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  • Desert Island Beers #38: Will Hawkes, The Independent

    April 25th, 2012FletchtheMonkeyDesert Island Beers

    Welcome to the latest episode of Desert Island Beers which this week features Will Hawkes who works on The Independent’s sports desk and writes about beer in his spare time.

    Born in London and brought up in sunny Kent, he has had an interest in ale since he could convince a barman he was 18 – but his real conversion to good beer came after a year spent living in Southern California in 1999-2000, when the craft beer revolution was just beginning to take effect.

    He also loves cricket and writes about the county game. He lives in South London with his wife and eight-month-old son.

    Will Hawkes

    Will Hawkes

    brooklyn lager and a last supper

    Brooklyn Lager

    Kernel Brewery

    Kernel Brewery

    Gadds No 3

    Gadds No 3

    The Beers

    Hi Will, thanks for joining us on the desert island! Which five beers will you be taking with you, and most importantly, why?

    1. Brooklyn Brewery Co – Brooklyn Lager – (Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. – 5.2%)
      “Brooklyn Lager is so drinkable; you’d have to be a total anti-beer zealot not to like it. When I first tasted it six or seven years ago I found it really (pleasantly) bitter, but now I’m just impressed by how balanced it is.”
    2. The Ramsgate Brewery Ltd – Gadds No 3 – (Ramsgate, England – 5.0%)
      “Bitter but not aggressively so. I’m from Kent and this is my favourite beer from my home county: English hops need more brewers like Eddie Gadd.”
    3. The Kernel Brewery -The Kernel Export Stout London 1890 – (Bermondsey, London SE16 – 7.1%)
      “This is really satisfying – its got an intense espresso flavour, you can tell it’s a strong beer without it necessarily tasting of alcohol. I admire what Evin and Co. are doing, I don’t think I’ve made any secret of that.”
    4. Moor Beer Company Ltd – Moor Revival – (Pitney, Somerset, England – 3.8%)
      “Given that it’s about 4 per cent, Revival is a really full-flavored beer. I’ve drunk a lot of really disappointing, insipid pale ales at that strength but this one is great.”
    5. Brasserie Dupont – Saison Dupont – (Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium – 6.5%)
      “A bit of an obvious choice, maybe, but I love it. It’s deceptively complex and its goes well with a lot of different food, particularly goats cheese.”

    And which beer (of those selected) do you regard most highly?

    “Hard to say: it probably changes from day to day!”

    The Meal

    You can also take one meal to go with your beers, what would it be?

    “Deviled kidneys are easy to make and they taste great. A lot of people are a bit sniffy about offal – but one big advantage of being on a desert island is that there would be no one there to turn their nose up. It would go well with The Kernel’s 1890 Stout.”

    The Books

    You might be waiting a long time on your lonesome on the desert island, so we will automatically allow you a few books to keep your mind busy. You can pick between two beer books and two tomes: The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food’ by Garrett Oliver, or ‘Beer’ by Michael Jackson; plus The Bible, or another appropriate religious or philosophical work

    “The Brewmaster’s Table. Really approachable, not just for beer experts!”

    “Beyond a Boundary by CLR James. It just about qualifies as a philosophical work (“What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?”). It certainly left an impression on me, and you don’t have to like cricket or the Caribbean to enjoy it.”

    And a non-beery book?

    “Parisians by Graham Robb. I love Paris and this book is as elegant as the city. Robb is a superb writer.”

    The record

    You have a CD/mp3/long player but you can only take one album. Choose wisely!

    “The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street. I must listen to this at least once a month, I love it. It feels a little bit thrown together but it works, it‘s got an incredibly louche feel.”

    The Luxury Item

    And finally, what luxury item would help make your stay on the island bearable?

    “A comfy bed. I really like sleeping.”

    Thanks Will! You can read Will’s beer bog for the Independent here and follow him on Twitter.

    Have you tried Will’s favourite beers? Let us know and a massive thank you to Will for taking part in Desert Island Beers and being our castaway for the week.

    This article is a collaboration with All Gates Brewery as part of our Desert Island Beer series.


    Mark is better known as @fletchthemonkey and started writing about beer in 2009. When not content with spending all day on the internet working in digital for an multichannel retailer, Mark waxes lyrical at and types up match reports for Leeds Guide magazine.

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