Checking the brew. Alex Arkell, the latest of the Arkell dinisty to join the Swindon brewers, with a pint of his 3Bs bitter.
Arkellâs appoints countryâs youngest Family Head Brewer26-year old Alex Arkell has been appointed Head Brewer at the Wiltshire family brewery.This is a proud moment for the brewery as Alex is the first family member to take on the role for generations. But just because heâs family doesnât mean his appointment was a shoo-in. Chairman James Arkell, Alexâs father, made it clear from the start that Alex needed to complete a rigorous apprenticeship.Following university, Alex took on the tenancy of The Rusty Bicycle in Oxford, running it for a year. âThis was invaluable experience,â he said. âCustomers donât pull any punches if the beer isnât to their liking, and landlords must deal with issues there and then. Thereâs no better way to learn about customer satisfaction.âAfter a six-month internship with fellow family brewery, Fullers in London, Alex attended the World Brewing Academy in Chicago and Munich where he finally achieved his Master Brewer qualification last year. For the last six months Alex has been working alongside Arkellâs former Head Brewer, Don Bracher, who retired earlier this month after 20 years.âIâve learned from the best,â said Alex, who will maintain the traditional values of the family brewery. âWe will continue to brew consistent core real ales, while producing a variety of new, seasonal varied beers to meet the demand of modern beer drinkers.âTo mis-quote the film Casablanca: Of all the beers in all the towns in the world, Alex says his favorite are English Ales, which are easily the most flavoursome. â Of these I think a great Mild can often be the most satisfying. However my taste definitely varies depending on my mood and the weather, a cool Pilsner on a hot summers day is perfect!âAlex has already implemented a range of developments at the brewery. In less than six months heâs ensured that nearly half of Arkellâs landlords have achieved Cask Marque accreditation for serving the perfect pint of cask-conditioned ale. Cask Marque accreditation is only awarded to licensees whose ale passes a series of rigorous independent beer quality audits.Heâs also taking his responsibilities for customer satisfaction seriously and will be embarking on a series of âMeet the Brewerâ evenings at Arkellâs pubs across the South and West. âI will be at The White Hart Hotel Whitchurch in Hampshire later this month,â he said. More details about the Meet The Brewer events and participating pubs will be on the Arkellâs website and facebook page.Brewery chairman James Arkell, is absolutely delighted than a second son has come into the family business. âMy eldest son George has been here for over a decade and is now a director. Having Alex on board too is wonderful, weâve worked him hard the last two years to make sure heâs the right man for the job â and now I canât think of anyone better to introduce our beers to the next generation of real ale drinkers.â
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