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WELCOME TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF CRAFT BEER RISING MAGAZINE...
Chris Bayliss, co-founder & director. Beer tips: Moor – Nor’Hop; Bristol Beer Factory – Southville Hop; Celt – Danish Monster Matt Wright, editor, CBR magazine. Beer tips: Sambrook’s – Wandle; Bexar – Kaas Bier; Salopian – Hop Twister Will Hawkes contributor: see page 16
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Sam Lloyd, event manager. Beer tips: Brodie’s – Mosaic Pale Ale; Buxton – Axe Edge; Beavertown – Smog Rocket
Daniel Rowntree, director and founder. Beer tips: St Austell – Big Job; Maui – Coconut Porter; Kernel – London Sour
Welcome to Craft Beer Rising magazine and thank you for picking up a copy – you are obviously someone of great taste and character, just like our favourite beers. Our mission at Craft Beer Rising is to bring good, flavoursome, creative beers to the masses. We want to help inform drinkers of the beers available and support the brewers to get their products to the customers. Craft beer is seeing the most rapid growth of any alcohol category in the UK. But it remains relatively small compared with the vast sales of bland, generic beers brewed for volume distribution rather than flavour. The culture being developed by craft beer fans sets the category apart. It has embraced trends in food, music and attitude with passion and has led to the launch of many great pubs and bars. The chances are you are sat in one! The debate as to what is or isn’t a ‘craft’ beer will rage on but we won’t get involved. We have created this magazine so you, the reader, feels better informed about what you’re drinking. RISING 2014 ER So enjoy the read, find better beers, support BE your local pubs and, if you like what you r for Turn ove raft taste, join us at our London festival in C f details o ing February where 50 breweries will is R r e Be showcase hundreds of beers. n 2014
CRAFT BEER RISING ARE...
PUBLISHER: Elastic (getelastic.co.uk) EDITOR: Matt Wright (Twitter: @greatfoodmag) PRINTER: Buxton Press DISTRIBUTOR: Euro Boozer (euroboozer.co.uk) TO ENQUIRE ABOUT CRAFT BEER RISING EVENTS OR MAGAZINE, CALL 020 7639 5556
Melissa Cole contributor: see page 28 Mark Dredge contributor: see page 11 Ben McFarland contributor: see page 6
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CRAFT BEER RISING 2014! ON C R AF
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February at 23 21, 22 & uman r T The Old ry, e w e Br London
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Event timings & prices: > Friday February 21: Trade-only session 1pm-6pm (free); evening session 7pm-midnight (£16.50) > Saturday February 22: Afternoon session 11am-5pm (£16.50); evening session 6pm-midnight (£22) > Sunday February 23: All-day session 11am-6pm (£22) Included in the price of all tickets are £5 worth of CBR beer tokens and a CBR glass.
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bands and DJs – including the legendary Mr Scruff – and throw in some delicious street food and you’ve got an unmissable beer festival. To buy tickets visit craftbeerrising.co.uk
raft Beer Rising the festival will take place at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, on February 21-23. The Craft Beer Rising events and this magazine exist for one reason: to take great beer to the masses. Global beer innovation is now more exciting than it has ever been: Craft Beer Rising celebrates that and has a lot of fun in the process. The inaugural festival last year broke the shackles of the traditional beer gathering and created an environment to appeal to all beer lovers, male or female, young or old. The mission now is to take the events (there is more than one – see p38) to the next level. February’s Craft Beer Rising festival in London will showcase some of the world’s best brews. Add an awesome line-up of
BEER, MUSIC, STREET FOOD
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT CRAFT BEER RISING 2013 The Independent “The organisers struck a good balance, giving plenty of opportunity to learn about, and try, the beer – and then have a dance in the next room.”
Rum and Reviews “Craft Beer Rising 2013 had magic – a magic that is even harder to define than the actual concept of craft beer.”
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Make Mine a Beer “Craft Beer Rising has reinvented the beer festival. Cask, bottles and keg can all play together. Long live the beer uprising!”
Ross Parkes, Lost Group Bars & Restaurants “It was great – lots of positive vibes and a great direction that beer festivals should head in.”
Paul Nunny, Cask Marque director “The beer festival was excellent.” David Martin, CAMRGB “Best beer festival I have been to.”
PHOTOS FROM CRAFT BEER RISING 2013 Beers by: Thornbridge, St Austell, Duvel, Celt Experience, London Velvet, Adnams, Curious Drinks, Sharp’s, Batemans, By The Horns, Redwell, WJ King, Fordham, Brains, Beerd, Old Dairy, Greene King, Oro di Milano, Meantime, Elgoods, Hogs Back, Stewart Brewing, Nene Valley, BeerCat Barcelona, Bristol Beer Factory, Butcombe, West Brewery, Marston’s, Penpont, Thwaites, American Craft Beer Co, Late Knights, Bellerose, Harbour, Rebel Brewing, Liberation, Freedom, Harviestoun and more… Street food by: Fleischmob, Burger Bear, Moon Green Charcuterie, Little Jack Horner and more… Music by: Mr Scruff, London Disco Society, DJ Pete Paphides and more... Talks by: Thinking Drinkers, Heriot-Watt Uni, Mark Dredge, Melissa Cole and more…
FOLLOWING UNCLE SAM American brewers are inspiring the UK’s craft beer revolution. Ben McFarland reveals why…
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ed of face, glazed of eye and with somewhat ambitious facial hair; Uncle Sam is definitely a beer guy. Beer courses deep through America’s veins, percolating through its past – right back to the Founding Fathers. George Washington had a weakness for the dark, shimmering charms of porter and even brewed his own at Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson scribbled parts of the Declaration of Independence over a couple of pints in the Indian Queen Tavern, Philadelphia, while Benjamin Franklin famously declared: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Or did he? Historians have credibly questioned the quote’s veracity recently but, like George
using recipes honed while a home-brewer, began making bottle-conditioned beers of British character. Sadly, he was too far ahead of the curve. With no money, no craft brewing cohorts to help, and surrounded by a sea of light lager, he only lasted five years. But New Albion inspired others and every beer in America’s craft beer movement, and quite a few in Europe too, is a liquid legacy of his pioneering efforts. Today, the tumbleweed has been replaced by a flourishing beer scene in full bloom and continuing to grow. According to the Brewers’ Association, there are more than 2,500 breweries in America – 98% of which are “small and independent”; the
‘240 MILLION PEOPLE, 40 BREWERIES... IN THE 70s US BEER WAS A DESOLATE PLACE’
Bored of fizzy lager But then something rather important happened. Tax on US air travel was cut. It became affordable to get to Europe for Americans who, bereft of decent domestic beer, encountered the flavoursome ales and characterful lagers of Belgium, Germany, Britain and beyond. This merely fanned the flames of disenchantment back home and it wasn’t long before a backlash against bland beer began. A small band of microbrewers, mostly mushrooming in more enlightened areas of America and inspired by European styles, began to sow the seeds of a remarkable American craft brewing revolution. The real pioneer of modern American craft brewing was a quiet, unassuming man called Jack McAuliffe who, in 1976, welded and hammered New Albion Brewing Company together by hand and,
craft market is worth $10.3bn and represents 10.2% of the entire American beer market in dollars. Enter American IPA The beer style that has driven American brewing is unquestionably India pale ale (IPA). Imbued with copious amounts of hops and plenty of alcohol, IPA was first brewed by 18th century British breweries to withstand the six-month sea journey to the Indian subcontinent – before falling out of fashion on this side of the Pond. Yet like
Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery
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said to Jerry in an episode of Seinfeld, “It’s not a lie if you believe it”. But by the 1970s, still smarting from prohibition and two world wars, American beer was a desolate place. Depressingly desolate. A country with more than 240 million people but only 40 breweries. All shamelessly brewing the same insipid, soulless fizzy yellow nothingness with all the excitement of a derelict lift shaft.
