Before brewing it was travelling and seeing new places and experiencing new things. I travelled and worked in kitchens starting as a potwasher in Andorra to being a sous chef in Whistler.
Time spent in the US brought with it a new love of beer that exuded flavour and coming back home brought with it a chance opportunity to explore this. A good friend of mine worked for Mordue but was preparing to go travelling. I worked alongside him and when he left took up the reins.
Going it alone.
I decided to set up Almasty as I wanted to improve on how I was brewing my beers and to start pushing myself to see if I could do it. I wanted the creative freedom to brew with the freshest available ingredients and to constantly change what I brewed rather than be tied to producing a core range.
It was a big step to quit a job with a steady income, borrow tens of thousands of pounds, find premises, choosing the right kit, dealing with paperwork – and there was a lot of that! Then there is the manual labour, digging drainage and so on. It was a huge challenge but it has been worth it.
The experiences I gained while travelling have influenced what I like to brew. Big, bold but well balanced beers that have been produced with a lot of thought and attention and I hope this is evident in their quality.
I am influenced by and brew all styles of beer and love hoppy pales yet my favourite Almasty ale so far is the Imperial Stout.
As for others, I love sours and you can't go wrong with Cantillon.