Since Derek Bates can first remember, he’s had an obsession with great taste. He grew up absorbing a love of cooking from his family, gaining a particular liking for game, fish and BBQ. His passion for flavours saw him working in a series of restaurants in his native South Carolina before he turned his hand to what would become his major passion for the years to come – brewing beer. Derek (or Bates as he’s more commonly known) began working in a brewpub and experimenting by brewing beer with a local mindset. His passion and natural flair for standing over a tun and working his brewing magic began to become well known locally in America’s southeast. “Those early days were where I started Miranda Hudson. Photo Credit: Antonio Olmos Illustration: Philip Buckingham @ 5HT
developing my craft and gaining an appreciation for how locally, sustainably farmed fresh ingredients produced the best beers,” he explains. “But there were limitations – the alcohol laws are quite strict in South Carolina. For example, distribution is monopolised and you couldn’t brew a beer over five per cent ABV, so obviously there was going to come a time when I relocated to experiment and expand my brewing.” That move happened in a rather unexpected way, when he met his now wife and business partner Miranda, when she was on vacation in the state. The couple’s holiday romance became something much more than that when Bates boarded a plane for London with an open mind to the future. A move to England’s capital for the man seen as hot talent in the brewing industry, particularly because of his talent for cooking and interest in the future of food and brewing, meant plenty of job offers. Bates took on a role with one of the UK’s biggest craft beer brands Brewdog, working to develop the food and beer marriages of its bars around the country. After this, Bates took on a job with the guys from Bermondseybased Brew By Numbers and enjoyed two years of really getting down to the nitty gritty of brewing authentic, seasonal craft beer. But like all creative minds, Bates wanted to do something purer to his ideals, something from scratch, something of his own. After some brainstorming and meticulous planning with Miranda and having bounced ideas around with colleagues in the brewing industry, the concept for Duration Brewing was born.