Ferment Issue 49 // BrewLDN

jamesbeer52

Join us at the epic Brew//LDN festival, with Guinness Open Gate and a host of craft beer heroes

FERMENTMAGAZINE.COM | ISSUE 49

ADVENTURES IN THE GLOBAL CRAFT ALCOHOL MOVEMENT

JOIN US AT THE EPIC BREW//LDN FESTIVAL,

WITH GUINNESS OPEN GATE AND A HOST OF CRAFT BEER HEROES

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772397 696005


In a world of beer, drink an Original

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Try beer straight from the barrel at stand 31

the original barrel aged beer | iNNISANDGUNN.COM


EDITOR

Richard Croasdale

LEAD DESIGNER

(Maternity Leave)

Ashley Johnston

DESIGNER

Adele Juraža

Editor’s

NOTE

Brew//LDN, p.8

@fermenthq

@fermentmagazine

Contributions, comments, rants:

richard@beer52.com

ADVERTISING

To discuss how Ferment

could work with your brand,

request a media pack or book

an advert, contact:

advertising@beer52.com

COVER ILLUSTRATION

Chris Martin

www.chrismartinillustration.co.uk

PUBLISHED BY:

Ferment & Beer52,

Floor 2,

26 Howe Street,

Edinburgh,

EH3 6TG

This issue of Ferment was first

printed in February 2020 in Poland, by

Elanders. All rights reserved. Reproduction

in whole or in part without written

permission is strictly prohibited. All prices

are correct at the time of going to press but

are subject to change.

My mum always used to tell me I couldn’t organise a

piss-up in a brewery, and she was probably right.

That’s why I’m always in awe of the Brew//LDN

team’s ability to organise such a lavish piss-up in such a large

brewery. This year’s festival features a truly stellar line-up

of beer, cider, wine, whisky, food, music and talks from the

cutting edge of craft booze culture.

If you can’t make it along though, fear not, because we’ve

worked with some of the best breweries at Brew//LDN to

bring you a taste of the fun, in this month’s Beer52 box and in

this special bumper issue of Ferment.

We have a special focus on London, in which Matt Curtis

shines a light on some great London breweries that are

perhaps sometimes overlooked, while Anthony Gladman

picks his favourite riverside drinking spots and Siobhan

Hewison meets up with London members to share some

special beers.

In the latest in our Beer Boffins series, I talk to Tobias

Fischborn of Lallemand about life on the front-line of brewing

yeast research, while at the other end of the spectrum, Lily

Waite explores the relationship between beer and art.

If you’re reading this at Brew//LDN, stay hydrated and

come find me for a high five; I look like a more world-weary

version of the picture above. If you’re not, virtual high fives

are also appreciated at ferment@beer52.com or on social

@fermenthq.

Rich

Got a Beer52 customer service query? Call 0131 285 2684,

email support@beer52.com, or on social media @beer52hq


CONTRIBUTORS

MATTHEW CURTIS

WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER

Matthew Curtis is an award-winning

freelance beer writer, photographer

and podcaster based in London, UK.

@totalcurtis

KATIE MATHER

WRITER

Katie is a beer blogger and part-time

goth who loves writing essays about pub

culture. She’s also a monthly guest on BBC

Radio Lancashire where she speaks about

local beer. @Shinybiscuit

MELISSA COLE

WRITER

Certified Cicerone® and beer & food writer,

Melissa Cole is one of the UK’s leading beer

experts. Author of Let Me Tell You About Beer,

international beer judge, collaboration brewer,

sommALEier and regular festival presenter.

SIOBHAN HEWISON

WRITER

Siobhan is a freelance beer and travel

writer based in Edinburgh, who goes by the

moniker British Beer Girl. You can find her on

Instagram and Twitter - @britishbeergirl - or

in one of Leith’s many excellent pubs.

CONTENTS

8: welcome to brew//LDN

A word from the organisers.

24: the guinness open gate brewery

Meet 2020’s Brew//LDN cover stars.

ANTHONY GLADMAN

WRITER

Anthony is an accredited Beer Sommelier

and freelance writer based in London.

When he’s not writing about beer he runs

tastings and beer tours. @agladman

ALEX PAGANELLI

CHEF & FOOD

PHOTOGRAPHER

As founder of Dead Hungry, Alexandre has

been creating incredible recipes for Ferment.

deadhungry.co

28: laaaaandan

Apparently there are other things to do while you’re

in the Capital. Ferment investigates.

40: coolships

Why are so many UK breweries adopting the most

primitive means of fermentation?

46: boilermakers

In search of the perfect beer and whiskey pairing.

50: beer boffins

We catch up with Lallemand’s yeast expert.

70: beer & art

Lily Waite gets all cultural.

76: kelp yourself

Alex Paganelli cooks with seaweed.

86: hoppin’ rabbit

Bringing the best of French

to UK drinkers.

108: brew//LDN

Your survival guide to the Old

Truman Brewery.

111: food at the fest

You’ll want to eat it all.

113: music

As ever, Brew//LDN has lined up

the best party in the beery world.

By Craig Collins @CraigComicsEtc & Mark Brady @HolidayPirate


Welcome to the first ever BREW//LDN event

The team behind the show have drawn on all their experience of

being part of the industry all their professional lives (and having

run beer festivals for the past 9 years), to continue evolving live

events with beer.

The ultimate aim is to create a great experience for all, with

a mix of quality music, mouth-watering food, entertainment and

experiences via our partners and, of course, lots of beer. With

so many great beers on offer, the show’s a chance to revisit old

faithfuls and meet the team behind the brews, while also discovering

some new gems you can enjoy tracking down in pubs and bottle shops throughout 2020.

We’ll leave you to decide which beers are for you; with over 150 brewers bringing their

best, we’re sure you’ll find it.

This year sees the team move back to operating an independently owned event, which has

allowed us to develop the show we wanted, and a brand we’ll continue building throughout

2020 and beyond – we hope you enjoy it.

Cheers!

The Brew Crew

PLUS MANY MORE...

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If you’re not from West Yorkshire,

the name “Salt” might seem odd for

a brewery, but if you’re in Saltaire,

the word is everywhere. Back in 1853,

a philanthropic textile magnate with

an awesome name opened a huge new

mill. He had a completely self-sufficient

village built around the mill too, and

called it Saltaire. His name was Sir

Titus Salt and the aim of this mill and

its surrounding village was to create

better working and living conditions for

the people who worked there. Saltaire

is now a World Heritage Site, and

the people of Saltaire are incredibly

proud of their village’s early forays into

progressive workers’ rights. See, the

name “Salt” makes a lot more sense

once you’ve got a bit of backstory.

We’re starting with Sir Titus Salt

because that’s where Dr. Nadir Zairi,

the director of Salt Beer Factory, began

his version of Salt Beer Factory’s story.

Because, when you’re surrounded by

his work everywhere you go, you can’t

WORDS: Katie Mather

help but be shaped by it.

“When we started in November

2018, our ethos was about being open

and engaging, to take the history

of Saltaire and how pioneering and

progressive it was into what we were

doing.”

That “really, really good

beer” is probably what you’ll

already know SALT for

It’s not easy to be pioneering and

progressive from day one, but that’s

what Nadir wanted Salt to be. Along

with Osset Brewery Co., which Salt is

part of, he built a brand that could be

all of the things he’d dreamt of, working

towards creating something totally new.

The Tramshed, Salt’s unique Grade II

listed Edwardian tram shed taproom, is

SALT

their flagship example of exactly what

Nadir wanted to build.

“The Tramshed used to be an Osset

bar and the rest was used as storage,”

he explains. “I got talking with Jamie

from Osset by total chance in that

bar and I told him about my idea to

create a taproom-beer-brewing type

experience. He told me he’d been

having similar ideas and after talking

more about it, we ended up working

together on the project. It was a bit

like, the universe has a plan.” (FYI,

Osset own Salt Beer Factory.)

“I wanted to build a taproom that’s

got everything on show, the whole

brewing process from start to finish,”

he says. “It’s an events space and a

gathering place too, but the brilliant

thing about The Tramshed is a taproom

where people can enjoy their beer and

see how it’s made right there in front

of them. They can meet the brewers,

Colin and Chris, and they can talk to

them about the beers they’re drinking,

because they’ll probably be in there

or nearby and ready for a chat. People

have a thirst for knowledge and

when we started Salt Beer Company

we knew we needed to offer a full

experience alongside really, really good

beer.”

That “really, really good beer” is

probably what you’ll already know Salt

for. In January 2019, head brewer Colin

Stronge joined the team, taking ten

years’ brewing experience from Buxton

Brewery, Marble Beers, Black Isle

Brewery and Northern Monk with him.

“Colin had come up in conversations

when we’d spoken privately about who

we’d want to come in and take our

available Head Brewer role,” says Dr.

Nadir. “But instead of contacting him,

we put out an ad. He called when he

saw it. Again, it was like, the universe

has a plan!”

It turns out Colin had dreams

of creating his own brew pub

with similarly engaging, beeris-all-around-you

vibes as The

Tramshed.

“There was this synergy,”

explains Dr. Nadir. “Aside

from his expertise he’s a

great guy to work with.”

Then Chris

“Wiggles” Wigg

joined the team

in March 2019.

A brewmate of

Colin’s from

their Buxton

days, this pairing won Salt their first

awards, a SIBA Gold and a World Beer

Awards Gold for Alpaca DDH IPA, and

a gold World Beer Award for Answer Is

None, their Black IPA.

In an industry where it’s increasingly

difficult to make your individual voice

heard, and even more challenging

to make any money doing the thing

you love, how have Salt managed to

become a strong success story in just

over two years?

“My attitude is pretty much always

“why would I say no?”” says Dr

Nadir. “The team all have their own

knowledge, expertise and networks.

They know what they want to do and

what’s best for Salt. Everyone has a

say in everything: the branding, sales,

marketing — everything. We trust each

other and I think that’s what makes it

work.”

Maybe it’s unfashionable to say

it, but planning this brewery like a

business from day one has worked in

Salt’s favour. Working from an indelible

business plan and building a tight

team that shares the same vision has

enabled them to deal fearlessly with

personnel changes and minor setbacks

and keep Salt moving forwards. For

many this could seem cold, or even

cynical. But however you look at the

beer industry, it is an industry, and like

Sir Titus Salt, the Salt Beer Company

are in the business of trying to be as

all-round successful as they are at

making their beer. Well, Sir Salt didn’t

make beer or allow it to be sold in

Saltaire, but you get what we mean.

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WILD BEER

For those of us on the lookout for

new flavor experiences, Wild

Beer Co has always been one

of the most exciting breweries in the

UK, constantly pushing boundaries

and relatively unconstrained by

style. Whether it’s using alternative

fermentations or unorthodox yeasts,

adding seasonally foraged ingredients

or exotic produce from far-flung

locales, the restlessness of Wild’s

innovation is almost at odds with the

calm and tranquillity of its Somerset

home.

It's an outlook that has served

the brewery well since co-founders

Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis set up

in a dairy farm outbuilding a decade

ago, and has been rewarded with

commercial success.

Work is underway on a new

production brewery just outside Bath

(Wild’s original Westcomble Dairy

brewery will continue operating as

a ‘barrel-ageing mecca’), which will

include a taproom and restaurant,

an events space and function room,

according to Andrew.

“We're not in a big metropolis, we've

fairly remote, so people will have to

make the journey to come and see

us,” he says. “But once they get here,

it's an accessible premium taste and

flavor experience with hospitality to

match. Whether it’s drink or food they

are coming for or more involved tours,

lectures and events. Especially things

like the fermentation hall, a place

where schools and colleges can bring

kids and make it an education piece.”

As well as growing its presence at

home in Somerset, Wild now has a

hugely successful bar in Wapping,

London. With 22 draft lines

and a well-stocked fridge, the

Wild Bar is always busy with

beer lovers from around the

capital looking to try Wild’s

latest and greatest, as

well as a superb range

of guest beers.

It's also pioneered

a mobile bar concept that has since

been picked up by other UK breweries.

Its Container Bar – literally a selfcontained

bar in a shipping container

– became a familiar sight on the lawn

outside the Tate Modern, while the

ultra-mobile Truck Bar does great trade

at festivals and parties.

We’re delighted to have Wild back in

the Beer52 box, and anyone attending

Brew//LDN should definitely pay its

stand a visit, and maybe even drop in

on Wapping Wharf.

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Underneath a Victorian railway

arch in Hackney Downs, East

London, lies The Five Points

Brewing Company. Packed under

this arch is a 32 hectolitre brewhouse

capable of pumping out at least two

million pints per year, yet Five Points

doesn’t just pride itself on volume, but

flavour, provenance, consistency and

quality, as well as being committed to

the local and wider community.

Five Points was founded by Ed

Mason and Greg Hobbs in 2012, with

their first beer brewed in March 2013.

Ed’s background was in co-owning

an East London bar called Mason

& Taylor and two pubs in Yorkshire;

Greg had been a head chef before

managing a pub and then working as

an assistant brewer with East London

Brewing Company. Long time fans

of cask ale, Ed and Greg also found

inspiration in the flavourful, modern

beers arriving from the United States.

Even as recently as 2010, London

brewers were focusing on British

styles. Ed and Greg believed there was

a gap in the market, and began to fill

that with three beers: Five Points Pale,

Hook Island Red and Railway Porter.

Their core range now comprises seven

beers, accompanied by many seasonal

beers and small batches such as Old

Greg’s Barley Wine and Poppies Pale

Ale.

In 2018, crowd-funding enabled

them to take over ownership of

The Pembury Tavern, a classic East

London boozer in Hackney. The

popular pub has become their

tap room, as well as a place

where they can champion

beers from other

brewers. The Tavern

has cemented their

loyal local following,

and put them at

the heart of the

community,

which Five

Points is

dedicated

to. They were the first brewery in the

UK to be an accredited Living Wage

Employer and are proud to pay the

London Living Wage. They helped to

establish an apprenticeship scheme

for training brewers and support

local charitable, arts and community

projects. And, committed to the

environment, all their electricity

is sourced from 100% renewable

sources. All reasons why Five Points is

a five star company.

FERMENT MAGAZINE 15


TO ØL

It’s always a party in the office

when we get a shipment of To Øl

samples to try, but doubly so when

we actually manage to get some of

the legendary Danish brewery’s beers

into the Beer52 box. For those not

in the know, To Øl – which translates

as ‘Two Beers’ – has been working

hard since 2010 to earn its reputation

as one of Europe’s best and most

stridently modern craft breweries. It’s

the brainchild of Tore Gynther, who

started homebrewing back in 2005

after becoming frustrated with what

he saw as the complacency of

Denmark’s incumbent breweries

at the time.

To Øl has always brewed

impeccable and creative

beers, but is perhaps just

as well known for its witty

art house branding and

label designs, with a

long-running series

including ‘Fuck Art…’

and ‘Dangerously

Close to Stupid…’

In its first decade, To Øl became

a poster child for gypsy brewers the

world over, as one of the first and most

successful European craft breweries

to go down this path. If you ever find

yourself in an argument with someone

who claims gypsy brewers aren’t

really brewers at all, just point them

in To Øl’s direction for an instant

slam dunk. However, in 2019, Tore

announced the brewery had taken

over a former food factory in Sealand,

Denmark, where it has established a

brand new production brewery and

‘craft beverage hub’ (whatever that is),

which it has named To Øl City.

The move marks the first time in its

history that all of To Øl’s beers will

be brewed in Denmark, though the

brewery – which has always been a

prolific collaborator – has confirmed

it will still be travelling the world to

work with its international friends.

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Eight years ago, Big Smoke

Brewery was just a twinkle in

the eye of co-founders James

Morgan and Rich Craig, who were at

the time running the popular North

Pole pub in Islington, North London.

The pair had long wanted to convert

the small space at the back of the

pub into a microbrewery but, with the

rigours of running their own business,

it never quite seemed to be the right

time. It wasn’t until a few years later,

when the pair took on The Antelope

in Serbiton, that their brewpub dream

was finally born, stretched its legs and

began tottering across the south-west

London craft scene.

“We first opened the brewery

about six months after taking over the

antelope, and it was the classic brewery

on a shoestring,” recalls Rich. “It was

a bit of an adventure as we didn’t

really have enough money to do it. We

beavered away in that space for the

next four years and along the way got

a few accolades, including Best New

BIG SMOKE

Brewery in Greater London in 2015,

which was a bit of a surprise for us.”

Initially, the idea was simply to

supply The Antelope; lacking a

conditioning tank and other essentials,

Big Smoke was cask-only at the time,

and The Antelope a distinctly caskfocused

pub. In these early days,

the brewery staff also worked the

bar, including Nick – a homebrew

enthusiast who helped develop the

core range and is now Big Smoke’s

head brewer. Rich believes this

dynamic gave the brewery a lot of its

current character, as the brewers

would be pouring pints for

customers, talking to them about

the brewing process and getting

their opinions on the spot.

“We’ve always relied on

that feedback from the

customers in the pubs

quite heavily especially in

the early stages. When

we were trialling

recipes we asked

people to be brutally honest about

what they thought. It’s been a really

great thing for us and for the brewing

team especially; it’s meant the brewery

and the pubs – we have four now –

have really been side-by-side on this

journey. We feel that’s a big point of

difference for us.”

Despite this close relationship

between the brewery and the pubs,

Rich and James always had their eye on

a much wider distribution, and picked

the brewery name to reflect their

ambition to be a London-wide brand.

It also quickly became clear that the

back room of The Antelope would need

to be an even more temporary home

than they had planned, as demand

was outstripping the tiny brewery’s

capacity. Wheels were set in motion

for a new standalone facility, with local

sites scouted out and second hand

kit purchased from a neighbouring

brewery, and the big move happened

just shy of 18 months later.

“Running a production brewery

out the back of the pub is a logistical

nightmare and we grew very tired of it.

The move has really allowed us to take

everything to the next level though. We

have a canning line, which has made an

even bigger difference – we’re canning

much more than we thought we would

be at this stage. It’s allowed us to win

a couple of really good tenders, for

example with Dishoom, who have

taken Cold Spark.

“More importantly, the beer is better

than it ever has been. We’ve got a

really great kit that allows us to have

much more control over the brew, and

obviously that big jump in capacity. We

are no longer having to contract brew

anything and everyone is under one

roof. It feels like one family now, rather

than everyone scattered all over the

place.”

There’s no doubt Big Smoke is

a core-focused brewery, which

we thoroughly approve of, but

that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also

experiment. For example, it just

brewed a collaboration beer with

another Beer52 favourite, Sligo’s

White Hag. The blueberry

wheat beer was brewed on

St Patrick’s day and used a

whopping 180kg of fresh

blueberries, so is a pretty

alarming colour and

packs a real fruity

punch.

“We’d love

to do more experimentation and

collaboration in future,” concludes

Rich. “But at the moment we’re getting

so much great business through the

pubs, as well as restaurants and

retailers that we’re running just to

keep up with demand. We’ll probably

need to increase our capacity soon,

but we’re definitely not complaining –

we’re just really glad people seem to

like the beer as much as we do!”

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HARBOUR

Based in beautiful Bodmin,

Cornwall, Harbour has earned

its reputation for perfectly

brewed heritage styles, tweaked for

modern tastes, under the watchful eye

of owner Adam Sargent. Rightly proud

of its Cornish roots, the brewery’s

wild and rugged surroundings

inspire the brewers as much as the

ingredients they use.

“We’re selling that Cornish

lifestyle,” explains Adam. “We wake

up every day inspired by Cornwall.”

It’s an approach that has seen the

brewery expand far beyond its local

market, and around 90% of its beer is

now sold outside of Cornwall; places

like London and Leeds, where the

thought of surfing Cornish waves or

hiking on Bodmin Moor is aspirational

rather than a way of life.

The brand and the beers certainly

seem to have resonated, but success

such as Harbour’s can come at a price.

Adam talks quite candidly about how

the pride he still feels at running a

state-of-the-art production brewery

was, for a time, undermined by the

sense that it had all become a little

“hands-off”.

His solution was “the Hinterland”,

an experimental research and

development brewery, filled with

the kind of esoteric brewing

paraphernalia that would make even

the most battle-hardened beer nerd

weak at the knees. As well as a mobile

coolship – which Adam says can be

moved outside to collect microflora

from under specific apple trees on

their land if they want to – he has

four fermenters, two conditioning

tanks, an oak open fermenter,

foudres and even some

amphora.

