Compass Brewery

Richinflavour's Cotswold Local Producer for April 2014

We speak to Compass Brewery's Head Brewer Mattias Sjöberg to find out what's going on in their world of beer. You can find Compass's beers in a number of shops around the Cotswold and I always keep my eyes open for their offerings at beer festivals around the Cotswolds. You may have even spotted Torp, which won a regional prize in the Sainsburys' Great British Beer Hunt in a Sainsburys supermarket near you.

In three words describe your business?
Beer, Flavour, Food.

What do you love most about the Cotswolds?
The diversity of the people, landscape and food.

What/who inspired you to start up your business?
I have been brewing since I was a teenager and have been wanting to start a brewery since the first brew.

What's your favourite beer within your range?
Going into summer it is Symposium, our traditional Bavarian wheat beer flavoured with fresh ginger and lemons.

How do you go about sourcing your ingredients?
There are only a hand full of maltsters in the UK and most of our malt comes from our nearest one in Wiltshire. The hops are sourced through a hop merchant who imports them from all over the world. We use a mix of UK, continental and US hops to achieve the flavours we are after.

What's your top kitchen tip?
When it comes to cooking, I would say make sure you have a good set of knives. When it comes to brewing, it is all about the cleaning. The most common mistake most home brewers make is not cleaning and disinfecting enough. I would say that brewing is 60–70% about cleaning.

When you're not brewing your awesome beers, what do you like to get up to?
I really enjoy cooking, but I don’t have as much time for it at the moment as I’d like. I am also a keen outdoorsman and like to do everything from a nice half-day walk to camping to rock climbing.

What's been your favourite food/drink experience in the Cotswolds?
The Cogges Beer Festival (held annually in August). It has loads of great beer, great music, and a superb venue.

Who would be your ideal four dinner guests?

President Obama, Mick Jagger, Stephen Fry and Garrett Oliver (Head Brewer at Brooklyn Brewery and beer and food pairing legend)

What exciting things do you have planned for this year for your business?
We are doing some fun collaborations this year. The first one is with Oddbins and Upton Smokery: we are producing a special beer with smoked malt. It will be available nationally from May in Oddbins.
We are also doing a collaboration brew with Birmingham Beer Bash, an independent beer festival in Birmingham that takes place in July and showcases some of the most exciting players in the UK’s growing craft beer scene. We are also going to host some beer and food tasting sessions during the festival.
In addition, we are working on maturing beer in oak barrels and using some new yeasts which should give some interesting flavour profiles. So be prepared for the release of more of our limited-run ‘Pilot’ brews this year.