In the run-up to the Great British Beer Festival (6-10 August at Olympia London) we’ll be interviewing the brewery bars who are bringing their beers along to the festival so you get to know them! In our first instalment, we’re chatting to festival first-timer Moon Gazer!
Tell us about your brewery and who you are.
Team Moon Gazer is headed up by husband and wife team, Rachel and David Holliday, who run their farm-based brewery in rural North Norfolk. Its small, dedicated team is committed to producing their quality, multi-award-winning ales and craft lagers. Top quality local ingredients including Norfolk Maris Otter barley are the cornerstone of the brewery’s ethos, as is promoting Norfolk proudly on every bottle and pint!
Can you describe Moon Gazer in three words?
Passionate About Beer!
What are your personal favourite styles of beer?
This is a tricky one to answer, as there are so many great beers out there to enjoy and we do like trying different styles. I suppose, as a team, we mostly gravitate to light, golden and hoppy ales.
Which of your beers is the biggest fan favourite/most popular?
It’s nip and tuck between our ‘Moon Gazer Jigfoot’ – a light golden bitter which uses a number of UK and European hops – and ‘Moon Gazer Pintail’ which is also golden but uses a single New Zealand hop: Motueka. It is also our gluten-free ale.
Which of your beers would you recommend to a first-timer at your bar?
The ‘PinTail’ is a nice approachable golden ale – soft bitterness but plenty of flavour. That said the ‘Bouchart Mild’ packs loads of flavour – a modern twist on an old-style ale.
Best beer snack?
Salted peanuts mixed in a bag of salt and vinegar crisps – old school but still good!
If you could get one music artist/celebrity to represent Moon Gazer, who would best fit your business and ethos?
I guess it would have to be someone who is linked to North Norfolk, as a lot of our business ethos revolves around using the finest Norfolk Maris Otter malted barley. It is also important that our beers do a simple thing to those drinking it – bring pleasure and raise a smile. Also, we like to be versatile and try different things, and win awards while doing so – so we think North Norfolk’s finest Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman fits the bill perfectly.
If you could make a beer using any flavours, and guarantee that it be delicious, which flavours would you love to use?
We use quite a few fruits in many of our specials, but one thing that I have always wanted to brew is a beer which captures the fantastic fresh aroma of a tomato leaf. One to work on!
What are you looking forward to at the Great British Beer Festival this summer?
So much: the buzz, the people, the beer and to see people’s reactions to drinking Moon Gazer.
What makes the Great British Beer Festival special, and what has motivated you to come this year?
It’s a mecca of real ale and the people passionate about it – what’s not to like?
What exciting things does Moon Gazer have coming up?
Well, apart from the Great British Beer Festival, we are doing two international collaborations – one with Northmaen Brewery from France, and the other with Smartmouth Brewery from the USA. Every month, we do a new brew and always look to do something different – the beauty of being small is that you can have an idea and do it quickly – that’s what we like. We are also recreating an oat beer recipe from the year 1600!
Sounds good? Get your tickets to the festival today.