FERMENT EXPERIMENTS IN THE GLOBAL CRAFT ALCOHOL MOVEMENT ISSUE #11
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF BEER
EDITOR’S NOTE Some people don’t like change but here at Beer52 we embrace it! Your monthly craft beer magazine F ermenthas had a makeover. I would like to personally welcome you to your brand spanking new version. It is now bigger and better than ever. Fermentis constantly evolving and it was time for the magazine to take the next step in becoming your go-to monthly craft beer publication. Mike Williams, founder of The Brewer’s Design Society, is now on board and has created our new look. In response to taking on board several projects from within the craft beer industry, Mike formed The Brewer’s Design Society. His conceptdriven practice boasts an enthusiasm for artistic design and brewing awesome forward-thinking beer so he was the perfect fit to get involved with the redesign of F erment. Check him out at www.brewersdesignsociety.com and on Twitter @brewdesignsoc. This is only the beginning and we hope to continue to develop F erment. With it looking so good, it will soon be available in all good beer bars, cafes and independent bookshops. I hope you enjoy it! It’s all about the weird and wonderful world of craft beer this month. From crazy flavours, to discovering new styles, to infusing your own beers, we celebrate how exciting and creative the craft beer industry is and why we all love it so much. We discuss what craft beer really means and whether or not it needs a definition here in the UK. We always want to hear from you so if you would like to join the conversation get in touch on Twitter @beer52hq. The illustrator this month is Olly Paterson. Olly took inspiration for the cover from the cut-out dolls and model planes from the 1950s and 60s. This time, instead of clothes or aeroplane parts, we are able to cut out the huge variety of new and exciting ingredients which brewers are experimenting with. Check out his website for more of his work at www.ollyp.com. I really do hope you like the new version of F ermentas much as we do! Erin Bottomley Editor Email: email@example.com
DIY Financing for a DIY Industry 05
Matthew Curtis is a London-based freelance beer writer and speaker. In 2014 he coauthored Craft Beer: The 100 Best Breweries in the World for Future Publishing and is currently working on the follow up, Beer & Craft: Britain’s Best Bars and Breweries, which will be self-published later this year. He is the author of beer blog T otal Alesand can be found getting enthusiastic about beer on Twitter @totalcurtis.
Neil Walker is a beer expert and selfconfessed foodie. Alongside freelance beer writing, he authors the popular E ating isn’t Cheatingwebsite which focuses on recipes, beer matching and (when he can manage it) beer tourism. So if you want to know how to make the perfect BBQ brisket and which beer to serve with it, Neil’s the man for you.
Crowd Funding is the latest trend to hit the craft beer industry and helping to get more beer into your glass.
Pushing the Boundaries of Beer
From the weird and wonderful to the downright bizarre, has craft beer gone too far?
Culinary Acrobatics Test your palate with these unusual beer and food combinations.
New Zealand: A Craft Beer Nation 10
London-born now Edinburgh-based, Olly studied illustration at the Kent Institute of Art & Design. He works with busy, colourful and eye-catching compositions. When not working on commissions, Olly can be found working on his own comics and prints, which he exhibits at various small press events and shows. Check out his work at www.ollyp.com.
Now Edinburgh-based, Lynn studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, starting with visual communication and continuing in photographic and electronic media. Her work extends across a number of mediums, mainly photography and illustration. She now works as the operations manager and resident photographer here at Beer52. Get in touch with all beer and photography enquires at firstname.lastname@example.org and @Lynn_Bremner.
How New Zealand became one of the most important nations in craft beer.
What’s in your box!
Descriptions of the handpicked craft beers featured in your beer box this month.
International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day 2015.
Hungry Bear’s Blog
What is Craft Beer?
Laurie Black is the founder of Total Malts, a company established in 2015 which specialises in a variety of whisky-related services. Currently, they provide the UK’s only accredited whisky training programme on behalf of The Whisky Ambassador, as well as arranging and conducting bespoke whisky tasting events. Total Malts are also involved in the sale of whisky casks, and are in the process of creating a blog designed to introduce readers to the world of malts. www.totalmalts.com @totalmalts.
Run by Rich and Sal from their little flat in Welwyn, The Hungry Bears’ Blog is a collection of recipes brought together to inspire other people with little kitchens (and little time!) to tuck into good, homemade food. Check them out: www.thehungrybearsblog.com.
Craft Beer is a term so readily used nowadays but what does it really mean?
Nicci Peet is a freelance photographer based in Bristol. Photography has been a passion for Nicci since a young age; beer in comparison is a relatively new one. Her love of beer slowly developed over the past few years, helped along by working in beer bars. This gave her insight into the beer industry where she experienced the misguided stereotypes found around beer. She now further explores an industry she loves through photography, and hopefully dispels some age-old myths along the way. Find her – http://niccipeet.tumblr.com, Twitter: @niccipeet and prints: http:// society6.com/niccipeet.
Jade worked as a newspaper journalist before turning to marketing and PR – among many other things. She lives in Cornwall where she promotes Firebrand Bar & Restaurant, a new brew pub and BBQ joint run by the people behind Penpont Brewery and Firebrand Brewing Co. Conveniently they also run the Beer Cellar bottle shops where Jade stocks up on interesting new beers between the arrival of Beer52 crates.
Whisky Regions: A quick guide to the five regions of whisky.
Natural Selection Brewing
Hopping over microscopic hurdles by Sam Fleet and the Natural Selection team.
Recipe for a super yummy beer bread from The Hungry Bears’ Blog.
