written by Nathan on March 3rd, 2014
The newest member of the Fort George family started work in the brewery like those before him, canning Vortex. But once the honeymoon was over it was time to put Matt Licata’s Master of Science in Virology and American Brewers Guild degree to full use. This month, Matt created the Sweet Virginia Series beer called “Dodgy Bloke ESB” – a sessionable Extra Special Bitter to aid in the recovery from the dark beers of Stout Month.
“We hired Matt because of his dedication to quality craft beer,” explains Jack Harris, co-owner of Fort George Brewery. “Not everyone gets a job at a Nationally known brewery like Dogfish Head. Matt worked himself into being in charge of their entire yeast propagation program, which is at the heart of any brewery.” For Matt’s Sweet Virginia beer, he chose to use a 1968 London ESB yeast. “Dodgy Bloke ESB” was brewed in the traditional English fashion…with one exception: Willamette hops were used as a tip of the hat to the Pacific Northwest. The floral character of the hops blend with a malty backbone of bizcuit and caramel, and a touch of roasted barley in the grist for a nice reddish hue.
And from the many prospective candidates for Fort George Head Brewer, just what made Matt the perfect fit? “I appreciate his formal education in brewing. And his experience with a very large production brewery is something we have been in search of for a long while,” Jack adds. Matt’s favorite Fort George beer is also Sunrise OPA, a house favorite. Yet another reasons he fits in well.
Dodgy Bloke’s namesake comes from Matt’s favorite British colloquialism and is available locally starting March 1st.