Ed Hughes is a leading beer sommelier and is responsible for customer/consumer hospitality at Sharp’s Brewery in North Cornwall, brewer of Doom Bar, the UK’s no.1 cask beer.
Ed grew up in Rock, North Cornwall, but his passion for beer began while managing bars in Nottingham, including the infamous Brass Monkey at the age of 19. A trip to Belgium around this time inspired and educated Ed, not just in the quality and variations of beer flavour, but in the pride the Belgians had in beer and beer service, similar to the respect the French have with wine.
Returning to Cornwall in 2006, Ed started working at the St Enodoc Hotel as bar manager, progressing to restaurant manager where he was lucky enough to work with Nathan Outlaw. During this time, Ed became a member of Sharp’s flavour panel which still meets each week to sample and provide feedback on the flavour and quality of Doom Bar. Awed by the knowledge and expertise of then director of brewing, Stuart Howe, Ed decided to join the brewery in 2008 and set about re-invigorating the brewery shop, offering beer tastings and passing on his huge passion for Sharp’s beers to customers and consumers.
Today Ed provides expert beer tastings both at the brewery and with key customers at their premises as well as the joint venture Public House the Mariners in Rock with Nathan Outlaw and Sharp’s Brewery. Ed completed his Beer Academy beer sommelier accreditation in 2014. He regularly performs demonstrations on beer and on beer and food matching to audiences at events around the country. Working with top chefs such as Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Alyn Williams, Ed has developed an in-depth knowledge of pairing beer and food and regularly provides interviews for trade and consumer media on this subject.
Another string to Ed’s bow is judging beer industry competitions, for example the World Beer Awards 2015 and East Midlands SIBA and the European Beer Star in Munich. In addition, Ed has judged various Sharp’s competitions including the recent ‘There’s an Adventure Brewing’ campaign in which Ed and Nathan Outlaw judged beer and food pairings designed by consumers.