A home brewer who gave up his career in the music recording industry to move to Scotland and study the art of beer making will have his creation stocked by Waitrose after winning a national competition.
“Raindrops on Roses” – a Belgian-style wheat beer – was created in Phil Sisson’s shed in Glasgow, and is the first rose petal infused beer the supermarket chain has sold.
Bottles of the new brew will appear in all Scottish Waitrose stores and other selected branches from the middle of next month after Sisson’s success in the Home Brew Challenge contest, which was overseen by craft beer experts at Thornbridge Brewery in Derbyshire.
Sisson, 40, began home brewing five years ago while working as a recording studio manager in London and recently moved to Glasgow with his family. He is studying for a degree in brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.
The beer’s flavour profile and musical name were both inspired by Sisson’s daughter Martha and her love of The Sound of Music.
Sisson said: “This is a huge, and completely unexpected honour for me. I’m absolutely flabbergasted. I originally brewed the beer as a present for my wife’s birthday and my daughter chose the musicial-themed name, so it’s a truly family affair. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the shelves at Waitrose.”
More than 200 people from across the UK submitted their home-brewed entries for this year’s challenge. Sisson’s entry was chosen by a panel of judges including Waitrose beer buyer Sarah Hammond and Alex Buchanan from Thornbridge.
Hammond said: “We loved the fact that we could distinguish the traditional style of beer that it’s based on, and that it came with a really modern and well-judged twist.
“The palate was refreshing and full of flavour, and all the elements were really well-balanced – distinct yet not overpowering.”
Waitrose said the popularity of craft beer had risen significantly in recent years, with sales increasing by 35 per cent in the last 12 months.