Q&A with Brewsmith Beer

James Smith
Brewsmith Beer

James (left) with father, Ted.

James (left) with father, Ted.

Please introduce yourself and your brewery...
Hello - my names is James and I'm one of three owners, and the head brewer at Brewsmith Beer.

Where do you brew from and what is your set up?
We have a shiny 10 barrel brewplant in Ramsbottom, just north of Bury

What was your path into the world of brewing?
A pretty short one to be honest. We had the idea, got our heads down and went for it! Some two and a half years later, here we are.

Where do you see your brewery in three years time?
Three years - it sounds like a long time off, but its not really I suppose. Hopefully, still brewing, still turning out consistent quality beers that people enjoy drinking.

We'll have a couple more fermenters and I'll have a young padawan to do all the cleaning when my back and knees have finally given up. Hopefully they'll be good at admin and accounting, they can do that too...

What’s the single biggest challenge facing the UK independent beer market?
Hop shortages. Its going to get tougher and tougher to source the ingredients to make the hop forward beers that we like to make.

What beer do you wished you had brewed?
A no brainer for me. Jaipur in cask.

Which brewery, other than your own, do you most respect?
Most of them. Varying levels of respect of course, but I understand what a tough game it can be.

When you meet and chat to different brewers, and see different breweries, and sample different beers, you realise that everybody brings something different to the table, everybody has a different approach, different goals, different ideas. If the underlying focus is quality and not profit (though of course this HAS to be a consideration) then I have nothing but respect and admiration.

What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a beer?
100 litres of dilute peracetic acid. Don't worry it didn't leave the brewery. Well it did, but via the drain...

What's your desert island beer?
Does the desert island have decent cooling and dispense? If so, Jaipur in a cask.

Mike Hampshire