Behind the scenes with our brewer

It’s late summer 2020. Most of the UK has re-opened, though we’re still not sure if we can go on holiday to Wales. Either way the whole country will shortly be hurtling into another lockdown. I had spent the early part of the summer reading about brewing, talking to as many brewers as I possibly could, and piecing together the vague semblance of a recipe. I had even done a couple of test shots at a brewery, but was struggling to get things properly going. I put a last-ditch ad out for a brewing partner, and within minutes had a call scheduled with Matt.
Matt is a specialist in product development, specifically for no and low alcohol beers. He co-founded UBrew many moons ago, which housed a number of craft and no-and-low breweries. Last year he was going solo, helping people realise their dreams of creating great tasting alcohol-free drinks. We booked in for half an hour on the phone, but ended up talking for close to two hours. Ideas were popping off all over the place.
The main point was to make a 0.5% lager that was below 50 calories, low sugar, vegan, and gluten-free whilst still maintaining a full-on flavour and the body of beer. It’s a pretty tough request. Most brewers had told me previously just to make sparkling water. Matt saw an opportunity to play with the science behind brewing. Yes, we bend, and even break some rules, but it’s not doing it for the sake of it. At the end of the day, we want to brew a beer that only has upsides – and we manage to get there in an entirely natural process, so it’s all good.
So cheers to Matt and that twist of fate. You should be seeing more of his smiley face as we develop new flavours and exciting projects over the next few months.