“With our main brewery,

we know exactly what

we want and what we’re

going to get. With the

experimental brewery,

we don’t necessarily

know what to expect

from the beers we’re brewing. It’s

about tasting every day, and waiting

until the perfect moment.”

Beer52 members will already be

familiar with Harbour’s excellent

lagers, and we’re really happy to

include its IPA in this months box.

Anyone attending BrewLDN should

definitely also look out for anything

emerging from the Hinterland; rumour

has it there may be a few special

beers for those who know to ask…

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WARMINSTER MALTINGS LTD

Traditional Maltsters

Based on a hilltop just outside

Hebden Bridge (which is the

resting place of Sylvia Plath,

queen of melancholic confessional

poetry, and is also the setting for

crime drama Happy Valley), you’ll

know Vocation Brewery for its Pride &

Joy pale ale, Life & Death IPA, Heart

& Soul session IPA, and Love & Hate

NEIPA. However, this West Yorkshire

brewery has a huge repertoire of core

beers and limited edition releases

- from a Japanese rice lager (!), to a

Valencia & blood orange sour, to an

elderflower and honey saison, to a

passionfruit milkshake IPA, Vocation

has a back catalogue featuring some

of the most hyped and exciting beer

styles around that would excite any

craft beer nerd, as well as beer that

everyone, even casual beer drinkers,

would want to imbibe.

Hoppy, punchy beers packaged in

immediately recognisable can designs

- Vocation is a brewery that has firmly

made its mark in the UK craft beer

VOCATION

market, and it’s easy to see why it’s so

well-loved. Since opening, Vocation

has won multiple awards for its beers,

including a bronze Champion Beer of

Britain award, as well as other local

and UK-wide accolades, plus its beers

are available in the booze aisles of

some major supermarkets. And this

has all happened during the mere

five years it has been in operation

- yes, Vocation only started up in

2015, so the short amount of time in

which it has made a name for itself

is particularly impressive. It has even

started importing beer across the

globe, including Australia and China!

Vocation brews almost midway

between Manchester and

Leeds, so it’s located close to

two of the most famous hubs

for craft beer. Its taproom

is a go-to spot for beer

and food for those living

in the Hebden Bridge

area, and the Vocation

bar in the Assembly

Underground food and drink hub in

Leeds sees it surrounded by street

food vendors, and sporting a mighty

FIFTY taps of beer in a popular

location (it’s safe to say owner John

Hickling and his team chose their

second taproom location very well

indeed).

Catering to craft beer lovers and

those outside the ‘craft beer bubble’

alike, with fresh, tasty and reliably

good brews, as well as exciting

seasonal and special releases, it’s no

wonder Vocation is widely regarded

as one of the best and most exciting

breweries in England.

Contact us now

for all your Malt Enquiries

WARMINSTER MALT-STARS

Tel: 01985 212014

robin.appel@warminster-malt.co.uk

39 Pound Street, Warminster,

Wiltshire. BA12 8NN

www.warminster-malt.co.uk

Supreme

Champion

Beer of

Britain

2008

Supreme

Champion

Beer of

Britain

2011

Supreme

Champion

Beer of

Britain

2019

“The maltings is under new management,

but our destiny is still the same – to go on producing

the finest malt that money can buy.”

WARMINSTER

The Only Maltings

in the West

Managing Director

THE ICKNIELD

SERIES

The Best Barleys

in the UK

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Guinness

Open Gate

BREWERY

Each time a big brewery decides

to launch its own experimental

brand, there’s inevitably a bit of

eye-rolling among beer lovers. We’ve

all seen them, taking big floor space

at our favourite festivals, going heavy

on the merch, while also playing up

their authenticity with lo-fi, folksy

branding. Yet, when The Guinness

Open Gate Brewery launched in 2015,

the reception was positively respectful,

even welcoming.

This is partly because of the fact that,

while the Open Gate BrewPub and

the brand itself were new, the actual

brewery is anything but; Guinness has

been running an experimental brewery

on the sly for over 100 years, and on the

Open Gate site since the 1960s.

“Every new Guinness beer launched

since the 60s has come from this

building,” explains Padraig Fox, General

Manager at Guinness Open Gate. “It’s

where the Guinness Brewers get to

play, and make what they want to make,

sometimes with a very specific focus,

for a full-scale product development,

and sometimes just for their creative

curiosity. Up until the taproom opened,

we just kept the beer for ourselves

inside the walls.”

Because, while Open Gate is

undoubtedly best known for its flagship

beers such as Hop House 13 and Citra

IPA, at heart it is a true experimental

brewery, in which everything revolves

around the Dublin BrewPub and the

creativity of the brewers. But why

choose now to go public with this

decidedly weirder side of Guinness’s

personality?

“Beer culture in Ireland changed

massively over the past four years,”

continues Padraig. “So if we’d tried

this 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have

worked. But now, people can come to

the taproom, buy a tasting flight of four

different exclusive experimental beers

and really explore. In return of course,

we get real-time feedback on what

people think of those beers.”

Guinness has been

running an experimental

brewery for over 100 years

Another factor weighing heavily in

Open Gate’s favour is that it’s never

shied away from its relationship with

Guinness; its branding has an honesty

which sets it apart from most ‘big

beer’ craft projects. Indeed, the close

association arguably benefits both

breweries, in that the world-class

reputation of Guinness’s brewers brings

credibility to Open Gate, while the

experimental brewery allows those

same brewers to flex their muscles

for a younger, possibly more sceptical

demographic.

“I think there’s a perception that at

Guinness, you push a button here and

beer comes out here… But actually,

there’s a huge amount of thought,

effort and expertise that goes into

every beer that we launch and every

batch we brew… The taproom is a great

environment because everyone wants

to try a raspberry porter or a kiwi sour

in their flight. But what we sell most of

as a pint is Guinness Draught.

“So, it allows our brewers to show off,

but we’re also paying homage to the

beers that got us to where we are today.

We also love to do historical rebrews,

so going back into the archives and

finding beers we brewed 100 years ago.

We might have an historical export

porter at 7%, right next to a NEIPA on

the bar. That makes for a pretty exciting

working day.”

The Open Gate brewery actually

has a few separate brewkits for added

flexibility. There’s the 1-hectalitre kettle,

where all new recipes start life, then 5

and 10-hectalitre kits for the beers that

do well.

“So we could decide to make a

NEIPA because it’s a fashionable style

and we want to have a crack at it. Or

maybe I was in the highlands and loved

the smell of heather, and now I want to

brew a beer with heather. Or maybe

you just want to chuck a load of spices

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

into a beer and see what happens?

That’ll go on the 1-hectalitre kit and if

it does well it’ll move onto the 5 or 10.

And that’s where the brewers really

get going! It goes from making a cup

of tea for yourself to making a pot for

your family. Then, if one of the beers is

selected for a full launch – for example

Hop House or Citra IPA – it goes then

to the big brewhouse, which is the

equivalent of catering a wedding for

300 people!”

pouring at Brew//LDN. Padraig says:

“There was an immediate bonding

when we met the Wolfpack guys I think

– I’m a massive rugby fan, and it ticked

a lot of boxes! They make great lagers,

and we were able to put a Guinness

twist on it by using roast Barley, so the

best of what we both do.” There will

also be a cocoa stout on tap, alongside

a wheat beer, brewed with Guinness’s

house yeast strain, as opposed to a

specific wheat beer yeast.

“The realisation that we could get

those lovely banana, clove, phenolic

aromas from our house yeast is the kind

of discovery that makes Open Gate

such a fun place to work… This year we

plan to do much more barrel ageing;

we’re part of Diageo, so it would be

crazy not to use all the exotic barrels

we can get hold of. We’re also having

a lot of fun in the low and no-alcohol

area, and always have 0.5% beer on the

bar. There’s absolutely never been a

more exciting time to be a beer lover in

Ireland, and by extension there’s never

been a better time to be a brewer. As

jobs go, there’s a lot worse you can do.”

The more people we can

get drinking beer the

better it is for all of us

I’m curious about whether (and

how) Open Gate draws a line between

these more widely distributed, crowdpleasing

beers and the geek-friendly

niche brews on their home taps.

Essentially, does Hop House 13 keep

the lights on, while the brewers get

to indulge their true passion in the

BrewPub? Padraig certainly doesn’t

see it this way, arguing that a quirky,

small-batch beer – far from being the

preserve of the nerds – is often the best

gateway into the wider world of beer

appreciation. It’s very egalitarian.

“A lot of our customers might not be

‘beer drinkers’,” he says, cryptically.

“For us, everyone is a beer drinker, even

if they’ve not yet found the beer for

them, so we always try to keep the tap

list as varied as we can. There’ll always

be an IPA, a sour, an experimental

stout. But if you’re not really into beer,

what do you drink? You might really

like a white wine, in which case try our

Belgian saison. You enjoy gin and tonic

– well how about a botanical ale? If

you’ve only ever tried bad lager, it’s not

that you don’t like beer, you just don’t

like bad lager!”

With the might of Guinness at its

back, Padraig seems to see part of

Open Gate’s role as advocating for

the sector as a whole. This is certainly

reflected in the way the brewery has

worked with its peers, both in terms

of keeping good local brewers on tap

in the BrewPub, but also engaging in

collaborations with its national and

international peers.

“We get our friends’ beers pouring,

and get these great local beers in front

of our customers. When you’ve got

tourists coming into the bar as well, it’s

nice to be able to showcase other great

Irish brewers, so hopefully during their

time in Ireland they’ll be able to seek

out some more local beers. I strongly

believe a rising tide floats all boats, so

the more people we can get drinking

beer the better it is for all of us.

“Dot Beer around the corner from us

have always been great; Shane is doing

some really interesting things with

barrel ageing. Four Provinces is about

a mile away, which makes a fantastic

porter we always have on the taps for

St Patrick’s Day. Heaney Brewing, which

is a relatively new brewery in Northern

Ireland, poured with us on International

Stout Day.”

One of Open Gate’s brewing

collaborations – a dark lager with

Ferment favourites Wolf Pack – will be

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TALES OF THE RIVERBANK

CITY GUIDE

WORDS: Anthony Gladman

London was the most searchedfor

city on Untappd last year.

This reflects the sheer number

of options on offer in this world-class

beer city. It has pubs aplenty from

backstreet boozers to high-street and

High Victorian, plus more taprooms

and breweries opening all the time.

You can find all manner of

environments in which to wet your

whistle here. Many visitors come

hoping for some gor-blimey Dickensian

charm — and there’s lots of that to be

had, with varying levels of authenticity.

But if you’re up for a different kind of

drinking experience you should make a

THE DOVE

beeline for the shoreline.

There is something special about

drinking by a body of water, especially

in London where the River Thames is

an oasis of peace among the capital’s

clamour. Pints drunk by the riverside are

altogether different to the ones we sink

surrounded by a sea of concrete and

asphalt.

Perhaps it’s the proximity to

something natural, something bigger

than ourselves, something timeless. Or

perhaps it’s just the change of scene

that makes the beer taste better. Either

way, here are some of London’s best

spots for waterside refreshment.

PUBS AND BARS

THE DOVE

19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA

This cosy Fuller’s pub, a short way

west of Hammersmith Bridge, offers

the quintessential London riverside

drinking experience. There are few

better places to relax with a pint and

watch the river flow slowly by, washing

your cares away.

The Dove is a welcoming, working

pub with just the right amount

of history thrown in. It gives the

impression of having been boiled

down by half, thereby concentrating

the pubbiness of what was left behind.

The front bar is reputed to be the

smallest in Britain. (A way of paying

less tax, apparently.) And there is an

ample supply of nooks and crannies to

squeeze into with your mates, or just a

pint and a good book.

CRATE BREWERY

Unit 7 Queen’s Yard,

Hackney Wick, E9 5EN

Drinking by the river in London usually

means pubs, and usually means the

Thames. But it doesn’t have to. How

about a taproom by the River Lea

instead?

Crate Brewery’s taproom is housed

in a building, once a former squat, that

CRATE BREWERY TAPROOM

was used in the past to produce porn

and counterfeit money. Now it puts

out craft beer and stone-baked pizza

instead.

A good range of guest beers pour

alongside Crate’s own offerings.

There’s some decent wine and

cocktails from the Alfred le Roy

narrowboat which is moored outside.

There’s lots on offer at Crate

besides the booze. You can take

in live music and events at Mick’s

Garage plus there’s Silo, a zero-waste

restaurant.

THE MAYFLOWER PUB

117 Rotherhithe St, SE16 4NF

You’ll find the Mayflower tucked

THE MAYFLOWER PUB

away down a cobbled alley among

the old wharves and warehouses of

Rotherhithe. It is named after the

Pilgrim Father’s Mayflower ship, which

moored nearby in 1620 before setting

sail across the Atlantic.

The pub has kept some connections

to the states: you can buy US postage

stamps at the bar, and there’s a book

which descendants of the Pilgrim

Fathers can sign.

Underneath its quaint wooden decor

and historical charm, the Mayflower

is at heart a properly-run pub offering

a warm welcome, well-kept beer

and good food. This is not the only

pub claiming to be the oldest on the

Thames, but it is perhaps the best.

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LONDON’S RIVERSIDE GUIDE

LONDON CRAFT BEER CRUISE

WHAT TO DO IN THE

RIVERSIDE AREA

LONDON CRAFT

BEER CRUISE

The London Craft Beer Cruise offers

something a bit different to the usual

railway arches and industrial estates.

Drinkers can while away a pleasant

afternoon chugging along the Thames,

taking in familiar landmarks from

unfamiliar angles while they taste

beers from the best of the city’s

breweries.

You’ll get five drinks included

in the ticket price, plus a souvenir

tasting glass to take home when you

disembark. And if you want to take

on some ballast you can pre-order a

cheeseboard, expertly matched to your

beer by the on-board beer sommeliers.

The organisers take care to keep this

a chilled affair. Large groups of lads on

the lash will be turned away.

TATE MODERN

An art gallery might seem an unlikely

destination for those in need of a pint,

but the Tate has been serving a good

selection of craft beers for a while

now.

If your South Bank culture fix has

left you thirsty, head to the Terrace

Bar where you will find beers from

passionate and innovative breweries

across the British Isles.

The Tate also hosts regular tap

takeovers on the last Thursday of each

month. The line up for 2020 kicks off

with Cloudwater in January, and will

also feature Burnt Mill, Wylam, North

and Verdant among others.

TATE MODERN

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GOING • GOING • GOING

There are a lot of breweries

in London: 126 at the time of

writing this article (according to

the ever-useful resource, beerguideldn.

com). Some of these are immediately

obvious. The Kernel for example, is

perhaps the most important brewery

to emerge in the UK within the past

decade. Pressure Drop, shacked

up with Verdant at their bar, The

Experiment, is another one of the

(deservedly) hyped-few. Five Points is

a further example of a brewery that

A Londoner of almost 15 years, Matthew Curtis

is something of an evangelist when it comes to the

capital’s beer scene. Here, he shines a light on some

breweries that he feels don’t get enough of the

attention they deserve.

has captured a lot of attention recently,

notably due to their excellent cask ales,

served in perfect condition at their

Hackney pub, The Pembury Tavern.

But to consider a handful of headline

grabbing beer-makers is to merely

scratch at the surface of the brewing

riches London so dearly clings to. I

worry that so much talent within the

capital’s beer scene goes unnoticed.

This attitude may exist because a

few years ago people were put off

by the occasional sub-par beer, and

subsequently haven’t experienced

the vast improvements the majority of

London’s breweries have made to their

quality control as they’ve expanded

and invested in their people and

processes. Or it might be our fault for

not shouting about them enough.

And that’s what I’m going to do

here. My word count is limited, so I

can’t tell you about all of the amazing

breweries here in London. But this is

as good a starting point as any, and

you’ll be ready to get the full London

experience next time you visit us. Here

is a selection of some of my favourite

London breweries I feel fly under the

radar, and are far more deserving of

your immediate attention.

ANSPACH & HOBDAY

Anspach & Hobday is a brewery

that has never been interested in

following trends. Sat near the start

of the Bermondsey Beer Mile (their

taproom will remain here despite

production being relocated to

Croydon due to an expansion in 2019)

this is not a taproom you come to for

the latest DDH juice-grenade. And

while hoppier beers do appear on the

menu, so do wonderful interpretations

of German styles such as rauchbier

and hefeweizen. Belgian-influenced

beers such as the aforementioned

patersbier also often feature, as do

some of the most incredible porters,

stouts and more recently a sublime

bitter. If you’re lucky enough to visit

over Christmas you’ll get to try their

seasonal Pfeffernüsse Saison, spiced

to taste just like the German festive

treat.

I recently sat down with brewery

co-founder Paul Anspach and after

finishing a glass of their excellent

Belgian-style pale, The Patersbier,

I told him I didn’t drink enough of

his beers. Unsurprisingly he agreed

with me. Honestly I could wax lyrical

about Anspach & Hobday’s beers for

the entirety of this article—and that’s

before I even mention their barrelaged,

Brettanomyces fermented

beers. Next time you’re in London do

yourself a favour and pay them a visit,

it might just surprise you.

MONDO BREWING

COMPANY

Mondo quite possibly has one of

the best taprooms in London. It’s far

easier to visit than you might imagine,

too. Take a quick walk from Oval

station on the Northern Line and

you’re there (although if you’re really

lazy you can jump on the P6 bus,

which stops right outside). If you’ve

been to a few London taprooms

before you might be surprised when

you arrive at this cosy little spot,

complete with windows that allow you

to look right into the brewery itself.

It’s even heated, and there’s nary a

railway arch in sight.

That’s not all that might surprise

you here—Mondo has been working

hard behind the scenes to hone its

offering, which includes a complete

rebrand as well as dialling in core

recipes. And for the tickers there’s

plenty of new ones to contend with.

Start with a glass of Dennis Hopp’r;

Mondo’s flagship West Coast pale will

take you straight back to 2012 (or,

if you’re an optimist like me ground

you in 2020) with its snappy, clean

hit of grapefruit and navel orange.

After that, if you’re feeling a little

more adventurous, why not move on

to an IPA such as Flute Logic, or the

excellent It’s A Trap tripel. Whichever

way you decide to go, it’s likely you’ll

be more than pleasantly surprised

when you do.

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GOING UNDERGROUND

CANOPY BEER CO

While much of London’s beer scene is

overlooked, perhaps no part is more

so than South London—yes, beer

south of the river does extend beyond

Bermondsey. Among breweries like

Orbit in Kennington and Villages in

Deptford is Herne Hill’s Canopy Beer

Company. Established in 2014 by Estelle

and Matthew Theobalds, Canopy

provides a touch of easy-going, family

friendly vibes to an otherwise busy

London scene. In fact easy-going is the

perfect way to describe this little corner

of South London, which feels a world

away from the bustle of Hackney or the

aforementioned, eponymous beer mile.

If you want to drink as the locals do

then Brockwell IPA is what you should

order. This bright and citrusy pale is

beautifully balanced, with chewy malts

that make it somewhat reminiscent

of the classic Sierra Nevada Pale

Ale. There’s often a few slightly more

experimental brews on the menu too:

imperial stouts infused with amaretti

biscuits or raspberries and cacao nibs

for example. What’s even better is the

taproom is right around the corner from

a branch of the famous Morley’s Fried

Chicken, another essential visit when

you’re in this part of town. Get yourself

down to Herne Hill if you desire some

tasty beer and seriously chill vibes.

HACKNEY BREWERY

If any London brewery deserves

more hype and attention than they

currently get, then it must be East

London’s Hackney Brewery. It’s hard

to believe that the brewery is close to

being a decade old. Founded in 2011

by friends Peter Hills and Jon Swain,

Hackney initially attempted to build

itself a reputation on the back of more

traditional beers, typically served on

cask. It was when they decided to kick

this idea squarely out of the window

and into the adjacent Regent’s Canal

that things really kicked into gear for

them.

Hackney Brewery in 2020 is

unrecognisable to the brewery they

were when they first started out.

