SAY HI TO SOME OF OUR EPIC BREWERS!
Over the last couple of months, we have been catching up with some of the incredible people who work for BrewDog, across different parts of our company. We began the series by spending time with the BrewDog Sisterhood and most recently hit the road with three members of our Sales Team. This time, we switch attention to the sharp end of life at our Ellon HQ and take a timeout with three of our amazing brewers – each of whom have a very different (but equally vital) focus.
And if you’d like to join them on the BrewDog crew, check out our vacancies here!
Fabio Prete Brewer, Pilot Kit
Our Italian Maestro arrived at BrewDog with the sum total of zero experience in the brewing world – but eleven years working in wine production served him in good stead as he moved up from junior brewer to manage our Ellon Pilot Kit. Based alongside DogTap, Fabio doesn’t have far to go at the end of his shift to pick up his go-to Jet Black Heart – and when he explains his daily responsibilities it makes you realise how well-earned each one is.
“The role I have is a mix of everything at the moment, from pilot production to barrel store organisation, our ice-distilled programme and I’m also looking after a few special future projects,” he says, cryptically.
In between dialling in our Blitz sours, heavyweights such as Tactical Nuclear Penguin and regulating our barrel store no two days are the same for Fabio. But what would he say is the difference between our smallest brewhouse and the others (aside from the obvious)?
“The Pilot Kit is more ‘creative’ without losing any of the focus you need on quality – as you need to experiment on new things and then you need to be able to learn from all of the feedback you have every day.”
Well, if Fabio wanted feedback then we have some for him – as part of our recent DogTap remodelling we increased capacity for his small-batch production with more 20HL tanks; plenty more conditioning space with which he can work his magic.
Dan Williams Brewer, Site 1
Our crewmembers have all kinds of backgrounds, but there aren’t many ex-beekeepers on our roster. Dan’s pathway to beer started out with an inherited hive and a cupboard full of honey. This led him into mead production…
“It takes two years to mature a mead,” he says. “So I took aim at the apples on my apple trees (for cider). Then I heard about my favoured alcoholic beverage and home brewing produced mixed results so I quit my job and joined a brewery in North Wales as an assistant brewer.”
Exchanging the world of finance (and bees) for brewing was a big step – but we love the fact that our staff are often willing to go out on a limb for something they love doing. Dan works in our original Site 1 brewhouse, behind the glass partition to the rear of DogTap. You may well spot him with brush or hose in hand as he works through the running order of the day ensuring that our brewing gear, vessels and surrounding environment is as optimal as possible – the best brewers are total clean freaks.
When asking Dan what the biggest challenge of working in our 100HL brewery is, he switches to another common problem brewers have – keeping those plates spinning.
“It’s managing the sheer variety of beers that are at different stages of fermentation or maturation and continuing to be vigilant with any unexpected variation,” he says.
So our incredible team of brewers need to be control freaks as well as clean freaks (but they can also be bee freaks, too).
Brice Wiedmann Brewery Lead, Site 3
Brice has been with us for two years and started out in our original brewhouse, after tackling the not insignificant challenge of learning English first. But everyone who knows him realises that kind of thing is peanuts to Brice, as he now heads up our 300HL brewing system at our Ellon HQ.
“I used to work in a big industrial beer company in France where I am from,” he says. “I found a job on the BrewDog website and a friend told me – you don’t have the courage to apply. So I did and got the job!”
Brice was a key part of our huge project last year to get Site 3 installed and online. Commissioning new breweries is a massively complicated process – as Brice says it used 200% of his energy. Due to the volumes of beer it is capable of, we use the Site 3 kit to rock our Headliners and Brice works tirelessly to guarantee every brew is as consistent as all the others. So we figured we should ask him what a typical day was like in order for him to achieve this…
“My daily target is to make the perfect beer,” he says.
He follows through from malt and signs off each batch when it is in the bright beer tanks.
“For that I need to check the quality results to follow our beers closely and adjust the recipes, assist in the taste panel, work with our maintenance team and adjust the planning to ensure the beer is done on time and make sure everyone in our brewing team is happy at work!” As with Dan and Fabio, no two days are the same for Brice.
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