Buzz Lightbeer

Matt Howgate

Buzz Lightbeer

Brewery: Vocation

Position: Head Brewer

Time at Vocation: 2 years


Annual hL: 30,000


Core range: Our core range consists of Bread & Butter, Heart & Soul, Pride & Joy, Life & Death and Love & Hate


Primary market: We supply most of the major, national retailers in the UK, along with an ever-growing free trade across the UK and into Export.


How long have you been brewing? I have worked in the brewing industry for 10 years, working for both large multinationals and small independent breweries.


What’s the first beer you ever brewed? My first ever brew was a 4.8% Dark Mild, called Midnight Bell made at Leeds Brewery.


Besides contribution to the brewing community, why did you want to apply to Project X? I wanted to be part of Project X to grow my understanding about the whole process of hop production from the field to the brewhouse.


What beer styles do you generally brew? At Vocation we generally brew hop forward beers focusing on bold and punchy flavours.


How many people are in your team? We have a team of 23 at the brewery, which is made up of 7 in the brewery, 7 at head office, and 9 in the packaging hall


What is your brewery’s message? Brewing bold beers from our hilltop in Hebden Bridge and pouring punchy pints from our very own taprooms. We’re resolutely in the business of setting standards, not following trends. We punch above our weight by putting good beer into good people’s fridges, never courting credibility we just let our hop forward, unapologetic beers do the talking. Our core collection is a constant to always come back to, while we show our creative flare through limited editions. We put our heart and soul into every brew – it’s not life and death but it’s up there. We listen to our drinkers, we still make beer for us as much for as we do for them, and we still only brew beer we’re proud to put our name on. It’s still our Vocation.


Who are your current suppliers? We use suppliers from all over the world to source the best ingredients possible, we are constantly searching for the best ingredients possible to make allow us to make the beers we want to produce. We are lucky enough to already work with some of the best people from the best suppliers into the brewing industry.


Why Matt of Vocation?

Matt was chosen to represent the “very large” category of craft brewing. With Vocation currently brewing 30,000hl a year and more expansion planned in the future, they fit that category well. Based in the UK, Matt is acting as the voice of UK brewers in the project. What really impressed us about Matt, and eventually earned him a place on the project, was his broad experience and open-minded approach to brewing. He has brewed with the biggest production breweries and grown well known smaller craft breweries, seeing success in both environments. He is also able to appreciate and work with the subtle and delicate flavours that traditional styles can offer while at the same time adeptly manipulating and balancing the big flavours often associated with the progressive craft beer styles.

To see Matt in his natural habitat, and find out why he wanted to be a part of Project X, enjoy the video below.

Meet our other ambassadors

'The Mashing Dutchman'

Frans Meij

'Matteo von Amundsen'

Matt Arens

'El Partisano'

Tom O'Hara


Cristina Sáez

Contact Us

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What is Project X?

As a craft brewer, are you getting what you want from your hop supplier? BarthHaas and Simply Hops have opened their doors to 5 craft brewers, to help cultivate a new understanding of what you need from us and ensure that we are able to support the craft community the best we possibly can.