Louis - Head Brewer at St Andrews Brewery
Louis, tell us a bit about yourself & how you decided to become a beer brewer at St Andrews Brewery?
I grew up in St Andrews and lived here my whole life. I went to school around the corner in Boneo and have always surfed in the area. My Dad started St Andrews Brewery so brewing beer is in my blood. My dad begun his career in France where him & mate started a brewery. Once I finished high school I moved to France for a couple of months. I worked there and immediately fell in love with the concept of brewing. When I came back my old man started St Andrews Brewery and I put my name in the ring as the apprentice brewer. I did four years under the Head Brewer and after he left, I took over. Growing up I was never good at math's (to which I failed in year 12) but it’s funny now because all I do is math's - calculating measurements and dilutions. In my personal life I am quite an organised person, so the process of brewing really suits my personality.
What is a typical workday for you look like?
We run a morning and afternoon shift, if I were in the morning shift, I would get up at 2am, to get to work around 3am. I go in for a brew and get ready to can or filter. From 11am the afternoon crew come in and take over what I’ve been doing and finish around 7-8pm. After that I usually go sit on the computer and do any admin tasks on the computer. I prefer the morning shift since you have the rest of the day to yourself.
What is something that not many people would know about brewing?
All you do is clean! Everyone thinks it’s very glamourous where you just sit there sniffing a glass and drinking beer. We thoroughly clean the tanks, pumps, setups and floors, so there’s no room for bacteria to grow and spoil the beer.
What are the highlights & challenges of the job?
A highlight would be creating a recipe from scratch and picturing how it will turn out, from writing it down on paper to doing all the calculations to figure out how it’s going to be, the colour of it, the bitterness, different flavour variations. It’s great to see it turn out as a success and seeing the way people enjoy it, that’s probably the one thing I get the most joy out of. A lowlight would be equipment breaking, our machinery breakdowns a lot because we’re running 24/7. The most recent one is our Glycol Unit that cools all the tanks down, as a result we all lost 4 days’ worth of work.
If you had to sit down & have a beer with anyone, who would it be & why?
Dave Chapelle, because he’s hilarious and really entertaining. I’m seeing him next weekend so he’s on my mind.
What’s your go-to weekend outfit?
Usually barefoot, boardies and a t-shirt in summer and in winter usually jeans, shirt and boots.
One pair of Wild Rhino’s you’re loving?
Winton – I like the suede, it looks like it’s been already worn in.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
Early bird or Night Owl? Early bird
Knock Off Drink of Choice? Beer, specifically Japanese Lager
Pale Ale, Golden Ale or Session Ale? Golden Ale
Favourite food? Japanese – sashimi, ramen
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert
Don't forget to head down to St Andrews Brewery for a beer this weekend!