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UK brewers must 'look at home' for inspiration, says Brooklyn Brewery

By Nikkie Sutton , 17-May-2017
Last updated on 17-May-2017 at 11:15 GMT2017-05-17T11:15:30Z

Brewing success: Garrett Oliver has been at Brooklyn Brewery since 1994
Brewing success: Garrett Oliver has been at Brooklyn Brewery since 1994

UK brewers must use hops from home soil and make a bigger effort to tap into heritage, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver has advised.

The US used more British hops than British brewers do, he claimed, but hailed the hops as “really good” and called on brewers to ensure they use them too.

The brewmaster also predicted that top beer trends currently big across The Pond will hit the UK soon.

Oliver told The Morning Advertiser: “But what will happen in the UK is the American trend will peak and it will become part of the overall mix.

“There will be more influences from the rest of Europe, such as Belgium and Germany, like it has with saisons and the sour beers.”

However, a change in consumer tastes will impact the brewing industry and how new brews are being flavoured, Oliver predicted.

Going beyond traditional

He said: “People will start to think 'what does truly British beer taste like, beyond traditional bitter?'.

“I am interested in the tied-to-land and tied-to-a-place trend as parts of Britain have actual flavours, they have their own terroirs and it would be really cool to see more British breweries channelling that.”

Oliver was extremely positive about the US-based brewery’s tie-up with UK beer giant Carlsberg .

He said: “Having worked with Carlsberg more extensively in other places, I am hoping we are going to be able to expand the offerings of what Brooklyn Brewery does because frankly, people think we are just two or three beers.

“In the modern beer scene, people don’t really get you as a brewery if you have three beers and we don’t just have three beers, we have, like 100.

“So, hopefully through Carlsberg, consumers will learn how to clip that together with our more mainstream beers to create a better overall picture for the customer.”

Going international

He also outlined how the beermaker gets its beer to fans across the world. “We brewed draught lager in Tokyo for years and we will be brewing more for the Japanese market,” Oliver said.

“We are also sending beer to Australia from New York and brewing beer in Australia. These places where you have to take a really long trip to get there, it makes so much more sense from an ecological point of view and flavour, to go there and brew, rather than shipping the beer.”

Finally, Oliver lauded the brewing community and how those involved support and help each other.

He said: “I love traditional cask beer, it is what got me into beer in the first place, but things were sitting still for a really long time.

“The cool thing about brewing is there’s a worldwide community and I am happy to see the scene is evolving, that it has busted out and become so fresh.

“Now you are seeing it and I feel that it is an ocean we know how to swim in, so hopefully people will be glad to see what we sell too.”

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