Q: Why the name LOKA POLLY?
A: The question we get asked most, and my favourite to answer, because it’s got a cool little backstory! So, the space in which we brew in is a converted stable where head brewer/owner Sean’s family horse Polly used to reside. When Polly moved on for greener pastures, the stable was used by Sean’s brother, James for a graphic design project; Loka Island. We had our eureka moment when we put the two previous uses for the space together, and LOKA POLLY was born!
Q: How long have you/the brewery been making beer for?
A: We’ve been brewing commercially as LOKA POLLY since January this year, but the brewery rose from the ashes of Sean’s previous brewery, The Black Brook Beer Co. Whilst successful, he fell almost instantly out of love with producing cask beers, as he wasn’t able to produce the beers he really wanted to. An executive decision was made to dissolve Black Brook and completely restart with a new brand and identity as LOKA POLLY, and we haven’t looked back since!
Q: What got you into brewing?
A: Whilst I’m more on the sales side of things, I have been known to jump into the brewery from time to time to dig out a mash! I had been managing a restaurant in our hometown of Mold for six years though, comfortably slogging away (some might say a bit TOO comfortably), and I decided one day that I needed to challenge myself again. Having invested so much of my time at this restaurant educating myself in all things beer, I decided to throw myself into the brewing industry. In some insane turn of good luck, Sean just so happened to be looking for a second person to come on board at LOKA POLLY to handle the sales side of things. I saw this as an opportunity that I simply couldn’t pass up and I jumped at the bit – the rest they say is history!
Q: When you’re not brewing what are your hobbies?
A: I’m a man of simple pleasures – I enjoy just kicking back with a good movie, good company, and good beer. The I offset this by supporting Leeds United and checking out punk gigs, which I’m pretty sure the latter has taken at least twenty years off my life expectancy.
Q: What’s your favourite style of beer?
A: I’m a sucker for a good Saison! It was the style that really got me hooked on beer, so I’ll never turn one down. Similarly, I can’t resist a big murky juicebomb of an IPA (which in the current beer scene, I’m totally spoilt for choice).
Q: If you could only have one of your brews for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? (I know it’s like picking a favourite child!)
A: Ouch! Killer question! This might be just a bit TOO hard. Can I choose two and give valid reasons for them? First would be our Citra Simcoe IPA, because we created it completely by accident in January and spent a good six months trying to replicate it, which we finally cracked in June. It was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Second would be our Simcoe Waimea XPA, because I’ve honestly never had a beer SO full of flavour at such a sessionable ABV. I don’t know what Sean does with that beer, but it may well be his most understated piece of work amongst all the amazing DIPAs and IPAs we’re putting out.
Q: You are in a supermarket, in the Beer aisle of course, what would you buy? (your wonderful beer isn’t on sale unfortunately!)
A: The beer aisles have come such a long way in such a short space of time, there’s some really amazing “Gateway” beers as I’d call them (BrewDog, Thornbridge et al) for people who want to try something with a bit more flavour but don’t know where to start. Personally, I’d go for my own gateway beer, which still tastes just as good now as it did when I first tried it – Sierra Nevada IPA.
Q: What new flavour combination would you love to try/what new hops would you like to work with?
A: We’ve actually just taken on an assistant brewer who came from a culinary background, so he’s amazing at catching flavour combinations and profiles we’d otherwise miss. He came up with a stormer of an idea the other day in a Kiwi Saison – we’ll see what comes of it! In terms of hops, I’ve heard Idaho7 hops are the next big thing.
Q: What brewery you would like to collaborate with and why?
A: We’re extremely humbled that we’ve been able to brew with the likes of Tiny Rebel and Brew York already – some incredible brewers in their own right. I’d love to learn from the likes of Verdant and DEYA though; two breweries we’ve been lucky enough to pour alongside at festivals and have touched base with.
For more details on LOKA POLLY see the following;
Thanks to the wonderful Welsh brewery LOKA POLLY for taking part in this feature of Meet the Makers! Looking forward to sampling your beers and more wonderful collaborations in the near future!