It’s not often that concept – rather than the beer – hooks me into a new brewery, but when I landed on the Revolutions Brewing Co
site via Twitter a few weeks ago, I found myself reading every page on there.. I liked Mark and Andy’s attitude so much that I contacted them for a quick chat. Plus, anyone who listens to Interpol, The Smiths, Decemberists and The National when brewing automatically becomes ‘my kind of people’.
Leigh: How did you guys meet? Andy: We met in 2008 at a business seminar. It was quickly obvious we had a number of shared interests, particularly cricket, beer and music. We have managed to combine two of these in our brewery theme. The requirement to get up early on brew days is currently hampering our efforts to stay up late and listen to the Ashes coverage! I worked for 15 years as a transport planning consultant latterly concentrating on demand forecasting work for train companies. It was varied and interesting work but there comes a time when spreadsheets and macro-economic models no longer quite generate the passion. I’ve travelled quite a bit over the years and seeking out local brews and learning the local word for beer is top of my list of travelling tips.
Mark: Formerly I worked as a Quality Systems Consultant, most notably in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain, where I was an advisor to their Government. Contrary to common opinion, alcohol is widely available, but 14 years of getting by on draught Heineken / Amstel and cans of Boddingtons / Tetley’s made the all too rare trips to pubs on holidays in Britain a great treat!
How did you get into Brewing?
Mark: Since my return to the UK in 2008, I’ve been more a consumer of beer than a brewer. I have a little experience of kit brewing and recently full mash brewing, but fortunately Andrew has long been a keen home brewer. Andrew: I’ve been home-brewing for over 20 years and for the past 4-5 years full mash brewing in what has become known as the Headingley nano-brewery. I went on the Brewlab introduction to brewing course in 2007 and the idea for the micro-brewery took shape there – it just took 3 years for the theme to come together!
So what, or who, inspires you to brew?
Mark: We are inspired to brew by the prospect of providing pleasure to beer drinkers. There really is nothing more to it than that. Andrew: Whilst totally agreeing with Mark’s comment, I’d add that for me the idea of bringing in ideas from other countries – beer styles and ingredients – is quite inspiring. I feel that there is far too little coverage given to beer choice and style in the quality press and I will feel very satisfied if we can do our bit to broaden the appeal of craft beer/real ale in the UK.
Tell us about your beers, then…
Our beers are inspired by and make reference to music through the ages, with our core “Original” beers being named 33, 45 and 78. Primarily however, our beers will be inspired by post punk and new wave music. We feel there are parallels between this music and modern craft brewing – both have changed the landscape of their respective fields. We hope to contribute in a small way to continuing this. We’re particularly keen to have dark beers available regularly as it is a style we both enjoy and we believe there is ample scope for interesting experimentation.
Beer Geek time – What’s your ‘Desert Island’ Beer? Mark: Having lived on a desert island for 14 years, I can honestly say I always looked forward to a Timothy Taylor’s Landlord on my return to the UK for a holiday. Now having returned permanently, it is rare that I pass on a Thornbridge Jaipur or an Acorn Gorlovka if they’re on the bar. The beer that sticks in my mind as the best I’ve tasted in 2010 would be My Antonia by Birra del Borgo / Dogfish Head. It’s rather rare though, so to take a whole cask of it to my desert island might be construed as rather selfish. Andrew: The first beer I can remember drinking outside the UK and falling in love with was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It will always be a favourite. Here in the UK, I too think Acorn Gorlovka is pretty special and in the past few months as Mark and I have been engaged in some serious ‘research’, Dark Star Hophead and Grainstore Rutland Panther have both registered strongly with me.
How are things going so far then? Good feedback?
It’s being launched this week. We live in hope! What we can say is that the trial brews we’ve done at home have gone down very well with friends so we’re optimistic that we’ll get a similar reaction when our commercial brews hit the pumps.
Where can we get our hands on your wares in the next few months?
This week we are launching at The Shoulder of Mutton, Castleford. Also available in York, Huddersfield, Wakefield, elsewhere in Castleford and around Halifax. Once the winter relents we expect to have it in Leeds, Sheffield, Pontefract and Doncaster before Christmas.
Revolutions Brewing Co Launch event is on Thursday evening (9th Dec) at The Shoulder of Mutton in Castleford from 7.30pm though their beers will be on for most of the day. Music will come courtesy of harpist Fiona-Katie Roberts from 8.30pm. Do check out thier website and blog for the full lowdown on thier range and the ethos behind them.