Brewery’s search for official tasters

PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 June 2015

Stuart Howe with a beer

Stuart Howe with a beer


COULD this brewery possibly be advertising the world’s greatest job?

Staff at Butcombe Brewery are looking to hire a panel of volunteer beer tasters to put new and existing brews at their Wrington site to the test.

Butcombe’s director of brewing, Stuart Howe, is looking to recruit a team of expert tasters with keen and sensitive palates, who will be known as the Butcombe Flavour Panel.

Mr Howe said: “I have organised taste panels at other breweries in the past, so I saw this as a great opportunity to improve what we do and engage with people in our area.

“It is quite a complex process and it is taken very seriously. Successful applicants need the capability to perceive aromas and palate sensations which are vital to excellent beer, along with the ability to describe them.

“They don’t need to have sampled hundreds of beers – they just need to have a palate sensitive enough to know a great beer when they encounter it.”

The brewery has already received more than 90 applications for the role, with the first round of tasting scheduled to take place towards the end of July.

Mr Howe added: “Applicants definitely won’t be given a pint of each beer to try. They’ll usually have about 20 beers to taste, so a pint wouldn’t be a good idea.”

Phil Sawtell, aged 55, is one of those who has applied to take part.

Mr Sawtell, who regularly works in and around Weston, said: “People who know me are well aware that I believe good quality beer should be the norm.

“I’m sure there will be many like-minded, perhaps fussy, ale drinkers who will show an interest in Stuart’s plea, but I’d be delighted to get the opportunity to prove this as a panellist.”

Another applicant is 37-year-old salesman Simon Lomen, who works across North Somerset.

Mr Lomen said: “It seems obvious, but I have always had an interest in beer and drinking in general. I have a wine and spirits certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

“It isn’t about getting drunk – it is all about the taste and seeing what products a local business has in the pipeline.

“Being a Somerset lad, cider was my drink of choice for some time, but I really enjoy a good beer nowadays. I have a reasonably good palate and can detect different tastes.

“I also think I have a good way with words and can describe the beers in a way which gives people a different insight into them.”

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