One of the simplest things you do as a proper brewer is write a recipe. It’s a simple mathematic exercise using yields and a bit of experience and reading to predict how a beer will come out and through a number of iterations, getting it to taste how you want it to given the characteristics of your process. For the some it appears to be of the most fundamental importance. That is because they are not brewers and do not brew for a living.
Why is there this misapprehension in some of the drinking public? It’s because brewing isn’t as simple as most people want it to be. A good analogy is cooking. Great chefs don’t do a great deal of cooking. They like great brewers design a process which brings their ideas to fruition. They procure equipment to their design, they assemble, train and manage their team, they set the specification of their ingredients and every aspect of what they send to the diner’s table. They have the level of education and experience, the talent and most importantly total dedication to produce great flavour under duress. That’s what separates the “chef” in a Nando’s and one in a Michelin- starred restaurant.
The hard bit about making beer is making sure that all the elements which impact on your recipe are defined, controlled and protected from balls ups, accountants and changes inherent in natural ingredients with time and season. Not writing a recipe.
Also for those interested here’s some facts and opinion about the UK’s biggest selling cask ale from two learned gents and a shaven monkey with a face that looks like he’s fallen down stairs with his hands in his pockets.