Joe qualifies as a beer sommelier
Twenty six year old Joe Thomson, from Launceston, has passed a prestigious London-based course to become one of an elite band of just 36 beer sommeliers worldwide. Designed to provide accredited recognition of beer styles and beer and food matching and to further knowledge about hop identification and flavours, the qualification is run by The Beer Academy – an educational body dedicated to helping people understand, appreciate and enjoy beer sensibly.
Four and a half years ago, Joe, who was working in a pub at the time, persuaded local farmer Stephen Medlicott to partner him in a venture to launch Penpont Brewery. Together they converted one of Stephen’s redundant milking parlours for the purpose and Joe, whose trade is self-taught, quickly set about developing a new range of beers, becoming one of the country’s youngest brewers in the process.
Since then, Penpont Brewery has gone from strength to strength – winning SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) gold awards in 2011 and 2012 and, as well as supplying Cornish beer wholesale to all parts of the UK, exporting to both Canada and Russia.
“I decided to do the beer sommelier course because I want to learn as much as I possibly can about all aspects of the industry,” said Joe. “The additional knowledge and experience is already proving useful in helping us develop a new range of beers with assertive flavours that stand alone but also go well with food. It’s an exciting new phase in our growth strategy – adding niche products to our existing range.”
Penpont’s beers include An Howl which won a gold Taste of the West bottled beer award, Penpont Porter which won several awards at the SIBA South West Beer competition and Penpont Ginger Beer which won gold at the SIBA South West Festival.
For more information, visit www.penpontbrewery.co.uk