The company’s origins began when Scotsman Gavin and New Zealander Annika met while working in a brewpub in British Columbia in the the 90s.
Gavin was working as a chef at the time and was amazed by the beers being produced in that part of Canada. His light bulb moment came when he realised that making beer could be just as creative as creating new dishes.
Much traveling later, Gavin and Annika launched Tempest in Kelso in 2010. They relocated to bigger premises in Tweedbank in 2015.
Tempest Brewing Co: never dull
Scotland is not short of maverick brewers but Tempest have their own take on the unconventional.
After all, not many brewers would develop a new beer after asking themselves ‘What would a cowboy drink?’
The 5pm Dining blog had a blether with Gavin.
You worked as a chef. Are there similarities between creating a new dish and creating a new beer?
When creating a new beer you need to think about what you want to achieve, and how you are going to get the best result out of the ingredients you are using.
The brewing calculations ensure that we are making the best possible product, and affect the way we infuse flavours pre-and post-fermentation. This means we can guarantee a balanced and flavourful end result.
You have both travelled widely. What’s the best bar snack to go with a few beers?
Easy – salty, blistered Padrón peppers
Any tips on pairing food with beer?
Don’t get too hung up on finding the perfect combination, it’s much more important and fun to be pairing great food with great beers within a loose framework.
From Jalapeno IPA to Drop Kick Me Jesus, Tempest have produced some out-there limited edition beers. Is there a limited edition you would like to brew but money/common sense/legality etc. prevents you?
I’ve been contemplating how to use Alba white truffles in an imperial stout for years.
Dead or alive, who would you most like to have a beer with?
Probably my grandfather. He died in 1989 and was a director of John Haig Distillery after working his way up through the company from 1946. I think he would have been able to offer me some great advice now.
Was there one beer that made you decide to become a brewer?
There wasn’t a single specific beer, but big IPAs and hoppy Pilsners definitely had something to do with it.
If you were right back at the start of your brewing career, what one thing would you do differently?
I would have started the brewery in much larger premises – when we moved, I felt the same way.
In an ideal world, where will Tempest be in 2021?
In a purpose-built, state of the art brewery facility with a bistro, tap room and gardens. Watch this space!