A brewery apprentice from Cornwall is set to have his beer showcased in more than 800 pubs across the UK later this month.
Joe Baker, 26, took up an apprenticeship at St Austell Brewery two years ago. As part of his apprenticeship, he designed his own beer – Average Joe! – a sweet, amber ale (4.5% ABV) which featured as part of the brewery’s Cask Club series around a year ago.
But Average Joe! has had a more than average reception, having been selected to feature as one of 30 real ales in Wetherspoon’s 12-day autumn ale festival which starts on 11th October.
Average Joe! Has floral and berry flavours, complemented by malty and caramel and biscuity tones. 140 barrels of the beer have been produced by Joe and the team ahead of the festival, making it his biggest brew to date at an early stage in his career.
Joe, from Camborne, said: “I came up with the recipe design at the start of my apprenticeship. There was a beer we had on at the time which had the Bramling Cross hop in it which I enjoyed, so I thought I’d make a sweet, sessionable beer I’d like to drink. It came out on Cask Club and went down really well.
“On finding out his beer will be sold in Wetherspoons up and down the country, Joe added: “I was really excited. When Average Joe! came out I was away so I didn’t get to have that much of it, so it’s nice to be able to have it again. My uni friends around Guildford will be able to try it as well.
“I met up with some friends recently. We’ve all got jobs now but they were all talking about how I was brewing a beer and it was going to be going into Wetherspoons.”
The UK’s first brewing apprenticeship launched in 2019. It was founded by a group of trailblazing brewers, including St Austell’s brewing director Georgina Young - and offers hands-on experience in addition to academically based training sessions at Nottingham University.
Wetherspoon’s real ale festival will be in pubs nationwide from today to Sunday, October 22.