Pete Brown joins Andy Thorburn to discuss how he got into beer writing, how the beer industry has changed since he joined it, the evolution of the term IPA and how standing in a hop field inspired him to write a book about the four key ingredients of beer.
When I first started getting into craft beer, and discovered the depths of the online beer community, there was one name that popped up more than any other. Whether it was mainstream beer media, or opinion pieces on forums, the name Pete Brown was synonymous with beer.
I first met Pete at the Beer Marketing Awards in 2016, an event he co-founded, and was immediately blown away by the glow of passion he exuded for the beer industry, and the knowledge he called upon in a short conversation. This passion manifests in so many forms, most notably in his books, from Man Walks into a Pub, a social history of beer, right through to the Apple Orchard, the history of Cider. Pete and I discuss how he got into beer writing, how the beer industry has changed since he became a part of it, how the term IPA has evolved and how standing in a hop field made him question our relationship with the four ingredients at beer’s core and write a book about his investigative journey discovering each one.
Everybody loses if we all chase the same ball, mainstream lager became boring because every big brewery was brewing the same thing.
Don’t be a cover band, you may be inspired by a certain beer, but don’t let it dictate everything you’re trying to achieve with your beers.
Our obsession with hops, yeast and malt falls completely flat when we forget about the water. Each ingredient reacts differently, so understand what water you’re brewing with and work from there.
Welcome back to beer from The Apple Orchard [1:15]
I wanted to work in advertising because of beer ads in the 80’s [3:20]
A book about Cod inspired Pete’s first book, Man Walks into a Pub [5:55]
“It’s all down to luck”Getting Published [7:57]
There’s still not a single, regular beer column in the british press. [11:17]
Craft beer started in the UK in 2005 with Thornbridge [13:33]
Charles Faram started importing american hops in 2002 [14:34]
Give people who say they don’t like beer an American IPA and they change their perception of what beer is [15:00]
The Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington inspired a lot of people to start brewing [16:15]
Flavoured beers are popular, but understanding flavour is vitally important. [19:30]
Stoke Newington Beer Festival [21:25]
The origins of IPA [23:00]
Hops and Glory, Pete’s book about the journey of IPA
Craft beer hype [31:33]
Cloudwater’s approach to researching beers has lead to their quality standards. [33:24]
Those breweries brewing boring beers are going to struggle. [36:00]
A lot of new drinkers don’t know what good or bad tastes like [37:10]
Will everyone sellout to AB Inbev? [39:00]
Pubs adapting to the beer market [40:00]
Regional breweries adapting [41:20]
Cantillon Brewery [45:25]
Pete’s new book: Miracle Brew: Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer. [53:00]
Dr. Peter Darby [54:00]
Warminster Maltings [59:10]
“Damn you hops! Why can I never resist your sultry charms” [1:00:34]
National Collection of Yeast Cultures [1:04:40]
Truman’s Brewery [1:05:30]
Carlsberg Foundation and Louis Pastuer [1:06:10]
Carlsberg Rebrew [1:09:13]
Water and brewing [1:16:20]
Gipsy Hill- Dissident [1:18:00]
Siren “We want to be the Brewdog of the M4 corridor” [1:21:40]
Pete Brown is one of the most well known beer writers in the UK. From his first book, Man Walks into a Pub - a social history of beer, right through to his latest offering, Miracle Brew, Pete combines a passion for beer with an incredible knack for story telling.
Stories, insights and lessons from the incredible people behind the UK's craft beer industry. Andy Thorburn hosts a series of deep-dive interviews with various guests from the craft beer community. New episodes fortnightly.