What is your role at Thornbridge?
I’m part of the brewery operatives team – we spend most of our days packaging the beer. Because of the pandemic & subsequent lack of pubs, this currently means plenty of bottling & canning, but usually we’d be filling casks & kegs too. If all the packaging is done, there’s usually some cleaning that needs doing. It’s definitely not the most glamorous job out there!
How did you come to work for Thornbridge?
I spent years working in the pub trade, trying (unsuccessfully) to get into the brewery side of things. I’m slightly ashamed to say that I let a few rejections & some bad pub jobs get the better of me, and I took a break from the industry for a couple of years. When I saw the brewery operative role advertised last summer I fired off an application without thinking much of it. I was pretty surprised to land an interview, let alone the job!
Favourite part of the job?
I’m still pretty happy just to get to work with beer every day & to be around people who get as excited about it as I do! And of course, I’m still learning all the time. I’m also lucky enough to work with a great team that make hard days that little bit easier.
Favourite Thornbridge beer?
If I had to pick just one? It’s got to be St Petersburg. I come from a family of die-hard stout fanatics. St Petes is a no frills imperial stout that let’s the malt do all the talking & goes down a little too easily considering it’s 7.2%.
Favourite thing to do outside of work?
One of the reasons I was so excited to land the job at Thornbridge is the location. Outside of work (& outside of a pandemic), I can usually be found in the hills, at the crag or on my bike. All followed by the pub of course! At home, I love to cook and I’ve always been a bookworm.
What is this year’s IWCBD beer & how did it come about?
Given the current climate, I was almost convinced we wouldn’t be brewing for IWCBD this year, but fortunately Rachel wasn’t taking no for an answer! The theme for this year’s brew day is compassion, so I did some research into the surrounding imagery & stumbled upon Clementia, the Roman goddess of compassion. This immediately conjured thoughts of soft, orangey flavours. We’ve picked out a juicy hop blend with low bitterness & some oats for body to create a super smooth beer that’ll be perfect for mini casks.
Why do you think compassion is important today?
Tensions are high for all of us at the moment because of the pandemic, so we could all stand to show a little more compassion to one another. It’s brought out the worst in some people at a time when we really need to come together.
Who is your female hero?
Although it’s a tough choice, probably Frida Kahlo. I have a background in Fine Art & she’s been a really important figure to me for a long time – I even have one of her paintings tattooed on me. She was way ahead of her time, wasn’t going to let anyone tell her she couldn’t do anything because of her gender & was committed to improving the position of women in her country. She did all of this after facing huge adversity at a young age, her resilience was incredible. A total badass.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the strong, creative, wonderful women in my own life; the family, friends & colleagues who have helped shape who I am today.