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'Not shaken, not stirred, but well poured'

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'Not shaken, not stirred, but well poured'
Rob Craig, a craft beer brewer in Valencia. Photo: Daniel Tortajada/Levante-EMV
10:33 CEST+02:00
For this week's My Spanish Career The Local chats to craft beer brewer (and cousin of Daniel), Rob Craig, an Australian living in Valencia.

What brought you to Spain?

I was on walkabout in London Town (5 years) and I got sort of stuck in the rat race. I needed out and heard Granada was a good get away location. I packed up 5 years into a small back pack, took my guitar and a few blues CDs and headed to the South of Spain. I'm still here now, but living in Valencia.

What are the good points and bad points about living and working in Spain?

Good points: If I were a Brit I could safely say the weather. But being an Aussie that does not count.  I think the relaxed way of life is something I really love. Even in the work environment. The bad points, corruption and no meat pies.

Photo: Daniel Tortajada/Levante-EMV

Tell us a bit about your business. Why craft beer?

I started Ophidian Brewing Company for the love of good beer. I was pretty fed up with the same old industrial lagers and also was looking for a way out of IT. Brewing just sorted of opened up the way and it's very rewarding when I get positive feedback, it puts me on a high.  I'm still in IT but my brewery is growing every day. Fingers crossed!

What are the main differences between living and working in Spain and Australia?

The salaries and working hours. The Spanish seem to work crazy working hours where as in Australia it's much less. Also the salaries here are really low. People aren't really valued for their experience in my opinion.

What does Aussie beer have that Spanish beer doesn't?

My beer is an old recipe from my grandmother. I've given it a slight tweeking but it's all about balance, flavour and aroma. I think the Aussie beers are a lot crisper and play a lot on modern hops. Something the Spanish beers lack in general. But saying that there are some really great Spanish craft beers out there so go and try them.

Have Spaniards welcomed your product?

I can safely say they have welcomed my ales with open arms. Saying that, it's still a bit of a mission to try and sell my porter (Dark Ale) to the general public. The main reason being they seem to think all dark beer is really bitter with traces of liquorice.  I'm slowly changing the general opinion as my Dark Ale is the complete opposite to this.  Once they try it they don't ask for anything else. It's pretty amazing. I'm very happy with the way it came out.

Seeing as your cousin is Daniel Craig, do you think it's time for James Bond to update his favourite drink from a martini to a Blue Serpent?

Yeah, I would love to see Daniel with a Blue Serpent. "Blue Serpent, not shaken, not stirred but well poured!"


Website: www.ophidianbrewing.com
Twitter: @ophidianbrewing
Facebook: /ophidianbrewing

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