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St Austell, Wadworth, Thwaites & Caledonian share their thoughts on 2014 & 2015

Find out what’s instore for St Austell, Wadworth, Thwaites and Caledonian breweries next year, as well as what they are most proud of in 2014.

Answering the questions are Martin Breading (MB), Sales Director at St Austell, Paul Sullivan (PS), Marketing and Sales Director at Wadworth, Lee Williams (LW), Marketing Manager at Thwaites and Andy Maddock (AM) Managing Director at Caledonian.

Q1. What has been your organisation’s biggest success this year?

MB: Winning the Publican’s Choice for Brewer of the Year and Tribute Regional Beer of the Year for the THIRD YEAR RUNNING!!

PS: Repositioning and re-launching 6X at 4.1% abv and driving the brand back into growth on the back of a drinkability and quality platform.

LW: Scooping a whopping 14 different awards for our beers, including 3 World Best Golds and winning outright Best Beer at the Brussels Beer Challenge.

AM: Complete change in the Commercial Structure and Organisation that has now bedded in and ready for 2015 Rare Red Rye Pale Ale a just stunningly complex dry hop spicy and zesty ale at just 3.9%.

Q2. Which of your competitors have you most admired this year and why?

MB: Fuller’s, as always, quality of their estate, their marketing, and Pride a consistent and great beer

PS: St Austell for their continual innovation, range development and tireless marketing.

LW: Adnams for pushing hard in all areas and they beat us into second place at the Indy Beer Can Challenge of course.

Q3. Which beer do you wish you had brewed?

MB: Wouldn’t change what we have

PS: Bengali Tiger by Six point Brewery in the US. Gutted.

LW: Hell or Highwatermelon from 21st Amendment Brewery, thirst quenching stuff and a great name too.

AM: A 7% aggressively hopped Imperial IPA, unfortunately PBD is prohibitive for us to produce on a large scale

Q4.Which beer-related event are you most looking forward to next year?

MB: Regional Brewers Lunch, Publican Awards, Bateman’s Golf Day

PS: Craft Beer rising for the next stage of showcasing craft and cask beer and also the eternal debate on a definition of craft which is always good for a laugh.

LW: Probably Craft Beer Rising, Indy Man, Birmingham Beer Bash et al as it’s just so refreshing compared to some of the more traditional festivals.

AM: A Trade & Consumer Beer Festival at Caledonian either in August around our Edinburgh Festival Fringe Sponsorship or in Cask Ale Week.

Q5. Any new beer styles or innovations that you will be bringing out next year that you can tell us about?

MB: We are looking at a Stout, and possibly a new range of bottled specials

PS: Some new recipes coming out of the brewery with interesting flavours and a few secret ingredients. The focus is on differentiation and education so that consumer can understand why there is room for a whole load of different and interesting beers in the trade. Look out for the Battle of Waterloo and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

LW: We’re playing around with some interesting ingredients in Pale ales and Stouts and single-hopped is on the agenda too.

AM: Gentle Giant a medium gravity 2.8% Golden hoppy ale – gentle in manner, giant in flavour for March. Another beer for May is called Votewinner to tie in with  the general election, a democratically selected beer style by a team of publicans who we had here at the brewery who voted on appearance, aroma flavour and finish and Drop Kick for the Rugby world cup in September, with hops from England, France, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa along with Scottish malt.

Q6. What’s the best thing about working in the cask ale industry?

MB: The people, and the willingness to help each other, wouldn’t happen in many industries!!

PS: People. The fact that we are working with a category in a really exciting stage of development and in a milieu that promotes debate, creativity and opinion

LW: Apart from the obvious (the people), the fact that it is as fast moving and exciting now as we can ever remember.

AM: The people and diversity of the job.