Paul Spencer, Ossett Brewing
This is a new feature and our first focus is on Paul Spencer from Ossett Brewing Co. Thanks to Paul for taking the time to talk to our Beth – who’s usually the one doing all of the talking
What’s your favourite hop?
What’s your favourite beer?
Field 41 Pale Ale from Bale Breaker Brewing Co in Yakima WA. However, as that isn’t readily available where I live, in recent years I find that the Belgian Trappist beers are what I go back to again and again
Favourite Food & Beer pairing?
Beer and crisps. Or perhaps peanuts or a slice of mucky fat and bread.
Favourite beer destination?
In the UK, definitely Newcastle. It has some of the best pubs, tastiest beers and friendliest people around. Having said that, I go to Russia quite often and the craft beer scene there is fantastic, particularly in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Favourite pub in the UK?
The Crown Posada in Newcastle for the reasons mentioned above
If you weren’t in the brewing industry, what would you be doing?
Probably still working in the chemical industry and thoroughly miserable.
What got you into brewing?
My father used to make Boots’ homebrew kits when I was a child in the 1980’s and I was always interested in helping with these, as well as sampling the resulting terrible beer. I was also fascinated by Tetley’s Brewery in Leeds and the smells emerging from it from a very early age.
As a sixteen-year-old I discovered the joys of real ale by drinking Taylor’s Landlord in the Rat and Ratchet in Huddersfield and Old Mill Bitter in the Fighting Cock in Bradford among others. Even as a teenager, I preferred these beers to the big brands that were advertised widely at the time and started to get quite seriously into beer and homebrewing. In 2001 (and by this time an experienced home brewer) a job became available at my favourite local microbrewery (Ossett) and I left my job in the chemical industry to persue a career in brewing – a decision that I have never regretted for a second.
Favourite beer festival?
Indie Man Beer Con (IMBC)
Favourite interest/hobby outside of brewing?
I enjoy leaning on my spade, drinking tea and watching the wild birds while pretending that I am working hard in the garden. We grow lots and fruit, veg and of course hops which find their way into my homebrew.
What’s the last beer you brewed?
Ossett Brewery Yorkshire Blonde, a well balanced and very drinkable golden session ale, delicately hopped with Challenger and Mount Hood supplied by Charles Faram.
Fuggles or Goldings?
What’s next for Ossett?
After opening our fourth subsidiary brewery (Salt Beer Factory, to add to the existing Fernandes, Riverhead and Rat breweries) in November 2018, Ossett are in the process of installing a 3500 cans per hour canning machine to can the Salt branded beers.
In addition to this, after a recent £1m investement into the main site at Ossett, we hope to grow sales up to 30,000hl per annum.