Now you’ll find intensely hopped

IPAs, gloriously tart fruited-gose and

luxurious, indulgent imperial stouts

among its range—all neatly wrapped

up in some gloriously modern and

colourful can artwork. They’ve made

some cool friends too, spearheading

2019’s Skyline project, which saw a

host of breweries from New York City

such as Finback, Interboro and KCBC

collaborate with some of the UK’s

finest. This project is perhaps proving

the scale of this little East London

brewery's influence, most of which is

down to the excellent beer they are

making these days.

BEST OF THE REST

Even if you consider these breweries

next time you visit us here in London,

there is still a ridiculous amount of

brewing riches to indulge yourself in,

so while you’re at it don’t miss Affinity,

Brick, Exale, Wild Card, Signature

Brew, Villages, and let’s be honest,

many, many more. I guess you’ll just

need to visit us again real soon...

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MEMBERS’

BOTTLE SHARE

This month’s bottle share takes

place in the very cool Goose

Island Brewpub in Shoreditch,

London. The ingredients are all here: 12

Beer52 members, myself, and Mabel, a

manager at the brewpub, and a fountain

of knowledge on Chicago’s Goose

Island and its beers.

Mabel talks us all through the first

beer, which is an absolute delight:

Gillian, an 8.9% saison farmhouse ale,

is a fantastic beer to start the evening

with. It’s blended with strawberries,

honey and white pepper, plus

champagne yeast and Brettanomyces,

and has been partially aged in

Chardonnay barrels. It’s part of the

Goose Island ‘Sour Sister’ range, and

legend has it that the beer is named

after Gillian Anderson of The X-Files

GOOSE ISLAND BREWPUB

222 Shoreditch High St,

Hackney, London E1 6PJ

WORDS: Siobhan Hewison

fame, who used to work at the Goose

Island brewpub back in the day.

The group is rather impressed by

this very special beer. Mabel explains

she often recommends it to wine and

cider drinkers, and it’s no surprise; the

smell is much sweeter than the taste,

which is balanced by the sourness,

the spiciness from the white pepper

on the aftertaste, and the dryness and

effervescence from the champagne

yeast. Ruairi comments that he’s not

usually a sour beer drinker, but he finds

this one very accessible and palatable,

as did Daniela, and everyone enjoys the

pleasant fusion of tastes. Opinion is

divided on how much you could drink of

this beer though; myself, Ryan and Tom

feel a small measure was enough, but

some of the others make a beeline for

the leftovers.

The second beer of the evening is

Boxcar’s Home Over There, a hazy IPA

which I purchased from the wonderful

Kill the Cat bottle shop and bar on

Brick Lane. Ryan, Tom and Nick say it’s

the kind of beer they love to drink all

night, so it’s safe to say that this one is a

crowd-pleaser. It’s juicy, refreshing, and

very full-bodied thanks to the addition

of oats. Ruairi says it’s “light and really

smooth,” and, as Mike comments, it

would be “perfect for the summer”.

The third beer of the evening – also

purchased from Kill the Cat – is from

The Kernel, one of the most revered

breweries in London. I chose the

Biere de Saison Goldings, which is

barrel-aged and comes in at a very

reasonable 5% ABV. The dry-hopping

with Goldings, one of the quintessential

British hops, gives the beer a lovely

bitter-sweet aroma, and the mixed

fermentation brewing style gives it a

pleasant tang and gentle funkiness.

Alex comments that it’s “lovely, sharp

and a little bit sexy” which is quite

possibly the best description of a beer

I’ve ever heard. There are a couple of

naysayers in the group who think it’s

good, but that it isn’t for them because

it’s very sour. Chat then descends into

comparisons between this saison and

Gillian, the Goose Island saison, and the

qualities of each that everyone liked,

which is the kind of nerdy in-depth chat

that I am *here for*.

Biere de Saison Goldings

from Kernel is “lovely, sharp

and a little bit sexy”

Next up is another special beer from

Goose Island, with a great story behind

it, which Mabel very expertly talks us

through. Obadiah Poundage, a 6.5%

porter, was brewed with Wimbledon

Brewery alongside Brewmaster Derek

Prentice (who has decades of brewing

knowledge after a career working with

the greats such as Truman’s, Fuller’s and

Young’s breweries), and beer historian

and all-round legend Ron Pattinson.

Ron dug up a load of 18th and 19th

century recipes for porters, and the

result was this delightful recreation of

a typical 19th century drink. It’s named

after Obadiah Poundage, the penname

for a brewer in London in the

18th century, whose writing about beer

and brewing is now invaluable. The

beer is a blend of aged porter – with

Brettanomyces yeast for a sour funky

twist (have you spotted the accidental

beer theme yet?) plus hops for the

classic reason of preserving the beer –

and a batch of fresh new porter.

It’s a hit all round, and Ryan and a few

others commented that it’s a little bit

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MEMBERS’ BOTTLE SHARE

smoky in the aftertaste, which is spot

on – the dark malts are definitely very

present. Some, like Ruairi and Lewis,

liked it because it was lighter, more

drinkable and more refreshing than a

standard porter, too. Alex loved this

beer, mostly because of the history, as

she is a historian. She said that “it’s quite

amazing to know you’re drinking a bit

of history,” which is how I felt as well - I

loved that between us Mabel and I were

able to bring such interesting beers to

the group. Mike agreed, and added: “I

liked it, but hearing the story made it so

much cooler”. This beer was definitely

a conversation-starter, since everyone

descended into talking about the beer,

and about the history of beer and

brewing in general, the fact that certain

beers and their stories can teach us so

much about social history, about the

place it has in women’s history, etc.

We rounded off the evening with

a lovely vanilla and coconut porter

called Tuba from Villages Brewery in

the Deptford area of South London,

which I picked up at Clapton Craft, a

great independent bottle shop. It was

a perfect beer to end the evening on,

as it was rich and comforting, smooth,

and not too sweet - the vanilla and

coconut flavours were present but

subtle. It was Daniela’s favourite beer

of the evening, but then everyone had

a different favourite - tastes among

the group were varied, but it seemed

that everyone enjoyed all the beers,

which is always good. Tom and Nick

even tried to arrange the bottles in

order of preference but found it difficult

since “they were all so distinct,” which

is certainly what I aim for with these

events. It was a great evening full of fun,

intelligent chat, and one of the most

memorable bottle shares I have hosted

for Ferment magazine!

38 FERMENT MAGAZINE

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WORDS: Anthony Gladman

o here we are: the 2020s. The millennium

is not new anymore. The 21st century is

not new anymore. Craft beer is not new

anymore.

As the sector matures, the era of impish

upstarts kicking at the shins of big beer is

receding. What drinkers want now is consistency

and quality, as well as flavour and independence.

This has led some of the more established

craft brewers to look less like overgrown homebrewers

and more like the bigger brewers

they once scoffed at: quality control, standard

operating procedures, all the stuff that makes

beer good to drink and safe to brew. These are

positive, necessary things.

But there remains a restless spirit in British

brewing that pulls our most talented brewers in

two different directions. One is all about growth

and control; technical brewing that leads to

predictable results and clean consistent beer.

The other is about staying smaller, giving up

control and instead embracing the unique and

unpredictable results that come from mixed or

spontaneous fermentation; wild brewing that

leads to untamed, sour beers.

To brewers who have learned through years of

training to avoid contaminating beer at all costs,

taking the second path can seem like a wild

gamble.

"You're breaking every rule," says James

Rylance, head of Harbour's R&D project,

Hinterland. "Everything that you can think of,

you're trying to do the opposite and it's terrifying

the first time."

James is responsible for making wild

beers using Hinterland's coolship — a

wide, shallow, open-topped vessel used

to cool wort before fermentation.

Picture a stainless steel paddling pool.

These are more commonly seen in the

lambic breweries of Brussels, which use

very different methods to those most

brewers learn here in the UK.

"You're boiling with shitloads of really

stanky old hops. Then you're hot-side

aerating it, which is never good. And

then you're leaving it in an open tank,

which is a terrible idea."

Lambic brewers don't add yeast to their beer.

Instead they leave it in their coolships overnight,

allowing the wild yeasts and other bacteria that

are present in the environment to settle on its

surface and ferment it spontaneously. This is the

bit that really gives technical brewers the jitters.

"Every bone in my brewing body was like: stop

it, stop it, stop doing that," says James.

Far from stopping, a growing number of British

brewers are ploughing ahead. Harbour is neither

the first nor the only UK brewery to invest in its

own coolship. There are now 10 in all — including

well-known names such as Burning Sky, Wild

Beer Co and BrewDog's Overworks project —

with more planned for 2020 and beyond.

"Everyone who does it tends to be pretty

idiosyncratic," says James. "It attracts people who

are outside of the normal beer world, or what

you expect a brewer to be."

Brewing like this is definitely not a commercial

decision. The beers may command a high price

but require more time and effort to make and

occupy a tiny niche at the top end of the market.

If anything it's a vocation. But then brewers are

every bit as susceptible as drinkers to getting

swept up in wild beer's romance.

"There's a dream beer in my head somewhere

that I've been trying to get to my whole career,"

says James. "It's a four-and-a-half, five percent

saison. Mixed ferm. Little bit bready."

He describes a beer refreshing enough to

drink by the pint and enjoy without having to

think about it, but complex enough that if you

wanted you could nurse it for ages. "It's super

drinkable but enriching at the same time and

that's an almost impossible thing to achieve."

One of James's early coolship experiments

tilted at this beery windmill. He started with a

spontaneous fermentation then added saison

yeast to adjust the character of the beer. The

result was more saison than lambic, but with a

background hum of subtle complexity, like music

being played far away.

This sort of freewheeling experimentation

is what makes wild beers so interesting, for

drinkers and brewers alike. "I would have given

up brewing ages ago if I didn't get to do this," says

James. "Production's boring as shit."

By production James means technical,

repetitive brewing. Churning out the likes of

Gamma Ray over and over again, many times

per week, with the aim of everything tasting the

same.

"What's interesting is bigger breweries still

hold on to the same branded narrative they

originally started out with, but they're factories.

They're literally just factories and it's factory

work," says James.

For Burning Sky’s Mark Tranter, one of the

UK's coolship pioneers, production brewing also

became a frustrating experience. Although he

remains proud of his previous achievements at

Dark Star, in the end he felt the need to move on

so he could follow his own path.

Wild brewing was an itch that grew until he

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LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE

could no longer avoid scratching it. “It's just

being interested in something isn't it? It's like the

hobbyist mentality. It’s not a route to go down if

you want to make loads of money.”

Burning Sky's coolship lies just beneath

the roof of a grade-two listed barn in the

Sussex village of Firle. It sits amid a specially

constructed oak frame from which old barrel

staves hang, suspended above the beer like the

mobile above a baby's crib.

The idea behind this odd display is that steam

rising from the cooling wort will settle on these

staves, which play host to a range of yeasts and

bugs from the beers the barrels once held. The

steam will pick up some of these microbes as it

condenses back into water droplets again, then

ferry them down into the coolship below. In this

way, Mark hopes to encourage the growth of a

house culture that gives his beers a recognisable

Burning Sky flavour.

This is about as far from production brewing

as you can get. “We're one of a number of people

who are happy to be a bit smaller," says Mark.

"We're beer first, business second. To do what we

do, on paper, is completely stupid. With all the

space we've got we could make a lot more beer

quickly, and sell a lot more beer, and make a lot

more money. But then you just become another

factory.”

Burning Sky released its first coolship beer in

2018. The second followed in 2019, along with a

set of collaboration beers, called Four Friends,

that saw a base beer spend the night in Burning

Sky's coolship before heading into barrels from

Mills Brewing, Olivers Cider and The Kernel

Brewery.

Fans have met these beers with great

enthusiasm, but go beyond social media, where

their appeal is amplified, and you will find plenty

of drinkers who have never tried a sour beer,

never heard of Burning Sky.

Mark himself is among the first to recognise

these beers are not for everyone. "You need to

enjoy beers of a certain nature to enjoy these,"

he says.

Indeed it's only in the last few years that

enough drinkers have developed a taste for sour

beer to support this growing end of the market.

One of the most recent breweries to install

a coolship is Saint Mars of the Desert, based

in Sheffield. The brewery may be new, but the

brewer is not. Dann Paquette has been making

beer since 1992.

Dann recalls an occasion working for the

North East Brewing Company in Boston,

Massachusetts, in the 1990s. He had been

brewing sour beer there and ageing it in wine

barrels since late 1996. "I remember bringing

a beer that we called a kriek to the Great

American Beer Festival in '98 and it was the only

sour beer there. It was interesting. The festival

organisers had to move a trash can in front of our

booth so people could dump their beer. That's

what it's like to actually innovate: people spit out

your beer."

Except it wasn't really innovation. Kriek wasn't

invented in 1998. And while the current wave

of coolship brewing in Britain may appear to

be an exciting new departure for our brewers,

coolships are not new to these lands. It may

feel as though our beer culture is finally making

strides into an arena long dominated by others

across the water, but coolships are not an exotic

Belgian import, despite what Cantillon fanboys

may tell you.

Coolships have been around since medieval

times. Before the invention of modern heat

exchangers, breweries the world over would

have routinely employed this equipment, not for

souring beer but simply for cooling wort before it

ferments. Coolships were no more unusual than

a brewery's mash tun or its kettle.

Schematic drawings of the old Truman's

Brewery on London's Brick Lane show coolships

installed under the roof. These remained in use

until the late 1960s at least. Elgood's brewery in

Wisbech kept theirs going until 1994.

“There are probably less coolships in use right

now than there ever have been,” says Dann. “In

the '90s there was a brewery closing in Germany

every week. Those were probably all coolship

breweries.”

"If you go to Franconia, it's part of a

brewhouse that would have existed probably

until the 1940s or '50s," Dann explains. "It

happens to have this particular other use for

lambic but far and away most of the people

who are using coolships today I would

imagine are lager breweries in Germany.”

Indeed, coolships are of particular use

to lager brewers. They allow sediment to

separate out from the beer, making

it clearer, and unwanted flavour

compounds to evaporate away,

making it taste cleaner.

In Sheffield, Dann is

using his coolship to

brew lagers, and also

NEIPAs. He adds

hops to the beers while

they are in the coolship

instead of using a hopback

because he believes

it results in a cleaner

beer that displays less of

the sweetcorn-smelling

compound, DMS, that can

plague other beers.

And back in Cornwall,

at Harbour, James is also

experimenting: "The way

I approach my coolship

work isn't traditional. I use

42 FERMENT MAGAZINE

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my coolship for all sorts of different stuff. It's not

just a piece of equipment that must work within

a lambic structure. I'm not making lambic."

What we're really seeing here are two trends

that are closely related, but still not completely

tied together. On the one hand, there's the

coolship itself. What's interesting about this

equipment is what it can allow brewers to do.

And on the other, there's the growth of

experimental sour beer that sits at the high

end of the market. Much of this is brewed in

a coolship, certainly, but as we've seen not

everything brewed in this way has to be sour.

Moreover, some of the best wild beers haven't

been through a coolship at all.

At Mills Brewing, brewer Jonny

Mills uses an old dairy tank: "It's just

a big stainless steel pot we happened

to come across. For us it was more

what we could get for free when we

started, but it works absolutely fine: it's

an open vessel that things can fall into

and inoculate the wort."

Two decades after drinkers at the

GABF spat out Dann's kriek, sour

beers are in vogue. Bottles of Mills

beer generally sell out as soon as

they hit the shelves. “When we were

thinking about our business plan, I

hadn't foreseen the market getting

to this point this quickly in the UK,”

says Jonny. He had expected to rely

on exports to keep the lights on, but

instead found more demand here in the

UK than he is able to meet.

Sour beer today stands as a counterpoint

to the hazy hegemony that has swept through

craft brewing. “Breweries in the UK market and

across the world all look the same,” says James,

with some feeling. “Everyone's making hazy IPAs

in 440ml cans that could be from anywhere.

Mixed fermentation work does give something

very specific of being from a place and having an

identity that can't be copied.”

James feels there is a need for idiosyncratic

beers that are, in his words, a bit weird and

wonky. “There's a lot to be said for cutting your

own path,” he says. “I think you see that for

example with Mills beers. They've caught the

imagination because they're so of their place.”

Britain's wild brewers have produced some

excellent beers over the last few years, some of

which resemble lambic more closely than others.

But the ones that seem particularly important are

those that depart from Belgian influences and

develop the style. For example the beer-cider

hybrids that Jonny has made with Tom Oliver:

Foxbic and Lambinett. And perhaps also the

beers from the Four Friends collection.

It is through such beers that we might see

the emergence of something new, exciting and

uniquely British. “I hope that the British scene

finds its own identity instead of just making

versions of Belgian lambics," says James. "This

is a part of the brewing culture that has always

been there that was lost.”

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Whatever the truth though, the

boilermaker remains a serve with a real

sense of history. Simple it may be, but it is

much greater than the sum of its parts; it is

a celebration, a ritual, a reward after a hard

day of work. That’s something we can all

enjoy.

Kirsten Jarin (brand ambassador)

Make mine a boilermaker

The boilermaker is a truly classic serve,

traditionally enjoyed by manual workers

at the end of a gruelling shift; a shot of

whiskey, paired with a glass of cold beer,

each sipped in turn to reveal their hidden

depths. Naturally, the exact origins of the

drink itself are murky, but it is believed its

name pays homage to the US workers who

built and maintained steam locomotives in

the 1800s. The combination of beer and

whiskey was an easy choice of drink that fast

became a staple.

However, this is not the only story of

how the boilermaker came to find its name.

Another tells us of Richard Trevitchik of

Cornwall, who – legend has it – was testing

his design for a steam-powered vehicle

on Christmas Eve, 1801. Once the vehicle

successfully climbed the village’s steep

hill, he took his team and friends out for a

whiskey and beer.

Such was his excitement though, that

Trevitchik forgot to douse the fire inside the

machine’s boiler, and when he returned –

possibly a little tipsy – it had been reduced to

ashes. They blamed it on the shot and beer

combo he was drinking, and the boilermaker

was born.

How to make the perfect boilermaker

Fundamentally, the most important rule

for making the perfect boilermaker is to

go for flavours you like. There is no right

and wrong. This serve is meant to bring

maximum satisfaction with minimum fuss.

That notwithstanding, we teamed with Bulleit

Bourbon brand ambassador Kirsten Jarin, to

put together three great pairings using beers

you’ll find at Brew//LDN.

“We always encourage everyone to enjoy

their Bulleit Whiskey with any beer they

prefer. If you wish to enjoy a Bulleit 10, with

an amber ale, please do so. The Bulleit Team

(through extensive ‘research’) recommend

these styles of beers with our varying Bulleit

expressions, but it’s always subjective.

“My only other advice is to enjoy

boilermakers with friends! Experiment with

your Bulleit whiskey and see what beers

you think pair best. Commemorate a hard

day’s work, use the time to reflect on your

achievements. Here at the Bulleit team,

we’d love to see photos of people enjoying a

Bulleit and beer moment @bulleitwhiskey.”

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

BULLEIT BOURBON X WOLFPACK LAGER

The subtlety and complexity of Bulleit

Bourbon comes from its unique blend of

rye, corn, and barley malt, an exclusive

yeast strain and Kentucky’s pure limestone

filtered water. Due to its especially high rye

content (around 30%), Bulleit Bourbon has

a bold, spicy character with a finish that's

distinctively clean and smooth.

Kirsten says:

“Bulleit Bourbon is a corn-led whiskey,

which also has a high portion of rye in the

mash bill. Therefore, you’ll need a beer that

has some weight to it and decent amount

of flavour. Bourbon and an American red

ale are an excellent pairing, for example,

while lighter styles of beers with little hop

character – such as a pilsner or lager – fare

well with Bulleit Bourbon, as it balances out

the whiskey’s rich corn body and allow its

sweet, spicy character to shine.”

Our pairing recommendation

Wolfpack has long been one of our favourite

lagers, and we think it goes brilliantly with

Bulleit’s flagship expression. Brewed in the

true Bohemian style, it’s clean, light and

malty with a crisp kick of spice, all of which

play very nicely with the smoother spice of

Bulleit.

BULLEIT RYE X ORA PANARO

Bulleit Rye is made with a mash bill of 95%

rye and 5% malted barley. This whiskey is

known for its peppery properties, hints of

allspice, leading to woody cinnamon, clove

and vanilla notes. It makes sense to pair this

bold style with a full-bodied IPA, a style of

beer which is rich in hop flavour and will

help enhance the predominant spicy notes of

this whiskey.

