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Dream job: brewmaster

Gabriel Garcia, Brewmaster at LeVeL33
Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Gabriel Garcia, 35
Brewmaster of LeVeL33

What does a brewmaster do?

A brewmaster is in charge of the beer production. We oversee everything from cleaning, production, buying the raw materials and deciding the style of beer the bar should focus on. LeVeL33 focuses on tradition. All the beers we produce have a history and story behind them. We like to tell our customers the story behind each beer, and you’ll see this on the menu.

How did you become a brewmaster?

I didn’t have anything to do with beer until 2004. I was at a German university but I hadn’t decided on what to study. With a few friends, I made a trip to Prague and we ended up in a pizzeria that also produced their own beers. I was amazed by the aromas and I knew I wanted to do the same thing.

Tell us more about your brews.

We always have six brews: five permanent (IPA, stout, wheat beer, house porter and blonde larger) and one seasonal. For the seasonal brews like the pumpkin ale or our upcoming Oktoberfest beer, we change them every six weeks or so. The most popular brew is the blonde lager, which has a European heritage based on the work of German brewers. It’s very easy to drink. We use hops from the Czech Republic and implement a method called ‘decoction’, where we take a bit of beer mash and boil it before adding it back in, creating more malty flavours.

What advice do you have for beginner homebrewers?

The first time you brew a beer, I recommend brewing with extract to see how the fermentation goes. Once you can control the fermentation and start to build confidence, switch to wholegrains. Many people get discouraged when they start with wholegrains because it’s too messy and too much work. Sometimes you don’t get the results you were expecting. But just keep trying. 

Try Gabriel’s brews at LeVeL33