do we need, “Rockstar Brewers”?

So we have superstar Chef’s, celebre FishMongers, so yes, we have Rockstar Brewers.

But, do we need them?

I am firmly in the YES camp.

So, why do we need to have Rockstar Brewers?

I think we’re better off, I think the lack of financial aspirations can be made up with social plaudit.       The drivers for celebrating  brewers is the CV building.   Should a brewer wish to migrate to foreign parts,

If we’re asking brewers to brew us more experiential beers, at far lesser volume than the BMC brewers, then we should make reparations toward this, by giving them award to make weight.    Yes, that’s a comparing apples and oranges idea, but we have to celebrate that difference.

but the laurel wreaths foisted on our brewer celebre, must be done with a great depth of insight and awareness of either the impact that their portfolio of beers have had on the market, or the game changing beers that they are producing,  the breweries fortunes have been reversed?

I also believe that it makes it easier to attract out and out talent into the brewhouse, when we have acclaimed brewers at the top of our industry.    It’s easy to look at the US brewing scene and draw parallel from the impact from Vinnie Cilurzo, Tomme Arthur, Sam Calagione etc, and what that has done for the status of a brewer.  Uptake at brewing schools, the number of people looking for brewing work, has increased as fast as the number of breweries out there.    Obviously the economists out there will see a supply and demand issue, to maintain a life-quality wage, but the rockstars bring marketing asset, just as a supremely tallented footballer.    Shirt sales.

Perhaps we’re seeing it happen already.   Kelly, leaving Thornbridge, arriving in New Zealand and going to work at Epic.   A master stroke and really fantastic for both Luke and Kelly.    But, who would fill that personalities shoes?   Dom from Marble.

We’re blessed with supreme talent in the UK, and the sheer numbers of brewers will give us a cluster of quality brewers, that will rise to the top.  The cream if you like.

Sid Boggle has alluded to a bunch, I could add to that list.

I think the brewers you will see, the litmus test, is that you know their name, as much the beers they produce and the brewery they work in.     Their personality is as strong as the quality of their brew.


5 thoughts on “do we need, “Rockstar Brewers”?

  1. No, we don’t. Beer is down to earth. Food and wine can be as poncy as you like but beer is for everyone. So no rock star brewers please.

  2. Absolutely we do, and for similar reasons to those you stated, except I don’t really think that the compensation aspect matters. People get into brewing because they are following their passion, and for those who perservere and become rockstars, there’s plenty of money to be made in appearances, dinners, tastings, writing, and consultancy. The ones who don’t become “rockstars” shouldn’t begrudge those who do any more than one should wish heavier taxes on a rich guy who has worked hard just because they are envious of him. Oh wait, that does happen. 🙂

    As rockstar Sam Calagione says, when you grow the pie, there’s more pie for everyone, and pie-growing is a huge part of what rockstars do!

    Eddie – wine and food are for everyone too? I see no rational reason to keep beer “down to earth”. So long as more people are being turned ON to beer than turned OFF it by rockstars, surely that’s a good thing. Seems like an odd attitude to take to me.


  3. Not sure I’m with you on this, Phil. The difference between
    Brit ‘rockstar’ brewers (i.e. young, hairy, social-media-savvy??)
    and the likes of Sam/Tomme/Vinnie is that the latter *are* the
    brewery. Strong self-publicists, brand-driven and.. irreplacable.
    Brewdog, Thornbridge, Marble et al can participate in the brewer’s
    merry-go-round of big-name transfers because there’s always a
    solid, steady, unassuming brewer at the helm. Who’s usually the
    very antithesis of the ‘rockstar’ profile. I don’t think I’ve yet
    met a UK brewer with the right levels of arrogance, assurance,
    technical skill, animal magnetism *and* total brewing control to
    become a ‘rockstar’ brewer in your mould.

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