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  • Interview with a Beer Blogger - Across the Pond

    In a new interview series here on CellarMonk, we will be seating Beer Bloggers in the comfy computer chair of fame.  First up is a Twitter friend that was at the ready to suggest can't miss pubs to go to during this author's recent trip to London. Whether it's judging beer, tasting beer, or evangelizing beer, she is at the ready.  Welcome the the Cellar, beer expert and food diva, Melissa Cole.

    Melissa Cole

    Blog Name: Taking the Beard Out of Beer 

    Location (city, country): London, United Kingdom (UK)Melissa Cole

    When did your blog start? 2007

    What got you into blogging about beer?
    I write about beer for a living, and I get to go on so many great trips that I can't always place.  Also, with my b2b writing background and so many pent-up rants, I thought it would be a good idea to start an outlet for all that!

    Is beer the only thing you blog about?
    Beer and beer & food, but I'm a bit random - I write for a living and only blog when the mood really takes me. I know a lot of people will say that's not the way to do it but I prefer quality over quantity - in many walks of life in fact!

    How long have you been blogging about beer?
    I've been writing about beer in way or another for over 10 years.

    Any formal writing training? School, Internship, etc.
    I have a BA Honors in Journalism

  • Interview with a Beer Blogger - Nothing but Beersay

    Beer bloggers are a lucky lot.  They get to enjoy their subject (beer and the drinking of beer) and at the same time chronicle the event.  Our next blogger in the spotlight hails from Great Britain, but he has a decidedly worldly beer palate.  Having a look at his blog, one can definitely tell that he loves his subject and if one has followed him on Twitter for any period of time, he has no problem doing research.  Please welcome to the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame - Phil (last name withheld to protect the innocent, the innocent what, we're not sure of).
    Phil     Twitter Name: @Filrd

    Blog or site Name: Beersay – beersay.wordpress.com

    Location (city, country): Stoke On Trent – England (UK)

    When did your blog start? Roughly Feb 2010

    What got you into blogging about beer?
    To be honest I started doing wine reviews first, although very much a novice and not on a blog on the sellers website, then I discovered or re-discovered beer and how I’d managed to miss what was going on around me. The wife bought me a book called “100 Belgian Beers To Try Before You Die” and I set about finding them and posting the info on Facebook, a friend said “why don’t you start a beer blog?”
    I said a what??
    The rest as they say is history…

    Is beer the only thing you blog about?
    Pretty much but not just beer reviews, beer and food, beer places, events, festivals, anything relatively beery.. (I think you get the picture)

    Outside of your blog, do you write for anything else (newspapers, magazines, etc)?
    Nah, nobody wants me.

    Any formal writing training? School, Internship, etc.
    I wrote a poem once in primary school, does that count?

    Do you just write about beer or do you have other beer pursuits?
    I love Quantum Physics (and brewery), plus the works of Galileo Galilei and Stephen Hawking. I like nothing more than to spend hours writing detailed papers trying to lay out my own personal understanding of the universe.

    (No, just beer)

  • Interview with a Head Brewer - Sole Man

    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.

     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.

  • Interview with a Homebrewer - Brew Builder

    Once again we are starting up with our interviews of the worlds Ady Goodrichhomebrewers. Our latest hails from the UK and as strange as it seems homebrew's to save money (or at least keep more of his own). After quickly dusting off the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame, allow us to introduce to you homebrewer, Mr. Ady Goodrich

    - Ady Goodrich

    Day Job: - Architectural Project Technologist

    When did you start homebrewing?
    Started kits in 2011, but graduated to all grain in August 2012.

    What got you into homebrewing? A person? An unfulfilled interest? Sheer boredom?
    I liked drinking most ales in the pub, but started drinking more at home when babysitting sleeping newly arrived kids. Shop bought quality beer was expensive and people kept on coming round to visit and clearing me out, so a home brewing obsession began. I started with kits but they never really hit the spot, or felt like I was drinking beer as good as the pub. My brother in law introduced me to beer produced from raw ingredients in a Braumeister, and since tasting that I had to go all grain.

    Do you belong to a homebrew club? What is it?
    I’m not a member of a club yet, but regularly swap home brewed beer with people nearby and on Twitter. I’m hoping with the opening of a Brewdog pub in town, a local home-brew club will follow very soon.

  • Interview with a Homebrewer - Microbe Man

    A hobby well chosen by our next featured homebrewer.  With a background in microbiology and chemistry, this brewer should have no problems working the finicky nature of some of beers complex ingredients.  Having brewed for quite some time also means he's moved from "kit" to "keg" (not sure if he kegs or not, but I needed something fluid to write).  Please welcome to the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame, Homebrew Dave Morton  - @dmonbeer.  Oh yeah, he hails from Altrincham, United Kingdom.

    1 Brewing IPA  drinking Extra Coffee Stout 304x228
    Dave Morton

    Day Job: Legionella Risk Assessor, although previously I've worked as a chemist & microbiologist for breweries.

    When did you start homebrewing?
    When I was about 17 - more than 20 years ago.

    What got you into homebrewing? A person? An unfulfilled interest? Sheer boredom?
    I saw the kits in Boots The Chemist & wanted cheap alcohol. To have something I'd made myself was a small bonus back then. As time progresses, the palate refines & you get money in your pocket so you don't need a cheap source of alcohol anymore. Now I brew because I can make the beer styles I want better than some of those in the supermarket.

    Do you belong to a homebrew club? What is it?
    No. I have some homebrewing friends who share information & beers when we meet up.

    Where do you brew? Inside/outside?
    I brew on the patio outside the back door. I put the gazebo up in bad weather.

    Where do you ferment? Have you had to do anything creative to facilitate this?
    Ontop of the fridge where my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter can't get it! Its a bit tricky raising 40 pints of liquid above your head!

    Do you have a pet name for your homebrewing enterprise? If so, can you give us a little background?
    Hyperbole Brewery - 'cos all my beers are amazing! I like the word hyperbole as you can claim what you want & people (hopefully) know you're not being too serious. Also that some Americans might think its a sports fixture at the end of the regular season.

    How large are your batches?
    Almost exclusively 40 pints limited by the size of my mash tun.

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