Will Twomey Head Brewer at West Berkshire BreweryHello Great West Way Ambassador! Please introduce yourself:
I am Will Twomey, head brewer at West Berkshire Brewery

Tell us a little more about what you do on the Great West Way:
We run a medium sized brewery and packaging plant, producing a range of cask, keg, canned and bottled beers.

What do you love most about your job?
The variety- each day presents new challenges and working around them is what brewing is all about. Also continuing the tradition of brewing is very important to me.

How did you get started? Has it been a long journey, getting to where you are today?
I started at the brewery 13 years ago and worked hard to get where I am now. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to build a brewery.

What achievements are you most proud of?
Our current site and the people we have working with us. From its inception I wouldn’t have thought we’d have ended up with something so special. Its an amazing place to visit and have some food in our incredible taproom.   
West Berkshire Brewery burgerWhat’s a typical day like for you?
Flat out usually! I look after production and that usually involves problem solving, packaging beer, brewing and beer transfers, as well as planning and managing a team.

Do you work with a wider team? If so, tell us a bit about them:
We have some great characters in the production team. Griff Maggs is my right-hand man and his parents set up the brewery in 1993. We also have some amazing supporting staff from lots of different backgrounds.

What do you find inspiring day-to-day? What keeps the enthusiasm going? Being on an early brew is the best time for me. I love brewing and being in a quiet brewery as the sun rises over the fields in Yattendon is as close to idyllic as you can get on the Great West Way.

Any interesting or funny anecdotes related to your role or your experiences with visitors that you can share?
Griff has given us all wrestler names. Here are a few of my favourites: Jean Claude Van-driver-man dan. Terrance the furious dwarf. Janet Rockstar. Big Mac the unfriendly giant.

What does slow travel mean to you?
Probably a canal boat!

What do you think makes the Great West Way special?
It has some amazing scenery (almost hobbit like!) thanks to the rolling hills and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the canals, cityscapes and English villages. There is plenty of tradition if you look for it and some fantastic walking/pub routes.

Do you have any insider tips or advice for travellers who want to experience the touring route ‘like a local’?
Go to the bell at Aldworth. Take a walk on the ridgeway and visit a pub supplied with West Berkshire Brewery beers and a few crusty rolls afterwards.

Will taking a tour around the breweryDescribe your perfect adventure on the Great West Way:
Probably a week cruising down the Kennet and Avon Canal. It slows you right down so you can just take it easy, I can imagine it’s an enjoyable journey and you get to see areas of the Great West Way that you wouldn’t see by car or train.

What’s your favourite thing to eat or drink along the touring route (can be a meal, a local delicacy or a favourite tipple)? Any cafes, restaurants or pubs you can recommend?
I’ve already mentioned the Bell so that’s definitely my top tip for the area. 

Are you a city, town or country person?
Country. By a mile. I grew up in a small village called Bucklebury on the Great West Way and my childhood was spent fishing on a chalk stream and riding around on my bike. 

Pick a place along the Great West Way that best represents you and what you do, with a short explanation:
The West Berkshire Brewery! I have poured my life and soul into the place and I’m extremely proud to work there with my colleagues, friends and my wife.  

Are there any English stereotypes or traditions you’d like to set straight?
No, to my knowledge they’re pretty accurate. 

What do you think will surprise first-time visitors about the Great West Way?Any secret, lesser-visited spots you’d like to recommend?
Coombe Gibbet has some amazing views across the south downs and also has gallows which is pretty cool. 

What’s your preferred mode of transport: train, car, bus or boat? Why?
Barge on a canal would be great. I’ve always fancied living on the canal. 

Any exciting plans for the future you’d like to share?
More of the same! Keep on working hard at the brewery and driving it forward. 

West Berkshire Brewery pint in the TaproomTo find out more about West Berkshire Brewery and Berkshire, take a look at our Food and Drink pages.

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West Berkshire Brewery is an independent brewery nestled in the heart of Berkshire with over 23 years of brewing experience. With our new state of the art brewery and packaging line we proudly produce traditional cask ales and innovative craft beers.