Nestled deep in the northeast of North America in Canada’s Province of New Brunswick is a brewery revitalizing downtown Miramichi. This brewery known as New Maritime Beer Co. Was started by three longtime friends.
We at Frugal Homebrew had the pleasure of interviewing David Draper the head brewer of New Maritime Beer Co. He is the man responsible for the quality beers that New Maritime Beer Company is putting out.
David used to brew in Toronto but has since moved to work at New Maritime Beer Co. David gets to brew on quality state of the art equipment at New Maritime but also loves to brew at home on his smaller homebrew setup.
You can check out his journey on Instagram where he is known as madmanbrewer. Keep reading below for our exclusive look in the mind of professional brewer David Draper.
Canadian Brewing Awards Gold Medal Winner
Tell us about yourself, I hear you won a Gold Medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2018. What was that like? Did you enter on your own or was it at the behest of others? Can you tell us a little about the award winning beer?
Being called to the stage among your peers is an awesome feeling. The official submission was made by the brewery. I chose three beers that I felt would be strong candidates. When we received a request to send beer to the awards party, we knew that we had won something. However when I was called to the stage for a gold medal, it was pretty exciting.
The beer that won was a stout, it was a popular beer with our customers so I felt that we had a pretty solid beer considering the competition was in the Greater Toronto Area.
For any homebrewer (in America at least) that is interested in entering homebrew contests you will need to join the AHA.
But if you are thinking about entering a contest, do it! its a rewarding and fun experience, just don’t get too mad at the judges.
Getting Started as A Professional Brewer
How long have you been brewing for? Did you start as a homebrewer before becoming a professional brewer?
I have been brewing for many years. Although I did brew some at home, I never really considered myself as a homebrewer. My intention was right from the start to either open my own brewery or work in the profession. I started by taking formal training. I also volunteered at a brewery part time to get hands on.
Deciding on Beer to Brew
Do you get to decide on the type of beer you want to make or is it what the public demands? And what is your favorite type of beer to brew?
As a Head Brewer, I have a say, of course but if our best selling beer is one that is not a favourite of mine… We brew lots of it. I design all of the recipes. I love brewing IPA’s, pale ales and stout/porter. The aroma of them in the kettle is wonderful. It doesn’t hurt that I am a “hop head”.
After talking with David a bit more he commented on lagers as not being his favorite, I mean Sapporo isn’t that bad is it? But if its what the public wants it what the public shall get.
Advice on Becoming a Head Brewer
If a homebrewer wanted to become a head brewer what would be your advice to them?
I’d say that if they are not totally committed to long days, heavy lifting and willing to take formal education first, not a great idea. If they are ready to put in the time , it’s a rewarding (not financially) but as a career. Start by talking with your local brewers. They know your local market.
What are your favorite kind of hops to work with?
I’m a huge fan of Galaxy, El Dorado and Strata. On the more traditional side, I love Fuggle. But the most exciting hops to play with are the experimental varieties that vendors send me. Some are spectacular!
What is the craziest ingredient you have ever added to a beer and how did it turn out?
I’m not sure that I’ve ever used anything “crazy” but I have brewed with hot peppers, ginger root, stale bread etc…. As long as you are aware of what your goal is, how to accomplish it and used in moderation, the results can be very rewarding.
Stale bread is an interesting one, but it seems like he is talking about some interesting spices here. The ginger root one sounds especially tasty.
Advice for Extract Brewers
What advice would you give to extract homebrewers?
Stop! Extract brewing is still brewing but it is very limited. The result is rarely tasty. Moving to all grain is actually not difficult or expensive. Basically get a picnic cooler with a tap near the bottom (if possible lay down a fine mess as a false bottom) becomes your mash tun.
That’s the same thing we brew with when we are doing all grain! If anyone is brewing extract it is so rewarding and you can learn how we do it.
New Maritime Artwork
The artwork on the new Maritime cans is unique and interesting. How was the artwork created?
The artwork is a collaboration among the founders of New Maritime drawing inspiration from the “River”.
David is referring to the Miramichi River that flows through the town. The river drains into the bay into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
House Yeast and Yeast Tips
Does New Maritime have a house yeast? How often do you reuse yeast?
We don’t currently have a house yeast. We do reuse when possible up to ten generations. Some beers are not conducive to reuse. Sours, heavily dry hopped beers are not great candidates for reuse.
Reusing yeast is a no brainier when it comes to brewing whether its homebrewing or professional brewing.
It can save you a ton of money. It’s good to see the professionals doing it and can give confidence to the amateur homebrewer.
What type of water does New Maritime use and how does it affect the beer flavor?
Our water is very good for brewing based on the chemistry but we double filter it and then add brewing salts to tailor it to the style profile we are looking for.
There are literally thousands of books written on brewing water. But if a home brewer wants to up her or his game, there are free online water spreadsheets. You can get a local water report and enter the base profile to start perfecting your water.
Doing a quick online search for free online water spreadsheets gives you a plethora of information. In just one simple search I was able to find the ez water calculator that actually looks to be quite useful.
You can also check out some information on water from frugal homebrew as we wrote a post about it a while back talking about tap water.
In case you have been wondering about some of the photo credits above they are part of a collaboration from some of the big suppliers to help out their fellow microbreweries.
The ingredients were donated by the photo’s featured suppliers to create a beer for different breweries that they are calling isolation nation.
A Big Thanks to David
Its been great talking with David he is a really great laid back and friendly guy. I hope anyone living in the New Brunswick area gets a chance to travel to New Maritime Beer Co.,have a chat and drink some of his beer.
If you are new to Frugal Homebrew check back here frequently as we will have many more interviews with industry professionals who love to brew!