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Wild beers and kumquats Although American craft brewers are still heavily accented with hops, the new frontiers are barrel-ageing (maturing beer in wood) and, increasingly, sour beers – many of which rely on the tart, tonguecontorting talents of Brettanomyces yeasts. Also known as ‘wild yeast’ and omnipresent in beer before the advent of modern sanitisation, “Brett” is a funky fellow that most brewers do their utmost to keep out of their tanks. But, increasingly, new world American brewers are embracing its influence – earthiness, spice, funky fustiness and ripe, fermenting fruit flavours. “They’re definitely on everyone’s minds, but the actual sales of sours are almost too tiny to be measured,” says Garrett. “But many of the new brewers are bypassing ‘normal’ beer altogether, and going straight for wild beer, sour beer and barrel-aged beers, which is a fascinating development”. At The Bruery in California, whose beers can be increasingly discovered in the UK, founder Patrick Rue is a dedicated follower of funk and employs unusual ageing techniques, ingredients (kumquats, grapes, Chinese herbs) and untamed yeast strains. The Bruery’s most award-winning affair is Oude Tart, a sharp, acidic experience with arguably more in common with farmhouse cider than conventional beer. “We barrelferment the wort in puncheon barrels with a variety of yeasts and bacteria and then age it in retired red wine oak barrels for a range of eight to 20 months,” says Patrick.
so many beer styles neglected by their European inventors (lambics, porters, ISI NG C R A F RR Scotch ales, saisons, barley wines), TB EE American brewers have breathed s p ti For life back into IPAs, fashioning on some S them with bigger bitterness, ink U must-dr rn intense aromatics and stick-it-tobeers, tu the-man marketing. to p11 According to Garrett Oliver, editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion of Beer and brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery (purveyor of some wonderful brews), there is no sign of IPA slowing down. “IPA is easily the unchallenged tent-pole style of American craft beer,” he says. “Flavour and aroma are slowly becoming as valued as bitterness.”
Bottles in Oregon’s Ale Apothecary
‘INCREASINGLY, NEW AMERICAN BRING OUT EARTHINESS, SPICE, “Time is an important ingredient in our beer,” he says. “Around 40% of it is aged for a year or more in oak barrels.” Back to the old school In the backwoods of Oregon, Paul Arney, founder of the Ale Apothecary, has built a brewery where every vessel, apart from the copper, is made from wood taken from the trees around him. He works with wild yeast, forages in the forests for fruit and herbs, and encourages nature to stick its nose in. His mission? To derive flavours from the brewing process rather than ingredients. “What we aren’t doing as much as brewers in the past did is using equipment that is unique to the brewery or location,” he says. “I am interested in creating truly handmade beer that connects the drinker with the place where the beer originated.”
Paul Arney brews using local materials
ABOUT THE AUTHOR This urinal shows what a US craft beer bar owner thinks of mainstream brews
BREWERS ARE USING WILD YEASTS TO AND RIPE, FERMENTING FRUIT FLAVOURS’ Experimentation and creativity remain rife but, warns Garrett, the future of US beer is equally reliant on technical prowess. “The huge influx of new brewers is raising ‘creativity’ while diluting ‘technical skill’,” he says. ”There are suddenly a lot more bad beers out there. This will change, though, as the new brewers improve.” Corporate stalkers A further threat is the attention, often unwanted, of the corporate brewers keen on a slice of craft beer action. Goose Island was recently bought by AB-InBev, while tales of big brewers kicking the tyres of small ones continue to circulate. “We’re not frightened (of the big brewers),” adds Garrett. “We do wonder, though, who might be bought next.” So far, however, the closeknit craft community has held remarkably
firm and its influence continues to be acutely evident over here and, if imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then American beer must be blushing. European brewers may have provided instruction and inspiration to the likes of Jack McAuliffe in the 1970s but now the tail is wagging the dog. In an ironic twist of history and geography, European brewers are replicating American interpretations of their own traditional beer styles. It is, adds Paul Arney, an incredible time to be involved in American beer. “In the end, beer has a history and tradition of creativity,” he says. “(In the past) folks did their best with what they had and produced interesting, local beer. We are at a point where we can take that and infuse intention and creativity and blow this thing sky high. It’s very exciting.”
Ben McFarland is three-times British Beer Writer of the Year. He is also, along with Tom Sandham, one half of Thinking Drinkers, whose Thinking Drinkers’ Guide To Alcohol has been performed by the pair at both the Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre. Ben is the author of three awardwinning books on beer – Boutique Beer (newly published), The Good Beer Guide West Coast USA (co-written with Tom Sandham) and World’s Best Beers: 1000 Unmissable Brews from Portland to Prague. @thinkingdrinks
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Patrick Rue, founder of California’s The Bruery
TEN BEST OF THE
FROM LAGER TO BARREL-AGED STOUT, MARK DREDGE GUIDES YOU THROUGH TEN MUST-TRY CRAFT BEERS…
ST AUSTELL, KOREV (4.8% ABV)
CANTILLON, GUEUZE (5.0% ABV)
About 95% of beers drunk around the world are uninteresting pale lagers. Yet trace those brews back and you get to classic German and Czech beers, which are now, thankfully, inspiring more craft breweries to make their own lagers, like the well-hopped, aromatic and quenching Korev. Let’s celebrate British breweries making great lagers because they are the beers that can make your mates change their drinking habits.
You really should go to Brasserie Cantillon, just a short walk from Brussels Midi station. Essentially a farmhouse that has been enveloped by the city, Cantillon is one of the most traditional breweries in the world. Its beer is ‘spontaneously fermented’ by wild airborne yeast before going into wooden barrels for up to three years, where it turns acidic, complex, dry and totally sour, a bit like a sharp Champagne.
BREWDOG, DEAD PONY CLUB (3.8% ABV)
SIERRA NEVADA, PALE ALE (5.6% ABV)
Brash, ballsy, bloody-minded, yet undeniably brilliant, BrewDog was at the flagcarrying forefront of change in the British beer industry that saw boring brown brews overtaken by a new style of bright, hoppy beers. With IPA as their hero, these new brews combined in-yourface hops with the low-ABV bangability of British ales, and Dead Pony Club is a stellar example – a riot of hop flavour that you want to drink all night.
When this was first brewed in 1980, you could probably drink a bottle of beer from every US craft brewery in one night and still walk home. Sierra Nevada took an English ale recipe and used lots of Cascade hops to create a revolutionary new beer full of grapefruit flavours and floral aromas – the essential attributes of American hops. It’s the classic American craft beer and still one of the best.
