Director of Fallen Brewing, Paul Fallen, talks to SLTN about the Stirlingshire brewery’s beer offering and his love of hillclimbing
Q: What do you make?
A: All brands under the Fallen Brewing name. Our current best-seller is Odyssey which is a reworked, modernised version of a traditional Bohemian Pilsner.
Q: Where do you work?
A: The old Kippen railway station in Stirlingshire.
Q: How long have you worked on the brand and how did you start?
A: The actual brewery opened in 2014 on the railway station site but we established the brand in 2012 and contract brewed for 18 months. This gave us time to raise the funding, buy the site and go about refurbishing the buildings and specifying and ordering the equipment while at the same time getting our name out there and establishing sales channels.
Q: Describe the production process.
A: We brew using fairly traditional, well-established methods but apply these to modern interpretations of traditional beers. We use lots and lots of hops in our American-style beers and play around with all sorts of ingredients for our special releases (eg. hibiscus, raspberry, peach, coffee, cacao, lactose, passionfruit, lime).
Q: What’s a typical working day like?
A: I’m afraid there is no such thing. Every day is different, whether it’s brewing a new beer, visiting different customers, discussing new collaborations or solving new problems in and around the brewery. There is never a dull moment, which is mostly a good thing.
Q: Please provide brief tasting notes for your products.
A: Odyssey is based on a classic Bohemian Pilsner (and the crisp, refreshing flavour you would expect) but with the addition of Mosaic and Citra hops. Expect a smooth, refreshing, pale blonde beer with a fruity aroma and slightly spicy, citrus and stonefruit flavour.
Q: What would you say sets your product apart?
A: We used the name Odyssey to try and conjure up images of a journey – whether that’s our own journey as a brewery or the drinker’s own personal journey. The beer itself was supposed to appeal equally to ale or lager drinkers (it’s light enough for lager drinkers but has enough interest and character to be appealing to ale drinkers as well). It was supposed to be an easy drinker for everyone but also a ‘converter’ or a gateway beer for lager drinkers who might want to start their ale journey.
Q: What one fact should bartenders know about your brand?
A: We always pride ourselves on producing high quality, great-tasting beer. If you have one of our products on the bar we hope you can sell it with confidence.
Q: What’s your favourite part of the job?
A: Knowing that drinkers are enjoying the products.
Q: What’s your favourite way to drink your brand?
A: Odyssey in the garden on a warm sunny day with friends and family.
Q: What’s your career highlight so far?
A: It’s hard to identify just one highlight. There are so many highs (and some lows) when you run your own business so just getting through each and every month is a highlight in its own way. Last year I did the Three Peaks Challenge – that’s right up there with the most memorable experience so far.
Q: Who do you admire in the industry and why?
A: Anyone who’s had the motivation and desire to establish and run a successful microbrewery. It’s not an easy industry but if you get things right it can be incredibly rewarding.
Q: How do you relax outside of work?
A: Hillwalking, golf and spending time with friends and family.
Q: If you could invite anyone for a drink who would you ask, where would you go and what would you drink?
A: My closest friends, the garden on a sunny day, with a BBQ and one of our great beers!