New arrivals at Crisp Malt, Hannah Beer and Mike Benson

Experienced brewer and quality controller Mike Benson has joined Crisp Malt as craft brewing sales manager for the North West.

Mike said: “Selling is only part of the remit. Nowadays, brewers are looking to their suppliers to do more than just supply goods. They are after any relevant expertise on offer.

“At Crisp, providing meaningful support to customers is a huge part of the focus, and that’s going to be right up my street. Whether it’s offering advice on recipe development, diving in to analyse and help solve problems, or providing technical data and the newest scientific insights, it’s all an exciting challenge.”

Mike, who is a qualified engineer, started his career as a lab technician in Burtonwood at Thomas Hardy, which specialised in contract brewing and packaging. Over a number of years he gained his brewing qualifications and worked his way up to become brewing manager. Flavour-matching was a central part of his job, including when Molson Coors bought the business in 2015 and a number of well-known brands were under the spotlight.

More recently, Mike was head brewer at the Love Lane Brewery, in Liverpool, overseeing the installation of plant, the development of brewing operations, and the creation of its now well-loved beers.

New technical development lead Hannah Beer is developing speciality malts

Crisp sales director, Steve LePoidevin, said: “There’s not much Mike doesn’t know about flavour development and flavour matching. This — combined with his practical and scientific background — means he can offer really useful support to brewers.

“Many of our customers in the region may already know him from his time as chair of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (northern section). Others will be meeting him soon.”

Other experts to join Crisp recently include chemical engineer Hannah Beer, who has become the company’s technical development lead. She has been intricately involved with the new speciality malt plant and the development of speciality malts.

In addition to her responsibilities on site, she has also been presenting to wider audiences, including at the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Malt Seminar.

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