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SIBA East Region
Representative to the East Region
Sophie De Ronde – Brentwood Brewing
I first got the beer bug when I was working in a well known real ale pub in Essex after I finished my degree in Equine Science. I was a bit lost in what direction I wanted to take my life, trying to find a job in the science and equine community was difficult to say the least so I continued in my bar job. Eventually I was running the cellar and fell in love with beer even more. From here I grew my interest in beer and decided I wanted to get to know the brewing side of it and so I asked the Brentwood Brewing Company, who at the time were expanding, if they needed an employer. Much to my joy they were over the moon with my request.
So I have now been with the BBC for nearly 6 years and have grown a lot in that period with many ups, downs and steep learning curves. Through my experiences I can happily say that along with successfully using my degree (well the science part anyway!) I have found a life in brewing and long may it last.
Nigel started studying brewing some 27 years ago. He was probably one of the first people to attend Keith Thomas’s fledgling Brewlab courses back in 1986 and like many people dabbled in home brewing.
Nigel is a member of The Institute of Brewing & Distilling, The Brewery History Society (He is keen on beer/brewing history in the Essex area), CAMRA and just for a change from beer The Farm Machinery Preservation Society and The British Beard Club.
His preferred beer styles are darker stronger porters, old ales and stouts.
Steve Chroscicki – Front Street Brewery
Even before leaving school I knew life would be…interesting! I was playing in bands since I was 14 and a life in music seemed likely, but family came first and although the music was in me, it clearly wasn’t paying the bills! So I left the band (they went on to bigger and better things!!) and I settled down to an apprenticeship with London Transport Executive as an apprentice engineer. The next decade or so went on, got married to the lovely Alex, flirted with the music business a bit more (this time for charity). Finally the beer bug got me, the inevitable home brewing (always full mash – no kits for me!) then came redundancy from LT and finally with a chance meeting with a Firkin Brewer (remember that chain?) and I was hooked, went on to brew for a cafe bar chain called Parisa, another redundancy there and I got to try another interesting job experience The Test Driver! Did that for 18 months, mostly very boring, but those long days/evenings/nights driving at stupid miles an hour got me to thinking, what if I was to start my own brewery!! (I can hear the Bank Manager crying even now!) Anyway in 2003 we bought the lease on The Chequers Inn in the picturesque village of Binham near the North Norfolk coast and 18 months later Front Street Brewery began and the rest, as they say, is history!
News articles from the East Region:
- Oakham Ales Spring Newsletter – Riveting News
- The Albion wins CAMRA Best Pub in Bedfordshire two years running
- New Sales Manager at Steiner Hops Ltd
- Oakham Ales Acquires Bellwether Wines
- First Female Winner of Brewer of the Year
- Southwold brewer Adnams calls for action to ease beer tax burden
- Gold Medals for Citra and Bishops Farewell at International Beer Challenge 2012
- Oakham Ales to Drive Distribution of Krombacher
- SIBA East Region Beer Competition 2012
- Peterborough Based Brewer Oakham Ales Builds Team in 2012