We recently took on an additional Brewer here at Nottingham brewery and we decided it was about time we introduced you all to our brewing team.
We sat down together and had a little chat which we wanted to share so that you can get to know us a little better. George Darby has been brewing at Nottingham Brewery for quite a while (although the surname might give you a hint that he's been around the Brewery longer). Darryll Shields joined the Nottingham Brewery Team more recently and we'd very pleased to introduce both of them to you.
So without further ado lets Meet the Brewers!
Tell us a little bit about how/ why you became interested in Brewing?
GD- Apart from my Dad being a brewer?! Well, mainly I picked up my interest in brewing by osmosis of being around my family and by proxy being around the pub trade from an early age. When the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance but I’d always said I’d never be a brewer.
DS- I just decided one day I wanted to give brewing a go. So, I got into homebrewing to try my hand at different recipes. Started off with pre-built recipes and built up into my own styles. Turned out I was quite good at it!
Which is your favourite beer to drink?
GD- Of our beers, it's definitely Rock Bitter, for me. It’s just so easy to drink!
DS- EPA, of our beers and otherwise its Bitburger.
Which is your favourite beer to brew?
GD- That’s easy! Sooty!!! With its complex malt bill it smells incredible, for the whole brew day.
DS- EPA, because I brew it quite regularly and I feel confident with it now. I feel like it's my brew.
How long have you worked at Nottingham Brewery?
GD- Six years.
DS- Just coming up to ten months, but I’ve known George for around twelve years or so. We worked behind a bar together then ended up drinking beer and being nerds.
What’s the strangest/ most unusual ingredient that you’ve ever added to a brew and why?
GD- Millet. I wouldn't recommend it! It gelatinised as soon as we put it in the mash, it became an absolute mess. It took hours to clean up.
DS- When I was homebrewing I used Mango, from a can to make a mango lassi. You can get away with this stuff when you're homebrewing.
What is your favourite non-Nottingham Brewery beer and why?
DS- As I said, you can't really go wrong with a good old fashioned German pilsner. So, Bitburger.
GD- I don’t really stick to a single beer when I’m out drinking, I love to chop and change and taste all kinds of beers. So I can't say I have a definitive favourite.
Do you have any hints about possible new brews coming from Nottingham Brewery in the future?
DS- While going through some old paper work I found some old brewsheets from years and years ago. I’ve twisted George's arm and it looks like we’ll dust off a few of these old recipes in the coming months.
GD- We’ve been tinkering with some more “craft” orientated brews too. But nothing concrete for release yet. But we’re hoping to have some new beers out for the Robin Hood beer festival.
If you could sit and have a beer with anyone living or dead who would it be and why?
DS- Terry Pratchett. I would just spend the entire time laughing, it seems like he had such a wicked sense of humour. I think he’d be really good to have a beer with.
GD- I’d like to have a few pints with Sir David Attenborough. I think he’d be a really good laugh and would have some amazingly stupid stories to tell from the old days.
What’s your favourite beer food combo?
GD- I’m not sure I have just one favourite. Ale and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps is an amazing combo. A fizzy lager beer and a pizza with the football is almost perfect too. But, I think my favourite is a beer and food with friends is the best no matter what I’m eating or drinking!
DS- I’m not the biggest fan of the beer-food combo.
GD- I am!!!
DS- People think I’m weird for it, but hey.
Any advice for aspiring brewers out there?
DS- It sounds weird but it's okay to make mistakes. I’ve made a few in my time here, but I’ve most certainly learnt from it. It's made me a better brewer.
GD- Keep brewing. I know that sounds simple and unhelpful, but do it. Keep brewing, there is always something to learn. I’m still learning more and more about brewing and beer everyday. That's not an exaggeration, everyday I’ll figure out something. Whether that thing is a massive step forward in brewing for me or if its just how to get a piece of kit clean quicker it's always about building up knowledge and adding another string to my bow. So yeah- Keep brewing.
Any final words for the readers?
DS- See you all at the Robin Hood Beer Fest, keep drinking!
GD- DRINK NOTTINGHAM BREWERY BEERS!!!!