Clarence & Fredericks
What inspired you to do the Brewlab course?
I recall meeting Keith Thomas at a CAMRA AGM in Edinburgh in the 1990s and from that point forward always thought learning more and attending a course would be great. Once we decided to set-up Clarence & Fredericks it was the logical choice..
Brewlab seemed like a great option because of the cost, ability to train in the UK and the hands on training they provided.
What areas of the Brewlab course were most beneficial to you?
The various calculations around recipe development including colour, gravity, IBU and the like were excellent. I found the scientific background (barley, hops, and yeast biology etc) very interesting. The material on the brewing kit and preparation of premises was invaluable.
How beneficial did you find the practical side of the Brewlab course?
It was very interesting to see how different breweries, all essentially engaged in the same basic process, did things differently. I'd been working part-time in a brewery for a year before the course so the experience on the 'big kit' wasn't essential, but I took some ideas away which I've applied in my own brewhouse.
Was there a part of the course you particularly liked/enjoyed?
The precision. The calculations. Deep down I'm a bit of a geek so the counting of yeast cells, the designing of a recipe, the working out of how to treat water for particular types of beer was excellent.
Where do you work now?
We (my business partner and I) own and operate Clarence & Fredericks Brewing Co. (www.cfbrewing.co.uk / @cfbrewing) We began brewing in October 2012.
What is your position?
Company director, head brewer, chief, cook, and bottle-washer. Sometimes someone else washes the bottles!
If you decided to set up yourself, how is it going?
It's hard work but it's very rewarding. We began in October 2012 on a 10bbl kit with two fermenters. We just got our third fermenter delivered because we're routinely getting out 60-80 casks per week and it's only fermenter space and cask numbers which hamper additional growth. We might just be breaking even.
How much beer do you produce?
60-80 firkins per week on average
Do you have a recipe you are most proud of?
Golden Ale, 3.8%. 100% Lager malt, Magnum, Cascade, Amarillo, and Summit hops for bitterness, Amarillo, Cascade, and Summit for aroma.
What plans do you have for the future?
We'll bottle some beer while we've a bit of spare capacity. We'll try to grow in the next year or so in order that we get a fourth fermenter. We're also looking around for someone experienced in the pub game to partner with in order to get a showcase for our beers in the form of a brewery tap.