Brewing is a Craft

well see these posts by Zak Avery on his blog

The Rise of The Cuckoo – or – 2013 (What The F..k Is Going On?)


Which were very interesting and I agree with what in the main was said but it caused a a flurry of comments last night on twitter when I reposted it. So this was Zaks response

The Rise of The Cuckoo (Part 2)

This was mine in his comments section

Hours mean nothing, a brewer in a mega brewery can spend his whole life churning out bland beer, because he has to stick to the recipe. But take that brewer out, put him in a small micro and ask him to brew a great beer. 90% can’t because they have no idea how to do it. because this is where the art comes in all the Mega Brewery brewers know the science of the back of the hand , you have to. But art that doesn’t get taught on brewing Science University courses, because it can’t. It’s a blend of science and art and there are some who don’t know the science but have the art and have got lucky…but at some stage these guys will hit a problem , because they don’t know the science.
So make of that what you will


And this is a reply to Zak Avery

Yep, I agree when doing tours of the Brewery and people ask me how do you come up with a new beer. The reply is , it’s like being a chef who knows his ingredients and he knows which ones are going to compliment each other and which ones may cause a contrast and its the art of blending them together to achieve a good overall balance, without any particular flavour dominating to the detriment of the others



2 comments for “Brewing is a Craft

  1. July 6, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I’ve worked in a mega brewery, and now work as a brewer in micro brewery ( I also do all the other jobs too as I can’t afford to do anything different) .

    Without a very thorough understanding of the science I don’t see how any brewer can make good beer, after all Brewers only make wort, it’s the yeast that makes the beer, and without understanding the biology you will never be able to make a consistent product.

    As for mega brewery brewers the best example would be Charlie Bamforth ex Bass and now one of the most respected technical brewers in the world and highly skilled In the science. I remember listening to an interview last year where he admitted to never actually brewing a beer on big or small kit.

  2. July 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    yeah so did I back in the 70′s for Watneys. Not sure I agree with you about the yeast making the beer. Sure yeast strains effect what esters etc you are going to get out of the beer. But the whole thing is a balance of flavours from the malt grist, the hop varieties used and when in the process they are used and lastly the yeast.
    Understanding the biology of all these is crucial.
    Lots of Microbrewers don’t know the biology yet manage to make great beers. The problem comes for them when something goes wrong and they don’t know how to correct it

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