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It’s a tough gig being a Head Brewer but someone has to do it. Ahead of International Beer Day on August 3, we sat down with The Squire’s Landing Head Brewer Pete Merrington, to find out what it’s like to brew beers with one of the best views in Sydney!
After many enjoyable years of small-scale brewing at the Malt Shovel and Knappstein breweries, and a bit of winemaking thrown in the mix, this incredible opportunity has come my way. I’m pinching myself regularly – What a location. I am very lucky to be Head Brewer at The Squire’s Landing! My mission is to keep in-house beers flowing on two taps at the bar at any time served direct from the brewery serving tanks, playing around at the fringes with a mix of challenging and approachable beer styles. With the full James Squire range of beers on tap in the venue, I have a licence to experiment and rotate through different styles with the seasons. The Squire’s Landing staff are all very beer savvy and hitting me up with ideas and requests regularly.
A Brewer’s working day is often not very glamorous, with plenty of cleaning, a little analytical work including the obvious and all-important sensory analysis. However it also entails preparation for brew days, sourcing ingredients, writing recipes plus the fun part, ‘the brew day’. A brew day is a steamy affair where focus is important (not unlike a Chef in full flight). But all going well, there’s nothing like putting another brew in, cleaning up and having a rewarding sundowner to help reflect on the day’s achievement.
This is torturous to answer as the thought of choosing a favourite is unimaginable. I love variety and changing with the seasons. However my flavour of the month is definitely the Fruit Bat Juicy Pale Ale, the first in-house brew at the Landing. It has surprised me with its flavour and balance from a recipe I devised recently. I genuinely love it.
I particularly like beer with appetisers, as there’s something about appreciating flavour more when hungry, and beer tends to enhance appetite when tasted before a meal. Right now I’m hankering for a James Squire Amber Ale and some mushroom and truffle arancini balls – outstanding.
We’re in full flight brewing up a storm now and some great beers have been flowing in-house. There’s a winter warmer dessert stout about to hit the taps, an XPA not far away and a hoppy lager (perhaps in time for Father’s Day). Who’s Dad doesn’t like a lager? Beyond that, and leading into Summer, I’m keen to get some sours and fruity wheat beers in the mix for the warmer weather.
If you love Pete’s work, you can stay up to date with the beers that are currently pouring by visiting our Craft Beers page.