In recent blog posts, we’ve discussed in detail some of our great accomplishments of the last year, our extensive and continuously growing beer list, and the introduction of our new (and very popular!) Bandit Sit-Down Series. A key component of all these three landmarks has been the addition of Benoit Brame to our brewery team. Benoit joined our team in the fall of 2017 and has since become a key member of our brewery team, leading our guided tastings, creating brand new recipes for us, assisting with our licensee program, and even making homemade charcuterie for us! His passion for the craft and his love of beer is not only contagious to the Bandit team, but to all of those who meet him, especially during one of our Bandit Sit-Downs. His story starts off very similarly to our brewer Stephane’s, as both began as homebrewers in their native France, but their tastes couldn’t be more different, as you’ll see below (you can revisit our interview with Stephane here).
In our continued efforts to give you a closer look at our everyday brewing operations and philosophy, we decided to grab a pint after work (he’s a VERY busy guy after all) with Benoit and pick his brain about all things beer.
What’s the first Craft Beer you ever tried?
That would be a Boneshaker (Amsterdam Brewery)! I had never drunk an IPA while living in France, so I was completely taken aback by the bitterness, which I’ve come to really love after some time.
What’s your favourite hop to work with?
I will have to say Citra, which I love using for IPAs and other Pale Ales. I’m a big fan of hops with a lot of citrus and grapefruit aromas.
What’s your favourite style of beer?
Growing up so close to Belgium was a big influence on my beer taste, so my three favourite styles would have to be Leffe, Chimay, and Triple Karmeliet.
What’s your favourite new trend in craft beer?
Not that it is a particularly “new” trend, but I’m a big fan of Sours and Gose beers.
How much beer do you drink on an average day?
During the week I mostly drink beer to keep track of our beer quality, so lots of small tasters. The weekend is another story, and it really depends on how celebratory I’m feeling, but on average I drink around 4 beers on the weekend.
Do you take home a lot of beer from work or do you like to try other excellent local beers while at home?
I drink a lot of Bandit beer during the week, so on the weekends, I enjoy visiting different breweries or the LCBO and getting to taste all the other excellent beers being made in Ontario.
What is your favourite food to pair with beer?
It really depends on the beer style, but to be completely honest I just LOVE a side of chicken wings with my beer. I like them extra spicy if I’m drinking a solid IPA.
What is an ambitious beer you would like to make in the future?
It’s already in the making! I’m very excited about an upcoming Milkshake IPA release, as it’s one of the beers I’ve been wanting to make since I started brewing at Bandit. Stay tuned for its release date!
If beer is not available (God forbid), what’s your go-to drink of choice?
I will definitely go for a single malt scotch, like a Glenmorangie or a Japanese Nikka straight from the barrel.