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Meet The Hopprentices…

And hear what they think about the Flavourly beers they’ve tried so far!

 Earlier this year, Flavourly was on the hunt for a Hopprentice – someone to taste the beers we’re releasing throughout the course of the year, and let us know exactly what they think about each one.

Posting about the job, we said: “Our ideal candidate has a passion for craft beer and an appetite for discovery; we want someone who can sample our craft beers, describe our new releases and help shape the future of the Flavourly range.”

What’s more, Flavourly offered to the successful candidates a Cicerone beer qualification to make them a certified expert taster.

After the job advert went live, the team were inundated with thousands of applications from passionate beer fans keen to take on the role, with each being asked to describe and review their all-time favourite beer.

Because of the demand, two beer tasters were appointed after being chosen from a shortlist of 14.

We’re delighted to introduce you to our Hopprentices: Sally MacGarry and Sam Dakin.

Sally explained why she applied for the role, saying: “I’m a bit of a booze nerd, especially when it comes to beer.

“I have some formal qualifications in the alcohol industries and I’m currently working as a brewer, as such I’m constantly working to improve my palate and knowledge.

“My fridge is generally well stocked with beers I’m excited to taste and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing the Cicerone for a few months now.”

Sally also said that the psychology of taste and flavour chemistry are the areas of the industry that she’s really interested in.

“Marrying the science of what’s in the glass from the ingenuity of the creator and the reactions and opinions of the consumer is a fascinating process that I enjoy being a part of,” she said.

Sally’s successful review was of an Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier smokebeer that smells like bacon. Her writing style and food pairing suggestions plus her knowledge were two things that set her apart.

“I’m absolutely flattered that out of thousands of applicants mine stood out enough to have been selected,” Sally said.

“My application review was of one of my favourite beers and I have an aged one I’ve been saving for a special occasion, I’ll be opening it in celebration.

“One of my favourite parts of working in this industry is tastings, learning what and why you taste. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be sent a box of beers that I haven’t chosen and relate my experience in writing.”

Sam Dakin is the second hopprentice and wrote about a favourite beer – Not With That Oatitude – a 10.5% double dry-hopped triple IPA.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be sent a box of beers that I haven’t chosen and relate my experience in writing.”

Sam has been drinking craft beer for a couple of years now and has created an Instagram account in which he, his brother Rich and his friend Dan review beers.

Sam said: “(When I saw the job advert) I decided to check out Flavourly and understand what the Hopprentice was all about, and ultimately their mission to support the craft beer industry and bring fantastic beer to the masses really resonated with me, hence the application.

“I’m very grateful that Flavourly chose me amongst what could have only been a mass of applications for this role (I mean who wouldn’t want to try out lots and lots of new beers?)

“I am really excited to help them with all their new releases in the coming year and continue supporting their goals, and the craft beer movement as a whole.”

Now to hear what they thought of the beers they’ve tried so far… 

Sally’s Reviews…

Quantock Brewery, The Masterplan – English Pale Ale

The Masterplan

Colour: Opaque, bright gold

Aroma: Gooseberries, grapefruit and elderflower

Flavour: Citrus and red berries

Description: The mouthfeel is so luscious that it’s almost creamy tasting, delightfully refreshing on a summer’s afternoon.

Food Match: Anything Mexican or traditional English. It has enough character and texture to cut through fatty fish batter or dense risotto.

Gun Brewery, Table Red – Red Ale

Colour: Deep copper

Aroma: Fresh hops and biscuit

Flavour: Clean, mouth-filling but crisp, dry, dried apricots, nutshells and cranberries.

Description: A full-bodied malty number with a nice lacing of bitter hops. Dry, refreshing and thirst-quenching, really nicely balanced. A soft floral aroma of old-world hops gives way to a malty base with a bitter twang. Outstanding for a gluten-free non-pale ale option.

Food Match: Chocolate cake, fruit crumble, BBQ meat, sausage and mash, young cheese especially with bloom, dulce de leche.

Loch Lomond Brewery, Good Day Sunshine – Citrus Pale AleGood Day Sunshine

Colour: Opaque pale lemon

Aroma: Zesty and floral

Flavour: Thin, medium bitter, zesty, light pineapple and guava

Description: A really refreshing and pallet exciting IPA. A summer fridge filler for sure. 

Food Match: Ceviche, poke, meringues on the beach, oysters, cheesecake.

And now for Sam’s thoughts…

Beatnikz Republic, 10 Pin Torpedo – Pale Ale

Citrus notes on the ring pull, then a slight haze and very golden hue with just enough foam head in the glass. Light body with some resinous notes for me and a bittersweet finish. I think there’s just the right amount of balance between hop aroma and bittering here, I just wish the can was bigger!

Freedom Brewery, Kolsch – Lager/Ale HybridKolsch Freedom Beer

Probably my favourite out of the ones I’ve had so far, a really crisp and clean lager, but there is some fruitiness coming from the ale yeast which was really nice. I’d say it’s definitely the year of the lager.

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