‘IT’S A STELLAR EXAMPLE – A RIOT OF HOP 18 Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 12 2014 2014
TEN OF THE BEST MARK SELECTS FIVE MORE TO SNIFF OUT AT CRAFT BEER RISING LONDON
LAGUNITAS, IPA (6.2% ABV) IPA is the flagship craft beer style and Lagunitas IPA is a textbook example. When looking for something different to light lagers, American brewers took the 250-year-old story of a beer brewed in Britain that spent six months on a sea journey to India and turned it into something new. Now IPA is nothing to do with boats or India; instead it’s a beer loaded with citrussy, resinous American hop aroma and bitterness, and best drunk fresh.
RUSSIAN RIVER, PLINY THE ELDER (8.0% ABV)
THORNBRIDGE, WILD RAVEN (6.6% ABV)
Shouting ‘I’ve got a bottle of Pliny the Elder, who wants some?’ in a craft beer bar is the equivalent of running down Oxford Street yelling ‘Harry Styles is hugging people in Topshop!’ Pliny is a double IPA that’s rightly celebrated and sought-after: it’s like biting into a grapefruit and then an orange, and has a powerfully bitter finish. It’s one of the world’s best beers, but you’d better go to California to get it fresh.
IPA has become a well-hopped template that can be taken in different directions: there’s low-ABV ‘session’ IPAs, white IPAs made with wheat, red IPAs, double IPAs, Belgian IPAs, and more. Black IPA started as something playful (a black pale ale!) but stuck around; the best examples taste like IPA and look like stout. Wild Raven is a perfect creation that combines those delicious citrussy hops with barely any barley bitterness.
Thwaites, Triple C (4.2 ABV%) C is for Cascade hops, which are used in all three of the brewing stages, giving a citrus edge. Bristol Beer Factory, Milk Stout (4.5% ABV) This award-winning National Champion Stout is creamy and full-bodied. Redwell, Craft Pilsner (4% ABV) A crisp English craft lager brewed in Norwich. Adnams Ghost Ship (4.5% ABV) A pale ale brewed with a several malts and Citra hops, creating a lemon and lime aroma. Harbour IPA (5% ABV) Another new take on the British classic, with bags of hop aroma.
FLAVOUR YOU WANT TO DRINK ALL NIGHT’ Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014 13
TEN OF THE BEST
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SCHNEIDER AND BROOKLYN, MEINE HOPFENWEISSE (8.2% ABV) Collaborations are common in craft beer. It’s a chance for breweries to get together and knock up new things. Combining German wheat beer with aggressive American dryhopping, this hopfenweisse shifted the expectations of what these collaborations could achieve. Described as ‘hoppy fireworks’, it explodes with pithy, grassy German hops above the classic clove and banana of a weissbier.
OSKAR BLUES, TEN FIDY (10.5% ABV) In 2002, Oskar Blues became the first craft brewery to install a canning line. At the time it was a trailblazing move but others soon followed. Now Oskar Blues puts pilsner, pale ale, IPA and others into tins, plus Ten Fidy, which is a sensational imperial stout: chocolate, bakery bread, vanilla, fudge, then coffee and a deep bitterness. If you thought canned beer was crap then you’re just drinking the wrong canned beers.
HARVIESTOUN, OLA DUBH (8.0%ABV) Until stainless steel replaced them, wooden barrels were used to age all beers. Now barrels are back. Harviestoun takes Highland Park Distillery’s old barrels and puts a robust, roasty porter into them, which sucks flavour out of the barrel and pushes it into the beer. Different whisky maturities give different qualities to Ola Dubh, but generally give smoke, raisin and salted caramel. They are mesmerising mixes of beer, wood and whisky.
Mark Dredge is from Kent and writes a beer blog called Pencil & Spoon. In both 2011 and 2013 he was named Beer and Food Writer of the Year, and in 2009 he was crowned New Media Beer Writer of the Year. He has written a book called Craft Beer World and in spring 2014 his new book, Beer and Food, will be published. Mark has also designed a ‘Beer Flavour Wheel’ – an infographic that provides details on flavours, aromas and textures you can expect when drinking beer. For more information, visit pencil andspoon.com @MarkDredge
‘IT EXPLODES WITH GRASSY GERMAN HOPS’ 18 Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 14 2014 2014
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The bar in the Flying Pig, East Dulwich
THE RISE OF THE
London’s new-found thirst for exciting beer has driven the launch of some
PICTURES: All images taken from Craft Beer London by Will Hawkes (Vespertine Press 2012)
ay back at the start of the century, long before anyone had thought of The Kernel, Camden Town Brewery or Craft Beer Co, a bar opened in Lavender Hill. It served good beer, but not the ‘good beer’ you might have found elsewhere in London at that time. Microbar, as it was called, was not devoted to cask ale: instead, it celebrated all good quality beer, no matter how it was dispensed or from which part of the world it came. In short, it was the capital’s first craft-beer bar. It was a groundbreaking place. “We didn’t buy into real ale’s myths and narratives at all,” says co-founder Jeff Pickthall. “We enjoyed lager, we enjoyed drinking beer out of kegs. We used our taste buds. Without doing
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extensive market research, our reasoning was: ‘it can’t just be us who wants this sort of bar’. And it wasn’t. That’s become even clearer recently.” And how. London has enjoyed a beer boom over the past few years, with breweries and beer-focused pubs opening across the city. The likes of The Rake (2006), Cask Pub & Kitchen (2009), Euston Tap (2010) and the first Craft Beer Co in Leather Lane (2011) have fed a rapidlygrowing thirst for craft beer. Standards have risen quickly: the sort of beer range that seemed remarkable when The Rake opened is now increasingly common. It’s the same story elsewhere in the UK. Actually – and despite the best efforts of Jeff Pickthall and brother Steve, not to
The Euston Tap opened in 2010
CRAFT PUB exceptional pubs. Will Hawkes is your guide…
mention Meantime Brewery, founded in 1999 – London was a little late in embracing craft beer. North Bar in Leeds, which opened in 1997, is widely seen as the UK’s first craft-beer boozer. In recent years, similar places have opened around the UK: bars like the Port Street Beer House in Manchester and The Hanging Bat in Edinburgh offer a range of beer that would have been unthinkable a few years’ back. It’s not just a city-centre phenomenon, either. That much is clear when you wander into the Flying Pig, a beer shrinecum-American BBQ joint in East Dulwich – a leafy, pushchair-heavy inner south London suburb. This is a neighbourhood of gastropubs and chi-chi trinket shops, so craft beer’s arrival here (The Flying Pig
opened in August last year, joining a branch of the Draft House chain and the increasingly craft-friendly East Dulwich Tavern) shows just how quickly it has become a fixture of middle-class city lives. The Flying Pig’s manager, Mark Sprules, knows London’s beer scene well, having over the past six years worked at pubs like New Cross’s Royal Albert and, most recently, the much-lauded Red Lion in Leytonstone. He believes interest in craft beer has risen hugely in that time. “It has changed massively,” says Sprules, 36. “Even at Leytonstone I was getting people coming in looking for specific beers: ‘have you got this, have you got that?’ Now people from all over London are coming to the Flying Pig to check it out.”
