Award-winning brewer retires

ADNAMS' award-winning head brewer Dr Mike Powell-Evans has retired after 18 years with the Southwold company and 36 years in the industry in total.

ADNAMS' award-winning head brewer Dr Mike Powell-Evans has retired after 18 years with the Southwold company and 36 years in the industry in total.

Mr Powell-Evans became head brewer at Adnams in 1990, since when he has played a key role in the company becoming one of the fastest-growing, as well as among the most-admired, beer brands in the UK.

Adnams' beers have won a number of regional, national and international awards, including a gold medal for Broadside as “Best Strong Bitter” at the Great British Beer Festival in 2003 and the Campaign for Real Ale's “Champion Beer of East Anglia” title for Adnams Bitter last year, when Mr Powell-Evans was also named “Brewer of the Year” by the British Guild of Beer Writers.

Mr Powell-Evans began his career in 1972 at Bass, in Burton-on-Trent where he worked in most areas of the brewery, gaining a diploma from the Institute of Brewing in 1975 and quickly being promoted to the role of head brewer at Bass.

During his time at Adnams, he has become famous for enjoying “brewer's playtime”, never being afraid to innovate with new varieties of hops and grains, and producing beers such as Explorer and Spindrift that have now become favourites in the Adnams range.

He was also responsible for Innovation, the acclaimed special brew produced to mark the completion last year of a new eco-efficient brew house at Southwold which, to his great satisfaction, also produced the cask of Bitter which won CamRA's regional award.

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In line with Adnams' commitment to the environment, Mr Powell-Evans was most recently involved in the creation of East Green, the UK's first carbon-neutral beer, which is brewed with aphid resistant hops and local high-yielding barley.

Jonathan Adnams, chairman of Adnams, said yesterday: “Mike has been a great credit to the company and his expertise and commitment to traceability, excellence and integrity, has maintained Adnams status as a high-quality brewer throughout the last 18 years.

“There are few as passionate about English beer as Mike, who certainly deserves his reputation as a celebrated brewer of great tasting beers.”

Mr Powell-Evans added: “Being a brewer has to be the best career possible and working for Adnams has to be the plum job.

“I have really enjoyed the freedom to maintain the heritage of classic Adnams beers whilst progressing with new products and raw materials, especially new hop varieties.

“Overseeing the installation of the new brewhouse has been a terrific experience, but now is the right time to hang up my saccharometer [a brewer's device for measuring the amount of sugar in a solution] and turn my efforts to the garden.”

As a retirement gift, the Adnams engineers made Mr Powell-Evans a sundial crafted from the main “number one” plate from a Victorian Mash Tun which was replaced during the refit of the brewery last year.