Profile of Stu McKinlay, Head boy at Yeastie Boys

Just after flying out of Los Angeles, a call for help appeared on our Twitter feed: The Yeastie Boys were asking if there’s any good beer at Los Angeles Airport. Quikly reporting our own experience, a discussion ensued between breweries from New Zealand and the USA, a Swiss blog and a burger restaurant at LAX. Yes, as ex-boy scouts we still like to do a good deed.

We are happy to introduce half of the Yeastie Boys to you. And without further ado, here’s Stu.


Stu McKinlay, beer fan, beer snob, beer geek, beer drinker, beer pope, beer teacher and lover of beer


Yeastie Boys

Job/function at the brewery:

Head Boy

Current output in volume:

A little over 100,000L

Current beers:

Pot Kettle Black, Gunnamatta, Digital IPA, White Noise, Minimatta and more… more linked here

Places that sell your beer:

New Zealand, Australia, USA, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Noumea… we currently have some on the way to Scotland and Norway (and, perhaps, Switzerland soon too!).

What brought you to beer?

My parents were born and bred in Edinburgh, at a time when it was still a great brewing city, so you could almost certainly say that beer was literally in my veins from the get go! I thought I wanted to be a chef but yeast are easier to manage than kitchen hands…

When I create a recipe, I’m inspired by…

food and music… and, occasionally, even by other brewers.

First beer I ever drank:

I can’t even remember – as I say, it was in my veins from conception. But I do remember the time it all changed for me. Drinking my first Emerson’s Bookbinder, an overtly New Zealand hopped bitter, long before any breweries here were adding hops of any significant proportion into their beers.

Last beer I drank:

a can of Garage Project Hapi Daze… a brewery across the other side of town (I won a mixed case of their beer in a photo competition a couple of weeks ago, so it’s nice to get a chance to explore their range).

Favourite beers I ever drank:

Where to start?! Emerson’s Bookbinder; Pot Kettle Black – the very first commercial batch of beer we made in 2008; Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Seizoen Bretta; Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza; Limburg Oude Reserve; Billy B’s Golden Malted Apple Beer; Orval
Favourite beer style:

I could never possibly pick one… I like all styles when they’re at the nuanced and delicate end of what they can be.

Favourite hops:

A little known New Zealand hop called Wakatu.

Malty beers or hoppy beers?

Without malt there is no beer

Everybody should have tried these three beers at one point in their lives:

A pint of Adnam’s Southworld Bitter at The Anchor, Walberswick. A Mussel Inn Captain Cooker at the Mussel Inn brewpub in Onekaka, New Zealand. A Rodenbach Grand Cru, on a New Zealand beach, with fish and chips!

Beer variety is:

What’s bringing people back to beer!

Best place to drink beer:

Anywhere with friends… but I have a particular soft spot for The Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide, South Australia, which absolutely has it all. A great bar, with amazing staff and patrons, a brewery out the back, a great selection of food trucks, and music almost every night!! My perfect pub.

Beer means to me:

communities… communities, in history, revolved around a brewery, and now with life being so diverse and transient there are so many overlapping communities sit within the beer scene itself.

My best beer experience:

Too many to mention but it has been an absolute privilege to travel the world, to places I’d never have normally visit, and visit people I could have never known if I’d taken a different turn somewhere on this road.
To a non-beer drinker I serve:

first I’d ask them what they like to eat and drink, then I’d explore where we could go from there.

The best match with beer is:

one (or a number) of my family or best friends, especially those on the other side of the world that I don’t see enough of.

My advice to home brewers is:

explore every beer style you can because once you know them all you have the broadest possible palette from which to build your own ideas from.
The Swiss beer scene needs:

an opportunity to try New Zealand beer!

What I always wanted to know about beer is:

how anyone could not love it.

In five years, …

there will be no going back – we’re on a lightspeed course to the stars!

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