Photo: Luca Sage
CRAFT BEER LONDON APP Launched in 2012, Craft Beer London is an awardwinning guide to the city’s best pubs, shops and breweries. The app allows users to find good pubs wherever they are in London and costs £1.99. It is available for iOS and Android and is constantly updated. There’s also a book by the same name. Search for ‘Craft Beer London’ in the Apple App Store. Twitter: @CraftBeerLondon
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It might be small but there’s plenty of choice in The Rake, SE1
Photo: Luca Sage
‘NOW IT’S EASY TO GET A GREAT BREW, IT’S ABOUT THE AUTHOR Will Hawkes is a freelance journalist and author of the Craft Beer London app and book. He is the current Beer Writer of the Year and pens a beer column for The Independent. He also contributes to the FT, Washington Post and Observer Food Monthly. @Will_Hawkes
Few will leave disappointed. In addition to a wide variety of beers on draught – both cask and keg, although Sprules says keg is more popular – the fridges are filled with beer geeks’ favourites from the UK, Europe and across the Atlantic. There’s a special focus on London breweries, which is apt since the rise of the new London brewers (there are more than 50 now, compared to a mere handful in 2006) has gone hand in hand with the development of London’s new craft-beer pubs. Jasper Cuppaidge, founder and owner of Camden Town Brewery, is impressed by the variety that can be found in London’s new craft-beer pubs. “The new [craft-beer] pubs are all doing it in their own way but doing it well,” he says. “The Black Heart [a Camden bar and gig venue] went out on a limb, for example: at the start it was really quiet. We were selling a keg a week there, now we’re up to 25 a week. It just shows that perseverance shines through. “The bars that sell our beers attract a really interesting, mixed crowd. There’s a
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good revolution [happening], that talks to people around the world about good beer.” It’s a revolution that is attracting new converts by the day. Gordon Smith, a resident of London Fields, was a committed drinker of lagers like Kronenbourg and Becks until he tried Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a Soho bar. “I had never come across a beer with such floral aroma before and was blown away by the relatively huge flavour,” he says. “Since then it has been impossible to go back to the bland beers I used to drink, but the growing amount of craft beer places means it’s now easy to get a great brew whenever. It’s always possible to try something new.” Once converted, drinkers can keep up to date with what’s happening courtesy of social media. The likes of Twitter and Facebook have been absolutely crucial in spreading the word about good beer in London, Spurles believes. “The rise of craft beer in London has happened at the same time as the rise of social media,” he says.
A vast selection in the Craft Beer Co, Leather Lane, Clerkenwell
Photo: Luca Sage
ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO TRY SOMETHING NEW’ “It’s gone hand in hand. Pubs are putting interesting beers on; before Twitter, you’d have to look on a website, people weren’t very likely to do that. It’s easy for the pub to put it up there on Twitter... it’s not the be-all and end-all but it helps.” Social media, of course, did not exist to the same degree back in 2001 when Microbar opened. The Pickthall brothers, frazzled by late nights and, in Steve’s case,
a child, sold up in 2004 but the bar soldiered on until 2011. It seems a shame that the pioneers missed out on the current boom but Pickthall, now based in Cumbria, is philosophical. “If we were starting up now, we’d just be yet another jumping on the bandwagon,” he says. “I felt at the time that we were jumping on the bandwagon... but I don’t think we were, were we?”
FIVE OF LONDON’S BEST… White Beer Co Pelt Trader 1 Craft 2 The 3 The Horse 82 Leather Lane, Arch 3, Dowgate Clerkenwell, EC1N 7TR, thecraftbeerco.com It’s a little blokey for sure, but the original Craft Beer Company pub still has perhaps the best beer range in the city. It’s well worth a visit.
Hill, EC4N 6AP, pelttrader.co.uk The City has lagged behind in terms of places to drink craft beer, but no longer thanks to this gem under Cannon Street Station.
1-3 Parson’s Green, SW6 4UL, whitehorsesw6.com There’s been good beer at this SW6 institution for a long time: worth a visit to try the unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell.
4 Southampton Arms
Rake 5 The 14 Winchester
139 Highgate Road, NW5 1LE, thesouthampton arms.co.uk This pared-back Gospel Oak pub has defined the aesthetic for many of London’s new beer shrines.
Walk, SE1 9AG, utobeer.co.uk/the-rake It’s tiny, yes, but there’s still plenty of excellent beer. Run by the folks behind the Utobeer stall in nearby Borough Market.
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THE HOP MAGICIANS Here are just a few of the breweries who’ll be pulling your beers at Craft Beer Rising London and filling your glasses throughout the year
ANSPACH & HOBDAY, LONDON
nspach & Hobday sound like a pair of unhinged Victorian inventors, and the vision they possess is also rather 19th century in its scale. This pair of home-brewers-turned-pros want to create a cathedral to beer in London. “Inspired by the vast German beer halls and the craft beer revolution, our plan is to build the mother of all breweries and pubs in the middle of London,” says 25-year-old Jack Hobday. “We want to put London back in its rightful place at the centre of the brewing world,” adds Paul Anspach, who is also 25. The University of London graduates started brewing in 2011 as a hobby but this quickly turned into a serious business proposition after receiving great feedback from the likes of Oz Clarke and Melissa Cole. They were soon collaborating with Angelo Scarnera, head brewer at Brew Wharf near Borough Market, to create Off The Cuff – a zesty pale ale – plus a London Porter called Black Dwharf. “We want to create complex, characterful beers that reward curiosity,” says Jack. “We want to explore styles that London used to be known for and make new ones that will be famous in the future.” The next step on their mission to was to acquire some brew kit of their own, make some beers and run a pop-up brewery tap where they could sell the freshest beer possible and get instant drinker feedback: “Selling fresh beers is important to us because beer
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Paul Anspach takes a break mid brew Jack Hobday pulls a pint
tastes best in the shadow of the brewery,” says Paul. In 2013, Paul and Jack smashed their target on crowd-funding website Kickstarter, which enabled them to buy a nano-brewery to act as a test-bed for future ambitions. Says Jack: “Our core aim is to build a beer-loving community, with as little distance between brewer, beer and drinker as possible.” And Anspach & Hobday now have their own premises on Druid Street, Bermondsey. “We’ll be brewing there by the time Craft Beer Rising London takes place in February 2014.”
ANSPACH & HOBDAY BREWS INCLUDE: The Porter, 6.7%: A roasty and complex London Porter infused with new world hops. The Smoked Brown Ale, 6%: An historical brew, harking back to a time when malt was cured over open fires and beer was stored in oak. The IPA, 6%: A hopforward IPA with intense citrus aromas balanced with sweet toffee and caramel malt.
round 140 years ago, Duvel was a new brewer setting out with ambition, passion, some basic kit and not much else. Today, Duvel is one of the best known beer brands in the world, with its ultraconsistent brews making their way onto many favourites lists. Words like smooth, soft, spicy and gently fruity spring to mind when sipping an 8.5% Duvel, or a 6.8% Duvel Single. The Duvel story began when Belgian Jan-Léonard Moortgat and his wife founded the Moortgat brewery farm, not far from Antwerp in 1871 – one of over 3,000 breweries in Belgium at the time. Ironically, it was the First World War that put Duvel on the road to success, when Jan-Léonard’s son Albert, head brewer, became inspired by English ales. Albert travelled to the UK to track down a specific strain of yeast
and eventually got a sample from a Scottish brewer. Albert and his brother Victor used this yeast to brew ‘Victory Ale’ to mark the end of the war. The beer went down a storm and the story goes that during a tasting session, a local exclaimed: “This beer is a real duvel (devil)”. The name was changed and today Duvel is still brewed using yeast from that original Scottish strain.