Kirsten says:

“Our Bulleit Rye has a peppery bite with

notes of allspice and cinnamon, an IPA

(India Pale Ale) is usually a hoppy, flavourful

beast. This style has bags of flavours with

a malt backbone, and really enhances the

flavours of Rye. Blonde ales i.e. wheat beers

tend to pair well with spicy flavours, as they

are usually light and fruity. The allspice

characteristics of Bulleit Rye are palpable

when you enjoy a blonde ale alongside it.”

Our pairing recommendation

This London Italian trio have been delighting

the capital’s drinkers for a good few years

now, and we’ve picked their Panaro pale ale

to pair with Bulliet Rye. It’s an old-school

west coast pale, so big on flavour and aroma,

with plenty of pine and resin to stand up to –

and complement – this punchy bourbon.

© Jade Nina Sarkhel

BULLET 10 YEAR OLD X FIVE POiNTS

RAILWAY PORTER

Bulleit 10

This whiskey is aged in charred American

white oak barrels that have been selected

and set aside to age for 10 years. The result is

a special expression of Bulleit that provides

a rich, deep, incredibly flavoursome whiskey,

with notes of caramel toffee and coffee.

Kirsten says:

“Our aged 10-year bourbon is a deep,

toffeed, decadent treat. It’s a whiskey to sip

and savour preferably next to a deep, dark,

rich caramel stout, where many of the same

flavours are commonly prevalent. The rich,

deep tones of a stout really help to bring

out the deep caramel, toffee flavours that

resonate in this whiskey.

Our pairing recommendation

It has to be Five Points Brewing Co’s Railway

Porter. One of the brewery’s very first beers,

and – particularly on cask – one of the very

best porters out there. Smooth and fullbodied,

expect coffee and chocolate in

abundance. Paired with the sweet caramel

oakiness of the bourbon, we also found

cinder toffee and dark fruit coming through.

A real fireplace combo!

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The master of microfauna

Tobias Fischborn, R&D manager, Lallemand

Killer yeast

As well as analysing which sugars the yeast prefers,

and whether it is prone to producing phenolic offflavours

(POF), one of the key characteristics Tobias

records for any strain is whether or not it’s a ‘killer’.

“We have three groups: ‘killer positive’, ‘killer

negative’ and ‘killer neutral’,” Tobias explains. “Yeast

can produce killer toxins, which in nature give them

an advantage, so if they’re all on a grape they can

inhibit the competition. A lot of wine yeasts are

killer positive. There are also killer neutral, which

don’t produce the toxin, but are also not inhibited

by it, and then the killer sensitive strains, which

unfortunately includes most of our brewing strains.

That’s why it’s so complicated if, for example, you

want to do a blend of a beer yeast with a wine yeast.

You can have fantastic flavours, but brewers should

check with their supplier whether the yeast is a

killer strain – otherwise they could run into some

surprises!”

The final basic check is a full genetic profile, which

determines whether the sample is pure, and also

whether it’s already been recorded in the collection.

This baseline genetic profile is also vital for quality

control, and every newly propagated batch of

yeast is checked against it to guard against errors

and variation. Any strain selected for commercial

production will already have been tested for genetic

stability, as strains prone to mutation are considered

too unreliable.

The fine detail

Of course, it’s the fine detail of how a yeast will

perform under specific conditions that determines

whether brewers will want to use it, and to what

types of brew it is best suited. For example, one

test that has become increasingly important is

for glucosidase activity; higher levels mean a

strain should be more effective in processing hop

compounds during biotransformation (an area of

We’ve written a fair bit about the black box

of biochemistry that is yeast, and the

role it plays in transforming hot, sweet

porridge into delicious, tipsy-making beer. But how

much do we really know about the work that goes into

creating the living colonies of microfauna that brewers

rely on so completely? This month’s Beer Boffin can

definitely give us all the answers: Tobias Fischborn is

R&D manager at Lallemand, one of the world’s most

respected suppliers of yeast, bacteria and nutrition

products, to everyone from brewers to biofuel-makers.

First up, it’s important to understand that yeast is

everywhere: on leaves, in soil, on fruit and veg, on

grains and even on our bodies. These tiny singlecelled

organisms belong to the fungi kingdom – along

with mould and mushrooms – and their cellular

structure is relatively sophisticated, with genetic

information contained within a nucleus, just like us.

They’re pretty diverse, with countless strains behaving

in different ways and – from the brewer’s perspective

– giving a different character to the alcohol they

produce.

Sorting through this huge natural diversity and

isolating only the strains that tick all the boxes for

brewing is where Tobias and his team – along with

an international community of fellow researchers,

brewers and institutions - enter the equation.

“At Lallemand, we have extensive culture collection,

containing 2,500 unique strains,” he says. “We keep

a basic characterisation of every strain, so if we’re

looking for a particular characteristic we can refer

to the database to see if we have a strain that would

work. We also get strains from breweries or wineries,

and research institutes – they come to us if they have

an interesting strain that they want to commercialise.

Several of our commercial strains have come from

these relationships, so for example the Bavarian

Classic comes from the Doemans brewing academy.”

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BEER BOFFINS: LALLEMAND

brewing science that has really taken off in the past

couple of years).

Then there’s tolerance to lactic acid or acetic acid.

This has always been an important trait in the biofuel

industry, but the rise of sour beers has really focused

brewers on pH-tolerant yeast strains; Tobias and his

team have just completed a major piece of research

looking at the performance of all of Lallemand’s

commercial strains in different concentrations of

lactic and acetic acid, the results of which should be

published later this year.

Tobias says the craft beer movement has

dramatically changed the kind of characteristics that

brewers look for in their yeast, much as we’ve seen

on the hop side.

“In the old days, all the brewing science was

based on efficiency – making fermentation faster

and more profitable,” he says. “But with the craft

beer movement starting in the US, this changed

completely, with people looking for different flavours

but also different properties of yeasts. Flavour wise,

the hops guys have a lot more published! But yeast

is really coming into focus now, as people realise the

kind of aromas and flavours you can achieve.”

It’s important to understand

that yeast is everywhere: on leaves,

in soil, on fruit and veg, on grains

and even on our bodies

Lallemand works very closely with breweries in

the field, and has a number of technical experts in

each market as a point of direct contact. Whenever

it is planning the launch of a new strain, it will trial it

with trusted breweries to see how it performs in the

‘real world’ environment of a commercial brewery.

“It’s one thing to do that in the lab, but you really

need to see how it performs at a larger scale. So, for

the breweries it’s exciting because they can try all of

our new shit, basically! For us it’s good because we’re

getting lots of data and feedback.”

As well as actively seeking out interesting new

strains though, a huge amount of work has gone into

reassessing that huge culture collection in search of

hidden gems.

“We’re looking for interesting strains that, 20 years

ago, were not that interesting to produce, because

nobody wanted a really funky ale. That’s changed.

You see all of these old strains, like Kveik, which is

a really old traditional Norwegian thing, suddenly

attracting a lot of interest. And also with the rise

of sour beers, so you look for more and more of

these old traditional strains which have a bit more

tolerance to acidity for instance.”

While Kveik and New England yeast are the hot

topics today, Lallemand is already looking to the

future, both in terms of consumer tastes and the role

of cutting edge bioscience.

“We’re working on GMO yeast as well,” he says.

“So we have an example of a strain in the US that

produces lactic acid at the same time. That’s really

exciting, because it potentially removes the need

for lactobacillus, cutting days off fermentation time.

Then in Berkley, they’re producing GMO liquid yeast

that’s able to produce hop flavours. Also vanilla,

banana, raspberry – anything you imagine, we could

potentially produce.”

Catering for tastes in markets all over the world,

Tobias has to keep his finger on the pulse of

what’s happening in each national beer scene and

anticipate their needs.

“Every market has its favourite beer styles, not

just the obvious ones like the UK and Germany.

South America is quite different, for example, with

particularly Brazil and Argentina very focused on

golden ales, as well as their own lager beers. A lot

of countries though just watch what’s happening in

America and copy that!

“We’ve definitely seen lager beers coming back in

craft. I think craft drinkers are getting over the stigma

that lagers once held, but also the brewers simply

have more capacity and better technical knowledge,

which are both very important when you want to

brew lager.

We’re still seeing lots of innovation on ale yeast,

but there is also work being done on bottomfermenting

lager strains, and even ‘hybrid’ yeasts,

which have both ale and lager characteristics.”

With the focus having been on hops for so long, it’s

great to see yeast getting its day in the sun (though

obviously the Belgians have been telling us it’s all

about the yeast for centuries). Driven by the great

science taking place at Lallemand and its network of

peers around the world, brewers can continue to push

the boundaries of taste and aroma, laying new roads

in the craft beer journey we’re all taking together.

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TM

We Brew WIth You.

ABOUT SHEPPY’S CIDER

Sheppy’s Cider is an award-winning

cidermaking company who have been

proudly creating traditional craft blends on their farm in the heart of Somerset for over 200 years.

Take control of the brewing process, exercise your full creativity, and impart the exact

aromatic and flavor qualities you desire. With unparalleled purity and unmatched technical

support, at Lallemand Brewing we take pride in helping you perfect your craft.

It was in 1816 that David Sheppy’s

ancestors picked and pressed

the first batch of apples on their

Somerset farm and the rest, as

they say, is history.

Two centuries later, we’re still

championing the same methods

to make our cider that were used

generations ago, balanced with the

very best of modern technology.

From apple to bottle, our Master

of Cider David Sheppy is involved

with every drop of cider that bears

the Sheppy’s name. Experience,

instinct and knowledge are key

to all our ciders and nothing

leaves the family farm in Somerset

without David Sheppy’s signature

on it – it’s his personal guarantee of

quality and provenance.

Every drop is genuinely crafted

using a mixture of the finest home

grown and locally sourced apples

and naturally occurring wild yeasts.

We are proud to say that we grow,

harvest, press, ferment and bottle

our cider here in Somerset and we

only ever use pure apple juice – we

never use concentrate.

There is no secret recipe. It’s

simply about the experience and

craftsmanship that has come from

over 200 years of knowledge

and cider making, passed down

through six generations of Masters

of Cider.

The Sheppy’s collection of ciders

have been created so that the

discerning drinker – and retailer –

can explore and choose which one

is right for them. Crafted by one

of the oldest cidermakers in the

world, each one represents what

we believe to be best in class.

Our 200-year-old family business

has been winning accolades

both at home and around the

world, including a bevy of Great

Taste, British Cider awards and

International Cider awards proving

that Somerset is still the beating

heart at the middle of the global

craft cider movement.

Sheppy’s is steeped in a cidermaking

tradition that goes back

centuries, making us one of the

oldest cider makers in the world.

We have a healthy respect for

tradition – but that’s not to say

we’re outdated.

This year we have taken the next

step in the Sheppy’s evolution and

brought in new branding for our

Bag in Box range.

Consistent, Reliable

Brewing Yeasts & bacteria

Three Bridges, Bradford-On-Tone, Taunton, Somerset TA4 1ER

www.sheppys-trade.com • 01823 461233 • sales@sheppyscider.com

Wildbrew BACTERIA

All of our ciders are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free friendly.

For more information please contact our sales team.

54 FERMENT MAGAZINE www.lallemandbrewing.com

FERMENT MAGAZINE 55


PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

TAKING

THE BIG DR

One of the big surprises of 2019

was the meteoric growth of

the low/no alcohol segment,

with big, flavoursome, booze-free beers

occupying not only shelf space, but also

the conversations of beer pundits up

and down the country. Founded by Rob

Fink and James Kindred in 2016, Big

Drop has been at the very crest of this

wave, rapidly overturning the bad PR

from decades of awful, chemical-tasting

alcohol-free macro lagers.

Unlike these shoddy pretenders,

Big Drop’s beers have never been

a compromise, matching or even

exceeding their boozy peers on the

taste front. Rob puts this down to the

fact the brewery’s more natural brewing

techniques don’t involve artificially

removing alcohol after fermentation.

“Big Drop does not extract the alcohol

after the beer is brewed, nor does

it limit the fermentation period,” he

says. “This avoids the often-displeasing

tastes and aromas which have blighted

non-alcoholic beer for so long. Instead

through a combination of specific

yeast selection, recipe formulation and

downright clever brewing, we brew our

beer to strength. In other words, it never

gets above 0.5% but we fully ferment

the beer so all the taste and aroma you

expect from great beer is still there.”

P

Rob’s previous career establishing

a successful and disruptive law firm

may have informed his next move. In

2016, aged 38 and having just become

a father, Rob found himself turned off

by the boozy lunch culture of his city

peers and reaching for an alcohol-free

option. Sadly, he was disappointed

by the anaemic brews tucked at the

back of the fridge, but it also made him

wonder whether there might be a gap in

the market.

“Being a bit of a craft beer fan, I

realised that the craft beer ‘revolution’

The craft beer ‘revolution’

seemed to have completely

ignored alcohol-free beer

seemed to have completely ignored

alcohol-free beer. The question I asked

myself was: what if we could do for

alcohol-free beer what craft beer had

done for....beer?”

With zero experience of brewing

or the beer industry, Rob had no

preconceived ideas about what may or

may not be possible. He teamed up with

co-founder James Kindred – a designer

and technologist – to work the problem

in ways an old hand may not even have

considered.

The beers speak for themselves.

Each of the eight core styles is

perfectly balanced, despite the lack

of alcohol, with body and real depth

and complexity of flavour. We’re

particular fans of the Sour and multi

award-winning Citra IPA. Big Drop is

also becoming a prolific collaborator,

harnessing the creativity of some of

the UK’s best ‘regular’ craft breweries

for a low-alcohol market. It’s latest

project was the first of a planned

series, working with beer and food

guru Melissa Cole, as well as Harbour

Brewing, Fyne Ales, Salt Beer Factory

and Fourpure on a box of four pretty

adventurous 440ml cans. Our standout

was the ‘Going Swimmingly’ hibiscus

saison, with Harbour.

Being low-alcohol has also given the

brewery access to some very interesting

opportunities. Take for example its

relationships with Holland & Barrett,

and with Milk & More (beer deliveries

with your morning pint, anyone?).

Big Drop has even participated in a

successful project with residential

dementia patients, designed to tackle

the ‘sundowning’ anxiety that often

manifests in the evening. Replicating

comfortable environments from the

patients’ early lives, one hospital

has built an on-site ‘pub’ serving

alcohol free beer. The experiment has

reportedly been such a success that it

has reduced the need for medication.

As it moves into the next stage of

its international growth, Big Drop is

launching a new look for its bottles

and cans as well as going through

a crowdfunding round. To date the

company has already raised £1.3m from

a small number of private investors

including the founders of Camden

Town Brewery. The brewery isn’t profitmaking

yet, with all revenue going back

into growth and moving the business

closer to break-even and eventual

profitability. According to Big Drop’s

Nick Heath, this approach certainly

seems to be working, with the team

having expanded from 2 to 14 in the

past 12 months, and beer being brewed

in the UK, Sweden and Australia.

As well as a gradual move to cans

(some 60% of Big Drop’s small pack

volume is now canned) the team is

really pushing to get more keg lines.

James Kindred and Rob Fink (the co-founders)

“In my view, 2020 will be the year

of AF on draft,” says Rob. “Sales of

our kegged Citra IPA are increasing

exponentially. Forward-thinking

licensees will attract more trade by

offering more lo/no options because the

target is not necessarily the person who

isn't drinking - it's all the people they

are with who are drinking.”

Nick continues: “Being front and

centre on tap is so much better than

being on the back bar. A lot of pubs

are taking a keg for dry January and

then being amazed how well it sells, so

deciding to keep it on. We’re now on

tap all year round in some places, and

making real inroads with a lot of the

big chains. As we’re the first to really

do this, it’s a bit of a push, but this year

you’re going to see the market really

open up for low and no alcohol beers

on draft, and we’re proud to be at the

forefront of that.”

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timothy

Taylor's

While the whale-chasing world

sips imperial milkshake goses on

Instagram Live, your favourite

brewers are probably drinking a pint of

Landlord in their local. Sparkled, if they’ve

got any sense. Check their profiles and you’re

more likely than ever to see their branded

glasses filled with copper, pin-bright beer; the

acceptable face of trad brewing in a relentlessly

trend-obsessed scene.

WORDS: Katie Mather

“It’s funny that Landlord has become a beer

people drink as sessionable,” says head brewer

Andy Leman, when I ask him about their most

well-known beer gaining something of a cult

status among brewers and drinkers alike. “It

was always regarded as a strong pale ale. We

would never have considered it a session beer.”

There’s a quiet industriousness about

Timothy Taylor’s. Its beers are well loved by

thousands, but there’s no leaning about on

the job. In 2020 it’s got a brand new beer

and a rebrand to get busy with, on top of

maintaining the expected high-quality of

beers like Golden Best and Landlord. Care, as

well as experience, is what makes these beers

the bar staples that they are, and that takes

effort.

Bringing the Storm

“This year we’re launching Hopical Storm, our

first ever commercial kegged beer,” says Andy.

“We trialled it at a few festivals last year, on

cask, and we’ve found the flavours work very

well with carbonation. It gives the hop aromas

a bit of a lift.”

“We class it as a session IPA; East coast in

style, fruity, and modern. At 4% ABV it’s going

to be something you can drink more than one

pint of, and of course we wanted to make sure

it was balanced. While it has a lot of tropical

hop flavours and aromas, we didn’t want to

alienate people who love our traditional,

classic beers with challenging flavours and

bitterness.”

You could easily say then, that Hopical

Storm is Timothy Taylor’s way of acknowledging

that the hop-forward, carbonated trends of

today’s beer industry aren’t going anywhere,

while keeping true to the styles they enjoy. A

brave step, being that the Campaign for Real

Ale — while accepting KeyKeg beers at some

of its festivals — is still steadfastly opposed to

carbonated, kegged beers. The beer world is

changing, and Timothy Taylor’s sees keg, and

hop-forward styles, as progress. Perhaps this is

a larger point than the sum of its parts.

In making Hopical Storm, the brewing

team at Timothy Taylor’s sampled no fewer

than 16 hop varieties over the course of

many painstaking months. Andy explains the

process:

“We brewed a beer with a light base and

then dry hopped it while it was in barrels,

the traditional way. It was extraordinary the

different flavours and aromas every different

hop gave to the beer.”

In the end, Hopical Storm was created

with four specially chosen hops, each picked

because of the unique characteristics they

brought to the Vienna, Cara and Munich malt

brew. Jester was selected for its mango and

passion fruit flavours, Cascade for its famous

grapefruit flavour, Chinook for pineapple and

Ernest for apricot and citrus notes, but also

for its spicy, classic characteristics. Also, as a

pleasing addition to what many class as one

of Britain’s best heritage breweries, every hop

used in the new beer is UK grown.

“We wanted to make a modern style dryhopped

pale ale that’s sessionable as well as

delicious. It will be perfect in the summer, but

this is not a seasonal beer. It’ll be available all

year round, served at eight degrees celsius.”

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TIMOTHY TAYLOR'S

Andy Leman (head brewer)

Dark, delicious times

Amid talk of modern styles and keg dispense,

the future of Timothy Taylor’s is as much

invested in traditional styles as it has ever

been. However, even traditional, old-school

Timothy Taylor's beers are changing to reflect

the modern-day drinker. The rebranding of

dark ale “Ram Tam” to “Landlord Dark” has

already been hotly debated among devotees,

and Andrew is ready for the discussion. He

believes the name change was needed, and

makes a lot more sense.

“The truth is, nobody really knows where

the name “Ram Tam” came from. Originally,

the same beer was made under the name “Old

Ale” — some locals to West Yorkshire still call

it “Old Beer” in fact. People started calling it

“Ram Tam” in about the 1950s, and like I say,

nobody knows why!”

If it seems strange that a traditional

brewery might want to change something

characteristically traditional like a unique beer

name, you might not be thinking about the

wider picture.

“'Ram Tam' is a lovely local name, but

unfortunately further afield it means nothing,”

says Andy. “However, the name 'Landlord'

means a lot to people. And the beer is actually

a dark version of Landlord: Landlord is its

base beer. So, in fact, the name 'Landlord

Dark' just makes a lot of sense. People all

over the country will recognise the beer and

understand what to expect.”

