Q&A with Matt Bradley, Senior Brewer & Packaging Technician, Hong Kong Beer Co
What inspired you to become a brewer?
Matt: I'm from South Africa, where beer is a big part of the culture. Whether you are at a social gathering, sitting around the fire/braai, or at a sporting event, beer is never far from these special moments. Working in an industry that allows me to brew and design beers for these moments inspired me to become a brewer.
What do you like most about being a brewer?
Matt: The camaraderie among brewers and people in the industry is remarkable. Everyone is always willing to help one another, share ideas, discuss current trends, and, more often than not, bring a six-pack of their latest brew and trade stories of brew days.
What is your favourite hop, and why?
Matt: Amarillo. It's an aroma hop that adds exceptional fruitiness in a dry hop. I would describe it as a dank orange/tangerine aroma. Only a few hops are versatile enough to stand alone, and I feel Amarillo is one.
If your friend was interested in becoming a brewer, what advice would you give them?
Matt: Brewing is an incredibly satisfying profession. It requires hard work that is both physically and mentally demanding. I would say brewing is like being a chef, a scientist, a plumber, and a janitor all grouped into one. Enjoying the fruits of your labour with coworkers at the end of the day makes it all worthwhile.
You grew up in South Africa. What brought you to Hong Kong?
Matt: South Africa is a beautiful part of the world. I was attracted to Hong Kong because it is also a beautiful place. Whenever I go camping or hiking with friends, we feel like we are in one giant outdoor playground. Hong Kong is also an incredibly exciting city to live in, and I feel very fortunate to call it home.
What do you like to do in Hong Kong on your days off?
Matt: Hiking all the trails that Hong Kong has to offer, finding songs to add to the packaging day playlist, managing my fantasy football team, exploring my neighbourhood for neon signs and restaurants, and of course, enjoying my favourite beer - Big Wave Bay IPA.
What is your favourite book and/or movie, and why?
Matt: My favourite book at the moment is "Project Hail Mary: A Novel," by Andy Weir. It's a science fiction novel about an astronaut that has to save Earth from disaster. There are lots of scientific theories, humour, and critical thinking spread throughout the book, which reminds me of the day-to-day life of a brewer. It is well-written and makes science accessible to everyone.