DUVEL BREWS INCLUDE: Duvel Single, 6.8%: Dry and crisp with mild yeasty citrus notes. Carefully balanced between hops, malt and citrus. Light and crisp; intentionally not heavy or complex. Duvel, 8.5%: Fruity, dry aroma, well-hopped and with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Brewed with Saaz and Styrian Golding hops.
HARBOUR BREWING CO, CORNWALL
n late 2011 we met in a Padstow pub and decided to launch a brewery,” says Eddie Lofthouse. Harbour Brewing Co was born and began to navigate the rocky road from pub chat to reality, with Rhys Powell taking on brewing duties and Eddie handling the rest. Rhys, originally from Wales, had studied brewing at Heriot-Watt University before joining Cornwall’s
Rhys Powell (left) and Eddie Lofthouse
Sharp’s Brewery; Eddie, a Lancashire lad, had been running the family business, the Atlantic Hotel in New Polzeath.“We both have a passion for beer and surfing, so we’re well placed in Cornwall,” says Rhys, who brews on a farm near Trekillick. Starting from scratch, the duo installed a versatile a 10-barrel brewery that allowed them to be creative. “We like to use the best ingredients possible,” says Eddie. “At the moment we’re experimenting with new styles, particularly German wheat beers. One of our new brewers, Sarah Hjalmarsson, is Swedish, so she’s having quite an influence too. We should have some new brews to showcase at Craft Beer Rising but if the surf’s good we sometimes don’t brew as much as we could!”
HARBOUR BREWING COMPANY BREWS INCLUDE: Amber Ale, 4%: A malt-driven ale with caramel and toffee flavour, finished with mild floral hops. India Pale Ale, 5%: A modern interpretation of the British classic with pronounced American hop aromas, citrus flavours and robust yet balanced bitterness. Pale Ale No. 5, 6%: American-inspired pale ale with massive citrus and tropical fruit notes, moderate malt body, and robust bitterness.
Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014 21
THE CELT EXPERIENCE, WALES
eavily influenced by Wales’ ancient Celtic mythology and the country’s brooding landscape, an air of mystery surrounds Welsh brewer The Celt Experience. This comes through in the brewery’s original artwork and branding, in the names it gives its beers, and in some of the beer recipes themselves. Founder Tom Newman certainly takes inspiration from his country’s pagan roots, but this doesn’t mean he brews with Welsh mud and thistles in wooden cauldrons; in fact, The Celt Experience makes some wonderfully complex brews and monitors all of its beers in its brew lab. Take Dark Age (4% ABV) for example, which uses seven different malts, or Oak Belgian Tripel (8.5% ABV), which is part of The Celt Experience’s high ABV Ogham range
and is made with cinnamon, orange peel and Belgian yeast. An energetic brewery with bags of ideas, it has embarked on a series collaborations for its Shapeshifter beers, teaming up with Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery and France’s Brasserie St Germain, among others. The strikingly surreal artwork for The Celt Experience’s Shapeshifter beers is by Chicago’s Sarah Ogren.
CELT EXPERIENCE BREWS INCLUDE: Native Storm, 4.4%: Inspired by 14th century Welsh ruler Owain Glyndwr, this beer has a nutty biscuit body with notes of orange. Cat Scratched Celt, 5.8%: A collaboration with Boxing Cat Brewery of Shanghai, this red beer has a slight coffee malt twist.
The Celt Experience’s Tom Newman
STEWART BREWING, SCOTLAND
here used to be 40 breweries in Edinburgh that created legendary ales using water from the city’s ‘charmed circle’ of underground wells and rivers. Today there are just two working breweries in the Scottish capital: Caledonian, owned by Heineken, and Stewart Brewing, a family-run microbrewery based in Loanhead. The seeds of Stewart Brewing were sown when a
16-year-old Steve Stewart received a homebrew kit for his birthday. Several years later he was studying brewing at Heriot-Watt University and eventually working for Bass. Then a placement at Harpoon Brewery in Boston, USA, provided the inspiration Steve needed to leap into the unknown and launch Stewart Brewing in 2004. Success and several awards have followed.
Steve Stewart hosts a tour of his brewery
22 Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014
STEWART BREWING BREWS INCLUDE: Edinburgh Gold, 4.8%: A gold bier with a continental hop aroma. Supreme Beer of Scotland 2010. Cauld Reekie, 6.2%: A velvety stout with plenty of roasted malt flavours and the strength to take on Scotland’s winter. Forth Mist, 3.9%: A naturally cloudy wheat beer made with Tettnang and Styrian Golding hops to generate gentle citrus tones.
BRAINS CRAFT BREWERY, WALES
till owned by the descendants of the founders – who opened a small brewery behind a Cardiff pub in 1882 – the Brains name has been synonymous with great beer for more than a century. In May 2012, a 15-barrel brewery was built in the space where an old disused mash tun once stood, and so began the Brains Craft Brewery. This facility was built to meet growing demand for variety from a brewery that drinkers know and trust. It also gave head brewer Bill Dobson and his team the flexibility of a smaller production run to brew with a plethora of styles, ingredients and techniques. Bill says: “This new brewery meant we were able to be innovative with our new beers and experiment with various ingredients, styles, ABVs, limited editions and oneoffs. Our main plant has a minimum run of 150 barrels, which limited how much we could experiment with recipes.” To date, Brains Craft Brewery has brewed more than 50 different beers, including Atlantic White, a white IPA; Bragging Rights, brewed to the old Welsh style bragawd (a cross between ale and mead) with honey and spice; and Barry Island, an American-style IPA. Brains Craft Brewery has also used the hands-on nature of the 15-barrel plant as an opportunity to welcome beer enthusiasts to take part in the brewing process. “We’ve welcomed beer writers, customers and our pub managers to brew, share ideas and in the case of some of our customers and pub managers, produce beers they can proudly have on their bar,” says Bill. Most of these collaboration beers were brewed through
Brains head brewer Bill Dobson
Brains Craft Brewery’s Annual Challenge, the first of which was the Ultimate IPA Challenge. This saw beer writers Melissa Cole, Simon Martin, Marverine Cole, Tim Hampson, Martyn Cornell and Thinking Drinkers mash in bright and early at the brewery to brew their take on the ultimate IPA. Thinking Drinkers stole the crown with ‘Boilermaker’, a Penderyn whisky-aged IPA. The recently crowned winner in a second competition, the Continental Beer Challenge, was a beer christened Rye Catcher, brewed by brewing maven Glenn Payne. Rye Catcher beat brews from beer luminaries such as Pete Brown, Robyn Black, Sophie Atherton, Adrian Tierney-Jones and Des de Moor to be crowned champion. Brains Craft Brewery’s plans for 2014 are well under way with a great range planned for Craft Beer Rising London. Beers heading to the event include Shining Tsar, a Russian imperial stout; The Big Smoke, a smoked rauchbier; a New World-style pale ale; and the aforementioned Rye Catcher. For more information on Brains Craft Brewery, visit brainscraftbrewery.com, or to stock any of its latest beers, call 0845 6217990.
BRAINS CRAFT BEERS INCLUDE: Farmer Walloon, 4.5% A traditional farmhouse saison beer, based on the style that originated from the Belgian region of Wallonia. Brewed with a unique saison yeast, sweet malt and fruit flavours are balanced against a peppery spiciness and a dry, crisp bitter finish. Simply Red, 4.5% A red ale brewed with Premium Pale Ale, Munich, Crystal and Cara Red malts for colour, and hopped with a combination of Amarillo, Citra, Cascade, Summit and Centennial, this dark, copper red ale packs a powerful bitterness and a citrussy punch. Boilermaker, 6.5% An IPA brewed in collaboration with Thinking Drinkers. Hopped with Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade and Willamette, and matured with Penderyn whiskyinfused oak chips in casks from the distillery, the arts of distillation and brewing combine to create an epic Welsh IPA.
Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014 23
FORDHAM & OLD DOMINION BREWING COMPANY O nce two separate breweries, Fordham traces its name back to Benjamin Fordham, who was given a licence to brew in the colonial port of Annapolis, USA, by Queen Anne in 1703. The micro-brewery was reborn in 1995. Old Dominion, a colonial nickname for Virginia, began as a microbrewery in 1989. It was the brainchild of ex-government worker Jerry Bailey, who gave up his office job to brew the sort of exciting beers he and his friends wanted to drink. The two businesses joined forces in 2007 to create the Coastal Brewing Company and since 2009 have brewed at a purpose-built site in Dover, Delaware. Importing to the UK started in 2011, arriving to a warm reception. According to the brewery, the Fordham & Dominion experience is not about drinking beer. “Well, it sort of is, but it’s so much more,” says Jim Lutz, CEO of Coastal Brewing. “The Fordham & Dominion Experience is about appreciating every aspect of the brew encounter.” The first thing you notice about a Fordham or Dominion craft beer is the exciting packaging. It shouts ‘try me’.
journey continues up the scale, playing a fine tune en route until you reach the hopheaven, tongue-tastic brews that challenge drinkers and defy the ordinary. In short, the range is about converting the beer-curious into a fully-fledged beer enthusiast.
Like being experimental? The pronounced flavours and diversity of the Fordham & Dominion range lends its beers to all kinds of food pairings and for use in recipes. If you love experimenting, the latest craze is to include craft beer in cocktails. Check out the websites (see below) for a cocktail recipe dreamt up by David Ashton-Hyde, beverage manager at Heston Blumenthal’s Hinds Head in Bray Fordham and Dominion beers are all about converting the beer drinker into a fully-fledged beer enthusiast. Before you sip, be prepared to get emotional. For more details visit FordhamBeers.co.uk and DominionBeers.co.uk
Challenging preconceptions Fordham and Dominion’s range of ales, lagers, wheat beer and stouts is diverse. Starting with session-able, transition beers to coax the curious, they deliver full-on depth and flavour that intentionally stop short of overpowering the rookie. The
24 Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014
Jim Lutz, CEO of Coastal Brewing
CORE BEERS IN THE RANGE INCLUDE… Fordham Copperhead, 5% This amber ale blends caramelised malted barley with pronounced hop character. Fordham Ram’s Head IPA, 7.5% An aggressively hopped IPA, with 75 International Bitterness Units. Old Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale, 6% A past US Beer Tasting Championships Grand Champion, this is a rich American Pale Ale. Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, 6% Roasted and smoked malts create an intricate malt foundation. Dry hopping with vanilla beans and oak chips adds depth of flavour.
MEET THE BREWERS COLIN STRONGE, head brewer, Buxton Brewery
ith his imperial stouts, sours, barrel-aged beers and double IPAs, 33-yearold Irishman Colin Stronge loves getting creative. He joined Derbyshire’s Buxton Brewery last May and leads a brewing team that was recently ranked 52nd out of 13,000 by Ratebeer.com. “I fell into brewing,” says Colin. “I moved to England in 1998 to study architecture at Liverpool Uni. To pay the bills I got bar work at a brewpub run by Liverpool Brewing Co [now defunct]. I loved it, especially learning how the beers were created with different malts and hops. Next I moved to Manchester and ended up at Marble Brewery for nine years.”
Colin then joined Black Isle Brewing, north of Inverness, and stayed for two years before heading south to Buxton. “There’s a real desire to keep things moving forward in British brewing at the moment,” says Colin. “I get ideas from beer festivals – my favourite brew of 2013 was one I stumbled across at a festival – Limoncello IPA by Siren Craft [Berkshire], although my favourite of all time is Orval, a Belgian Trappist ale. “I also get ideas from stuff I find lying around. The past year was good for berries here in the Peaks, so we made a beer called Red Raspberry Rye. We’re also experimenting with aged beers.”
LOGAN PLANT, head brewer and founder, Beavertown Brewery
rowing up in the West Midlands, I remember going to lots of beer gardens,” says 34-year-old Logan Plant, jointfounder of Hackney’s Beavertown Brewery. “I got to know the beers of the Black Country family brewers – Bathams, Holden’s and Enville.” It clearly made an impression, but it wasn’t until the age of 29 that those ale-soaked seeds sprouted in the mind of Logan, and the former musician started to pursue a career in beer. “I was with my brother in Brooklyn, New York, after playing a gig. We popped into a craft bar and there was this amazingly fresh, powerfully hopped beer being served. It was fantastic.”
This catalyst took effect and Logan began homebrewing. Fifteen months later he opened a four-barrel brewhouse – Duke’s Brew and Que in De Beauvoir, Hackney. “Duke’s is a barbecue restaurant so we brewed beers with food in mind. Our first beer – 8-Ball Rye IPA – was for the pork, and our second, Smog Rocket, a smoked porter, was designed for the beef ribs.” It didn’t take long for Logan and the team to outgrow Duke’s Brew and Que, which is now their tap house, and in March 2013 Beavertown moved to a bigger brewery in Fish Island, East London. Logan’s favourite beer? “Furious by Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis.”
Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014 27
STRAWBERRIES & S There’s a lot more to beer and food matching than ordering a Kingfisher with your
s I write this I am sipping a well kept pale ale and nibbling on a particularly fine roast pork and stuffing sandwich in Whitelock’s pub in Leeds. And it is a proper pub, complete with swirly carpet, copper bar, old signs like Vaux’s Stout and Robert Fenwick & Co India Pale Ale, wonderful warm service and, mid-afternoon on a Friday, it is absolutely packed. But the hum and buzz of the conversation is such that it’s actually helping my writing, even hundreds of miles from home I feel like I am part of ‘something’, in the hub of the community, and I am genuinely wondering if I need anything else in life. I mean, come on, a proper pub, tasty beer and Vitamin P(ork) – does it get any better? Well, for my stomach and heart’s desires right now, the simple answer is no, because sometimes
simplicity (flawlessly executed by smiling staff) is sheer perfection. But sometimes, just sometimes, I want a bit more complexity and, at others, I want gloriously mad, exciting and experimental – and I think you might, too. So, to save you some time and disgusting experiences, I’d like to offer you some of the benefit of my triumphs, cock-ups and weekly staples in the world of beer and food. Drink! Right, beer and food matching. It’s not rocket science but nor is it a total breeze; there are tried-and-tested pairings that can virtually never be ballsed-up but, just to make sure, here is my first hard and fast rule... try your beer first. Smell it, savour it, roll it around your mouth – take more than a sip of it, try a
BEERY CHEESE SOUP RECIPE Serves four 200g diced carrots 250g diced leeks 200g diced celery 4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped 700ml chicken stock (or vegetable if looking for a vegetarian option) 500ml ballsy bitter like Fuller’s ESB, Bateman’s XXB, Celt Bronze or Adnams Broadside 125g butter 40g flour 950ml milk 680g strong cheddar, grated
Couple of grates of nutmeg 10ml Lea & Perrins 3g dry mustard Hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional) Seasoning Warm crusty bread saucepan 1 Inovera large medium heat,
add butter. When melted gently fry carrots, onion, celery – then add garlic while vegetables are softening.
pan with 2 Deglaze stock and take from
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heat, ensure it’s settled to a mere simmer, then add the beer. Put back on heat to gently simmer until vegetables are totally tender and the beer smell has settled into that fresh bread aroma – about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and blitz smooth (if you want a super-silky finished product then pass through fine sieve and muslin). Set aside. Make a white roux with flour and butter, then add milk to
create béchamel, put in a couple of gratings of nutmeg and then slowly whisk into the beer mixture, until it’s fully integrated. Slowly add cheese, stir until whole lot is lusciously amalgamated. In small bowl whisk together the L&P and dry mustard, pour it into the soup and whisk in, check for heat and add a hit of hot sauce/ cayenne if desired. Check for seasoning and serve with warm, crusty bread.
