Q: Georgina, how many years have you been brewing beer?
A: I’ve been working in the brewing industry for 18 years. Whilst I was a student studying Biotechnology at Kings College London, I found myself enjoying the beers that I was trying in the local pubs of West London. After graduating, I decided to pursue my passion for beer and went on to attend Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, where I studied for an MSc in Brewing & Distilling.
Q: Do you need any formal training to get into brewing?
A: Technically you don’t have to have training in the UK to brew beer, but it certainly helps. Formal training gives you the discipline and the understanding of the biological and chemical reactions that happen throughout the brewing process.
Q: How large is the Bath Ales brewery?
A: We’re currently producing over 22,000 brewers barrels of beer annually at Hare Brewery and have the capacity to brew over 14.5 million pints every year!
Q: What’s the best part of being a brewer?
A: The best part of brewing is working together, as one team, to create something that people take genuine enjoyment in. The people in the brewing industry all have the same passion, so they are great to be around.
Q: Are there any challenges that people wouldn’t expect?
A: The biggest issue at the moment is lines and taps in pubs, where our beers are served. We make great beer but then are so reliant on the skill of the bar staff to clean the lines and look after the beer; serve it at the correct temperature and in the right glass. The perfect serve is really important to us.
Q: For somebody who knows very little about beer, can you explain the difference between an ale and a lager please?
A: For the average beer drinker, the difference between an ale and a lager comes down to how the beer looks, smells, and tastes. Ales tend to be fruity and malty while lagers are clean-tasting and frequently described as ‘crisp’. In brewing terms, lagers use an entirely different type of yeast during fermentation. Lager ferments for between 7-14 days at a cool temperature and ales ferment for 3-5 days, in warmer conditions.
Q: More and more people are drinking beer in the UK. Why do you think this is?
A: Beer is the third biggest drink in the world other than water and tea, so has always been very popular! In terms of younger drinkers, they’re craving a wider variety of beer styles and becoming more adventurous when it comes to their regular drink choices. The craft beer revolution hitting the UK in such a big way, has been integral to people becoming more adventurous in their choices and the variety of beer styles that they’re willing to try.
Q: What is your favourite beer from the Bath Ales range and why?
A: Lansdown is one of my favourites – it’s light, fruity and refreshing. Perfect for summer and available in cans, bottles and on draught, in pubs throughout the West Country.
Q: Are there any microbreweries in the UK that you think are producing nice beers?
A: There are some great brewers up in Bristol and Bath – I’m a real fan of Wiper & True and Good Chemistry.
Q: What’s the best way to enjoy a pint?
A: Sitting in the sunshine with family, good friends and a pint of Gem!