Tag Archives: Roger Protz

Calling for a united front

19 Aug

Jane Peyton* has made an impassioned plea for beer as a guest blogger on Roger Protz’s blog ‘Protz on Beer’ – you can read the full article here: http://protzonbeer.co.uk/columns/2014/08/18/stop-the-squabbles–we-need-a-united-front-to-champion-all-good-beer but in the meantime here are some suggestions for actions that beer lovers might want to take:

  • Try to convert cider and wine drinkers to beer- – especially women. Fewer than 15% of women in Britain are regular beer drinkers.  Even a small percentage increase in women drinking beer in a pub would have a significant and positive effect on the health of the industry. However this is a huge challenge because one of the biggest reasons why women in this country do not drink beer is because they perceive it as being blokey.  Many beer marketing companies do not help because they market beer just at men, making millions of people assume that beer is a man’s drink and that women are not welcome at the party. Of course we know that beer is a gift from nature to all humans!  No one calls wine “female” — and it’s ludicrous to assign a gender to food or drink.  But if people insist on giving beer a male gender then they should read my blog on the Huffington Post where I write about beer having more female elements than any other alcoholic drink.  Read it by clicking here:
  • If your local pub serves food, ask the manager to include a beer suggestion to match with each dish on the menu. If they are unable to stock a wide selection of cask ales ask them to offer a wider selection of bottled beers and have a beer menu with description of style and descriptive tasting notes.  Food matching is where beer has no competition!
  • Write to local and national newspapers and ask them to include more positive features about beer, and if those publications have a wine column, ask them to print a beer column too.
  • If your local or favourite brewer is beholden to New World hops, encourage them to use British hops instead. British hops are more subtle than their New World counterparts, and that subtlety permits the malts to shine too, showing off the complexity of the beer. By doing so you will help to save the British hop industry and will taste just why British malt is renowned as being the best brewing and distilling barley in the world!
  • Join the Beer Day Britain project to deliver the world’s greatest national beer day – 15 June 2015. And also sign a petition I have started for the British Government to serve British beer at official receptions and to be proud to showcase our peerless national drink.  See details of the national beer day and petition by clicking here

Beer is such a joy-giving drink — more so than other beverage. So let’s celebrate and share it whether your favourite tipple is a pint of Spitfire, Carling or Gamma Ray.  Bottoms up!

*Jane Peyton is Britain’s Beer Sommelier of the Year, founder of the School of Booze, and author of several books including ‘Beer o’ Clock’. She is driving the idea for Beer Day Britain and has joined forces with brewers Sophie de Ronde of Brentwood Brewing, and Sara Barton of Brewster’s Brewing Company to work with the beer industry to make it happen.


Good Beer Guide Editor toasts the Brewster as more women join the real ale revolution

18 Sep

According to the Editor of the 2014 Good Beer Guide, female brewers, or ‘brewsters’, are adding momentum to the thriving Real Ale market in the UK and helping to attract new drinkers.

More and more women are setting up breweries or becoming head brewers according to the Editor of the 2014 Good Beer Guide published by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale today. The guides Editor, Roger Protz, had this to say on the resurgence of the female brewer,

“It is only in modern times that men have overtaken women as the main brewers of beer, as historically it was women who dominated brewing. Traditionally known as ‘brewsters’, it is fantastic to see more women rejoining the industry and in many cases giving the chaps a run for their money, such as the award winning Brewsters Brewing Company in Lincolnshire.”

In fact one of the most important brewing positions in the UK is now held by a woman following a recent high ranking promotion. Emma Gilleland was this year promoted from Head Brewer at Marston’s to Head of Supply Chain, covering all five Marston’s brewery brands. She believes beer has become more accessible to women in recent years,

“The rise in interest in ales by women is because beer is far more interesting these days. Only ten years ago, the perception would have been that ale was bitter tasting and dark in colour. These days brewers are far more experimental and this has led to lighter beers with new aromas and tastes which are bringing women into the category. Once they have found a beer style that they like, they are hooked.”

Marston’s also employ Genevieve Upton at the Burton brewery and Rebecca Adams at Jennings Brewery, who Emma says are now “coming up through the ranks.”

One female owned and run brewery making a name for themselves nationally is the award winning Mallinson’s brewery. Founded by CAMRA members Tara Mallinson and Elaine Yendall at a small six barrel plant in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in 2008, they moved to a larger 15 barrel site in 2012 to help meet the growing demand.

“Myself and Elaine set up Mallinsons in 2008 because we selfishly wanted to brew beers we liked to drink. Brewing real ale is a great job, you get to experiment with new hops, rebrew old favourites and hopefully give the people who drink your beer a great pint.” Tara Mallinson, Co-founder of Mallinson’s Brewery.

And it’s not just in the brewing world where women are making a name for themselves; it’s on the other side of the bar too, with Sophie Atherton winning the 2013 Beer Sommelier of the Year award. Sophie, who was the first woman to become a fully qualified beer sommelier in the UK, hosts beer tasting events, often including beer and food matching, but always sharing her love for what she sees as the best drink in the world.

“One of the things I love most about beer is that there’s always a style to suit the season, the occasion or just my mood! Whether it’s golden summer ales, autumnal reds, or a rich, chocolatey stout or porter by the fire in winter beer’s always got something to offer and an incredible range of flavours that means it’s a drink everyone can enjoy.” Sophie Atherton, Beer Sommelier of the Year 2013.

CAMRA statistics show that the number of women enjoying real ale is on the rise, with women now accounting for 22% of their membership – a growth of 20,000 in the last decade alone. Plus the amount of women trying real ale is also up, from 14% to 34% in the last three years, showing that wider availability and variety of beers is having a positive effect on the number of women giving real ale a go in the pub.

The guide also shows the number of UK breweries to be at a 70 year high and lists breweries across the UK, including the beers they produce, alongside over 4545 real ale pubs.

For more information on the 2014 Good Beer Guide, or to order a copy, visit http://www.camra.org.uk/gbg

Examples of female brewers around the UK:

•Tara Mallinson, Mallinson’s Brewery – Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
•Sara Barton, Brewster’s Brewing Co – Grantham Lincolnshire
•Emma Gilleland, Marston’s Brewery – Wolverhampton, West Midlands
•Genevieve Upton, Marston’s Brewery – Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
•Rebecca Adams, Jennings Brewery – Cockermouth, Lake District
•Carola Brown, Ballard’s Brewery – Petersfield, Hampshire
•Sue Simpson, Brown Cow Brewery – Selby, North Yorkshire
•Frances Moor, Elveden Brewery – Thetford, Norfolk
•Claire Simpson, Belinda Sutton and Jennifer Everall (three sisters), Elgood’s Brewery – Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
•FFion Jones, Brains Brewery – Cardiff, Wales
•Catherine Murphy, Buntingford Brewery – Royston, Hertfordshire (Buntingford ‘Twitchell’ won Silver in the overall Champion Beer of Britain Competition at the 2013 Great British Beer Festival).
•Petra Wetzel, WEST Brewery – Glasgow, Scotland (West do not produce real ale but Petra Wetzel is German and brews her lagers and wheat beers to the German Beer Purity Law, the Reinheitsgebot).
Good Beer Guide cover 2014

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