BEER & FOOD MATCHING
curry, says Melissa Cole
whole glass or you won’t know if it’s one of those ‘building beers’, where the bitterness fairy comes up all of a sudden and rabbit punches you in the throat. Or perhaps when it warms up you may be visited by the unwanted deity of diacetyl (think Werther’s Originals soaked in beer). If possible share it with others, they might be more sensitive to that shaggy damp dog aroma caused by overexposure to light, or to that peppery oxidation than you. Only through experience am I pretty good at matching beers with food, so that 65-75% of the people who try the matches are pretty happy, but there’s always going to be the minority that finds certain aspects out of whack or utterly overwhelming. So drink, dammit! Why do I say this? Well if you don’t know the flavour profiles of your chosen beer, on your palate, then you
‘A FLORAL IPA CAN BE A VERY SURPRISING MATCH FOR A WHITE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM WITH STRAWBERRIES’
Craft Beer Rising 2014 Winter/Spring 29
BEER & FOOD MATCHING
MELISSA COLE’S FOUR Cs OF BEER & FOOD MATCHING – think about the way a sharp 1 Cut fruit- or vinegar-based sauce cuts
through the richness of duck, or how lemon juice matches oily fish, and choose a beer style accordingly: it could be a citrussy pale ale or wheat beer to go with sashimi or a bold kriek with duck. – a creamy stout or 2 Complement coffeeish imperial porter goes
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Melissa Cole is an award-winning sommALEier and beer evangelist. She judges beer competitions from London to Spain and Amsterdam to America. She runs private & public beer-tasting events and has written the book Let Me Tell You About Beer. Her website is letmetellyouabout beer.co.uk @melissacole
won’t know how intense it is to you and you won’t be able to follow step two, which is matching the intensity of flavour in your food to the intensity of flavour in your beer. For the same reasons you should know your beer, it’s best to start off with recipes you know too, that way you will be able to find your base measurement – your ground-state of beer and food equilibrium, if you will – and once you have that baseline reading you can build from there. Four C-words of the Beerpocalypse It’s also good to have a look around to find people who have a similar sense of taste to you. I have a new hero in the world of beer and food matching and he’s Fred Bueltman from New Holland Brewing. He’s recently written something called the Beervangelist’s Guide to the Universe and it’s a truly awesome book, full of recipes, matching suggestions, cooking tips and rants about really getting in touch with your food. As well as being a superb guy and fine brewer, Fred also introduced me to the fourth ‘C’ of beer and food matching. Now, don’t worry, this isn’t some sort of scientology off-shoot where I claim the hops will come to life and we’ll climb the bines to everlasting rapture in the fields of Beerlysium, this is all about the tenets of beer and food matching. In the past I’ve always talked about the three Cs: contrast, complement or cut, but Fred points out there is a fourth: create. So, on the right are my rules of beer and food matching, with a little help from my friends!
18 Craft 30 CraftBeer BeerRising Rising2014 Winter/Spring 2014
brilliantly with a tiramisu, while a Trappist ale with a Flemish carbonnade (beef and beer stew) is a match made in heaven. – an oud bruin is a 3 Contrast surprising foil for rich pâté and a
floral IPA can be a very surprising match for a white chocolate ice cream with strawberries. – when you match a 4 Create raspberry wild ale with chocolate
mousse you are creating a riot of flavours, in the same way that a sharp coulis will make the chocolate come alive from merely sweet to a palatelivening pantheon of sensations. And finally… Using beer in cooking can be a little more complex. The major thing to watch out for is hop or malt bitterness, especially if you are going to be reducing the beer or cooking it for a long time. I find barley wines or milds generally work better in stews than the usual suggestion of stout, and never – and I mean never – deglaze your pan with beer. You should use a little stock or water to bring the temperature down on the pan before you add your beer, otherwise you’ll shock all the bittering compounds out of the brew. That means they’ll sit on the surface with any oil, so all you’ll get is an oily, bitter coating in your mouth – yuck! Other than that, go forth my beery chefs and sommALEiers-in-training, cut, complement, contrast and create to your hearts’ content, and if you come up with a particularly fine match or dish, please tell me about it on Twitter: @melissacole
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NUNHEAD:CRAFT BEER M THE OLD NUN’S HEAD
unhead in south-east London has evolved into something of a craft beer and food hub – a place where in-the-know ale pilgrims can bow down and drink. Bottles, cans and deli foods are covered by deli-café-bar Bambuni (see opposite), local craft breweries are represented by The Ivyhouse, and traditional and national craft beers – and good food to match – are served daily in The Old Nun’s Head. The Old Nun Head’s has progressively developed its beer offering over the past four years, moving from four to eight cask ale pumps, introducing two local keg lines and packing its fridge with US and European craft brews. The stocking policy on the pumps is to have two regular house ales – currently Sharp’s Doom Bar and Hogsback Tea – plus two pumps devoted to London brewers such as By The Horns and Windsor & Eton. Then, on most weekends, another brewery takes to the remaining four pumps for a brewery takeover. The Old Nun’s Head also holds regular beer festivals, meet-the-brewer
‘GOOD QUALITY CRAFT BEER IS NOW INTEGRAL TO THE OLD NUN’S HEAD’
sessions and offers two-pint takeouts. But just as important is the food: the pub frequently hosts pop-up street-food events alongside its in-house menus. Current street-food resident at The Old Nun’s Head is Burger Bear (see below) but also not to be missed is Wings & Ribs Night every Wednesday. On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays expect a seasonal, locally sourced menu that is regularly rotated by in-house chefing maestro Nick Delgado. However, the piece de resistance is undoubtedly the Sunday roast.
ppearing every Tuesday night and all day on Saturdays at The Old Nun’s Head is 28-year-old Tom Reaney, aka Burger Bear. The Peckham-based street food purveyor is master of the grill and owner of possibly the finest bacon jam recipe this side of the Atlantic. Burger Bear’s beef is supplied by Charlie Shaw from Flock & Herd Butchery of Peckham, described as “the best butchers in town” by the Evening Standard. Meanwhile, Tom’s bacon jam is the perfect foil for his burgers. Its ingredients include Jack Daniel’s, coffee, maple syrup, onions,
32 Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014
garlic, jalapenos and, of course, bacon. Tom’s tip for the perfect beer to go with one of his burgers is Windsor & Eton Brewery’s golden ale, Knight of the Garter. Twitter: @burgerbeartom
Top left: Tom Reaney. Right: A serious burger
BEER IN LONDON
The south-east London village is becoming a shrine to craft beer and artisan food BAMBUNI’S TOP BEER PICKS
unhead is also home to Bambuni, a deli, licensed café, wine and beer store that offers more than 100 types of craft ale, from British IPAs to the latest brews from across the pond. Huey Murray opened Bambuni just over two years ago, and it is already becoming a well-known destination for craft beer aficionados from New Cross to Brixton. Huey has overseen a gradual increase in his range and Bambuni now stocks many of London’s finest ales, as well as beers from
Bristol Beer Factory, Southville Hop “Our go-to hoppy IPA.”