As the saying goes, and as Andy points out:

“It does what it says on the tin.”

Inevitably, the conversation turns to the

other dark beers made by Timothy Taylor’s,

and what the future has in store for them. I

confess my love for their Dark Mild, and Andy

tells me it starts life as Golden Best, another of

my favourites.

“It’s traditional to have two types of mild in

the Pennines, a light and a dark,” he explains.

“Traditionally Mild was always stronger in the

past, so the style doesn’t necessarily mean low

strength, which can confuse some people. It’s

about how the beer has a milder flavour as

compared to bitter.”

This sounds funny to me, being that

nowadays people tend to choose something

like a Landlord as a “milder” choice to any

American or modern-style IPAs on offer. I

tell Andy that, and thankfully, he laughs and

agrees. I ask him what he thinks of the constant

vocal demand for darker beers and dark milds,

and whether he sees Landlord Dark, not a mild

but an old ale, filling this demand.

“The thing is,” he says, “People say they

want dark beers, but when it comes to it, they

don’t drink much of them. It’s great to have the

choice but people tend to have one and then

move back to their usual bitters or pale ales.”

“We do believe there is more interest in dark

beers than there has been in the past 20-30

years though, and we hope Landlord Dark and

our Dark Mild can be beers that people who

are finding they enjoy a dark beer now will

choose.”

It’s comforting, in a way, to hear that a

brewery that’s been making well-loved beers

for over 160 years isn’t above moving with

the times. Bringing new drinkers in and

encouraging people to enjoy beers outside

of their comfort zone is how the scene keeps

afloat. Maintaining age-old traditions and high

quality is how a brewery maintains a sterling

reputation for over a hundred years. If Timothy

Taylor’s can lead the way in doing both

simultaneously and show the beer industry

how both worlds can live together in harmony,

so much the better.

Turns out getting

pulled over by the police

isn’t always bad news

It started as a day much like any other for our

delivery driver. But later that morning, as he was

carefully navigating the A64 with a precious

cargo of Landlord casks, the flashing blue lights

of the North Yorkshire constabulary appeared

in his mirror. He pulled over, fretting about

why the police were stopping him. But rather

than issue a ticket, the officer wanted to order a

delivery of Landlord to the police social club. Is

it the combination of the finest ingredients and

our traditional brewing methods that means

some drinkers go that little bit further for that

arresting taste of Taylor’s?

All for that taste of Taylor’s

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Scholastic

fantastic

Just because students are eschewing cheap binge

boozing doesn’t mean they’ve turned their back

on beer completely, finds Katie Mather

Every generation of young people

is underestimated. No matter

how many times we tell ourselves

we’ll never become those grumbling,

patronising people who looked down

on us when we were exploring what life

was all about, preconceptions are easy to

propagate. The world acts with contempt

towards young people because they aren’t

yet old enough to be hardened cynics.

They still dare to have big ideas about

society, the world and how to change

what’s unfair. As someone on the older

end of the Millennial generation scale, it

worries me how easy it is to slip into the

same slurs I’ve heard my contemporaries

use. Generation Z are nerds. They don’t

drink — they’re too busy making memes

about depression. They don’t socialise

because they’re all introverts. We have

nothing in common. Don’t fall for any of

these statements. They simply are not

true.

One surprising thing you’ll learn

about young people, should you take

the time to get to know some of them, is

that despite the weird tabloid headlines

obsessed with their social habits, quite

a lot of them do actually enjoy drinking.

And they’ve got more in common with

our Millennial crafty habits than you

think. In 2017 I wrote about why young

people are choosing not to drink. While

the stats added up then, two years later

Generation Z has had time to send even

more of its ranks into university and out

into the working world. It turns out they

are drinking. The difference is, actually,

they favour moderation rather than

abstinence.

The only way you can get to know

someone is to listen to them, and around

the country, flourishing university union

beer and cider appreciation societies

are speaking up. You’ll find beer and

cider societies in most large universities,

and some even focus on brewery tours,

pub crawls and homebrewing as well as

drinking and rating the stuff. At Leeds

University Union Real Ale Society, Harry

Oates says there are plenty of reasons

why students are joining groups like his.

“There seems to be a steady influx of

people coming into uni who already have

an interest in beer, but maybe have only

ever tried the same three of four brands,”

he explains.

“Several of the committee are into

homebrewing, so we're always trying to

find a way to make homebrewing events

happen.”

They’re even making connections with

local breweries too, as Harry explains:

Bad Seed brewery are the best and have

been really good to us. Chris holds one of

our best yearly events at his brewery in

Malton, where he gives us far too much of

his delicious beer! A couple of years ago

we designed and brewed a new beer with

him, which now has a permanent line in

the uni pub.”

For Harry and his LUURAS peers,

the reason for drinking better beer

goes beyond taste, although that’s an

important factor, of course. For them,

ownership comes into question (they’re

iffy about Magic Rock these days after

their acquisition by Lion) as well as caring

about the quality and eco-friendliness of

what they drink.

“For a lot of people, [the fact that]

local beer hasn't travelled as far and

uses local grain is important, as it has

less of a carbon footprint” he says,

“And there's more certainty about

what's gone into the beer.”

As you’d expect, however, university

beer societies are heavily invested in the

social aspect of their remit. Harry finishes

our conversation by reassuring me that

beer for him and his group is the centre

of a social group.

“The best part about the Real Ale

Soc is the community and social circle

you build from it. It's great the way it

brings people together and that's why

I think it's important for the university

to have. Not everyone wants to join

a sports or academic society and it’s

good to have a casual place to make

friends and try new beer.”

Drinking With LURACS

Harry’s words are pretty comforting to

a person who’s been told for years that

the end of the pub as we know it is nigh,

but I wanted to find out for myself how

these sorts of societies work. To do that

I needed to infiltrate their ranks, so I

hung around with the friendly, passionate

young folks of the Lancaster University

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SCHOLASTIC FANTASTIC

Real Ale and Cider Society at one of their

meet-ups in the city centre. It turns out

things are quite different from even just 5

years ago.

What was striking first of all is that

Accidental, a local microbrewery and bar,

opened especially for the group’s meeting,

which is always held on a Tuesday night.

Owners Mike and Michelle Dent were

already manning the bar at 7pm as the

healthy turnout poured through the

door… and then kept pouring. All in all I

counted at least 30 members of LURACS

packed into the tiny wee bar, some in

brewery shirts (spotted: Cloudwater,

Mikkeller, Five Points), some with water,

nearly all with stemmed halves and thirds.

“They’re not coming to get drunk

anymore,” says Michelle after we say

our hellos, and I can see that. There are

plenty of people looking thoughtfully at

the beer list, checking out the fridges, and

tasting each other’s drinks. Mini-groups

have formed at tables and around the

bar. Someone’s chosen some decent but

chilled dance music. Nobody has ordered

any shots.

Lancaster University Real Ale and

Cider Society is run by a seven-person

exec team that includes Charlotte Tuer,

Kathy Dent and Blanca Ruiz; three

women who are very keen to show their

peers just how positive pubs can be. In

fact, using pubs became the club’s main

focus very early on.

“We didn’t actually drink beer when

we started,” says Charlotte, holding twothirds

of Accidental’s latest Americanstyle

pale ale. “We like the social aspect

and then started trying and enjoying new

things. A couple of years ago we thought,

“we could run this! Easy!” and when the

club needed a new chair and treasurer,

we took over. And it’s worked — nobody’s

died so far.”

Charlotte and her co-organisers have

found that the main draw for their club

isn’t the beer and cider aspect at all. It’s

the opportunity to socialise in a lowpressure

situation.

“First of all, we don’t press the real ale

and cider thing. People can come with us

to drink wine if they want. At university

societies, you usually have to partake in

something to get to attend a social, like

join and take part in a sports team. In our

society, every event is a social.”

The former president of the club, Alice

Beswick, was the person who we can

credit with moving the club into a more

social gathering-type scenario and who

welcomed Blanca, Charlotte and Kathy to

beer in the first place. Charlotte explains

that they’re doing everything they can to

continue her good work.

“We want our group to be inclusive

and to share beer with everyone. We’re

no longer CAMRA affiliated, and

despite our name we don’t mind what

you drink. Nobody should feel stupid.

We’re all trying new things.”

“The aim is to bring people to beer

and challenge the idea that it’s stuffy or

for older people. Sometimes it’s nice to

sit and drink with a group of people you

know, and this is less about drinking as

much as you can. Some societies let loose

on their socials but there’s never a feeling

that this is your chance to get hammered.

50% is about drinking, and 50% is about

being with friends.”

The society tries hard to include as

many local pubs as it can, as well as

taking its members on trips to breweries

far and wide. At the time of my visit, trips

were planned to Manchester for a bar

crawl and to Hawkshead Brewery and

Ulverston Brewery, getting members

interested in how beer’s made as well as

how it tastes.

“We base our pub choices on the

quality and reputation of the pubs,” says

Charlotte. “We plan everything about 10

weeks in advance so we know exactly

where we’re going, and some of our

members like to be able to look up which

beers will be on before we get there.”

(Hint to publicans: If you want to attract

young customers, update your beer lists

on Untappd.)

Despite all the good news, I wanted

to know about how many students still

aren’t interested in drinking at all, and

the group’s former treasurer Blanca Ruiz

helped me get some perspective.

“Myself and Charlotte were fresher

reps. Half of the freshers we spoke

to didn’t want to drink or even go out

off-campus. The attitude to drinking has

definitely changed. People who do drink

are more happy to have one or two and

don’t want to get drunk.”

Kathy Dent, co-organiser adds: “We

focus on very nice beers and it doesn’t

make sense to just knock it back. At

£3 a third we want to enjoy what we’re

drinking!”

Charlotte also points out that

education is half the battle. “The intake

of the university has gone up, so by

volume, it’s probably fair to say the same

number of students drink as before. Craft

beer has grown but even for us it wasn’t

something we knew about a couple

of years ago. And lots of students still

don’t really know about it. But things are

changing!”

We base our pub choices

on the quality and

reputation of the pubs

And so they are. As we spoke in the

corner of the bar, a well-groomed man in

a bomber jacket approached with leaflets

advertising an indie horror film festival to

be held in Morecambe, just a few miles

down the road. “There’ll be craft beer,”

he said, before leaving mysteriously. Craft

beer in Morecambe. Whatever next.

Before I leave, I chat with Michelle

Dent, co-owner of the bar we’re in, to ask

her what serving local university students

is like and why they open especially for

them on occasion. In Lancaster, the local

community has a reputation for hating

on the university student population for

various reasons often out of the students’

control (housing, campus sprawl, being

absent during the holidays), and I want to

know what her experience of getting to

know them has been.

“The students are our community. If it

wasn’t for them, Lancaster wouldn’t be

anything,” she says.

“It’s not the same as it’s always been.

They get to know us, and they like that

sense of community. They bring their

families when they come to visit, and

at graduation we got some in with their

parents telling us their grades. It feels like

we’re their local pub away from home.”

As I left I was thinking about how beer

is still the social lubrication it always has

been, it’s just being drunk in a different

context. It’s still being enjoyed in local

pubs, but those pubs might not always

be heritage buildings or serving the

finest cask. Younger drinkers aren’t

necessarily avoiding beer: they’re more

discerning than ever. They won’t be

swayed by gimmicks. Not one of them

I spoke to mentioned a “mainstream”

brand positively. My main takeaway was

this: they like pubs once they are shown

how to use them, and experienced

enough of them to know what’s good and

what’s bad. They want value, quality and

friendliness. In all those ways, they’re not

so different from us, are they?

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

WORDS: Siobhan Hewison

Five years ago, Rob Berezowski

spotted a gap in the market after

a long time spent in the brewing

world - a place where home-brewing

aficionados can brew their own beer on

a 20L kit, with professional assistance,

and without the inconvenience of

brewing at home. And so Brew Club

was born in Hackney, where all you

need to do is show up to realise your

beery dream. You make your beer at

one of their brew stations, then store

it in their temperature-controlled

fermentation room for 2 weeks. Return

to bottle it, take it home, wait another

10 days, and your beer will be naturally

carbonated and ready to drink.

Like the idea, but new to brewing?

That’s okay, since they offer beginners

classes where you can learn the basics

of brewing while making your choice of

an IPA, bitter or stout, on their kit - and

they provide all the ingredients you

might need, show you how to work all

the cool gadgets, and you get to take

home expert knowledge (and your beer

two weeks later!).

Rob opened Brew Club in November

2015 in a warehouse in Clapton, but

relocated to the arches at Bohemia

Place in February 2019. This area

of Hackney is fast becoming a beer

destination in the East area of London,

and their taproom in the arch next

door is popular both with regulars and

people exploring the local beer scene

- it has 10 rotating lines, including

one draft cocktail line (negroni at the

moment!), plus a load of fridge space

packed full of exciting bottles and cans.

Our beginners class

requires no prior

knowledge whatsoever

Rob and Adam Khedheri (Marketing,

and occasional brewing assistant/class

host) both hail from Canada but have

adopted Hackney as their home, and

have decades of experience of brewing

and working in the industry across

the continents. The two of them, plus

Brewery Manager Ian Morton, who

usually teaches the classes and is the

man behind the day-to-day running of

the brewery, have made Brew Club the

success that it is over the last five years.

It all started when Rob got the idea

for Brew Club after the frustration

with the mess and lack of space when

brewing at home in his flat got too

much. There was also the consideration

that people interested in home brewing

might not actually like it after giving it a

try, or might not want to do it regularly

- so coming to Brew Club, instead of

spending a lot of money on a homebrew

kit at the risk of not enjoying it, is

a much more economical alternative.

You can have a go, and if you do decide

it’s for you, you can take it from there.

On a similar note, Adam ran a homebrew

shop in London for a few years,

but eventually became disheartened at

the fact that there wasn’t a big support

network for home brewers, like he was

used to when he still lived in Canada.

So when he got the opportunity to join

Brew Club in March last year, it was a

no-brainer.

With Brew Club, Rob and Adam

have ensured that there’s a mix of

everything they looked for in the

industry, and their visions for home

brewing - a shop, a place to properly

pursue the hobby, and a sense of

community. The way they run the

business is with a primary focus on

enabling people to brew the beer

they want well, and showing people

that it’s not as difficult as they might

think to actually brew beer. They aim

to welcome everyone to the brewing

spaces, both novices and connoisseurs

alike - Rob explains: “a knowledge of

brewing is not necessarily required

since there are always people here to

help - but generally people should have

at least a bit of background knowledge.

Our beginners class requires no prior

knowledge whatsoever, so is a good

place to start.” Adam agrees, and adds:

“we find that most people who come

here want the brewing knowledge too,

not just the beer, so they come to the

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

beginners class first anyway.”

If you go along to brew, you can

bring your own recipe if you already

know what you want to make, but Rob

clarifies that they “offer recipes to

give people some ideas - for example

if they’re not really confident about

creating their own recipes, we’ve got

some tried and tested ones, and they

can take those and modify them into

their own if they like.”

Their kits consist of Braumeister

stainless steel all-in-one vessels, with

all the high-tech accessories you

could need at each Brew Station for

fermentation, and they even have a

station for bottling and capping your

brew.

In terms of ingredients, Brew Club

sells a wide variety of hops, malts, yeast

varieties and adjuncts, but if you have

your own then you can bring them

along if you’d rather. And if you have

your own bottles (about 40 per 20L

brew), you can bring those too for the

bottling day - if not, you can buy them

from Brew Club as well.

At Brew Club, Rob and Adam have

been putting a lot of emphasis on

events over the last year - last autumn

they even had forager John the

Poacher guide a select group of people

on a walk around the Walthamstow

Marshes, to harvest wild hops and

ingredients which were later used in

a brew - and they have regular events

like comedy nights and quizzes at the

taproom, plus DJs every Saturday.

Keep an eye out on their social media

profiles and their website, as they

plan to start hosting regular homebrew

group tastings (as well as already

being the home of the East London

contingent of home-brew club Beer

Boars).

In Rob’s words, Brew Club is “open

to anyone and everyone who wants to

try brewing”. It’s the perfect place to

get your home brewing journey started

- if you’ve never brewed before, it will

give you an idea of what to expect.

And for those more experienced, but

lacking the resources, money or space

to experiment with brewing, it offers a

supportive environment and friendly

community in which to hone your craft

(pun 100% intended).

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Lily Waite asks

whether real art has a

place in the attentiondeficit

carnival of craft

beer branding

I

still remember my first trip

to a bottle shop. Walking into

Favourite Beers in my hometown of

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was

like walking into an obscure sweet

shop: so many brightly coloured

bottles and cans, each bedecked with

a vivid label, and many proclaiming

words I didn’t understand. A few

years later, I’d say I understand most

beer labels (though occasionally, I’m

stumped), but the sea of beer artwork

has grown only more vast.

In the past five years or so, we’ve

seen beer labels turn from simple

logos and slogans to close to signed

and numbered editions, with

breweries working with illustrators,

graphic designers, and fine artists

to create everything from abstract

oil painting to minimalist collage

for labels. Some breweries curate a

series of works by different artists

and designers for a certain series

of beers, some simply stick with

one they work well with, and others

simply design everything in house.

But is it simply a very aesthetically

pleasing, and actually rather

delightful keeping up with

the Joneses that’s driven this

development in branding? Faced

with a fridge of beers displaying

kangaroos, anthropomorphised hops,

or portly gentleman proclaiming to

enjoying ‘moobing it’, what choice

do new brewers and brand managers

have other than to slather their

packaging in the most eye-catching,

exciting manner possible, so as not

to fall by the wayside? That’s one

way to look at it, though a cynical

one. Another is to look at the wealth

of creativity inherent within craft

beer: the innovation, expression,

and idiosyncrasies prevalent within

modern brewing easily translate

to other creative media. Vibrant,

expressive artwork is a natural fit.

“It makes sense that a quality

product that people have spent

time and care making should have

a label that reflects that,” says

Tida Bradshaw, an artist who’s

worked alongside the beer industry

for several years, designing for

breweries such as Affinity Brew Co.

“Most people shop with their eyes,

especially if it's a product that you're

not a total expert on, or know who

the producer is, so it's incredibly

important that the first impression

you have of a product is positive. If

you've gone to the effort of making a

quality beer, why slap a cruddy, halfarsed

label on it?”

Oh, grow up

“I think there has definitely been

parallels with the evolution of craft

beer itself,” says Sienna O’Rourke,

Sales and Marketing Manager at

Pressure Drop Brewing. “If you look

at the development of craft beer and

branding in places where there is no

cask tradition (like Australia, NZ & the

US) it was big and bold right from the

get go - both in flavour and design. Here

in the UK we’re lucky to have a strong,

traditional brewing culture, but I think

it impacted the pace of development

in both the beer and design during the

early days of the craft beer ‘revolution’.

In the last few years it feels like the

door is open, that the people of the

UK are ready for that fluorescent pink

can of Triple IPA. We’re also starting to

see label design as a valuable creative

expression in line with the work of

brewers.”

Pressure Drop, based in North

London, were one of the first breweries

I remember really visually standing

out. With beers such as Pale Fire

and Alligator Tugboat—and their

Hockney-esque and neon pink labels,

respectively—the brewery have long

employed variation amongst their beers’

artworks, as opposed to labels being

created by the same artist.

“Our brand foundation is built to

be like a frame for any artwork to sit

within, so we love to make every label

as different and unique as possible,”

says O’Rourke. “Graham [O’Brien] and I

design a lot of stuff in-house, but we also

work with photographers, illustrators,

painters & visual artists, the variation in

styles is part of our aesthetic.”

Dublin’s Whiplash Brewing, on the

other hand, prefer to employ a more

uniform approach. “The definition

of quality in brewing, to me, is the

reduction in variance or consistency

in the product,” co-founder Alex

Lawes tells me. “I think it’s a natural

extension of that, when you look at all

aspects of your delivery from the beer

to the packaging, having a single artist

or theme to your work.” All bar one

of Whiplash’s beers are designed by

mixed media designer Sophie De Vere,

and predominantly feature colourful

collages on a plain white background, a

strategic choice made by Lawes.

