Next up in our series introducing you to the people behind the beer, it’s the turn of Jim, lead brewer of the Funk Dungeon mixed fermentation project. We’ve recently released two delicious new beers from the project (more details on those here), so we thought getting to know a little more about their maker seemed timely. Over to Jim!
First up, the basics! What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Jim Rangeley, and I’m from right here in the Abbeydale area of Sheffield. Other than an errant few years in dirty Leeds for a degree I don’t use anymore, I haven’t strayed too far from the river Sheaf.
What is your role at Abbeydale Brewery?
I’m the Lead Brewer of the Funk Dungeon project, which means I care for the barrel stock, the yeast blend and the packaging of all the sour beers we’ve released through the years.
On a more day to day basis, I’m a production brewer of all the regulars!
What’s your favourite beer and why?
My favourite Abbeydale beer is Black Mass on cask, it’s a rare beast but whenever I see it it’s pints for Jim.
I’m at the point in my drinking where good reliable consistency is the most important factor in my choices, so I drink a lot of good quality lagers – whether they’re imported and bought from Archer Road Beer Stop or from a British brewery like Braybrooke or Utopian. But also I do like to treat myself to a 750ml of mixed fermentation beer from a producer like Burning Sky.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Abbeydale Brewery?
As brewers, we have quite a bit of freedom of creativity as we’ve always got a special release on the go, and having the trust in me to embark on the mixed fermentation project and ability to experiment with foraged ingredients or fruits. The brewery is putting us through further learning through the IBD (Institute of Brewing and Distilling) to continue learning to improve our consistently good quality and dependable beer.
Also, 4 o’clock hometime is nice.
Where’s your favourite place to enjoy a pint?
After a run in the Peak District, with a pint of well kept cask, in front of a fire to warm up.
Further afield, the (now unfortunately closed) Foeders bar in Amsterdam is the best place I’ve ever spent an afternoon. Incredible lambic selection, complimentary peanuts, in a fantastic setting and a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. I’m really excited to see what their original founder Yuri has in store for us in the future.
Where did you have your first (legal!) pint?
I think it will have been Moonshine, in the sadly no longer East House, before a curry across the road – where you could carry a pitcher over to enjoy alongside your meal. I’ve been eating at the (now also long gone) Kashmir since I was old enough to eat solid food, so jugs of Moony were ever present on the sticky cafe like tables on a Friday night for me. It was either there or the Sheaf View, which has become my local since.
Fries: Bacon or Scampi?
Scampi fries, every time. From a wider snack perspective, the packets of Poppadoms that come with a pot of mango chutney in them are an absolute revelation. They stock both at The Bear just down the road from the brewery, which is where you’ll tend to find me after work on a Friday.
When you’re not making beer, what do you get up to?
I can usually be found trail running in the Peaks. I’m into long distance, big hills, and generally getting cold, wet and muddy in the great outdoors.
And finally… If you were a fictional character, who would it be?
Gimli son of Gloin from the Lord of the Rings. The resemblance has diminished somewhat since I had a haircut, but the holy triumvirate of meat, ale and axes still stands.