‘BAMBUNI IS HOME TO MORE THAN 100 TYPES OF CRAFT BEER’
Kernel, Table Beer and pale ales “Still our best sellers and number one post-shift beer.”
as far afield as Hawaii and Italy. All bottles are available to take away or to drink in the licensed café for the same price. Huey explains: “When we first opened in 2011 the craft beer movement began to take off, although I don’t think anyone realised quite how rapidly it would expand. At first I focused on London breweries like The Kernel, as well as fairly established British brewers, but as our customers became more experimental we have expanded our range to include lessrecognisable names and more beers from the USA. We try to understand our customers’ tastes and offer them something they may not have tried
Ilkley, Siberia Rhubarb Saison “We love this!” Beavertown Gamma Ray “One word: delicious!”
before – some will stick with the same beers every week but our favourite customers ask ‘what’s new?’. Between myself and assistant manager Simon we make sure we have sampled every beer in the shop. It’s fantastic to be able to introduce people to better beer.” If you’re after something tasty to go with your beer then Bambuni stocks mountains of suitable snacks – from premium pork scratchings, crisps and nuts to Scotch eggs, salami and saucisson. Huey and team can also give you advice on the best cheese and charcuterie to match your beer of choice – all of which is available to buy from Bambuni’s deli counter.
Odell, IPA “A perfectly balanced IPA.” Brewers Union, Beast of the Deep “Goes really well with our Napoli Piccante Salami.”
ABOUT BAMBUNI Bambuni sells over 50 British and continental cheeses alongside Italian, Spanish and British charcuterie, and stocks freshly baked bread, refill oils, premium groceries and whole foods. Fully licensed,
it also sells ciders, plus a wide range of fine wines to take home or drink on the premises. It serves light meals, cakes, pastries and ice creams in-store and to take away. Normal opening hours are 9am-5.30pm
Tuesday – Saturday, and 10am-4pm Sunday. It is open late on the last Friday of every month for a regular Bar @ Bambuni night, serving cheese and charcuterie alongside great beers and wines.
Bambuni, 143 Evelina Road, London, SE15 3HB, 020 7732 4150, bambuni.co.uk, @BambuniNunhead
Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014 33
Matt Wright visits Bexar County Brewery to measure out the malts and mash in a collaborative beer…
f you want to really understand beer, try brewing it yourself. Using a kit from the homebrew shop is a good place to start, but to get an even better feel for the process, nothing beats producing beer from raw ingredients on proper kit. By breathing in the malt dust, crunching the malted grains between your teeth, sampling the wort, sniffing the hops and finally tasting the beer as it matures, you get your head all the way around how this glorious liquid is created. I got the chance to do just that on behalf of Craft Beer Rising Magazine at Bexar (pronounced ‘Bear’) County Brewery in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Bexar County Brewery was founded by Texan Steven Saldana just over a year ago. Steve prides himself on his freestyle, anything-
xx Craft 34 CraftBeer BeerRising Rising2014 Winter/Spring 2014
goes approach and has come up with some truly inventive beers like Texas Pecan Coffee Mild, La Perla Negra En Fuego (made with hatch chillis), Come And Get It (a deceptively strong imperial red ale) and Papa Steve (an imperial American stout). After meeting Steve for a beer and discovering we both share a love for Duvel and its wonderful ability to enhance the experience of eating most savoury foods, we decided to try to create a drop of our own that would work beautifully with cheeses and charcuterie. It would be a palecoloured, mildly citrussy beer with plenty of hop aroma but without an in-your-face hoppiness on the palate. We wanted to give our beer a malty spiciness and a strength that would cut through fats to refresh the mouth, but also, of course, taste great.
‘IT WOULD BE A PALE-COLOURED, MILDLY CITRUSSY BEER WITH PLENTY OF HOP AROMA’
Steve Saldana, founder of Bexar County Brewery, shows Craft Beer Rising Magazine how it’s done
HOW WE MADE IT…
Steve identified four types of malts to provide the taste we wanted: Maris Otter Pale, Caragold, Munich and White Wheat. I tried all four and the difference in the flavour of each was huge. Using different malts is the first tool a brewer can use in his quest to create different styles and flavours.
In a large vessel (the mash tun), the malts were added to 180 gallons of water raised to 81°C (but falling to 65°C once mixed with the malts). This was left to mash for an hour, during which time the malts release sugars. The hotter the water in which the grains mash, the thicker the mouthfeel of the final beer.
After an hour, some of the liquid (now referred to as ‘wort’) was drained and tipped back on top of the grain bed. This process is known as ‘vorlauf’ and helps to clarify the wort. After the ‘vorlauf’, the mash was sprinkled with hot water – known as sparging – to extract even more sugar.
Craft Beer Rising Winter/Spring 2014 35
During the sparge, all the wort was drained from the mash tun and transferred into the copper kettle, where it was boiled for exactly 60 minutes. Steve stressed the importance of ensuring it was a rolling boil, not just a simmer – crucial for driving out oxygen and encouraging various chemical processes. The length of the boil is another tool that the brewer can use to control characteristics of the final beer.
During the boil, two types of hops were introduced. Nugget was added with 15 minutes of the boil to go and Pacific Gem was thrown in at the end. The earlier that the hops are added, the more hop flavour and bitterness is imparted. The layered additions of hops during the boil is a real art form as it can have a huge impact on final flavour. At the end of the boil we also added 50g of peppercorns to introduce spiciness.
After the boil, the wort was transferred from the kettle to the fermenting tank via clean pipes. On its way, the liquid was passed through a ‘hopback’ containing Cascade and Citra hops. Using a hopback allows you to introduce hop aroma rather than intense hop flavour. Because the hops aren’t boiled in the wort but merely passed through, they don’t release as much of their potent oil.
INTRODUCING KAAS BIER
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After the brew, the spent malts were picked up by Peterborough farmers Alan Durose and Matthew Clifton.
Finally, the wort was put through a heat exchange (dropping the temp from 100°C to 22°C ) and into the fermentation tank. Yeast was added – a Belgian variety that gives a spicy flavour. Getting the wort temperature down is crucial as yeast is most active at 2025C. The wort was left to ferment for two weeks and then transferred to cask until ready to drink. The final specific gravity was 1070, which should produce a 6.7% beer.
A month later I returned to taste the beer. I was impressed. Aromas of banana, caramel, spice and strawberry hit the nose. Then the 6.7% ABV pale-golden beer transferred this fruitiness to the palate – along with sweet, peppery spice – before giving way to a crisp, bitter finish. We named it Kaas Bier (‘kaas’ is Flemish for ‘cheese’) because it has similar characteristics to certain Belgian Trappist beers and goes superbly with a cheeseboard. Editor Matt Wright at the brewery
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