Saturday, 27 February 2016

Members Profile - Chris Fletcher

Chris Fletcher
Brewer at 2 Brothers Brewery

Article by Craig Ditcham

What jobs did you have prior to 2 Brothers, and what led to getting the job at 2 Brothers?

Ok so I’ll will come straight out and say it….. I used to hate beer! That’s right, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…… well Tasmania to be precise, I was all about the vino! Working for a winery running their tasting room is where I discovered the joys of drinking for flavor and taste. Upon moving to the ‘Mainland’ I was employed by the Belgian Beer Cafe. It was here that my passion for beer was awakened. I soon learned that everything I knew about wine, its complexity and flavours, could be transferred to beer, more precisely Belgian beer. So that’s it, I became hooked, during the next few years my love affair with beer blossomed into something magnificent until finally it’s Dark Side was revealed with an all too innocent comment whilst enjoying a goblet of Leffe Blonde one night after work with a mate… ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could make something like this?’. A trip to the home-brew shop later and the rest is history. Cheap homemade beer and BBQ catch up soon became a passionate hobby then an obsession until a couple of years living and working abroad finally convinced me to stop serving beer and take the plunge to become a full time professional brewer. Four years and 3 brewing courses later with additional hands on experience in a small brewery, I was finally offered a job at my favourite beer venue, 2 Brothers Brewery.

What are the aims at 2 Brothers?

Brewing at 2 Brothers Brewery is all about quality and consistency of product. I’d say one of the biggest differences between home-brew and professional brewing is the ability to produce a repeatable result batch after batch, meaning every glass or bottle of Kung Foo or Grizz tastes the same each time you try it. I’d recommend to all home brewers if you aren’t already doing it, take notes each time you brew. Good record keeping will lead you down the road of making a consistent and repeatable product. There’s plenty of brewing sheets available online, I use this one at home:

Although we produce the same products over and over at 2 Brothers there’s also a little room for trying something new from time to time. GABS is a great excuse to be creative, hopefully you all got a chance to try ‘HazElla’ our imperial brown with heaps of hazelnuts? There may still be a few bottles in cold storage for those who are keen to get their hands on some! If you are more into your hoppy beers get down to the beerhall and try the new ‘Lazy Boy Easy IPA’ which is another fine example of brewing something different from our usual lineup.

I notice that you homebrew, and enter Bayside Brewers competitions even though you are a professional; how do you find the time and energy to brew at home?

Brewing at home and brewing at work are quite different. Work is quite a strict environment where everything and all new recipes are carefully planned out before the grain hits the mill. Yes, at home I also plan my brew day, and working at 2 Brothers has certainly helped me to make my brewing days more time efficient, however there’s still that element of fun and excitement of not knowing exactly how that final beer will taste until its poured, fresh, into your glass with great anticipation, admired, aroma inhaled, and then carefully sipped and savoured.
I think I will always make time to brew at home; besides, what kind of brewer doesn’t have something on tap at home?!

If you were in a good beer store what 3 beers would you buy?

I really hope you are kidding with this question!?! Honestly can you name a single club member that would walk into a ‘Good Beer Shop’ and only buy 3 beers???? Moving on, I usually look for what’s new and fresh and hopefully locally brewed. Although after last year’s beer adventure to West Coast USA (or ‘Honeymoon’ as my wife keeps correcting me), I now seek out beers from some of the great breweries I visited including Firestone Walker and Stone.

Do you have any philosophies in life that guide you or you live by?

Always try something new. A good beer is one you will have a second pint of. And don’t be a beer snob, you’ll be surprised by what you may find.

Thx Chris!

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