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6th February 2017

Dream Job for a Beer Explorer

There are quite a few desirable jobs in and around the brewing and distilling industries – but Colin Johnston may have just landed the dream one. He recently joined Crisp Malting Group as the new sales manager for craft brewing and distilling.

“That means,” says sales director Steve LePoidevin, “he is on permanent tour, looking after some of the nation’s best craft brewers and distillers. He’s spending time looking at their operations and brands, understanding what makes them tick and offering support.”

Colin is responsible for craft brewing customers in Scotland and north west England and for craft distilling customers UK wide. He joins a team known for the breadth of their experience.

“It’s great to be joining a malting company that focusses so heavily on technical support to customers. Brewers and distillers look to Crisp for supply of specialist malts – and so much more. They come to us for market intelligence; information on raw materials; insight into ingredients; advice on processing and help with product development. We are there for them for all manner of problem-solving and technical issues.”

In his previous role as a consultant, Colin offered guidance on everything from choosing new equipment and buying and installing plant to improving processes. Prior to that he managed the building of Drygate brewery in Glasgow, which he went on to run for two years. His experience also includes engineer and project roles with C&C Group, where he gained his Diploma in Brewing from the IBD.

His role at Crisp, which involves helping start-ups and small producers, will tap into his technical and commercial expertise. He will also be supporting more established businesses with their expansion. Again, his experience will be invaluable in helping them with the transition phase as they scale up their operations, moving from bag to bulk delivery.

“My job involves looking after some of the most interesting and innovative operators in the market,” he says, “so there are exciting times ahead for all of us. With the explosion of craft drink production, brewers and distillers need to differentiate themselves in all sorts of ways. Our tailored services, technical expertise, big array of specialist malts and torrefied ingredients are at their disposal to help them do just that.”

Steve LePoidevin adds, “Following years of focus on hops, brewers are getting more and more interested in speciality malts and what they can deliver in terms of flavour, aroma, body and mouthfeel – and colour. Our craft beer sales managers are increasingly called on for advice with recipe development, which they’re delighted to supply.”

Other members of the team include Carl Heron who covers north east England, Nigel Gibbons who covers southern England.

“The downside to the dream job,” says Steve “is that Colin will have to get in the car following his visits – so tasting opportunities are decidedly limited. Of course, we’re expecting him to do his best to make up for that in his leisure time…”


More info: Frances Brace 07432 692 309 or