• Post category:Beer / Brewery

With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we caught up with Imogen, our Lead Production Brewer to talk about her career as a brewer, what’s been planned for this year’s IWCBD beer as well as learning a bit more about what she’s got planned for 2024.  

Firstly how long have you been a brewer and how did you get into it? 

I’ve been a brewer at Fell for about 5 years. I originally worked in Fell Bar Penrith but gradually wanted to move away from being Front of House. I found the brewing process really interesting and liked that it gave me the opportunity to be creative with something. 

What’s your favourite part of brewing? 

I like the creative side of brewing as well as the problem solving that you need to go through each time we brew. I enjoy going through the logistics of getting something to do what you want it to do and considering each step of the process until we eventually have something to pour into people’s glasses as the end result.  

And you least favourite? 

Probably the repetitive cleaning although at times I find this strangely satisfying. I do find I get “beer fatigue” and rather than just sitting and enjoying a pint, I find I’m analysing why it tastes how it does and I get to the point where I’m wondering whether I’m even enjoying it anymore.  

What types of beer do you like to brew? 

I like brewing with unusual or non-conventional ingredients because these provide the biggest challenge. I’ve really enjoyed working with the Simon Rogan Our Farm team recently as we’ve been creating something a bit out of the ordinary. On the other hand, it’s incredibly satisfying about brewing beers that are unfussy and easy-drinking as they are the hardest to get technically perfect. 

What’s the beer that you’re most proud of making? 

I would say Quiet Bat People because it’s been a collaborative effort to get it to where it is today. It started off as my recipe but each time we’ve brewed it at Fell, it’s been tweaked by other members of the team to what it is now, a luxurious Oatmeal Stout which has notes of dark chocolate and a stern roasty bitter finish. It’s a beer that we release every year so I really look forward to brewing it when the time comes around again.  

What have you got planned for this year’s IWCBD? 

The concept for this year’s beer came about after a conversation with Gemma, our Head of Ops. We wanted to brew something that we like to drink ourselves. The beer is going to be hop forward, a beer that packs big fruity flavours. It’s going to be low ABV so it’s a proper session drinking beer. We’re excited to be brewing it again with not only the wider Fell female team but also local women’s community group Wonderful Wild Women. It’s lovely to build upon the relationship we’ve developed with this group over the last couple of years and to spend time with a group with similar interests and mindset. What makes Fell Fell is where we are and the community around us and that’s the same with WWW; we’ve got a joint focus on being part of the Cumbrian landscape, whether that be using local ingredients, swimming in the lakes, or visiting local bars and restaurants.   

And finally What does 2024 hold in store for you? 

I’m aiming to swim every month this year. I had a couple of dips in February, I forgot about January (woops) but I’ll make sure I do a new year swim. I’m also looking forward to developing the Our Farm beer range. Using local ingredients is something I want to champion more and more moving forwards and these beers are a great way to demonstrate the quality of local ingredients such as Holker grain, woodruff and all the other wonderful farm produce available too us.