The Global Beer Competition: Meet the judges

Dan Sandy, Kill The Cat

After falling out of love with a long term ‘grown up’ career, Sandy found himself working at various breweries and bottleshops in Sydney, Australia. Since returning to his native London this year, between propagating wild yeast, judging beer competitions and becoming a certified Cicerone, Dan heads up Kill the Cat, a craft beer company based on Brick Lane, London.

When did you first get into beer?

I’d always liked a good beer, but got into it seriously, if that’s the right word from 2012 while living in Sydney .

Which brew sparked your love of beer?

That was what actually got me thinking about a second career in beer while living in Oz. I was recommended a a local DIPA (Riverside Brewing’s 777) and I just thought to myself – “what is this and how can I get as much of it into my face as possible”. I’d never had anything like it.

What would you be as a beer?

Brett Saison

What is your favourite hop variety and why?

I’m more of a yeast guy really! But I love a bit of Vic Secret.

Who is your inspiration in the beer world?

Michael Jackson, the musician not the beer writer. No just kidding. When I got into beer I watched everything he’d ever done. It was so humbling because there I was thinking I had all these new and different ideas, only to discover he’d lived, discovered or done them all by the early 90s! And Sam Calagione from DogFish Head. I got to have a brew day with him when working for Nomad Brewing in Sydney and he had such a presence. His ‘left of centre’ take on life and brewing, fascination with ancient brews and doing things differently with a laugh and a smile, but always maintaining very high standards was very inspiring. And finally my Dad for stocking pilsner Urquell in the fridge from when I was around 17!

Where are you happiest?

It’s never one place – but walking into a country pub I haven’t been too before with good mates to find they have a good selection of cask is hard to beat!

What is your greatest vice?

Err…Miami??

What are the best and worst things about the beer industry?

Best: Apart from the product itself and the endless fascination it holds, it has to be the people! I used to work in advertising which is a horrible industry. The people I worked with were some of the most resilient, hard working and fun loving people but the way the industry works is really nasty. Beer people are always interesting, open hearted and fair minded, well the ones I’ve met anyway!

Worst: On the job hangovers!

What is your proudest achievement in beer?

Becoming a certified Cicerone

What is your ultimate beer and food pairing?

Mikkeller 1000 Barrel-Aged Chardonnay with peking duck pancakes. It was completely unintentional and still one of the best meals I’ve ever had!

If you weren’t working in beer, what would you be doing?

As I say, I used to work in advertising, and that almost killed me, and before that a music journalist, so I’d probably go back to being a journo if beer and everything around it suddenly disappeared. Then I could just listen to lots of depressing music all day to reflect my post beer mood!

Follow on social media:

Twitter: @killthecatbeer

Instagram: @killthecatbeer

Facebook: @killthecatbeer

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