Today is the last day of the Ascot CAMRA Beer Festival in association with Fuller's, which is showcasing over 220 real ales, cider and perries.
We managed to have a chat yesterday with National Account Executive at Fuller's, Arthur Voelcker about the history of this famous brewery and what he's been looking forward to tasting at this year's festival.
Name: Arthur Voelcker
Location: Chiswick Brewery
Occupation: National Account Executive
1. Fuller’s has been brewing beer for over 300 years, how did it begin?
That’s right. Beer has been brewed at the Fuller’s Chiswick site for over 350 years. The original founders Douglas and Henry Thompson and Philip wood had to seek another investor due to financial trouble and approached John Fuller for help. The new partnership was difficult and in 1841 when Douglas Thompson left it broke down. Finding it increasingly difficult to run the brewery on his own John Fuller looked for help and was soon joined by Henry Smith of Romford Brewery and his brother in law, and head brewer, John Turner. This formed Fuller, Smith & Turner in 1845. To this day Fullers is still very much a family orientated business with many of the family working for the Brewery.
2. How long does it take to brew a typical Fuller’s real ale?
For a typical brew it takes about 14 days for the raw products malt, hops and water to be transformed and fermented into beer. For more specialist beers the brewing process can be longer.
3. Fuller’s brew many different beers, but what would you say is the most popular?
We do have many different beers but London Pride has to be our most popular and well-known brand.
4. Are there any new Fuller’s beers that we should look out for in the future?
We launched a new seasonal beer this summer called Wild River. This is a classic double hopped American style beer which is one to look out for next summer. However for now we have some great seasonal beers coming out with Bengal Lancer, Red Fox and jack Frost all appearing this Autumn and winter.
5. What is Fuller’s relationship with the Campaign for Real Ale?
Fuller’s Brewery has had a strong relationship with CAMRA since the group’s inception in the 1970’s, and we worked closely with them throughout the past 40 years. Fuller’s focus has always been on real ale, and the close affiliation with such a remarkable pressure group (which continues to grow) has been beneficial to both parties.
In fact, Fuller’s holds somewhat of a record with CAMRA; being the only brewery to win the Champion Beer of Britain award with three very individual beers – London Pride, Chiswick Bitter and ESB. ESB has actually won the award an incredible three times.
Fuller’s now one of the country's leading real ale brewers and a flagship brewery for craft
brewing, and the strong relationship between Fullers and CAMRA continues.
6. If someone’s palate is new to beer, what would you suggest they try first?
There is no right or wrong beer to start drinking if you are new to beer. Everyone’s tastes are different and there are many different types of beer that appeal to them. However for people who are new to beer it is best to start with one that is not too bitter and is easy drinking like London Pride.
7. Apart from Fuller’s beers, what is your favourite beer to drink on an autumnal evening?
If it’s not London Pride then my next choice and favourite for an Autumn evening would have to be St Austell Brewery’s Tribute.
8. What are you looking forward to tasting at this year’s Ascot CAMRA Beer Festival?
I am very much looking forward to tasting some of the beers from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland…and of course do some quality control of our own beers as well!