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FEAST YOUR EYES

Surrender to the Void by Sophie De Vere

“When we’d decided to launch

Whiplash, I’d been pretty much

suffering from eye fatigue visiting beer

shops, with the same 10 brands all

lashing straight primary colours at you

in this wash of a visually polluted beer

fridge,” he says. “At that stage I kind

of just wanted to throw a bomb in the

whole thing, so we put out the most

They Live looking label that sat in the

middle of it all, with text on a bare can

saying ‘Surrender to the Void’ complete

with Sophie’s artwork of an elderly

woman on her knees holding a mirror

up to the world. We’ve lightened up a bit

since then.”

Though Whiplash packaged into

cans from their outset, Pressure Drop

only recently switched from bottles.

With a larger working area upon which

for designers to work, cans seem like

the obvious choice, from a visual

perspective, as opposed to bottles. “The

big change for us hasn’t been so much

about the move to cans but in the way

that we release beers, we make a lot of

new ones—all needing artwork,” says

O’Rourke. “Most of our labels were

artist commissions back in the old days,

but we were producing a much smaller

range. We still are collaborating with

artists regularly, most recently with

Kasper Swierczynski for our Beer + Art

label, it’s a really important part of what

we do, but now makes up a smaller

proportion of our labels.”

“The advent of the larger format there

has really helped,” says Lawes, on the

other hand. “In our case when we first

began packaging our beer we were

initially in plain silver cans but quickly

made the move to all white to help give

a clearer canvas for Sophie which she

agrees has really helped. We’re on the

lookout for massive 1L or 2L cans, now—

perhaps for a Rauchwine just to see

what Sophie could deliver.”

Unfined art

Pressure Drop and Whiplash were

among the eight breweries exhibiting at

Tate Modern at the end of November,

as part of Tate’s Beer + Art series, a

collaboration with beer distributor

Pig’s Ears. A set of one-off beers from

some of the UK’s best breweries, and

accompanying artwork, Beer + Art aims

to celebrate this relationship between

brewing and art.

The series, which launched in 2018,

isn’t the first time beer’s found its way

into the Tate Modern – far from it.

“Since 2016, we’ve been doing meet the

brewer and tap takeover events; we’ve

had a beer event going on on a monthly

basis since then,” says Operations

Director Andrew Downs. We were into

craft beer and we wanted it to be a large

part of what we did at Tate, so we got

some great breweries in to start with to

talk about beer, and we had the kind of

‘meet the brewer’ series going on, which

was brilliant. The breweries were quite

excited about being at Tate as a venue,

and we started talking more and more

about introducing those elements into

the beer events. We’ve asked people

to come and bring their art and really

celebrate the design, the illustration,

and the creative process that goes

behind packaging.”

Though my cynical art-school brain

wants to question whether beer and

beer branding stands up alongside

historically important fine art, the rest of

me is quick to quash that thought. The

application of artwork to a consumable

beverage doesn’t in the least undermine

the artistic integrity, and nor does it

if created for a beer label in the first

place.

“It’s a crafted, independent product,

where we at Tate champion creativity,

independence, and quality—particularly

with what we do around food and

beverage, and, some would say, art

generally, as well,” says Downs. “Craft

beer was always the kind of thing that

we wanted to do next to the beverage

sector, because it celebrates all of those

things that we love about independence

and creativity. It’s such an amazing

product. Why wouldn’t you love it?”

Tate aren’t the only institution to

embrace craft beer and work with

breweries. Further down the Southbank,

the National Theatre’s Understudy

is a surprisingly good craft beer bar,

and in New York, MoMA PS1 has run

beer events with local breweries. As

craft beer continues to break into the

mainstream, cultural institutions with

a discerning palate will continue to

embrace the creativity within modern

brewing.

The relationship between beer and

art—arguably my two greatest loves—has

long fascinated me. Seeing breweries

eschew more conventional branding in

favour of ‘higher’ art forms (take a look

at Simon Gane’s illustrations for Burning

Sky, or John Robinson’s Abstract

Expressionist paintings for Boundary

Brewing, if you want to know what I

mean), for me only further cements the

creative integrity of current brewing,

and with it, my love for it. Seeing this

artwork being elevated by a gallery like

the Tate Modern is truly spectacular.

“I think elevation is a good word

for it,” says Lawes. “We were never in

any doubt of the artistic merit of what

Sophie does, but it’s definitely been a

positive for Sophie to show her work

(and meet other artists, in that space)

with an institution we revere like the

Tate.”

“I think the rise in popularity of

craft beer, and those breweries' use

of designed labels has given such

an important platform for so many

illustrators, artists and designers

(including myself) to create work in a

different, new format,” says Bradshaw.

“I think galleries that are starting to

celebrate it as such aren't necessarily

elevating it, but recognising it.”

Beer + Art Series 2019

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Duncan Alexander, 71 Brewing’s

founder and native Dundonian,

left a career in IT to pursue his

brewing dreams in 2016. He was living

in Edinburgh at the time, but saw that

Dundee was one of the only cities of

any size that didn’t have a craft brewery.

Having been through some tough

years, the city was also making general

comeback, with more independent

business, more tourism and, crucially,

the opening of the V&A Dundee. The

decision to open up in his home town was

clear.

Work started on the brewery in 2016

and its first beer – Dundonian Pilsner

– was released at the end of the same

year. As 71’s sales operations manager

Craig Cunningham explains, it started as

a lager-only brewery: “Duncan’s always

had a soft spot for lager, but opening up

in Dundee it really was the obvious thing

to start with. There wasn’t a massive craft

scene here at the time, and it’s the style

that most of the local pubs still buy more

of than anything else. So, it was a foot in

the door, but it also kind of pre-empted

the big resurgence in craft lager that

we’ve seen over the past couple of years.”

Buoyed by the success of its lagers,

the brewery quickly expanded into

limited batches of ales, which became

it’s ‘Blueprint’ series and includes IPAs,

pale ales, sours, stouts and more. While

71 is still largely associated with lagers,

the Blueprint beers are also excellent;

nothing at a crazy ABV and with a clear

focus on drinkability and consistency.

71 has always been quite clear about

its ambitions. Alasdair invested in good

kit up-front, and set up in a big, modern

space that would support future growth.

This is in marked contrast to many craft

breweries, which quickly end up bursting

at the seams as soon as they achieve

any kind of success. And it’s needed the

space; particularly since it installed a new

canning line in 2018, business has really

taken off, with exports to eight European

countries and a major supermarket

contract to fulfil. The newest addition to

the brewery floor has been two enormous

80-hectolitre outdoor fermenters.

One of the most interesting facets of

71 Brewing’s development has been its

prolific collaboration with its national and

international friends. “The collabs have

grown definitely,” confirms Craig. “You’re

kind of isolated up in Scotland, in a way

that you’re not in England. It’s just good to

get out and socialise, or get folk up here,

to network and meet new people. Plus we

can find out what they’re good at, brew

their beer and steal their knowledge!”

By all accounts though, breweries are

practically lining up to collaborate with

71, and the team’s reputation for being

excellent value on a night out is as strong

(and well earned) as the reputation of its

beers.

If there was any remaining risk of

Craig getting lonely though, that was

put to rest last year with the news that

Edinburgh’s Vault City – the red-hot

mixed fermentation acolytes who features

in our Raise the Bar issue last year –

would be taking a permanent residency

under the same 71’s roof. A collaboration

between the (brew)housemates will be

pouring at Brew//LDN, alongside an

imperial dry-hopped pilsner and a host of

other goodies.

Duncan’s always had

a soft spot for lager

The future plan is just to keep

striving; pushing into new markets and

putting some work into the taproom to

capitalise on the success of its legendary

brewery tour, which was last year named

Scotland’s best beer experience.

“The tour is kind of a comedy

experience, rather than just a dry

explanation of what everything does,”

says Craig. “The guys that’s in charge of

them, Ian Clark, he’s a comedian and

wanted to do something a bit more fun.

So he’ll put on the crystal maze theme

tune and drag people round the brewery,

get them to put labels on their heads.

About 82% fact with the rest made up of

comedy and misinformation.

“We’ve always been pretty pragmatic

in terms of how the business is run,

because we’ve wanted to always punch

above our weigh. Unless you’re striving

for something, you end up stagnating and

become quite boring. Got to keep things

fresh and exciting, eh?”

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RECIPES & PHOTOS: Alex Paganelli

FOOD STYLIST: Joshua Noon

A new take on your regular potato salad.

Ingredients:

• Iceberg lettuce

• Spring onions

• Chives

• Wrinkled cut crisps

• Dried wakame

• Seaweed mayo

• Squeeze of lime

• Boiled new potatoes

Method:

Deep fry the dried wakame at 180C

for 1 minute. Pat dry on some kitchen

paper. No need to salt, it’s already very

salty.

In a large bowl, combine all the

ingredients and season to taste. Mix

well and serve immediately, while it’s

still crunchy.

This month I’m giving you recipes around my

favourite ingredient of the moment: seaweed.

It’s such a versatile ingredient, which I use in a

variety of ways. Some seaweeds like wakame

or nori can have a very salty, almost fishy

taste. Whereas Kombu for example has a very

earthy flavour, great in broths and juices.

Feel free to experiment, but to get you going

here are some of my personal favourite things

to do with seaweed.

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A delicious alternative to a boring flatbread.

Kimchi ingredients:

• 20 spring onions

• Kosher salt

• 1 sheet

Kombu seaweed

• 10 garlic cloves

• 1/2 cup of Korean

chilli powder

• 50g of ginger

• 3 tbsp of glutinous

rice flour

• 20g of soy sauce

Method:

Start by cleaning and trimming the

ends of the spring onions. Discard any

parts that may look old and damaged.

The rule is - and that works for any

preserved or fermented product - you

only want to preserve the very best. Any

rotten bits will ruin and contaminate

your batch. So, don’t be worried about

losing a fair bit of the spring onion,

especially the tops. I tend to also

discard the first and sometimes second

layer depending on the thickness, to

keep the freshest part in the centre.

Slice the spring onion in two,

lengthwise, starting about 1cm above

the root. Don’t slice all the way, it’s nice

when the spring onion is still attached

at the base.

Submerge the onions in cold water

and let them bathe for about 20 minutes

to remove as much dirt as possible.

Place in a large colander to get rid of

excess water and pat dry.

Weigh the onions in a bowl and add

roughly 10% salt, making sure the salt is

evenly distributed over the onions. I do

this by hand to make sure the salt really

gets into the layers as much as possible.

Place the salted onions on a rack over a

tray, and cover with cling film. Let them

cure overnight at room temperature.

The next day they will have lost most

of their water and have completely

softened.

Rinse off the excess salt and pat dry

one more time.

For the chilli paste (best to do this

the night before, while the onions are

curing, so it has time to rest in the

fridge), start by heating three cups of

water with a small sheet of Kombu, and

simmer for about 45 minutes or until it

has reduced by half. Discard the Kombu

sheet and add the soy sauce. It should

taste deliciously earthy and lightly salty.

Once the broth has cooled down a

little, add the glutinous rice flour and

whisk well until smooth like a paste.

Turn the heat back on to thicken it

ever so slightly, for no more than 1

minute, and then turn the heat off again

completely. Add crushed garlic cloves,

finely chopped ginger, chilli powder and

process with a blender to have a smooth

fiery red paste.

Cool the paste down overnight.

In a large bowl, pour the chilli paste

over the cured and dried spring onions.

Mix well with your hands to ensure the

paste is properly distributed all over the

spring onions. Fold the spring onions

into a clean Kilner jar (best to pop in the

dishwasher to make sure it's completely

free of bacteria).

Press the spring onions down with

your hands until you fill the jar, leaving

about an inch at the top for the kimchi

to breathe.

Close the kilner jars and let them

ferment at room temperature for a

couple of days. Make sure to release the

gas from the jars every 12 hrs or so. You

should hear them 'burp'. After a couple

of days, you can transfer them to the

fridge. They will continue to ferment

slowly. You can keep for about 2 months,

if you don’t manage to eat it all before.

Flatbread ingredients:

• Pizza dough

• 500ml of cream

(I use soy)

• 1 small sheet

Kombu seaweed

• 2 garlic cloves

Method:

In a small pot, infuse the cream with the

Kombu sheet and the garlic cloves on

low heat for about 20 minutes. Discard

the kombu sheet and crush the garlic,

mix it with the cream.

Stretch the pizza dough and spread

a couple of tablespoons of cream over

the dough. Add a few of the spring

onions kimchi, a drizzle of olive oil and

a pinch of salt. Bake on your highest

oven temperature, on a thick baking

tray, on the highest shelf, for about 6 to

8 minutes. Blow torch for a little extra

colour once it's ready.

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An utterly surprising dish which I have been serving for a couple of years in my studio.

It’s a love or hate relationship, but those who love will definitely come back for more.

Seaweed dressing:

• 10g of Nori sheets

• 20g of dried Wakame

• 30g of Chlorella powder

• 5g salt

• 1g of xanthan gum

• 5g of calcium alginate

Method:

Tear the dried nori sheets and add

the wakame with salt to a pot and

add 600ml of boiling water. Cook the

seaweed on medium heat until the

water reduces by two thirds. Strain and

keep the remaining water and squeeze

the seaweed with your hands to get as

much of the liquid as possible. Discard

seaweed. You should be left with about

200ml of seaweed broth.

To the broth add the Chlorella,

xanthan gum and calcium alginate. That

will thicken the broth into a smooth

salty dressing.

Seaweed mayo:

• 1 tbsp of seaweed dressing

• 1/2 tub of mayo

Mix the mayo and seaweed together

until smooth.

To assemble:

• A large handful of

shoestring fries (normal

fries works well here too)

• 1 tbsp seaweed dressing

• 2tbsp of the seaweed mayo

• A few generous spoons of

herring roe

• Chopped chives

Place a baking ring on a plate, add a

handful of the shoestring fries. Drizzle

the seaweed mayo, add the chives, the

roe, and finish with a few drops of the

seaweed dressing.

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

WORDS: Richard Croasdale

As Beer52’s resident lager-lover,

it’s always great when a beer like

Orbit Beer’s Nico Köln Lager

comes in front of our tasting panel

and everyone immediately shares my

delight. It’s bang-on style, with noble

hops providing delicious grassy, herbal

and spicy notes, just a touch of bready

maltiness and even a hint of estery pear

drops from the distinctive Kölsch yeast.

Prior to this, I was only dimly aware

of the brewery, but immediately set out

to learn more. Orbit’s story begins with

founder Robert setting off to explore

his native Scotland in a classic VW

camper van named Brian, in search of

great craft beer. This expedition took

him to every single brewery north of

the wall, from the remotest island in

Shetland to the Outer Hebrides, the

Scottish Borders and even his home

town of Dundee. The result was a book

called The Tea Leaf Paradox and the

germ of an idea for a brewery of his

own.

Roll on to early 2014, and Robert

is hauling brewing equipment into a

double railway arch in Walworth, South

London, where he will brew Orbit’s

very first batch in July of the same year.

Since then, all subsequent beers have

been brewed and packaged on the

same site, which has now expanded to

include the arch next door.

Music is a big part of Orbit’s ethos

(see box-out) and head brewer Mario

like to work to a soundtrack of modern

and classic vinyl records; an authentic,

analogue experience that seems a good

fit for the beers themselves. Alongside

Nico, the rest of Orbit’s core collection

is likewise classic and perfectly

executed, including (spot the musical

references) Dead Wax London Porter,

Peel Belgian Pale and Ivo Pale Ale.

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WORDS: Siobhan Hewison

Hoppin’ Rabbit is a new craft

beer distribution company that

started trading last January (so

it’s just celebrated its first birthday),

with a focus on bringing great French

beer to drinkers in the UK. Florian, or

Flo, and Sandy, the founders, are based

in Roanne - west of Lyon, right in the

middle of France - and are surrounded

by breweries that they feel deserve

recognition overseas.

By trade Sandy is a photographer

and Flo is a civil engineer, but craft

beer opened up a different door for

them - the couple moved to Roanne

almost two years ago from Birmingham,

where Sandy is from. Prior to that

they lived in London, where they

met through the bar scene - Flo was

cellar manager for a craft beer pub, an

avenue he pursued after falling in love

with the beer scene, but especially with

cask ale (which he says is not really a

thing in France).

Soon after they relocated to France,

Flo and Sandy welcomed a baby girl,

and after settling into parenthood was

when their plans for Hoppin’ Rabbit

started to come together. They wanted

to create their own business within the

craft beer world, and after a visit to the

Lyon beer festival a couple years ago

(which they attended a few months

after moving to France, so that they

could get their hands on some British

beer!), they noticed that the beer they

were trying was amazing. However,

a lot of the breweries they spoke to

didn’t have representation in the UK,

and so the idea to start a distribution

company was born, which allows them

to bring some of the amazing French

craft beer they were drinking over to

the UK.

At Hoppin’ Rabbit, Sandy and Flo

want to champion the variety and

modernity of French beers, but also the

more classic styles. Flo comments that:

“French brewers are becoming popular

for styles like saisons, Berliner weisse,

and sours, but the more traditional

styles are also being made so well. The

traditional aspect of French brewing

brings out something really nice too,

like with Bière de Gardes: it’s a bit

more special, and yet also unexpected

among the current beer scene.” Sandy

adds: “they’re keeping up with the

trends, but keeping it traditional at the

same time.”

Generally, beer in France is

quite unlike anything you might get

elsewhere - breweries make sure

to use local produce in their beers

whenever possible, since France has

a great climate for growing grains and

hops. Every region has something a bit

different within its beers, due to using

ingredients sourced nearby, so there’s

much more variety than you might

see in beer from other countries. For

instance, Brasserie Popihn recently

invested money into planting and

growing 200 fruit trees in an orchard

- to be able to harvest fruits such as

apricots, cherries - to use in their

Berliner weisses, porters, and all sorts

of other tasty beers.

Hoppin’ Rabbit’s passion for French

craft beer doesn’t just end at drinking

them - they love how, as well as

showcasing local ingredients, beers

are often made to complement certain

foods (much like wines). Flo describes

this aspect: “we want French craft beer

to succeed because it’s really worth

it - it has something different to beers

from other countries, plus a nice touch

that we can add to gastronomy - the

flavours and the subtleties of the beer

are something we want to share.” They

are beers you want to drink when you

eat good food. Sandy further explains:

“because French people tend to love

food, a lot of the brewers tend to have

beer and food in mind when they’re

brewing.” An example of this would be

Brasserie Effet Papillon, a brewery that

Hoppin’ Rabbit represents: its website

has beer pairings with detailed, specific

dishes, to best enhance each other’s

flavours - including sweet food, savoury

food, and cheeses.

Hoppin’ Rabbit is also big on events,

hosting at least two every month - and

when Sandy and Flo host, they make

sure they’ve got solid beer and food

pairings, but they also always take their

own cheese with them. And they’ve

even done beer and chocolate pairing

events too. So, if you see a French beer

and food event near you, be sure to

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HOP TO IT!

attend as they’re unmissable!

Effet Papillon is also known for its

barrel-aged beers - its team has just

invested in almost 100 wine barrels,

increasing the brewery’s already

sizeable collection of barrels, to age

wine in. Very French. Ageing in wine

barrels isn’t uncommon for French craft

breweries, as Sandy explains: “what

makes French beer so fantastic is that

they’re using something they’re already

well-known for and incorporating

it into the beer, so it’s really special

because you’re not going to get those

wine barrels anywhere else - it’s what

those specific regions of France are

really known for.”

Wondering how the logistics of

importing French beer into the

UK works? Hoppin’ Rabbit has a

warehouse made up of two coldstore

rooms in London. The beer is

collected from France by a chilled

transport company and driven

over in refrigerated trucks, to keep

everything fresh and cold at all times,

then dropped off at Hoppin’ Rabbit’s

warehouse. At the moment, all

deliveries within the UK are done inhouse

by Flo, who is over from France

around every two weeks, but they

are both hoping to be able to expand

soon and have a small team helping

with logistics in London. As you may

have guessed, this travel inadvertently

makes Flo and Sandy’s relationship a

bit of a long-distance thing at times -

thank the Lord for FaceTime! Sandy

explains, humbly: “we manage because

we are so dedicated to what we are

doing - we believe that French beer is

really something to shout about so we

are willing to make those sacrifices.”

