Nature and the great outdoors has always been a big part of Stuart’s life. From mushroom hunting with his Father at an early age, to working as a professional forager after leaving Wild Beer in 2018, and always as a hobby in between, in an attempt, to escape the daily grind.
Growing up in Somerset has been the inspiration behind this passion. The varied landscape, from hill to moor, and it’s rich farming history, mean there’s always something to find in the wild that’s worth eating (or drinking).
It was this inquisitive nature that eventually lead to is career in the brewing industry. After his obsession with fungi took him in to the realms of yeast and other microorganisms, it wasn’t long before he was baking sourdough bread, perserving food through fermentation and fermenting grain sugars for beer.
Combining the two seemed so natural. He first few homebrew recipes were far from traditional, including ingredients such as rosemary from the garden and then on to experiments with wild yeast.
It was at this time that he joined the then small startup brewery Wild Beer Co and was able to hone his craft and begin learning about the craft beer industry from the inside.
Five years (and several successful projects, combining foraging and fermentation) later, Stuart, along with his good friend, decided to go forth and start Yonder Brewing & Blending in the Mendip Hills of Somerset.
By chance, Jasper wondered into a local beer festival and loved so much what he tried, he vowed never to look back.
Having arrived at one of the UK’s top craft breweries in 2013, only to make a film for their website, he managed to persuade them to let him stay. Starting out as a general help, from accompanying the only warehouse member on his weekly rounds, to assisting with the bottling and kegging beer, he started to thrive in a fast growing brewery.
It didn’t take long until before he was digging out the mash, scrubbing the kettle and helming the kit. In 2015 he launched his own series for the company, using some unusual techniques and methods, he saw the beers reach as far as the US, one might say it was a huge success.
Jasper progressed steadily through the stages, including general hand, brewer, packaging lead and eventually production manger, over seeing all production and staff on the main site. By the time he left he was leading a team of twelve, across two breweries, producing 50,000 litres a week.
Eventually all great things come to an end, when his ambition of starting his own venture took over. Having spent many of his working hours with Stuart, they formed a strong friendship and an idea for a new brewery was too good to miss. The rest is history