Q: Why the name “Overtone Brewing Co.”?
Martin: The name initially came from Bowei’s love of music: asides from beer, this is Bowei’s other main passion in life. An ‘overtone’ in music equates to frequencies that are made in addition to the fundamental notes: Overtone Brewing Co. are atypical compared to other breweries, in that they do not have a core range, instead having a “base beer” that is tweaked brew-on-brew in order to create different versions, with each improving on the previous. We also consider the design of our logo as fluid motion, similar to music.
As such, music in combination with a fluid beer range and logo helped us decide on our name Overtone Brewing Co..
Q: How long have you/the brewery been making beer for?
Martin: We are a new brewery, up-and-coming in the Glasgow area. We have been brewing together for about five months but have gained more momentum in the past three months.
Dan: In addition to this I’ve been brewing for what seems like forever, between home-brewing and having previously worked at “Butternuts” and “6 Degrees North”.
Bowei: It’s a mystery, some say “From the beginning of time”, well it seems like it anyway! I’ve always been brewing home brews, altering recipes etc. Finally I’m able to call myself a brewery owner, which seemed a huge dream when I initially started my home brewing adventures.
Q: Why do you brew?
Martin: I used to do a lot of bar work (when I spent 2 years in New Zealand) and as my palate evolved, my love for beer grew, and I really became fussy about my beer! When I came back to Scotland I got involved with Bowei and Dan and I’ve never looked back. It’s absolutely amazing to go to work and be able to have some fun! Obviously it’s not always like this: meetings, prepping for events and trying to source new and exciting hops can get frustrating when deals fall through. All we desire from Overtone is enough to pay the bills, be able to have our beer enjoyed by the public and have some funds left over so we can keep brewing! All our beer is natural, unfiltered and unfined. Our goal is to really hero the key ingredients in beer, particularly the hops and malts. Instead of adding fruits, chocolate and coffee, we change the temperatures and the timings of our brewing process. It’s actually quite amazing how much this can change the outcome of the beer!
I feel that as a team we have all four corners of the globe to draw from for inspiration:
- Myself: UK and New Zealand
- Dan: America
- Bowei: China
I know it sounds cliché, but I love how the only thing stopping us with respect to brewing is our imagination: we take the raw ingredients, process them and create (wonderful) beer!
Oh and finally, we have a basketball hoop set up and some great speakers to keep us entertained between key points of the brewing process. So yes, lots of reasons to come into work.
Q: When you’re not brewing what are your hobbies?
Martin: I’m artistic and a sportsman, so I love painting, drawing and photography, along with some mountain-biking and snowboarding.
Dan: What are hobbies? Looking after the kids keeps me busy enough!
Martin: Bowei basically never stops brewing! He’s constantly bringing his home-brewing into the office with tweaks here and there!
*True to his world, there was a home brew sitting in the office, wrapped in a duvet!*
Q: What’s your favourite style of beer?
Dan: Anything experimental.
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!)
Martin: That’s a difficult question as I’d say it’s probably too early to ask us that. If I were forced to pick though, I’d say the “Dry Hop Stout HBC 472”.
Q: You are in a beer store, what would you buy if your own brews weren’t available?
Martin: Two breweries that are producing consistent and high-quality beers are the moment are “Wander Beyond” and “Verdant Brewing Co.”, so I’d pick up something from them if available. Otherwise, it would have to be something that jumps off the shelf – something interesting!
Q: What new flavour combination would you love to try/what new hops would you like to work with?
Martin: Easy: Galaxy.
Q: What brewery you would like to collaborate with and why?
Collective: Definitely “Verdant Brewing Co.” or “DEYA Brewing Company”, two big names in today’s market.
Dan: “Tree House Brewing Company” given my American roots and the fact that they produce SPECTACULAR beer.
Martin: I’d want to link up with breweries that I connected with back in New Zealand, namely “Behemoth Brewing Company” or “Croucher Brewing”.
Q: Any future events?
Martin: Oh yeah! Things are getting busy right about now and momentum is really starting to build. We are getting our canning-line in over the next fortnight and our 440ml cans are going into some of the best bottle shops across Glasgow and Edinburgh. In addition to this, there are going to be tap-takeovers in DogHouse Mechant City and Crossing the Rubicon. If you’re in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, we’ll be in Hanging Bat too!
For the latest information on Overtone’s beers and upcoming events check out the following:
Thanks for taking part. It was great having a tour around the brewery, I’m already looking forward to my next visit! Good luck with canning and I’m already planning a visit to my local bottle store in the coming weeks in order to get my hands on some. Check out how Overtone’s beers tasted!