Enabling the people of Brighton to indulge in a most noble of pursuits, Brewtorial offer a beer brewing master class for any ability. The appeal of these sessions is wide-ranging, from the curious to the fully-fledged brewing fanatic; they suit anyone appreciating a touch of excellence to their glass. “We’re not just teaching home brewing, we’re teaching home brewers,” Brewtorial co-founder, Daniel Kaye, tells me. “I want to teach from a professional point of view, looking at the whole process.”
Taking place at venues around Brighton and beyond, these sessions take a loving look at all aspects of the process. Kaye and co-founder Josh Dazeley aim to pass on the skills and knowledge needed to make exemplary beers every time.
When a friend started a brewery, Kaye found himself with growing curiosity about the process’ different aspects. Whilst a comparative newcomer, he learnt his craft on all scale of systems, subsequently creating two commercially available brands of beer. After meeting Dazeley at a brewing class, they both agreed their combined skills could create something really special for the craft community.
Rising pub prices and corporate dominance have stirred a revolt in the fine beer community. Also tastes have shifted away from mass-produced lagers and stouts, embracing something a little more challenging and involved. “People got bored of being fed the same crap. They wanted a bit of quality and some passion.” This reaction against the chains has triggered a vibrant craft beer scene, with independent local breweries leading the way. Hundreds of small niche business have brought with them exciting new styles of beer. Part of this revolution is driven by pure economics. “Why should you buy your beer from some massive brewery which doesn’t care about you and is only interested in numbers and profits?” A pint can be created at home for around 8% of the cost in a pub, with just the simplest of kits.
Decent entry-level apparatus only costs about the price of a PS4, but unlike a games console it will enable you to learn a skill for life. There’s no greater aid to learning than actually engaging in the practical process. You can read books and check the internet, but it won’t give you a true point of reference. “Our aim is to get people into home-brewing, and to save them money from not making mistakes.” He appreciates some of the students may be treating it as a fun and interesting day out, but if anyone wanted to get into it as a hobby it’s the perfect springboard.
Brighton, as with so many things, is a great place for these classes due to the area’s inherent community vibe. “It’s a very cool city. There’re a lot of hipsters here. They do have some idiosyncratic qualities, but they do bring innovation,” he laughs. It’s a truism, if you don’t get innovation, then you court stagnation. We all need cool and exciting things to happen, that’s how a society evolves. Reportedly Brighton is the best place to start new businesses.
Brewing beer is a lengthy and involved process. But what could be laborious is made fun and interesting by the team. “I care very passionately about this. I’d like that passion to rub off on other people.” He admits it’s all slightly geeky, with all the figures, personal pretences and comparison of different ingredients amongst brewers. But what Brewtorial aim to do is demystify this arcane world, making it accessible and fun for anyone that enjoys a proper pint.
The engagement doesn’t end with the session. Students are actively encouraged to stay in touch, swap ideas with each other and show off their produce. By keeping in contact after the sessions, they can see how previous students are getting on with their new-found hobby. It also reinforces the sense of community running through the brewing world. Brewtorial are also working towards releasing their very own range of beer. Ultimately this will enable students to have the chance to make versions of their retail product. “It’s important for us and our credentials. Why should you trust us, unless you can taste what we brew?”