Back for its second outing of 2019, this month we sit down for for ‘A Schooner with…’ Fixed Wheel Brewery’s Scott Povey. The Brummie turned Black Country brewer and his team have been providing us with first-rate kegs of the good stuff since we opened our doors nearly three years ago. It’s probably about time we bought him one of his own.
Q: Hey Scott, thanks for by dropping by. What can we get you?
A: It’s a Friday so definitely a pint – or two. This week our Vermont Session IPA, Lady in a Hat is really hitting the spot. It’s a beer we brewed in memory of Sally Rosewood. She was a huge supporter of the brewery and the Birmingham beer scene too.
Q: In that case, we’ll have one too. Do we detect a Brummie or a Black Country accent?
A: Well although I now live in the Black Country and have done for a long time now, I’m actually Birmingham born and bred. Some bloke with a waistcoat made out of bar towels once called me a plastic Brummie! I’m proud of being a Brummie for sure, but really love living in the Black Country. The pub scene here and the people are great. The only negative is all the hills make cycling tough work.
Q: Brummie by birth, Black Country by choice. We know a lot the other way around, too! Can you give us a potted history of Fixed Wheel Brewery?
A: I think our first brew was September 2014. Strangely it was Blackheath Stout which has gone on to win a bit here and there, but before that I worked in the motor trade for about twenty years. I eventually got sick of that and I’d been looking for a fresh challenge for ages really. Took a while to realise that one of my hobbies could actually become our own little business. Once the penny dropped things started to take shape very quickly.
I left the trade and got myself a brewing job in a new brewery that were still trying to find their feet. Alan at Green Duck gave me a great chance to practice my skills on a production size kit and we brewed some great beers there, my favourite probably being Walter White IPA and Hank’s Toasted Coconut Porter. I stayed there for about a year and a bit I think, and half way through that time we opened Fixed Wheel. I learnt an awful lot.
Q: That’s incredible. Proper change of direction in life. So that brings us to the present day.
A: Yes. Since then our brewery has steadily grown in both production capacity and staff. We’re very lucky to have two people who can turn my ideas into amazing artwork in Rachid, aka TheUprightone, and the very talented Ben Rolls who runs Falling Leaves Tattoo. Things don’t get an easier in this industry, but we have an awesome team of people who all work super hard to make sure you we make great beer for everyone, and that’s a very satisfying feeling. We just need to earn some money now!
Q: Earlier you mentioned the somewhat drastic inclinations of the Black Country being a strain on the calves. Is cycling a big part of what you do?
A: Well I’m not riding now as much as I used to, work and just getting old seem to be getting in the way. I used to only drink on Sunday afternoons when I was competing but there is much more balance now. If you’re a cycling and beer fan you should really visit the Ghent 6 in Belgium, that’s where I really got the beer bug while away on an end of season cycling trip to Belgium. Great fun.
Q: Another things that goes well with beer: music.You’re doing a DJ set at our humble neighbourhood bar this month. What can we expect?
A: I’m very much looking forward to spinning some tracks underneath the disco ball again. I’m a big fan of the New York label Naked Music, so plenty of deep chilled groovy house alongside some 70’s funk and disco. I’ve really been getting back into that genre again just lately.
Q: Now for our Schooner staple. Birmingham is know a city of a thousand trades, our namesake if you hadn’t noticed, so if you could pick one besides what you do now, what would it be?
A: That’s a toughie. I’m guessing it would have been a manual job of some sort, I’ve always been very hands on in everything I do. I definitely don’t enjoy the paperwork side of the business now. Brewing Porter when it was in it’s heyday would’ve been cool as I love dark beers… maybe a gardener or a baker.
Q: Looking ahead, what’s the future for Fixed Wheel?
A: Short term is to continue to grow the capacity and team at the brewery. We’re also ready to add our second bar this year. Other than that we’ll keep having fun with new beers and styles and make sure all the team are well-looked after and happy.
Sounds like a plan to us. Sample some of Fixed Wheel’s finest and join Scott for some serious beer and beat-matching Friday 22nd February from 8pm.