Its been a while since we last posted (Err the day we opened)… so sorry about that to anyone that is interested. But we have remedied that here and promise to keep the updates thicker and faster now we have settled down somewhat after a pretty manic first 6 or 7 months. This post will cover how things have gone and whats on the horizon for the foreseeable future. We don't have everything mapped out, as we are very much in transition and learning all the time, but we have some ideas and markers in the sand so we thought we would share a few things that are fixed and few ideas that we would love to execute.
Our first 7 months since launching back in August have been fantastic, and quite frankly beyond what we could have expected. So thanks to everyone for the support and kind words (and Untappd ratings) We have introduced 5 beers and we have 2 more in the pipeline which are soon to be on the shelves and taps, but I will tell you a bit more about in a moment, .
So we are clear - all our series beers, of which we currently have a Golden, an American and an IPA will continue to be produced this year with a view to shaking up, and redefining recipes as we progress through the release numbers. These beers are about as core as we will get, without committing to brewing the exact same beer every time. We don't see the fun or merit in that, and feedback suggests we are doing something right at this point in time as customers and proprietors are all seeking new experiences and flavour combinations. We love the idea that people want fresh new beers all the time, and its a great signifier that peoples palettes and attitudes are becoming ever more progressive.
Our American Pale Ale was released last month in its 3rd iteration with a hop overhaul. We are leading this beer with Eukanot (formerly Equinox) and love this somewhat under-utilised hop. Its full of juicy tropical fruit and we feel it really shines in this style of beer. We are holding it at 5.2% but slightly lifting the malt profile in colour and body. Lightening it slightly and removing the wheat from the mash in order to make it less ‘chewy’ and hopefully more repeatable without compromising on the complexity too much. Theres always a trade off when adjusting malts this way but if there is one thing that we feel can improve the beer outside of the hop profile then its the fact that its possibly a bit heavy by the time you get to the 3rd glass. This beer is never intended to be easy drinking in the true sense so it was a difficult decision to justify, but in the end we felt that it will give it a greater focus on hops and pushing these great US varieties is what we want to do in this series.
Our 4.6% Session IPA has been really well received and we have been really happy with it. People keep asking if we are going to rebrew this beer and if we do can we bring it down to 4.2% to make it a true session strength offering. As you may already know, this beer is a limited edition special release so while the 2nd iteration it is currently sitting in an FV almost ready to be released, we have changed it up a little in true spirit of the brewery and in respect of the originals limited edition status. The rye has been reduced, the hops have been jigged, but the ABV has remained. This is because we have a 4.0% beer in the pipeline soon to follow which is more in line with peoples perceptions of what is justifiable as a session strength beer.
So onto whats next…
We are keen to broaden our horizons and work with as many other talented brewers and organisations that time and resources permits. We are underway on a collaboration with Bison Beer in Brighton. If you haven't heard of these guys then you can check them out here. They really are a fountain of energy and ideas and its been great working with them so far. We are currently developing a Doughnut IPA. The first round of development included an open source tasting session at the Bison shop. 8 Versions were put into 24 growlers and the doors were opened. We had a great time and loads of people came down to taste and feedback on all the free beer. We were lucky we had the foresight to supply tasting sheets which were readily filled in and generated a huge amount of data and input into the development process on an unprecedented level. Normally we don't share the product at this stage in the process, but having been through it, I couldn't recommended it more. So big thanks to Nick and Jack for offering the idea and space to run the gig.
We also have our first DIPA successfully released after 6 iterations through the Dev kit. It was straight into Craft Beer Co and Brewdog on the Brighton Tap weekend and feedback has been steady and pretty good. There are a lot of great DIPAs out there but we of course feel there is room for many more. Its a tough beer to brew and we really put a lot of pressure on ourselves as standards in this area have been so high out in the field. Trends overall are leaning towards juicy, low bitterness beers and we hear this all the time from brewers, sellers and drinkers alike, but there are parameters that a DIPA needs to fall into, in our minds, and assertive bitterness is one of them. Everything in a DIPA needs to shine, while at the same time the beer needs to hold a great balance of malts, yeast, hops and bitterness. We have pitched in at around 70 IBUs and feel, after some tweakery that this sits within the sweet spot and compliments the other factors that make up the beer.
As new beers go, it doesn't stop there. Its always our intention to be constantly developing new beers on our pilot dev kit with a view to upscaling these to commercial release. This methodology is great for managing both risk and quality and allows us to push things further than we would be able to otherwise. It breaks us free from the financial confines that brewing a beer blind on a commercial kit brings. Working in this way means that not every beer makes it through, and we are currently having a success rate of about 1 in 3 beers that make it through. We are happy with this at current and feel if more are getting through then we are probably playing it too safe. The down side is only that we have to make a lot of beers that we aren't over the moon about that need to be poured somewhere. What is great is that over the next few months heading into summer our aim is to bring a new beer out each month as we diversify our offering and look to head off the well trodden path of IPA’s and Pale ales.
We are venturing out of the shops and bars as the weather improves and will be rolling out a bar at Elderflower Fields festival in May. This is a great place to hang out and we are super excited about serving up there. We will also have a live brew going on on the Saturday for anyone who wants to come down and get there hands sticky. Its open to anyone interested in how beer is made and will be very inclusive and interactive . People will get the chance to take home a bottle ofwhat is brewed on the day to ferment and enjoy (roughly 3 weeks later) Don't worry though, you can just buy a beer at the bar if you cant wait that long.
Another place we will be serving up is the Brighton Foodies Festival on Hove lawns that runs on the weekend from 29th May to 1st June. We will be sharing this bar with our good friends at Arundel who will have a cask offering to compliment what we will be serving in both cans and kegs. If you find yourself there then come on over, say hello, and get yourself an nice cold one to compliment the great food and music on offer.
There is also a Tap Takeover in North London thats currently being finalised. We will announce this in due course once the green light is on and a date is fixed….
Thats where we are up to right now.