Q: Why the name Leviathan Brewing Co?
A: I’m a huge music fan, particularly anything guitar based and the heavier the better. As well as being a biblical sea beast, Leviathan is an album by a band I love, Mastodon. It seemed an appropriate way to combine two things I love, plus the dark branding and imagery works, at least for me anyway!
Q: How long have you/the brewery been making beer for?
A: I’ve been a very keen homebrewer for 16 years or so, but established the brewery in January 2018. We started brewing in earnest from September 2018, having secured an industrial unit in Sutton Coldfield.
Q: What got you into brewing?
A: I was in a garden centre and came across a homebrew starter kit – a fermentation bucket, pressure barrel and a ‘Woodforde’s Wherry’ 40 pint extract kit and was hugely excited by the prospect of making my own beer for 20p a pint. It turned out OK and I got the bug. A couple of brews later and I was all grain brewing and gradually added equipment to make my life easier and make better beer.
Then, in 2017, serious illness (Cancer) struck. I’d been self-employed for almost 20 years as a management consultant working on large IT / business improvement projects, often away from home, and thought “Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?”. It certainly makes you re-evaluate every aspect of your life. I’d found the enjoyment had been seeping out of work for some time so I decided to focus on doing something I loved, something that would also enable me to be (mostly) home with the family each night, brewing.
I’d been given the all clear health wise but In June last year I had the news that my illness had returned. I pushed on with the establishment of the brewery, finding premises and an all new albeit tiny half bbl kit. I was brewing when I felt up to it, slotted in around 5 months of treatment and some days of the ‘old job’ I was committed to. It’s been extremely frustrating as it delayed my plans for the brewery of a 5BBL kit and taproom, but this is something I fully intend to push on with in 2019, so stay tuned!
Q: When you’re not brewing what are your hobbies?
A: As I mentioned, I’m a big music fan so I get out to as many live gigs and festivals as possible. I also love to cook and firmly believe if you can cook you can brew – it’s all about having the right equipment, good recipes, quality ingredients and learning techniques! It’s interesting with the ‘craft’ beer explosion in recent years to see the lines being blurred, with brewers using whole host of ingredients in beers that previously would have been unheard of. It’s something that hugely interests and excites me! I read through SO many chocolate cake books looking for ideas for big stouts!
Q: What’s your favourite style of beer?
A: It’s a toss up between big IPAs and big stouts, and you’d probably get a different answer depending on the time of year!
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: Of the beers brewed to date, probably my DIPA ‘Life Was Peachy’. I’m also happy to have finally produced a DIPA I am happy with (I’m never totally happy with any brew).
Q: You are in a supermarket, or bottle shop, in the beer section, what would you buy? (your wonderful beer isn’t on sale unfortunately!)
A: My basket would probably be crammed with dark stuff from Pohjala, TO 0l and De Molen, plus juicy stuff from Wylam, Verdant. I always pick up anything new from the likes of Loka Polly, Neon Raptor, Vibrant Forest and Ridgeside and anything from local breweries that bottle/can like Twisted Barrel, Fixed Wheel, Green Duck and DigBrew (I’m waiting patiently for Glasshouse to start doing so). Probably some Siren in there too as I have a soft spot for them as they were probably the main gateway brewery for me a few years back.
Q: What new flavour combination would you love to try/what new hops would you like to work with?
A: I’m loving fruited/herbed Saisons, big chocolatey stouts with dark fruit, so these are areas I’m exploring *digs out the cook books*. I’ve also discovered Azacca recently in some very nice beers and have ordered a load, so expect to see a few beers using that in coming months!
Q: What brewery would you like to collaborate with and why?
A: Oh that’s a tough one. Probably the likes of Ridgeside or Neon Raptor at the moment, who seem to be producing beers across a broad range of styles, which very fits in with my ethos. That’s not a criticism of those who are more focussed on a particular style!
*Both cracking breweries!*
Thanks to Chris for taking part! Coming from the meidical profession I’m delighted to hear that you are through your treatment and I look forward to sampling your beers and seeing the brewery grow!
Update – orders have been placed and Leviathan Brewing’s plans for expansion should hopefully be in the works for this summer! Congrats!
For more information of Leviathan Brewing Co, check out the following;