Brewing under licence is simply better, says Professor

Consistency is everything in brewing, and that’s why Professor Charlie Bamforth would always prefer to drink a product that is brewed locally rather than fully imported.

In last week’s live recording of Radio Brews News, Professor Bamforth said staling and oxidation are difficult faults for brewers, because they are so commonplace in imported beers that many drinkers see them as appealing characters.

As an example he pointed to an unnamed international beer that he said tastes vastly different around the world, depending on how it has been handled.

“People say, what’s it supposed to taste like?’ Because if you have it at Schipol airport, it’s a lovely fresh beautiful lager.

“If it’s been a can that’s travelled the ocean, it tastes like cardboard. If it’s in a green glass bottle it tastes like the anus of a skunk – and some people like that!”

He said he firmly believes that a beer should be the same every single time when it reachesthe customer, and that is what he tells his students to aspire to.


L-R: Charlie Bamforth and Radio Brews News’ Matt Kirkegaard at Beer DeLuxe in Sydney

“The golden rule basically for anybody in my opinion is, drink the beer as close to the brewery as possible,” he said.

“People say, how can Beck’s be Beck’s if it’s brewed in St Louis? Or how can Bass be Bass if it’s brewed in New York?

“Well I’d sooner have Bass in the United States brewed as close to me as possible rather than shipped on a boat through who knows what weather, bouncing up and down… it will be far fresher, the closer it comes to me.

“As long as they’re using the right malt and the right hops and the right recipe and the right yeast, and they adjust the water to get the right specification, the beer’s going to be better, brewed closer to you.

“I don’t see why a certain beer has to be brewed in such and such a location.

“I think it’s far better to have it done under franchise, as close to the customer as possible, so that all of the beer will have the same characteristics, no matter who is drinking it, wherever they are drinking it,” Professor Bamforth said.

Episode 82 of RadioBrews News is available to download here.

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