We are on somewhat of an English brewer kick at the moment with our head brewer interviews. The latest brewer was recommended to CellarMonk from an avid beer drinker (thanks @broadfordbrewer) and luckily he agreed to sit in the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame (well, somewhat) and hold court on all aspects of his brewing life (well, the exciting bits at least). Please welcome to CellarMonk, the head brewer for Adnams Plc, Mr. Fergus Fitzgerald.
Name(s): Fergus Fitzgerald @Solebear
Brewery Name: Adnams Plc
How long have you beer head brewer/brewmaster there?
I joined in 2004 and became head brewer in 2008.
Any type of formal training in brewing science or art? If not, how did you learn the craft?
I studied Biotechnology in Ireland, which touches on brewing, my formal brewing training then came on the job whilst training and studying for the IBD exams, http://www.ibd.org.uk/qualifications/examinations/ starting with the certificate in brewing, then the diploma and finally the Master brewer Exams.
If you will, a brief history of your brewing experience (where have you brewed)?
I studied Biotechnology in Ireland and then took up a temporary laboratory job at Fullers brewery in London, that was my first real introduction to brewing and it kickstarted my interest in brewing. That led to another temporary lab job in Murphys in Cork, and then back to Fullers for a second time for a permanent job in 1997. I then circled my way around the brewery, going through various quality and production jobs. During this time I'd passed the diploma in brewing exams which gave me the chance to move into the brewhouse. I then moved up to Adnams as assistant head brewer in 2004, working under the then head brewer Mike Powell-Evans.
Mike retired in 2008 having installed a new brewhouse in 2007 and I took over as head brewer.
When did you move to this location, or have you always been there?
I moved up here from London in 2004, we were actually looking to move to the North West, closer to my wifes family but the job at Adnams came up and it was too good to turn down.
You're all wanking sissies if you even think about using a grain mill, teeth, or ball-peen hammer. A real brewer uses 17 vestal virgins stomping on the grain in a large wooden vat. And yeast is for losers. True brewers just dip one end of their dog into the wort to get things going.
-- Drew Avis