Phil Parkinson Five Minutes with Faram

Phil Parkinson - Five Minutes with Faram

It’s time to catch up with Head Brewer Phil Parkinson from Joseph Holt’s Brewery

Join us for an exclusive interview with Phil Parkinson from Joseph Holt’s Brewery. Discover the secrets behind their amazing brews! Phil talks about his favourite British beers, hops, and brewing techniques, and how the latest technology is helping their brewery and could help you to! 

Watch the full chat below!

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Need more detail about the episode? Check out the transcript below!

Maddie 41:33
From Ledbury to Manchester, let’s catch up with Phil Parkinson, head brewer at Joseph Holt’s brewery in this week’s Five Minutes with Faram

Phil Parkinson 41:42
Phil Parkinson Headbrewer, Joseph Holts in Manchester,

Maddie 41:45
Great. What is your favourite British hop?

Phil Parkinson 41:47
Favourite British hop? Wow. That’s difficult. I would probably say Admiral, and we use a lot of Admiral. And we tend to use it as a bittering hop because of the high alpha. But we have in the past used it as a dry hop as well. And so lovely and kind of piney and resinous. And yeah, we’ve brewed a great single hop beer outfit as well.

Maddie 42:14
Oh, great. Do you have a favourite beer?

Phil Parkinson 42:17
No, no, no, because you know, it all depends what you’re doing?

Maddie 42:22
The seasons.

Phil Parkinson 42:23
Exactly. All those things.

Maddie 42:24
Okay. So nice summer’s day. Yeah, you’re in a pub garden in England, what are you going to go for?

Phil Parkinson 42:31
So I guess I’m either going to be having a pale ale or lager. Um, obviously I’m going to be a bit biassed, and I’m going to be thinking of things like our Spin Doctor. So a dry hopped lager. That’s we just got a gold at the International Brewing Awards with that.

Maddie 42:48
Amazing. Yeah.

Phil Parkinson 42:55
Probably something like 6X.

Maddie 42:56
Yeah, yeah. Amazing. So what do you have a favourite beer and food?Obviously, that is quite dependent as well on what you’re drinking.

Phil Parkinson 43:06
So again, so that would probably be 6X with Christmas cake,

Maddie 43:09
Christmas cake.

Phil Parkinson 43:11
And they pair really well, when you’ve got all those dark malts and the kind of the fruitiness and

Maddie 43:18
A good winter drink. Nice. Do you get to go to many beer destinations? Have you been to any recently?

Phil Parkinson 43:26
Not recently. I mean, other than travelling around to other breweries and like, the other week going down to where to Hook Norton and to be with them? For? No, I mean, I’ve not done right lot of.

Maddie 43:37
Have you been abroad. So to like, Germany?

Phil Parkinson 43:40
or not as neer tour no. I’ve been to Germany I’ve drunk beer in Germany but not as a specific beer tour.

Maddie 43:48
Sure, yeah. Cool So what’s one item in a brewery that you couldn’t live without?

Phil Parkinson 43:52
Item in the brewery that we couldn’t live without? I mean, there’s so many, there’s so many things that are just essential, ermm trying to fix, I suppose. So we’ve just had our fermentation control system updated. And without that, I mean, we would have to brew in a really different way, we’d have to have people here around the clock, keeping an eye on fermentations, rather than having a system that broadly looks after things with with a little bit of intervention. So I think I think that’s the most essential.

Maddie 44:24
So you said he just had that updated? Yeah, what does that mean? What was it like before to what it’s like now,

Phil Parkinson 44:29
I guess in broad strokes, it’s pretty much the same as it was before but where we had it on an old software system, it’s on it’s on a brand new one that should perform better. So we won’t see any kind of tangible benefit moving from one to the other but but it’s now a package that’s supported andjust improved.

Maddie 44:50
Have we noticed a difference since the updates?

Phil Parkinson 44:53
No, what it gives us really is the knowledge that if we had a problem, it’s easier to fix. So it’s like I’m in a brand new car and has all the spares on the shelf, rather than having an old car and struggling about trying to find the parts. That

Maddie 45:07
That makes sense. Yeah. Oh, cool. And if you aren’t in the brewing industry, what would you be doing?

Phil Parkinson 45:12
Oh, good question. No idea.

Maddie 45:15
Have you been brewing your entire life?

Phil Parkinson 45:17
Yeah, so I did a microbiology degree. So I thought that I probably wanted to go and work in the laboratory, realised I really didn’t, and I wanted to do something a bit more. And I suppose I suppose they want to be tied in into one place doing one thing in a small area of time, and brewing really worked for that. And you could be brewing beer, or you could be looking after packaging, or you could be managing teams of people. So it’s so broad, really.

Maddie 45:45
So what got you into brewing? After doing the microbiology?

Phil Parkinson 45:50
So liking beer, and having adult Dad that liked beer and would always take you to different pubs and geting to try different beers, and there’s always different beers in the house, and he would homebrew. So I guess I just kind of got the bug there, really?

Maddie 46:04
And then where did you start off then in your first brewery,

Phil Parkinson 46:07
So I went to Wolverhampton and Dudley breweries, so which is now mastered, so it was WMD. At the time started at Banks and then went to Marstons back to Banks’s . And then, best part of 10 years ago, came here.

Maddie 46:21
Great. So do you have a biggest inspiration when it comes to brewing? Or would you say that is sort of your dad? To his love of?

Phil Parkinson 46:31
I suppose that’s certainly where the spark came from.

Maddie 46:35
Cool. So do you have a favourite interest or hobby outside of brewing?

Phil Parkinson 46:41
I try and do a bit of running. Not as much as I’d like to. Just loads of family stuff, really? So lots of kids to run around after and yeah, getting involved with.

Maddie 46:52
Fuggles or Golding?

Phil Parkinson 46:56
I would say Goldings.

Maddie 46:57

Phil Parkinson 46:58

Maddie 46:59
Any particular reason?

I guess, I guess because we use them, and we don’t use Fuggles. So must have a preference for those.

Yeah. And then final question, what is next for the brewery for you in the brewery? What can we look forward to seeing in the future?

Phil Parkinson 47:18
I think I think you can look forward to us banging the drum a bit about a couple of gold medals that we got at the International Brewing Awards. And hopefully, some other new brews so. So with it being 175th year, we’ve got a brew still to do At Everards, we’ve done the Hook Norton brew already. And we’ll be releasing some other special beers. After Joseph Holt on our own as well, to celebrate

Maddie 47:45
That’s exciting is that in the pipelines then?

Phil Parkinson 47:47
Yes, so we’ve already agreed a lager Juicy Bridge lager. So Joseph started brewing in 1849. He got this site in 1860, where we’re sitting now, but before that, we had two smaller breweries, and one of those was the Juicy Bridge brewery. So we’ve brewed a lager using traditional ingredients. So we’ve used an old an old Czech malt, called Hana and malted barley. And we’ve also used Saaz’s hops. So we’ve tried to be fairly true, roughly to a traditional Czech Pilsner.

Maddie 48:23
Oh, yeah, that’s brilliant. Wow, that sounds really nice. Great. Well, unless there’s anything you want to add that sort of, but yeah, thanks very much. Appreciate it.