The man, the legend, Ed Dyer. Ed’s been with us for a while now and as well as being part of our Sales team, generally heads up the music at events, becoming DJ when needs be and quizmaster for the Taproom. As well as all of this, Ed co-owns The Tuppenny in Swindon, hosts other quiz nights and makes music videos! Read on to find out more.
When did you start your WBB journey?
I started at WBB in Feb 2015 (so 5 years next month), when we were a much smaller company.
What got you into the beer industry and how have you progressed?
I had previously worked in sales in the food industry, but following a tough few years through the recession and some redundancies/bad choices of employer etc, I decided to try something else. A brief diversion into other fields such as PR and copywriting made me realise I needed to get back in to sales again, providing it was with a product that I could really enjoy selling (like beer!). In a classic case of ”it’s who you know” I heard of a vacancy due to expansion at WBB (my mother has been long suffering PA to our Chairman David Bruce for well over 30 years!). I would like to add that, as far as I know, I still secured the job on my own merits, and not through any kind of high level coercion or corporate bribery… I started off on the phones as an office based sales exec, although as we were such a small company at the time we all pitched in to most aspects of the business, so I have done more dray runs and run more bright beers than I care to remember! I now manage sales for the Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire area and surrounds (and seem to have ended up with a bunch of business in Birmingham too!). In my time here I have refined my beer drinking habits from casual nerdism to full on snobbery.
If you’re not at work, what are you most likely to be up to?
I may be the busiest man in the country, as outside of work I run several pub quizzes, make music videos, promote a whole bunch of like music events each month and I have run an annual music festival for the last 8 years. I also have a new music festival starting later this year as well, and am part owner of a bar in Swindon where I can be found sometimes pulling pints, sometimes DJing or more frequently propping up the bar. Oh, and I do all this around having four children!
Favourite beery destination and recommendations?
I have had a run of holidays and long weekends that “coincidentally” seem to revolve around places renowned for their beer culture like Prague and Dublin, both of which were excellent places full of incredible beer destinations ( U Flecku Brewery and Restaurant in Prague is a particular favourite), but both were over shadowed by Bruges – I do love Belgian beer and their whole brewing culture and tradition. Over here, other than my place, The Tuppenny (which has over 85 different beers available at any one time) I love a beery trip to Bristol, which has a fantastic scene with a whole host of decent brewers and bars. If you find yourself there go check out The Strawberry Thief (great Belgian selection), The Grain Barge, Small Bar or the Left Handed Giant Tap Room. There is also a wealth of incredible food places in the City.
What’s on your playlist right now?
I always have a bunch of Springsteen, Dylan and Neil Young records close at hand as my constant go-tos, and I listen to a lot of Americana stuff (alternative country-folk) – a particular favourite of which at the moment is a UK songwriter called Pete Gow. His first solo record “Here There’s No Sirens” which was released last year, is a thing of real beauty. I also spin a lot of Nick Cave, 90’s Grunge and Indie, Folk and Blues and recently got into some newer UK indie bands like Desperate Journalist and Black Country, New Road.
Last book you read?
The one thing that suffers due to my constant activity is reading – my “to read” pile is fairly substantial and showing no signs of abating. I am part way through thriller “I am Pilgrim” but this has been in a similar state for some time….
Excluding our Taproom and pubs, where do you go for a pint of real ale?
We do a mean pint of cask at The Tuppenny, but with only 2 (soon to be 3) lines of cask, for someone like me who likes to “drink around”, the choice can be a little restricted so I have to give a shout out to near neighbours The Hop, who have 8 cask lines, most of which constantly rotate. There is always something new to try.
Same question but for craft beer?
I know I am biased, but it is hard to look beyond The Tuppenny for craft keg beer. There is always 6 rotating guests on, a dark, a lager, a sour and a couple of pales, plus what we call the “fuss” line, which can be any style but is the sort of hype beer that people have been known to travel to try due to the rarity of it etc. We get some real beasts on this line with double figure ABV’s etc.
Favourite beer of all time?
This comes and goes depending on the season – I had a real thing for Siren’s Calypso in the summer of 2018 and couldn’t drink enough of it at the time. Tried it again in 2019 and didn’t get the same buzz. My beer of 2019 was probably Filungar by Gipsy Hill Brewing Co. The first time I had drunk a beer brewed with Kveik yeast, and by far the best version I have had since (Gipsy Hill are definitely my Brewery of the year for 2019 – they hit some ridiculously high levels of excellency, consistently). However, the one beer I always talk to people about and persuade them to try is a classic Flanders Red from Belgium called Duchess De Bourgogne. Once you get past the unique aroma (airflix glue?) it has the most outrageously complex taste, with level after level of perfectly balanced flavours. Stunning.
Dogs or cats?
I have owned both, most recently an ancient and decrepit moggy called Mr Nimms who sadly shuffled off this mortal coil a few months ago, having trashed the house with his geriatric failings over the course of his final years. We cursed him at the time but miss the soft old git now.