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Five minutes with Faram – Malcolm Downie, Fyne Ales

Malcolm Downie, Head Brewer at Fyne Ales

What is your favourite hop? 

OK… I should probably say Citra®, as that’s the hop in Jarl which is our biggest seller! I do like Citra®, but from a personal point of view, I would say Cashmere. From the first time I sampled it, it was sparking off ideas in my head, and it works so well either on it’s own, or with others. I love it – walking into Wenas when they’re bailing it was my idea of heaven!

What’s your favourite beer?

Ours: Jarl – it’s a true session beer. Refreshing, only 3.8%, everything you could want really!

Others: Probably my favourite recently has been High Wire from Magic Rock.

Favourite food & beer pairing?

Something simple like a pizza and a pale ale.

Favourite beer destination?

Rome, or Italy in general.

Favourite pub in the UK?

Got to be The Plough in Worcester, as it means we will be coming to see you guys the next day!

What couldn’t you live without in the brewery?

Electric stacker, or foam cleaner.

Favourite music to play during a brew day?

Rock – Planet Rock radio if I get to the computer first!

If you weren’t in the brewing industry, what would you be doing?

I have no idea… certainly nothing involving computers as my colleagues will tell you!

Who is your biggest industry in brewing?

I’d say the industry in general is pretty inspiring. Where else would you get invited into another business to see how they do things? It’s full of good people, and we should all be proud of that.

What got you into brewing?

I wanted to study in Edinburgh, and applied to do Chemistry there and at Heriot Watt. I had a friend doing the brewing course at Heriot Watt, plus they had a better fencing team – that was the decision made!

What was the last beer you brewed?

I don’t do much of the day to day brewing these days, so it was probably starting or finishing a double brew of Jarl.

Your favourite beer festival?

Probably EurHop in Rome. We sell a lot of beer in Italy, and it’s a huge festival with a lot of very good breweries. It’s usually warm and sunny as well which helps!

What’s your favourite interest/hobby outside of brewing? 

Fencing. Took it up again a couple of years back after many years playing rugby, and just started getting back into the (veterans) competition circuit.

Fuggles or Goldings?

Goldings all day long! WGV if I can be that specific 😉