The Waen Brewery, producing ‘hellish good beer’ since 2009, is headed up by John Martin and Sue Hayward. The pair currently operate out of a new unit in Llandidloes where the microbrewery hand crafts some of the country’s finest beers including their world famous Blackberry Stout.
Sue Hayward is what is known as a ‘brewster.’ “That sounds snazzy, what does it mean?” I hear you ask. It’s a medieval term for a female brewer, as back in the days of knights in shining armour, wielding maces and living in castles surrounded by moats, they added ‘-ster’ on the end of a word to indicate they were female.
How did you get into brewing?
Having always homebrewed since an early age, when we moved to rural Mid Wales and found, at that time, there to be no decent beer, it seemed obvious to brew it ourselves.
What is your favourite style of beer?
Porters and Stouts, especially with a bit of unusualness about them.
What were you doing before The Waen Brewery opened?
Bringing up two children. Before that my life was horses.
Which one of your beers are you most proud of?
Chilli plum Porter–pure gorgeousness and it has lots of fans!
Where do you come up with the flavours for your beers like the Chilli Plum Porter and the Blackberry Stout?
Just off the top of my head usually. Literally, I think, “Oh, I bet that would taste good together.” Same with our Snow Ball which is chocolate, vanilla and coconut.
What makes the perfect beer?
A beer that is perfectly balanced between hop and malt character, and for me, a rich dark beer with loads of flavour and depth
If you weren’t brewing, what would you be doing?
Getting fat I expect!
What is your favourite beer not brewed by The Waen Brewery?
Anything from The Celt Experience Shapeshifter series, full on!