The Lockdown Diaries – Meet Alan Robinson

Brewery News

By: Chloe Janes

I think I should introduce myself to start, my name is Alan and I’m one of the Thornbridge field sales managers. I’ve been with the company since March 2020 and although I’ve been with the team for nearly a year it doesn’t really feel like it with the very strange year we’ve had. Every time we’ve come out of a lockdown it’s been like starting afresh but I’m optimistic about the future (once things get back to some kind of normal). I’m looking forward to getting back on the road to see all our great customers. I feel lucky to work for a great brewery and with an amazing team, I’ve struck gold with the breweries I’ve worked for. I started in the industry as delivery driver for Magic Rock – a role that I loved. I’m pretty outgoing so was happy to be out and about everyday meeting customers and I got to take great beer to people so everyone was always happy to see me and have a little chat. I also got to visit some pretty brilliant bottle shops and always picked a new beer up to try. After about a year and a half I was asked if I wanted to move into the brewery as an assistant brewer which was an opportunity I would have been daft to turn down, I’m glad I didn’t. I learnt so much from all the staff there and enjoyed that side of brewery work a lot, but after a while I missed the chats and banter with customers and being out on the road. So, when a job came up in sales with Fierce beer I felt I had to take it, working with people definitely plays to my strengths. I had a crazy year with the guys at Fierce – another amazing team to work with, they’re a very close nit bunch up there in Aberdeen and I’m so glad I got the chance to work with them.

 

When I was asked to do a bit of a write up about what I did during lockdown my first thought was put on weight and play on my Xbox! Thankfully however, it was pointed out that I seem to have been taking a lot of pictures. It wasn’t something I set out to do but when walking my dog, Brewster, (he’s a Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Akita cross and daft as a brush) things just seem to catch my eye that I think would look good in a photo. Are they any good? I’m not sure but I know I like them and it’s something I’ve done more of recently but still only take them with my phone. I’d like to buy a decent camera and take many more but I have no idea what a good starter camera looks like so if any of you have a recommendation feel free to give me a shout. My pictures are of many random things but I think I prefer taking photos of nature and architecture, old and new, even better when they are together and you can see the contrasts.

Another thing I got up to during lockdown was BBQing, this is something I’ve enjoyed a lot over the past few years. With the great weather, we had been spending time in the garden with a few Jaipur’s whilst smoking ribs for 6 hours – making good use of my time, of which I had plenty. As well as ribs I smoked a few pork shoulders to make pulled pork, great on sandwiches and leftovers go great on pizza. Another favourite in our house is pork belly burnt ends, which is pork belly cut into roughly 1” cubes then coated in seasoning and cooked until they have darkened enough. Then I add butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and more seasoning then back on the bbq. Once they are tender enough I add some bbq sauce and cook for another half hour. I’ve not found anyone that doesn’t like these yet. I also smoked the family Xmas day turkey on the BBQ along with some ribs!

This was pretty much lockdown for me, I didn’t make banana or sourdough bread, I didn’t learn a new language or do an online course. I took photos, walked my dog and bbq’d a lot. I got through it in my own way like everyone else. I will carry on taking photos and hopefully I’ll get better and maybe pick up a real camera. I’ll also carry on smoking meat until I’ll hopefully see you all soon for a pint.