Skip to main content

Guild Member Profile

Gawain Cox

Brewery Co-Founder & Director
  • Full member
  • beer-ambassador
  • beer-sommelier
  • beer-judge
  • consultant
  • Brewer, Technical Specialist
  • London
  • beer-judging-exp
  • how-to-judge-beer
  • international-beer-judge
  • tasting
  • Certified Beer Server (Cicerone), Brewing Diploma
  • bjcp
  • camra
  • ibd
  • siba
  • LBA
  • beer
  • beer-education
  • beer-styles
  • brewing
  • copywriting
  • curr-affairs
  • events
  • marketing
  • photography
  • politics

What is the one thing you'd like to tell visitors to the Guild's website?

I am a highly skilled technical brewery specialist and founder of Pinnora Brewing, located in NW London. With an extensive background spanning over 25 years in digital management, including expertise in software and web development, project management, and a specialisation in Agile and PRINCE2 methodologies, I bring a unique perspective to the brewing industry.

In 2015, I made a career transition into the world of brewing, and it has been a fulfilling and exciting journey ever since. As a passionate advocate of modern craft beer styles and techniques, I am proud to serve as the Chair of the Board at the London Brewers Alliance, a position that allows me to support and advance the interests of the thriving brewing community in London.

I am committed to driving innovation in brewing and constantly striving to improve the quality and taste of our craft beers. With my diverse skillset, industry knowledge, and unwavering dedication to excellence, I am confident in my ability to lead Pinnora Brewing to new heights and make a meaningful impact in the brewing world through the London Brewers Alliance.

What you can offer as a writer/beer lover?

As a dedicated enthusiast of modern craft beer styles and techniques, I have spent several years refining my skills, including along the East Coast of America. While I am impressed with the quality of the UK craft beer scene, I believe that there is still considerable room for growth and development.

I am excited to bring some of the finest elements of the American brewing scene back to the UK and contribute to the evolution of the craft beer industry in this country. My passion for innovation and experimentation is evident in every batch of beer that I create, and I am committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in brewing.

In addition to my work as a brewer, I am also a strong advocate for brewery education programs. I have had the privilege of working closely with HIT Training and Nottingham University to promote their apprenticeship course, which I believe is an excellent opportunity for aspiring brewers to gain valuable skills and experience. I am honored to have been invited to join their voluntary panel and contribute to shaping the future of the course.

I am committed to supporting the next generation of brewers and ensuring that they have access to the best possible training and resources to succeed in this exciting and dynamic industry.

What do you like most about being a Guild of Beer Writers member?

I am thrilled to have the chance to connect with fellow members who share my passion for our industry. I am eager to take advantage of the social events and training sessions that the Guild offers, as I see them as valuable opportunities to expand my knowledge and network with other professionals.

I look forward to engaging with the Guild community and learning from the diverse experiences and perspectives of its members. I believe that by working together, we can continue to drive innovation and excellence in our industry, and I am excited to be a part of this collective effort.

Pieces of work by Gawain:

  • A brief history of the London Brewers' Alliance

    Celebrating their 11th anniversary earlier this year, the London Brewers’ Alliance (LBA) has gone from strength to strength during its relatively short history.

    London has, of course, had a long and rich historical association with beer and brewing, with many claiming it was the brewing capital of the world during the 1700s. At that time, the beer of choice was porter and London’s unique water profile lent itself perfectly to this dark and smoky style, reflecting the very essence of 18th century London.

    During the mid 1700s, nationwide brewery numbers had peaked, with over 49,000 in operation. At this point, London was home to breweries such as Whitbread (then the world’s largest brewery) and Courage. They would later be joined by Young’s, Watneys and Fuller’s.


  • The benefits of Thiol-optimised Yeast

    Brewing is an art form that has been practised for thousands of years. From ancient civilisations to modern-day craft breweries, people have been experimenting with various ingredients and techniques to create unique and delicious brews. One crucial component of brewing is yeast, a microorganism responsible for converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. In recent years, thiol-optimised yeast has become an increasingly popular choice for brewers who are looking to enhance the flavour and aroma of their beer.

    Thiols are organic compounds that are responsible for the distinctive aroma and flavour profiles of many fruits and vegetables. For example, thiols are responsible for the distinct aroma of passionfruit, grapefruit, and gooseberry. In brewing, thiols can contribute to the fruity and floral aromas that are characteristic of many popular beer styles, such as IPAs and Belgian-style ales.

    Thiol-optimised yeast is a strain of yeast that has been specifically bred to produce high levels of thiols during fermentation. These yeasts are designed to maximise the production of certain thiols, such as 4MMP (4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one) and 3MH (3-mercaptohexan-1-ol), which are commonly found in beer. These compounds are known for their fruity and floral aromas, and they can add complexity and depth to a beer’s flavour profile.

    One of the main advantages of using thiol-optimised yeast is that it can help brewers create beers with a more distinctive and complex aroma and flavour profile. By maximising the production of certain thiols, brewers can create beers that are more fruity, floral, and aromatic. This can help them stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace and appeal to consumers who are looking for new and interesting flavour experiences.

    Another benefit of using thiol-optimised yeast is that it can help brewers create more consistent and predictable beer. Because these yeasts are specifically bred to produce high levels of certain thiols, brewers can be confident that their beer will have a certain aroma and flavour profile. This can be particularly important for commercial brewers who need to produce large quantities of beer and want to ensure that their customers have a consistent experience every time they drink their beer.

    However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using thiol-optimised yeast. One concern is that these yeasts may produce higher levels of certain off-flavours, such as diacetyl or acetaldehyde, which can negatively impact the taste and aroma of the beer. Additionally, some brewers may be hesitant to use genetically modified yeast strains, as there is still some debate about the safety and ethics of genetic engineering in food and beverage production.

    There can be no doubt, however, that Thiol-optimised yeast is an exciting development in the world of brewing and it is very interesting to see a number of beers now starting to emerge here in the UK that take advantage of such yeasts.