Sunday, August 3, 2014

WEEK 18--Chit Chat with JAMES WATT--The Bad Boys from Aberdeen-2/2

最近跟纽西兰YEASTIE BOYS主创酿酒师之一Stu McKinlay聊起借鉴欧美撞意啤酒文化推广本地市场的一些意见时,他认为知识和令人兴奋的酿品是最重要的, 而凝聚酿坊(包括品牌),撞意酒吧(包括瓶子专卖店)还有媒体的力量进行知识分享是绝对有帮助的。


上期约略说了些“酿狗”的故事,今天跟品牌灵魂人物之一JAMES WATT聊聊。

From a recent chit chat with the brew master of NZ craft brew YEASTIE BOYS, Stu McKinlay--one of the things mentioned was about the way forward for craft beer scene here in South East Asia which is rather new market as compared to EUROPE/US.

Stu was invited to UK early this year to brew some beers for a beer festival, having spoken to some brewers in UK and seen first hand some of UK bar scene, he is of the opinion that the widening of craft beer culture needs.."Education and exciting beer is the key in an emerging market. And, to be really successful, this needs to come from the breweries, the beer bars and the media. It often takes only a few key people to start the evolution.  Look what Brew Dog have done in the UK - say what you will about their beer or their brand but half of the new breweries I talked to over there said that Brew Dog had opened the door for them."
Last week's column touched on some of the "labels" associated with Brewdog, today is a little chit chat with JAMES WATT, one half of the men behind(more like in front?) of Brewdog.

HERE's the full text :-
Q:- after almost 7 years from when you started, is brewing beer still a fun thing?
JAMES:-Absolutely, we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t having fun. We set out to push the limits on people’s conceptualization of beer, and as far as we are concerned, there is no end to those limits. We're always innovating and experimenting and that’s where we get most of our fun from. The great feedback we receive from our long term fans, and new craft beer converts gives us the motivation to keep going. 
Q:-you guys are well known for some crazy beers, having had some fun doing that over the years---between a crazy beer & a session beer--what would be your choice now?
JAMES:-Our guiding principle is we make beers that we’d love to drink. If we love it, others will too. It's working for us so far!
Q:-any particular beer style as focal point in the next 1-2 years?
JAMES:-No. Experimentation and limitless opportunities are what we go for.

Q:-what were perhaps some bigger challenges along the way? 
JAMES:-Transporting large fermentation tanks up to Northern Scotland does pose a set of logistical challenges.
A challenge perhaps, and one I think we’ve successfully overcome, is getting craft beer into the hands of more people. When we started off in 2007, many may have brushed aside the craft beer scene as a fad, or a sub-culture that was doomed to eternally remain on the margins. Today, the craft beer landscape in the UK is a fruitful, exciting and burgeoning one full of incredibly eclectic brewers and their beers. It's a totally different outlook, and one we are insanely proud to be a part of,
Q:-is there a set target to brew some new beers within a given time frame?
JAMES:-We don't limit or set targets for ideas, we continuously coming up with new concepts for beers. Ideas can come to you in the most peculiar places. 
Q:-the next 1-2 years, can we expect some collaboration brews with the US breweries?
JAMES:- Absolutely. You’ll be able to see what we’ve been up to stateside on the new series of BrewDogs!  (counted as commercial time?)
Q:-some drinkers have love-hate emotions with Brewdog(oh, seems going to US to make TV shows are more important now, oh..the beers are getting more pricey now...)--what do you say to this?
JAMES:-Give them a glass of one of ours beers and ask them to judge us by what is in the glass, not outside of it. It's what we live and die by, and it's the reason we exist.

Q:-your take on Asia's craft beer scene?
JAMES:-There’s definitely a thirst for craft beers, and it’s growing considerably year by year. The fake BrewDog bar in China I guess, is a weird validation of this point. Tokyo in particular is big on craft beer, and we’re glad to be able to be part of the scene in Japan!
There’s also a vibrant craft beer scene in Singapore- a few bottle shops and restaurants are doing their best to resist the dominance of monolithic lagers. BrewDog Singapore next? Who knows…
Q:-we get Brewdog beers here in KL, any words to your fans?JAMES:- Love hops and live the dream  ( one could say this is commercial time or just reinforcing the faith)
Q:-any words to first time craft drinkers?
JAMES:-Welcome to our world. Enjoy your stay.

Q:- and to those who are unwilling to try new things such as craft?
JAMES:-“Here, drink this” (and pass them a glass of Punk IPA)--( this one is definitely counted as commercial time....:)
BELOW A BIT MORE that's not included in the newspaper weekly column:-

The first Brewdog bar in Asia was in China( of course we read  about your open letter to whoever did that) Roppongi, Tokyo....can we expect more Brewdog bar in other Asia cities any sooner? and if yes...possible to disclose where and when?
JAMES:-At the moment, we can’t disclose where. But rest assured, we’re still scouting, and should be able to provide an announcement toward the end of the year.
For a Brewdog bar in Asia, the guest list on taps( and  bottle list) it purely the decision of the local bar owner or Brewdog would insist on certain combination/rules? ( if this is not too sensitive an information to disclose)
JAMES:-All our international bars have 50% of their taps pouring BrewDog at any one time, and the other 50% are dedicated to amazing guest breweries' beers. The managers have discretion over what beers they buy in, but we have an international bars manager (our resident Mr World) who oversees this to check out what they're offering. It's a great way to discover new breweries local to these regions!


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