There’s something comforting about Autumn – about seeing the red and brown-hued leaves clinging on to branches and dramatic sunsets in the early evenings. Summer’s busy days and heady nights have well-and-truly departed, and it’s time to slow down, get cozy and enjoy a bit of a Rest.
Our latest cask special brew is a beer for the Autumn months – a 4.2% golden amber ale to help stave off bracing winds; with a well-balanced, crisp, fruity hop bite in the foreground and a lingering, soft caramel finish, a pint of Rest by a crackling fire is the dream for those who love this time of year.
Rest is the first brew to which our new Technical Brewer, Yvonne Wernlein, has contributed. Yvonne, who joined us at the tail end of Summer, has an impressive history of brewing science and is instilled with the attention to detail that only someone who trained in brewing in Germany can attain.
What’s your background in brewing?
Well, my parents have their own brewery in Germany and it’s a family business so I’ve always worked in breweries, straight out of school I began training to be a master brewer. I actually did my three-year apprenticeship in a brewery in Franconia, as my parents thought it would be a good idea to spend a bit of time away from home, before moving to another brewery, Rothaus in South West Germany where I worked in their laboratory for a couple of years before moving on to do my brewmaster qualification for two years. Afterwards, I moved to run the laboratory for a brewery in Offenburg doing quality assurance and management before finally heading home to work for my parents brewery and help the family business.
What brought you to Fyne Ales?
The first time I came to Scotland was in 2003 or and I’ve been back every year since, at least once a year. I think it has always been calling me and I knew I’d end up living in Scotland, so when I met a man who lived in Dunoon and I had the chance to move here to live with him, I had to do it. When I moved, I had to look for a job at a brewery and from the first time I visited Fyne Ales for my interview, it felt like coming home.
How have your first couple of months been working here?
I love it. It’s kind of touching; I have never liked Sundays, because I’ve always hated thinking about having to go back to work on Monday, but here, as I said, it’s like coming home. I love my job here and the people have been so welcoming – moreso than anywhere else I’ve been in my life. I mean, there are always friendly people in breweries but here it is something different, it’s special.
How has the transition been between brewing in Germany and brewing here?
It’s a very different environment – this is the first time I’ve brewed without the purity laws being an influence. During my first brew, I was adding something to the copper and I couldn’t help but think about my dad because if he could see me, he would be shaking his head at me! But I’m a technical brewer and I know that these things are serving a purpose when we’re brewing here, they’re only making our beer better so I think it’s acceptable.
Tell us about Rest.
It was a bit of a collaboration between [Head Brewer] Malcolm and I – it’s very much Autumn-inspired with a nice dry finish. I’m not a huge fan of aggressively hopped beers, so I wanted to make something very easy-drinking and well balanced and use some hops that don’t get showcased very often so it uses a combination of Perle, Eureka, El Dorado and Polaris. Oh and I love the colour.
What do you want to achieve at Fyne Ales?
I’m very goal-oriented, so I have a couple of short term things that are achievable – getting some of the new accreditations for the brewery and getting the lab properly set up so I can establish a full schedule, but honestly, I’ll be happy if I do a good enough job that I get to stay here for a long time because I don’t want to leave!
Keep an eye out for more blogs about Yvonne's processes coming soon!