Hoppin’ Rabbit is currently

distributing mostly in London and

Birmingham, but throughout 2020

it's aiming to reach a wider audience

across the UK - in the year that it’s

been part of the craft beer scene, Flo

and Sandy have been doing as many

events and meeting as many people

as possible to make connections, so

fingers crossed that 2020 will be the

year you’ll see a big selection of French

craft beer at a bottle shop or beer

bar near you! In the meantime, visit

Hoppin’ Rabbit’s stand at Brew//LDN,

try something unique, and meet the

couple behind the company - Sandy

comments that: “it’s going to be fun to

showcase all these beers at Brew//LDN,

talk about the breweries and the beers,

and let people know French beer is

here, which is our main goal!”

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Firebrand Brewing Co is an awardwinning

brewery based in the

north-eastern area of Cornwall,

and is the ‘younger sister’ to Penpont

Brewery. If you’re based near the

south-west of England, you might be

familiar with Penpont - this is Joe

Thomson’s first brewery which he set

up in 2008 (and is still in operation

of course), and has a focus on more

traditional real ales. Think popular,

multi-award-winning cask ales and

bottled beers, which are enjoyed by

locals in pubs around Cornwall and

the surrounding areas.

WORDS: Siobhan Hewison

After his success with Penpont,

owner and head brewer Joe decided to

begin a new endeavour five years ago,

and so Firebrand was born; he wanted

to experiment with making more

modern, progressive beers, with more

of an ‘American craft beer’ influence,

but since he felt these didn’t fit within

the Penpont brand, he released the

new brews under a different name. Two

different brands for two different types

of beer.

At Firebrand, Joe and his team brew

beer using only the finest ingredients,

including British barley, and fresh water

from a local spring. This new endeavour

provided a chance to be more creative

with the beers they’re brewing, and

brew a range of beers that better reflect

the things they want to drink.

Penpont (and Firebrand) have

occupied an old milking parlour at the

top corner of the rugged wilderness of

Bodmin Moor, a huge granite moorland,

for over a decade, but Joe decided that

it was finally time for a change. Thanks

to some recent investments, 2020 will

see him and his team make a move

a few miles up the road into a new

purpose-built brewhouse. This is going

to allow for the installation of shiny

new amenities - meaning Firebrand will

be able to triple its output - but most

importantly, better equipment to be

able to focus more on quality control.

The new kit includes a hop rocket, new

conditioning tanks and fermentation

vessels, and a canning line - meaning

Firebrand doesn’t need to outsource

canning to another brewery, and the

team can have control over all aspects

of production in-house.

Perhaps in the biggest news for

north-east-dwelling Cornish folks, the

move to a new facility also means the

brewery will be in Launceston, the

historic capital of Cornwall, which in

Joe’s mind was the perfect excuse to

set up a taproom! Punters will be able

to drink Firebrand beers sitting in or

take them away - there are few things

in life better than buying beer straight

from the source, and the taproom is

sure to be an excellent addition to the

town of Launceston.

Alongside this move will also come a

re-branding for Firebrand, executed by

Falmouth-based Kingdom & Sparrow

design company. The bold new look

includes a new logo, designed to reflect

key aspects of the brand, including a

red-billed chough (the Cornish national

The new rebrand of

Firebrand will be

launched at Brew//LDN

bird, fact fans) the milking parlour in

which it was founded, and the brewery’s

rural, ecologically friendly roots. There

are also pump clips and can art designs,

as well as a new line of merch including

clothing and branded glasses. The

re-brand generally reflects how graphic

design has progressed since Firebrand

originally launched five years ago, but

also serves, as Joe comments, “to better

represent the beer we make”.

This rebrand will be launched at

Brew//LDN, so make sure to check out

the Firebrand Brewing Co stand, and

obviously check out the beer as well!

Firebrand will be pouring its four core

beers - its popular West Coast IPA

(which has won various awards over the

last few years, including accolades from

SIBA Southwest), the refreshing Helles

Beach Cornish lager, total juice-bomb

Thundercloud NEIPA, and fan favourite

Graffiti golden IPA - plus a tasty simcoe

pale ale, and an imperial stout.

There are plans afoot to start running

tours of the brewery this summer,

and Joe promises a greater focus on

limited edition and barrel-aged beers.

Firebrand has grown from strength to

strength over the last five years, and is

now even being exported overseas, so

this rebrand can only be a sign of more

exciting things to come for this small,

rural brewery.

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Promotional Feature

THE (CZECH)

REPUBLIC OF BEER

The Czech Republic is a place where beer reigns supreme.

It is a land where beer courses through the veins of all its

people (sometimes quite literally!) It’s a nation where beer

can be found at every table, rich or poor, man or woman,

simple food or fine dining. Wine is definitely playing second

fiddle to beer in this republic.

This is the country where a revolutionary beer that

changed the face of brewing for ever was made after all!

The world’s very first golden, pale lager – the Pilsner.

A combination of Czech ingredients and passion for beer,

a German brewmaster from Bavaria and British malting

know-how to get the golden malt was the perfect

collaboration that gave birth to the style that spawned every

modern-day pale lager we drink.

There are great brewing nations that would love to lay claim to

this title but Czechia, better known as the Czech Republic or

simply Česko to its own people, puts beer fairly and squarely

front and centre of its identity. Beer here isn’t just for tourists,

although visitors to the Republic of Beer will be gratified to

see the pride and passion for this humble beverage and find

themselves unable to refuse a refreshing glass or two of Pivo.

Beer is a staple for the Czech people, with more beer consumed

by the average Czech than in any other country bar none.

Did I mention bars? Prague, the capital of the Republic of Beer,

has the highest density of bars or pubs in Europe. You won’t

go thirsty here!

Eating out in Prague, local beer is the drink that’s found in the

hands of its diners. I looked around and wine was a rarity. Men

and women, young or old, are seen with a foaming mug of golden

beer, or perhaps a darker tmavé, in their hands to accompany

some hearty local fare.

A sip of Budvar history

Czech beer has a storied history and Budvar and the city of

Budweis in Bohemia has had their part to play. It was in 1265

that the town of České Budějovice, better known to the world

by the German version of its name - Budweis – was founded

by Dominican Monks and given the right to brew beer by King

Ottokar II, the King of Bohemia.

Over the centuries, the town of Budweis became famed for its

beer brewed by its burghers (full citizens) and as in the German

way, beer from Budweis was known as Budweiser Bier (or

Budějovicky Pivo in Czech), in the same way that Pilsner Bier

was a beer from the Czech town of Pilsen. After the 1840s there

were two main Czech pale lager styles. The fuller, richer Pilsner

style and the lighter, crisper Budweiser style. Guess which style

the Americans at Anheuser-Busch used to influence their new

pale lager in the mid-1870s? Yep you guessed it – the lighter,

crisper style known in the city of Budweis. Anheuser-Busch

named its beer after the one that inspired them: Budweiser.

Confusion has reigned ever since. Of course, the brewers are

flattered that a famous American brewery named its beer after

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Sweet

Virginia

Read much, much more about Virginia’s

amazing craft beer scene in issue 51 of

Ferment, coming April 2020.

Nestled midway down the east

coast of the US, Virginia is a

wonderfully varied state, with

beautiful beaches, pristine woodland and

majestic mountains (oh, and the heart of

the Federal government, in Washington

DC). According to Caitlin Clark, an

international marketing specialist at the

Virginia Department of Agriculture and

Consumer Services, it’s this diversity that

gives the state’s mature craft beer scene

such a strong sense of creativity and

dynamism.

“Our geography is really unique, we

have mountains, beaches, rolling hills, as

well as really vibrant urban centres,” she

says. “These different landscapes lend

themselves to very different frames of

mind and, from a craft beer perspective,

to breweries taking very different

approaches to suit their local market.

And that’s not only our home-grown

breweries; other breweries from around

the states have identified Virginia as their

second home.”

Visitors to this year’s Brew//LDN will

get a taste of this creativity and diversity,

at Virginia’s own stand, where it’s

hosting five fantastic breweries. Regular

attendees will already know to make a

beeline for Virginia’s stand, which never

fails to impress.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Some brewery stories are just meant to

be, and that of childhood friends Eric

McKay and Patrick Murtaugh definitely

falls into this category. Meeting up as

adults at a sheep station in Australia,

the pair had their first glass of fullflavoured

home-brewed beer, an

experience that shaped their ambitions

so profoundly that, a decade later, they

named their new brewery after the

place.

Hardywood Park’s meticulous

approach has earned it a superb

reputation, not to mention a trove of

awards. It’s particularly well known

for its creative use of locally sourced

ingredients and plays an active role in the

life of the local community.

Port City Brewing

The oldest packaging brewery in

metropolitan Washington, DC, Port City

Brewing offers all visitors a very warm

welcome. Founded back in 2011, Port

City set out to honour the proud history

of brewing that existed in the port city of

Alexandria, until prohibition in 1915 saw

the industry collapse.

O’Connor Brewing

O’Connor Brewing of Norfolk, Virginia,

has over the past decade become a real

hub of the beach community it calls

home. It’s an idea that started 20 years

ago, when founder Kevin O’Connor

wrote his first college paper on starting

a brewery, and finally came to fruition

on St Patick’s Day 2010, with Kevin’s

first batch brewed in his small garage

warehouse. O’Connor has gone on

to become a World Beer Cup Award

winning brewery, with more than 40

employees, dozens of styles and a legion

of fans.

Virginia Beer Company

It’s a bold move to put the name of the

state on your label, but Virginia Beer

Company has the brewing chops to pull

it off. Based in Williamsburg and founded

in 2012, the brewery has invested a huge

amount of energy in its export business

from day one, flying the flag for Virginian

craft beer across the states and around

the world.

Again, Virginia Brewing Company

is very much a community-based and

philanthropy-focused force for good.

It’s the brainchild of a former financial

analyst, a former consultant, and a former

high school teacher turned professional

brewer. Four year-round beers are

complemented by a boundary-pushing

rotation of limited edition beers including

experimental IPAs, barrel-fermented

brett saisons, and barrel-aged imperial

itouts, among many other diverse styles.

Adroit Theory

With some of the wildest branding on the

Virginia stand (and possibly the whole

festival) Adroit Theory has a wild occult/

dark metal vibe that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Its motto – Consume Life + Drink Art – is

an oddly fitting reflection of its esoteric

and style-challenging beers, with an

emphasis on hazy IPAs, fruited sours,

pastry stouts, and barrel ageing projects.

Ferment is heading to Virginia in a couple

of months, and we’re looking forward to

visiting Adroit Theory’s taproom, which

is by all accounts quite the experience.

“There’s real excitement among the

breweries at getting beer out into the

world beyond Virginia and surrounding

states,” continues Caitlin. “It’s easy to

ship beers from Virginia to the UK;

we’ve been trading since the founding

of the US, so we have that history.

We’re also bringing some of our craft

distilleries to some events in the UK this

year, so the breweries are really part

of a wider story of great craft produce

coming out of the state.”

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Cassels

in the sky

WORDS: Richard Croasdale

If the Cassels family had a motto,

it would surely be “if something’s

worth doing, it’s worth doing in

the most difficult way possible”.

Why else would someone choose

to build an entirely wood-fired

brewery, from scratch, with no

instructions and very little in

the way of extant examples to

follow? For an answer, we must

travel back to the early 1980s,

when brothers Alasdair and

Winton Cassels discovered

the joys of all-grain home

brewing, competing for the

approval of family and friends

in Christchurch, New Zealand,

with little more than a giant pan

and a wood-fired range.

In the background at these

sunny afternoon tasting sessions

was Alasdair’s son Zak, watching

and learning. But it wasn’t until the

Summer of 2008 that the Cassels’

long-standing passion for brewing

got serious, thanks to a memorable

team brew day at the family home

in Marlborough Sounds, involving

Alasdair, Zak and his brother in law

Joe Shanks.

“We’d got our hands on some

Motueka Sauvin hops and some

organic pale malt from Dunsandel,

which we used to brew a fresh, hoppy

pilsner,” recalls Zak. “When tasting day

came around, we were blown away!

After that success, I think we all began

to dream about building a bigger craft

brewery, and it just seemed right that

it should be wood-fired to match our

home setup.”

Some hasty Googling for “wood

fired kettle” turned up worryingly

little wisdom: a brewery in Dortmund,

Germany, which had a brick kettle

(now pretty much a museum piece)

and a Belgian brewery called Caracole.

Undeterred, the Cassels set about

building their own 200-litre woodfired

kettle, from basic design all the

way to fabrication and installation.

Fortunately, Joe had trained as an

aircraft engineer with Air New Zealand

and, apparently, there are enough

similarities between an old-timey

brewhouse and a Boeing 737 to get the

whole project off the ground.

Even with Joe’s skills, the brewhouse

took he and Zak a good few months to

complete, but they were ready for their

inaugural brew in September 2009.

That first batch, a Pilsner, was ready

by November, less than a year after

the summertime family brew day that

had kicked it all off. The home-made

design worked like a charm but, as Zak

says, the overall setup was still a little

Heath Robinson.

“When you think of the equipment

used in brewing, you’re generally

thinking of a high-tech system made

up of shiny steel components,” he says.

“But our approach in the early days

was far more primitive. We used to

cool our fermenting lagers by using a

garden hose to spray cold water onto

blankets which we wrapped around

200-litre plastic drums!”

If something’s worth doing,

it’s worth doing in the most

difficult way possible

When the beer was good, it was

great, but getting it consistent was

a real challenge. By February of

2010, the team had hatched a plan

to build a craft brew bar on the site

of Christchurch’s original tannery, as

well as constructing a larger-capacity

kettle and mash tonne, and hiring a

professional brewer, Nigel Mahoney.

2010 was a big year for Cassels:

Nigel’s second brew on the woodfired

kettle – a dunkel, no less – was

an instant hit, winning bronze at

the 2010 BREWNZ awards. It also

saw the arrival of some 600-litre

conditioning tanks and fermentation

vessels, as well as a hand-operated

bottling machine. A local artist,

Scott Jackson created a lino cut of

the old tannery building to be used

on the label and soon Cassels’ beers

were a familiar sight in bars and

restaurants in Lyttelton, Sumner and

Christchurch. Everything was on a

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CASSELS IN THE SKY

very promising trajectory.

Then, on 22 February the following

year, Christchurch was hit by a

devastating earthquake, and so was

Cassels.

“Our brewery really got hammered

in the earthquake,” continues Zak.

“We lost a lot of beer and sustained

extensive damage to our plant. After

a week or two of scratching our

heads and wondering what the next

step forward was, we started to pull

together ideas for something bigger

than before. It was such a sad and

hopeless time for our city, so the time

was right to do something positive.”

The building the brewery had

always occupied was in good shape

structurally, so the team got to work

on it, taking on an army of cando

tradesmen who poured their

enthusiasm into the project. A short

and extremely intense one hundred

days later, Cassels was ready to launch.

From the rubble emerged a bar, a

brewery, a cafe, a music venue and a

restaurant.

We lost a lot of beer

and sustained extensive

damage to our plant

Despite the success it has

subsequently enjoyed on its home

turf, it’s taken almost another decade

for Cassels to turn its attention to the

UK, though Britain is now one of its

key target markets. As this issue goes

to press, Zak himself will be driving

around the UK in a van full of kegs,

preaching the Cassels gospel, with

a particular focus on areas and bars

that are hard to reach through the

big distributors. He’ll also be taking

part in a couple of collaborations

along the way, including with Head

of Steam, which will be serving the

beer at its pubs across the country.

“I’m really looking forward to

sharing the brewery’s story with

people in the UK – you never get

tired of talking about beer to other

people who really care about it,”

concludes Zak. That’s one of the

reasons we’re so excited about

pouring at Brew//LDN this year,

it’s a chance to meet the ordinary

punters who will hopefully fall in

love with our beer.”

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Everyone is drinking these beers this month

Everyone is drinking these beers this month

India Pale Ale

Harbour Brewing

CORNWALL

SURREY

jagged sky

Big Smoke

ABV: 5% Enjoy at 6°C

Style: IPA

ABV: 4.5% Enjoy at 6°-8°C

Style: Hazy Pale Ale

TASTING NOTES

India Pale Ale is brewed with Best Pale and

Wheat malt with a blend of Columbus, Perle

and Cascade hops to give a Juicy citrus and

bready malt aroma, bittersweet citrus and malt

flavour and long, clean bittersweet finish.

HARBOUR BREWING

In 2012, The Harbour Brewing Co. was

just a fledgling idea: to brew proper

beer reflecting the land (and shores)

from where it came. Taking the best raw

ingredients - awesome hops, Cornish

spring water tapped straight from the

source - and bringing them to life through

dedication to technique. The concept

evolved by the ocean but the beer came

into being on the farm. There is joy in

returning to the roots of the ingredients.

And the heritage of the space, of the

land, of the ocean, remain our inspiration.

BIG SMOKE

Big Smoke Brew Co. makes beer

in the leafy suburbs of Esher just

off the coast of London. Founded

at the back of their pub, The

Antelope, they’ve spent the last 5

years tweaking and trialling their

core range of beers. Since moving

to their brand new brewery, they

continue to hone techniques to

maximise flavour and freshness,

producing flavoursome, distinctive

and enjoyable beers.

TASTING NOTES

A juicy, bright and slightly hazy pale ale. Lots

of late hop additions using Calypso, Belma and

Ekuanot lead to notes of strawberry, pineapple and

passion fruit with a forward citrus flavour. Balanced

bitterness and medium to light body.

shake down

Tiny Rebel

NEWPORT

HEBDEN BRIDGE

dirty pilsner

Vocation Brewery

ABV: 4.5% Enjoy at 6°C

Style: Milkshake IPA

ABV: 6.5% Enjoy at 6°-9°C

Style: Pilsner

TASTING NOTES

A result of Brad's family vacation (as he now calls it) to

the US. A very punchy hop profile blending with the

mango to create a bitter floral base accentuated by

sweet mango flavours. With a colour that will make you

think you're drinking a popular breakfast fruit juice.

TINY REBEL

Founded in Brad’s garage in

2012, Brad and Gazz set out

to produce the most exciting

and experimental Craft Beer in

the UK. After winning multiple

awards it quickly realised there

was a love for its beer and

brand worldwide. Tiny Rebel

has just one rule…’Never just

make vanilla ice cream’.

VOCATION BREWERY

Vocation Brewery brew bold beers

from the hilltop in Hebden Bridge and

pour punchy pints from their very own

taprooms. It's a business of setting

standards, not following trends. They

punch above their weight by putting

good beer into good people’s fridges,

never courting credibility they just let

the beers do the talking. Vocation's

core collection is a constant to always

come back to, while the creative flare

comes through their limited editions.

Brewing beer that they’re proud to put

their name on. It’s their Vocation.

TASTING NOTES

Strong Pilsner meets IPA in a glorious head-on

crash of flavour. Dirty Pilsner is unfiltered, and

dry-hopped with outrageous quantities of

Vocation's favourite US hops.

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This month's light case selection

Switch to light case to get these beers

Calico Session pale

SALT

SALTAIRE

LONDON

Nico Köln

Orbit

ABV: 4% Enjoy at 6°C

Style: Session Pale Ale

ABV: 4.8% Enjoy at 6°-8°C

Style: Köln Lager

TASTING NOTES

A gluten-free session pale ale. Smooth and

easy-drinking, aromas of citrus and grapefruit are

backed up by a hoppy, punchy finish.

SALT

SALT is a micro-brewery on a

mission to unify heritage and

modern brewing. Their homeland,

the UNESCO village of Saltaire was

built by a super-progressive pioneer

of worker’s rights in the 1800s. SALT

adopt the same progressive spirit

through their modern brewing styles.

The inspiration of their forefathers

can be seen in the name, at the

brewery, and the textiles used to

name the beers.

ORBIT

Orbit grew from a passion for

travel, music and beer. They brew

traditional European beers with a

modern approach, taking classic

styles and making them their

own, with an eye for finesse and

drinkability. Be on the lookout for

Orbit's small-batch White Label

Series and barrel-aged Digger’s

Series, that showcase some of

their more offbeat brews.

