Brewer Bytes with Wychwood Brewery
An Interview with Jon Tillson, 2nd Brewer
Posted on 6/20/2013 by Chops
The Wychwood Brewery out of Witney, Oxfordshire in the UK is better known by image than by name. Wychwood may or may not ring a bell to the average beer fan, but I'm quite certain that the Hobgoblin does. He stares at us through those beady little eyes from beer shelves all over the world. Wychwood is world famous for this little guy, who's motto is "What's the matter Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?" This is of course why beer fans all over the world love their Wychwood nectar. BrewChief recently caught up with Jon Tillson, 2nd Brewer at the Wychwood Brewery, who was more than happy to offer up some Brewer Bytes.
What inspired you to get into brewing?
I began when I was 15 on a two week work experience from school when Wychwood was only a small micro. The late founder and brewer Chris Moss was my inspiration. Knowledgeable, passionate, enthusiastic and most importantly a laugh a minute. Seeing the brewery's growth and the explosion of Hobgoblin into a global brand has been a very rewarding experience.
What was your best or most rewarding brewing experience?
Every time someone enjoys a Wychwood beer and every time I pass a Master Brewer exam, fingers crossed not long to go now.
What are your favorite beers outside of your own?
Too many to mention. It's the diversity I love; from a cracking Czech beer like Zatec, a refreshing German wheat beer like Franziskaner, a Belgium suck your cheeks in gueuze like Duchesse de Bourgogne, a quaffable English bitter like Bathams or a stunning beer from America like Shipyard ESB.
What are your favorite breweries outside of your own?
I'm fortunate to enjoy a twice yearly trip to stock up on Westvleteren from the monastery. Basking in the Flanders sun, in the garden of In De Vrede, supping a Westvleteren is an experience to behold.
Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cold pint?
Has to be the quintessential English local pub. There is no other place like it in the world. The diversity of characters, the murmur of chat and laughter and a roaring log fire.
What would you say to a beer novice who is trying your brews?
You'll hear all kinds of advice about temperatures, tastes, aromas, glass wear ... My advice: try beer, different kinds of beer, enjoy beer and most importantly enjoy your beer how you want and with an open mind.
What is the best thing about being part of the beer industry?
Without a doubt the people. People working in the brewing industry and with a passion for beer in my experience tend to be interesting, likeable, amenable and possibly slightly eccentric ...