was to develop a new version of Leffe (Royale). We tried a bottle last week and it’s the best Leffe variant I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been through 7 assistants over my 11 years and Carl is the first I would trust to take on the brewery. As you can imagine that takes some doing!
|Stuart enjoys caring for woodlice|
I will still blog about my exploits and a higher ranking position won’t stop me being the opinionated beer and brewing obsessive you either don’t like or aren’t quite sure if you like are not. My woodlice stock is now up above 200 so each pint of my Urban Session/Honest Brew beer will contain the goodness of more than 2 woodlice. I hope to see you there on Wednesday.
*If you are inclined to be offended by the use of the word craft to describe beer brewed by a multinational brewer or its partners please replace craft with nice, good, speciality……..