I’ve been writing for GBH for going on two and a half years now. Over that time you may or may not have noticed that I’ve gradually been trying to build a picture of the modern British beer scene. We’ve looked at the likes of Beavertown and Brew By Numbers in London, BrewDog up in Scotland, Cloudwater in Manchester, Magic Rock and Northern Monk in Yorkshire and most recently Lost & Grounded in Bristol.
It’s Bristol that we find ourselves in today, or at least, that’s where today’s guest Bruce Gray, and his brewery Left Handed Giant, is based. Gray has worked in the beer industry for a number of years now, working in BrewDog’s bar division before heading to Bristol and setting up a distribution company. He also opened a specialist beer bar called Small Bar, which now has a second site in Cardiff, South Wales.
From here he began “cuckoo brewing,” as Gray puts it, under the Left Handed Giant brand. Things snowballed for the fledgling brewery, as they are wont to do in a British market hungry for more young brands like his, and now they’re nestled into a permanent site, brewing 15 barrels at a time. Bristol seems to be the perfect incubator for the ambitious plans for his brewery.
It’s perhaps because Gray has had the opportunity to work at all ends of the chain that he’s able to articulate his experiences within the beer industry so well. He does so regularly on his brewery's blog, where he’s earned a reputation for being honest and forthright. On this podcast he’s no different, giving in-depth opinions on issues such as the much-debated price of beer. He also gives his opinions on CAMRA as well as SIBA, the Society for Independent Brewers, which is the closest equivalent the UK has to America’s Brewers Association.
We have a great conversation here that covers all of the above and more. Listen in.