TASTING NOTES

Nico is about balance, not volume. Pale golden, Tettnang hops

prominent on the aroma with grassy, herbal and spicy notes. Light

on the palate, a touch of bready maltiness, with more noble hop

character. Dry and easy drinking. Look for the spicy (cinnamon)

and light fruity (pear) notes from the Kölsch yeast.

red rye

Bianca Road

LONDON

DUNDEE

Magnitude of Thoughts

71 Brewing

ABV: 6% Enjoy at 8°C

Style: Rye IPA

ABV: 4.5% Enjoy at 7°C

Style: Session NEIPA

TASTING NOTES

Pours a crimson amber. Cara, crystal and rye malts give

a bready and sweet base to this IPA that’s warming

and comforting. Herbal hop aromas from cascade and

chinook mingle with the dark fruity of Mount Hood with

an added touch of ethanol sweetness.

BIANCA ROAD

Bianca Road Brew Co is a 25

hectolitre microbrewery based in

Bermondsey, SE London, brewing

a range of fresh and hoppy West

Coast U.S. style IPAs, pale ales

and lagers that are inspired by a

brewery hopping adventure across

America, from San Francisco to

Miami. The brewery and taproom

are based on Enid Street, in the

heart of the Bermondsey Beer Mile.

71 BREWING

Founded in 2015, 71 Brewing is

reviving the lost art of brewing

in Scotland's fourth city Dundee.

Crafting crisp lagers and seasonal

beers inspired by traditional

European classics and progressive

new world flavours. Their goal is

to make beers packed with flavour

and character, both sessionable

and familiar, funky and weird, but

most importantly, with balance

and consistency.

TASTING NOTES

A session New England IPA which is soft and

juicy and unfiltered to retain all that gorgeous

aroma. Hazy in appearance with explosions

of tropical and citrus flavours giving a creamy

mouthfeel and very low bitterness to finish.

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This month's mixed case selection

Switch to mixed case to get these beers

stay puft coconut creme

Tiny Rebel

NEWPORT

ALLOA

chokka blokka

Williams Bros

ABV: 5.2% Enjoy at 10°C

Style: Marshmallow Porter

ABV: 4.8% Enjoy at 8°-10°C

Style: Chocolate Coffee Stout

TASTING NOTES

Once again we've messed

about with our classic

Marshmallow Porter, Stay

Puft, and this time we've

covered this brew with layers

of biscuit and coconut to add

to the sweet, roasty flavours.

Think liquid bounty with a

nice smooth base.

WILLIAMS BROS

Williams Bros. Brewing Co.

remains at the heart of the

Scottish Craft Beer Community:

With over 30 years experience,

from guarding the recipes to

their legacy beers, they continue

to remain true to their traditions

while exploring new flavours,

profiles and techniques.

TASTING NOTES

This Mayan inspired brew is a mocha lover’s delight.

Chokk-a-blokk with notes of roast coffee and a nice

dark chocolatey finish, this well balanced stout is

loaded with oats for a full creamy texture.

Dry Stone Stout

Hawkshead Brewery

LAKE DISTRICT

LONDON

stout porter

The Five Points

ABV: 4.5% Enjoy at 8°C

Style: Oatmeal Stout

ABV: 6.2% Enjoy at 8°-10°C

Style: Stout Porter

TASTING NOTES

A dry oatmeal stout. Aromas of chocolate and

coffee, complex rich deep flavours from a blend of

seven malts, moderate bitterness and a long dry

finish make this stout a satisfying and warming beer.

HAWKSHEAD

Hawkshead Brewery are

cutting edge craft brewers of

bold, innovative beers, brewed

with integrity in the heart of

the English Lake District since

2002. Hawkshead's beer range

is eclectic and includes thirst

quenching session beers, big

hopped modern pale ales, deep

dark stout, sours and a core

range of cask beers.

THE FIVE POINTS

The Five Points Brewing Company

is an independent brewery based in

a Victorian railway arch in Hackney,

East London. Since March 2013,

we have been brewing beer that is

unfiltered, unpasteurized and full of

flavour – the sort of beer we enjoy

drinking and we hope you enjoy

drinking, too. Founded by director

Ed Mason and head brewer Greg

Hobbs, The Five Points became

the first UK brewery to be a Living

Wage Employer in January 2014.

TASTING NOTES

This Stout Porter is a tribute to the London Porter, and

to London's illustrious brewing history. Bigger, bolder

and more robust than our classic Railway Porter, Stout

Porter has a complex malt character bursting with

roast coffee and dark chocolate flavours.

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10 pack upgrade beers

12 pack upgrade beers

city session ipa

To Øl

DENMARK

SOMERSET

vivo KVIEK IPA

Wild Beer

ABV: 4.5% Enjoy at 7°-8°C

Style: Session IPA

ABV: 4.9% Enjoy at 7°C

Style: Kviek IPA

TASTING NOTES

The first beer to come out of the new To Øl City

brewhouse based in Svinninge. With this Session IPA,

the goal is to produce as juicy and fresh a New England

inspired Session IPA as possible with juicy aromas of

tropical fruit emerging from the intense dry hopping.

TO ØL

To Øl is a young Danish craft

brewery founded in 2010.

To Øl brews a wide range of

different beers, some potent and

provocative, others fresh and

floral. It brews hoppy, balanced

and complex beers both light,

dark, strong and simple. Its

ambition is to use raw ingredients

of the highest quality; never

to compromise with taste and

balance and to keep pushing the

boundaries of great beer-crafting.

WILD BEER

The Wild Beer Co was born out

of a love of fermentation, barrelageing

and most importantly,

flavour, believing exceptional

brewing stems from imagination

and passion. The Wild nature of its

beer is displayed in the alternative

fermentations and unorthodox

yeasts used alongside their barrelageing

and blending program.

TASTING NOTES

Vivo is a wonderfully drinkable session IPA. Modern

hop flavours are layered on top of a uniquely

fermented 4.9% beer. The hops we used are pokey

and intense, bringing an upfront classic bitterness

combined with a fruit-juice like punch of flavour.

field of creams

Glen Affric Brewery

BIRKENHEAD

SALTAIRE

ikat DDH DIPA

SALT

ABV: 4.3% Enjoy at 5°-7°C

Style: Cream Soda Pale Ale

ABV: 8% Enjoy at 7°C

Style: DDH DIPA

TASTING NOTES

Get ready to be transported back in time for this

modern interpretation of the nostalgia

filled drink of many childhood memories: Cream

Soda. A simple pale ale base infused with the

classic flavour of sweet vanilla ice cream.

GLEN AFFRIC BREWERY

Glen Affric Brewery started brewing

in November 2016, but the story goes

way back. While working in Shanghai,

co-founder Craig McCormick and

his father, Trevor got caught up

in China’s craft beer movement.

Blown away by the range of modern

brewing, Craig joined the brewing

industry in Shanghai and learned his

trade. After further ‘research’ trips

to San Diego, the dream of the family

brewery started to take shape.

TASTING NOTES

Full-bodied with bags of

tropical character. Expect

guava, mango, passion

fruit and lychee. These

fruit flavours make way for

mellow notes of honey with

a smooth but bold finish.

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For BREW//LDN, The Old Truman Brewery in London becomes a warm and welcoming

emporium of game changing beers, high quality street food, good-time DJs and plenty

more offering real insights into some of the very best of food and drink. This 3-day event

incorporates 2 trade sessions and 4 consumer sessions, each hosting up to 200 exhibitor

stands. Exhibitors include 150 independent and innovative breweries, cider producers,

spirits, snack stands and street food traders.

Introducing BREW//DINING, working with Guinness Open Gate Brewery – a unique space,

where resident hosts Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Villa Ascenti and Bulleit Frontier

Whiskey, are working alongside culinary legends from Brigadiers, La Nonna and Prairie

Fire, to pour you drinks paired with specially selected food dishes, all served at the

BREW//CHEF’s TABLE – drinks will match the flavour profiles of individual dishes, making

for a truly mouth-watering and unique food and drink experience.

While exploring BREW//DINING, pop into the Bulleit Beer Barbers, for the chance to

relax, refresh and sharpen up, with a ‘Whiskey & Trim’ grooming experience.

Furthermore, residents WORLD CLASS drinks bring you BREW//COCKTAILS. Since its

launch in 2009, Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS has been instrumental in transforming fine

drinking and cocktail culture around the world. For BREW//COCKTAILS, WORLD CLASS

are bringing some of the best bar tending talent going, to offer the ultimate beer cocktail

masterclass.

With limited availability on both the BREW//COCKTAILS and BREW//CHEF’s TABLE

experience, please scan the below QR code with your phone’s camera for further

information, and how to confirm your place.

For the BREW//LDN event map with exhibitor and partner locations, please scan the below

QR code with your phone’s camera.

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Visit the Brew//DINING for our full line up of FOOD

KOLKATI

Kolkati was formed in 2015 after the founders came across The Kati Roll whilst

travelling around India, and they decided this was the ultimate street food dish to

bring back to the UK. Since hitting the ground running in year 1, Kolkati has been

mentioned in the Evening Standard as part of ‘The 10 Hot New Street Spots’, as well as

being included in Timeout London’s ‘Best Street Food’ line-up.

PRAIRIE FIRE BBQ

A smoked brisket sandwich from Prairie Fire comes with quite a backstory.

You see, not only was that brisket slow smoked over oak for 16 hours; before this that

cut of meat had a flight over the Atlantic and is certified USDA black Angus. Slather

on Prairie Fire’s signature tomato based sauce with secret spices and molasses and

you have something quite special in your hand.

TWO BELLY

Two Belly is a cheese and beer shop in Bristol and is the brainchild of wife and

husband duo Lara and Dom. From their cheese counter that hosts UK made

farmhouse cheeses, plus a few continental cousins – with some of the best cheese

toasties going, expect a strong line-up of mouth-watering cheesy dishes, that go hand

in hand with beer.

LA NONNA

La Nonna is a fresh pasta concept that combines traditional Italian family cooking

with the freshest ingredients in a contemporary setting, showcasing the visual art

of cooking. La Nonna symbolises the homemade cooking of grandmothers in Italian

families. We take pride in using the freshest ingredients for our recipes originating

from our Chef Daniele’s own Nonna in Italy.

BRIGADIERS

From their restaurant inspired by the army mess bars of India, where military

regiments go to eat, drink and socialise, Brigadiers accommodates 140 covers

internally with a further 34 on an outdoor terrace, Brigadiers comes to Brew//LDN.

A food offering focused on different methods of Indian barbecue, utilising tandoors,

charcoal grills, rotisseries, wood ovens and classic Indian smokers.

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Visit the Brew//PUB for your sessions set times

GREG WILSON

The one and only edit legend Greg Wilson… "Wilson has been in and around the

music business for more than 30 years, making his name as a DJ at Wigan Pier, The

Hacienda and, of course, Legend. In the UK, at least, he also helped to popularize a

little thing called "mixing" — something that has come in handy for nearly every DJ

that has come along ever since." - Resident Advisor

OLD DIRTY BRASSTARDS

Formed in Forest Hill – South East London’s melting pot of music making – Old Dirty

Brasstards have been dishing out their unique recipe of tweed-clad 10-piece drum ‘n’

brass since 2012. They can be seen serving up well-marinated dance floor fillers at top

venues such as Fabric, the Forum, Hammersmith Apollo, KOKO, the Roundhouse and

Scala, or delivering sizzling sets at UK festivals such as Bestival, Glastonbury, Latitude

and Secret Garden Party.

HOXTON RADIO

An alternative radio station covering news and events in East London – they blog

about culture and lifestyle across London, inviting guests into the studio to share

their story and sound. Their resident DJ’s will be joining us to kick-off BrewLDN’s

Thursday Evening line-up, spinning some of London’s favourite beats, while

broadcasting live. The current roster to look out for, and tune in ahead of BrewLDN,

includes The Preshaah, Arielle Free, Liam Young, Helen Shephard, Rio Fredrika,

Elspeth Pierce, Disco Freaks, Jordan Smith, Sasha Brown, Triple M Show, Get In Her

Ears, Hoxton Movies, Swing Time Radio.

ARTWORK

Shying away from relentless promo and lifeless social media posting, he lets his

impeccable taste in music, top notch production and artful personality speak for

itself. He’s brought his day and night Art’s House residency to London’s XOYO and

Ibiza’s legendary Pikes Hotel, as well as festivals like Glastonbury and Iceland’s Secret

Solstice. At Brew//LDN we like to do things differently, and so does our DJ buddy

Artwork. The result? A collaboration which sees our music room becoming a pop-up

boozer, with tunes and entertainment curated by Artwork, and even the man himself

serving beer from the DJ booth while you take in a mix of rare disco, funky house and

uplifting tunes.

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Beer in the post?

What more could you possibly want from life?

A new theme every month: never

drink the same beer twice.

We only send you beers we

like to drink ourselves.

BEER52

Eight beers, a

copy of Ferment

and snack

for £24 each

month!

My Story

James Brown, Founder of Beer52

Almost six years ago, I went on a

motorcycle road trip with my Dad.

I had no idea that this jaunt around

Europe would go on to change my life, but

that’s exactly what it did. While we wound our

way through the country roads of Belgium, we

stopped at tiny breweries and tap rooms to

quench our thirsts.

The beers we drank on our route between

Edinburgh and Faro blew my mind. Until

then, I had no idea that beers could be sour,

fruity, barrel-aged or mega hoppy. The styles

I uncovered with my Dad changed my whole

perception of beer forever.

And ever since then, I’ve been on a mission

to share great beers with other people. After

getting back back home to Scotland, I figured;

“wouldn’t it be a great idea to start a club,

where every month we could pick a selection of

beers from a new country each time?”.

With the help of my friends (it wasn’t hard to

convince them) we started tasting the world’s

beers in earnest. There’s nothing we enjoy

more than cracking open a bunch of new beers,

trying them together and sharing our thoughts.

We’ve been tasting ever since! Thousands of

different beers have passed our lips and we’ve

had the pleasure of sharing our favourites with

the tens of thousands of other drinkers who

have joined us on this adventure.

If you’re not already a member, I look forward

to welcoming you to Beer52 soon!

Customise the selection to your

tastes and skip a box anytime.

Discover beers you wouldn’t

find in the supermarket.

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FOODISM

As London’s biggest food and drink magazine, Foodism shares the very best eating

and drinking to be had around the city, from new restaurant openings to food culture

features, bar reviews, food travel and more. Foodism’s monthly Hop Culture magazine

section and monthly newsletter gives you the inside track on the best new beer

releases, as well as exclusive competitions, offers and event invites to some of the best

new in the capital. And with more than 100 active breweries in the English capital, beer

plays a huge part in Londoners’ lives. From the stories behind label art to reviews of the

best breweries in the city, our regular Foodism Beer Club events and unique brewery

collaborations, we’ve got London covered, one beer at a time.

On the Foodism website, meanwhile, you’ll find all your essential beer knowledge

in one place: there are hot new releases, round-ups of time-tested pubs and bars, and

a few exclusive events and experiences like brewery tours and tastings made with our

readers in mind.

So whether you’re a complete beer geek or an enthusiastic amateur, there’s plenty to

get your teeth into. Just head to fdsm.co/beer

JAMESON CASKMATES

We’ve been distilling Jameson since 1780 but we’re always open to new ideas. So when

a local Cork brewery borrowed our casks to age their beer, it gave us an idea; why not

finish our whiskey in beer-seasoned barrels? Introducing the Jameson

Caskmates Series: whiskey, finished in craft beer barrels. Discover Jameson Stout

Edition, with creamy notes of rich coffee, chocolate and sweet butterscotch. Or

Jameson IPA Edition, for zesty citrus notes and a touch of hops.

We’re also bringing something extra special this year, our limited edition Caskmates

Fourpure Edition! Born from an exciting collaboration with London-based Fourpure

Brewery, which sees Jameson’s Irish Whiskey finished in Fourpure Shapeshifter-seasoned

barrels. The result is a whiskey that features the signature smoothness of Jameson with

additional notes of tropical fruits, sweet clementine and full-bodied hops from the cask

finish, creating a truly unique whiskey for craft beer and whiskey fans alike.

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FEVER TREE - @fevertreemixers #MixWithTheBest

Fever-Tree’s range of Ginger Ales have been crafted to complement the varied and

complex flavours of different whiskies.

Each of our Ginger Ales is made using a blend of three of the world’s finest

naturally sourced gingers.

We travelled to the Ivory Coast to find the freshest green ginger, then onto India

for the finest Cochin ginger, famous for its chocolatey aromas. Finally, we discovered

the fieriest ginger in Nigeria. We then blend these together with subtle botanicals and

spring water to create our range of Ginger Ales.

When mixed together with whisky, plenty of ice and a slice of orange, the result is a

delicious and refreshing balance of sweetness and spice.

So, join us for a Whisky Ginger at BrewLDN and we think you’ll find that, finally,

there’s a mixer worthy of whisky.

19 CRIMES

A liquid ode to our past, 19 Crimes is inspired by those who, beginning in 1788, were

transported to Australia for a life of hard labour. Many did not survive the journey.

For the sea-beaten people who made it ashore, a new world awaited.

As pioneers in a harsh frontier colony, they forged fresh pathways and built new

lives from their chequered pasts, brick by brick.

This wine honours the history they wrote and the culture they built.

DOWNLOAD THE LIVING WINE LABELS APP TO DISCOVER THEIR STORIES

To learn more about 19 Crimes, please visit 19Crimes.com, follow us on

Facebook 19Crimes, on Instagram @19crimes and on Twitter @19Crimes.

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

#RETHINKCIDER

with CRAFTY NECTAR’S Fine Cider Subscription

Craft cider in the UK is in the midst of a

revolution, #RethinkingCider from the

mass produced and faceless brands that

have dominated the market.

Innovation and progression are in the air

and cider producers, experts and aficionados

are coming together to collaborate and

change the way cider is perceived. And how

producers are embracing this movement!

Never before have we seen so many

diverse and complex styles (many in

speciality 750ml bottles - perfect for sharing,

or maybe not!).

Craft cider pioneers Crafty Nectar (the UK’s

no.1 destination for craft cider) are embracing

and celebrating this movement with the launch

of an online fine cider club for small batch,

limited edition fine cider.

SO WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ‘FINE CIDER’?

Fine cider was once valued with higher regard

than fine wine or champagne in the 17th and

18th centuries, when it was drunk by the

aristocracy from decorative glass flutes, and

known as “England’s native wine”. These

ciders hark back to that period and rival any

fine wine: full of intrigue, taste, complexity and

sophistication.

At Crafty Nectar, our aim is to seek out

unique and heritage rich ciders and perries

made with reverence to the terroir and orchard;

drinks with a story behind them.

Why? Because there are 2,500+ varieties of

apples and each creates a unique flavour, each

cider is connected to a certain time, place and

space. Just like a Pinot Grigio from Italy is so

different to a Malbec from Argentina, the same

is true of different cider apples from different

areas.

With the Fine Cider Club you can discover

wild fermented Natural Ciders, Pét-nat, Single

Varieties, Méthod Traditionelle (made like

champagne), Keeved (naturally sweeter), Perry,

and fun and funky Co-ferments.

Embrace the different styles, such as:

Eastern Counties style Méthod Traditionelle

cider, made using dessert apples and bursting

with crisp and light flavours or West Country

style cider full of tannin, with deep fragrant

phenolic notes. Or enlighten yourself with a

funky keeved cider, and if you’re feeling more

adventurous then we will have the best of coferments

and BeerXCider hybrids.

Sign up to learn about the producers;

taste cider from legends like Tom Oliver, the

Godfather of fine cider, or trail blazers such as

the single variety kings Ross Cider, marvellous

keeved creations from Pilton Cider, or method

champenoise (bottle conditioned) from Kent.

This club is about celebrating cider history and

tradition, while also applauding innovation and

modern thinking. It’s time to #RethinkCider and

our Fine Cider Club is the perfect way to start.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION:

• x2 750ml bottles of fine cider delivered to your door each month

• A Fine Cider tasting guide (become a cider expert!)

• Producer Tasting Notes & links to expert tasting videos

• All ciders 100% juice content, gluten free & no additives

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Promote your Brand

Protect your Product

Transit, Mail-Order

& Gift Packaging

EQUITY FOR PUNKS IS now open.

FIND OUT MORE AT:

www.brewdog.com/efp

TOM

EQUITY PUNK SINCE AUG ‘18

#C0000052884

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NEXT TIME...

The

Island of

Ireland

Come with us to the Emerald Isle, as we visit some of our favourite breweries,

hit the tiles in Dublin, and celebrate the history and future of the pub.

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