DIY FINANCING FOR A DIY INDUSTRY
Crowd Funding – the latest trend to hit the craft beer industry and helping to get more beers into your glass. By Jade Farrington The craft beer scene was built on people doing it themselves, waving goodbye to the rat race and putting their life savings into a second hand brewing set up. But what if you’ve got no savings or can’t access a bank loan to expand your operation? BrewDog famously admitted lying to get the bank to lend, but not everyone wants to leave themselves open to bankruptcy or prosecution in order to brew beer. Crowd funding was practically unheard of until relatively recently.
If you wanted external investment you’d have to convince businessmen that you were worthy of their cash and hand over a serious stake in your company for the privilege. Nowadays you can put together a smart video, appeal to your existing customers with perks such as tshirts and discounts on beer, and pull in all the cash you need. Already established, Camden Town Brewery opted for the high end Crowdcube to finance a new brewery. Unusually for a crowd funding campaign this involved issuing equity,
but only 2.73% off their company was lost in exchange for over £2 million. At the time of writing the project is massively over funding, having only sought £1.5 million. At the other end of the scale, Dynamite Valley Brewing Co, based in Ponsanooth in Cornwall, turned to Crowdfunder to raise the £8,000 they needed to get started in a new building. Very much a community effort, they want their drinkers in the brewery, tasting beers and helping out. Dynamite Valley successfully met and exceeded their
target not by selling shares but by offering beer tokens and tshirts, as well as the chance to make a beer at the new brewery. They are also overfunding and hope that £12,000 will purchase more fermentation vessels so a larger variety of beers can be produced. If a lack of cash is holding you back from your dream of opening a brewery you can cross that final excuse off your list.
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF BEER
From the weird and wonderful to the downright bizarre, has craft beer gone too far? By Erin Bottomley Budweiser recently faced controversy over their Super Bowl advert in which they attempted to ridicule the craft beer movement by insinuating that craft beer was moving too far away from the beer we are supposed to know and love. But has it gone too far? The craft beer revolution has seen the re-emergence of lots of interesting and obscure beer styles which has allowed all of us to explore a new world of alcoholic beverages.
But coffee in a stout is not a new thing. Brewers are always looking for inventive flavours to infuse with. Marble Earl Grey IPA is wonderful and infuses all the delicious floral flavours of the tea into a refreshing and light IPA. Atom’s aptly named Camomile (featured in this month’s box) was born from the collaboration between Atom and The Blending Rooms. After many tea tasting sessions, they decided the aromatic and pungent camomile flowers would blend perfectly into a sweet and light base beer. They aimed for absolutely minimal hop flavour, wanting the camomile to be the key flavour component, and so they exclusively used hops for a mild bitterness. Thus, the ridiculously drinkable Camomile beer was born! Initially planned as a one-off brew, its popularity was such that it is now part of their core range. As craft beer drinkers we are always looking for something new and exciting to tantalise our taste buds so its no wonder these beers are so popular. One brewery which has excelled due to its love of the unusual is Wild Beer Co based in Westcombe Dairy in
Photo: Lynn Bremner
Many breweries are now experimenting with new ingredients to give their beers a ‘special something’. Take Mikkeller, who are known for experimenting with crazy flavour combinations. One of their most popular beer ranges – the B eer Geek Breakfastseries – has a special beer up its sleeve: Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is an imperial oatmeal stout brewed with one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Weasel-like civet cats from south east Asia have a diet which consists mainly of the best and ripest coffee berries. Enzymes in their digestive system help to break down the coffee beans so that once collected (What a job!) the half-digested beans make a coffee with a serious kick. Brunch Weasel uses these beans to give its signature espresso coffee flavour. Now that’s inventive.
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF BEER
Somerset. They embrace the weird and bonkers nature of brewing and push it to its limits. Their beers are based around the traditional Belgian method of purposefully infecting the beer to create pleasingly sour, food-friendly beer. They constantly experiment with different wild yeast to create intricacies and nuances one would normally associate with fine wines. There is wild yeast everywhere and once a brewery encourages it, it will happily spontaneously ferment and sour the beer. It isn’t just the yeast which makes these beers interesting. They embrace all flavours: chocolate and salted caramel, crushed espresso, mint and cucumber, smoked tea and bruleed sugar to name a few. If you are looking for something that will excite and surprise, Wild Beer Co never fail to impress. But the brewers don’t get to have all the fun. If you fancy yourself as a flavour aficionado then get experimenting with your own beers. All you need is a French press or a Kilner jar, your favourite beer and whatever ingredients you like. Leave to infuse, and voilà, you have your own unique beer. Try summer fruits for tart and sweet flavours, or coffee and cocoa nibs with a yummy stout. Add some extra hops to create your own hop bombs.
Photo: Lynn Bremner
So whether its coffee, chocolate, fruit, rose hip, bacon, pink peppercorns, oysters or whatever other ingredients brewers come up with, we say ‘Why not?’ Let the brewers embrace their creativity and delight us with their wacky concoctions.
Test your palate with these unusual beer and food combinations. By Neil Walker Beer and food matching relies almost entirely on two simple principles – complementing or contrasting flavours. It’s a fancy way of saying you either choose a beer which shares some similar flavours with the dish – so perhaps a rich, dark imperial stout with a gooey chocolate brownie – or you go in the opposite direction and pick something which contrasts the flavours in order to highlight them. So perhaps a sharp cherry kriek beer, which would work amazingly well with that same chocolate brownie, but for entirely different reasons.
A strong, full-flavoured blue cheese such as a well-aged Stilton with all of its salty, tangy, umami-laden flavours, might not sound like the perfect partner to mango chutney, typically the lubricant for a poppadom, but the combination really works. The sweetness of the chutney brings out the rich fruitiness of the cheese in a way that has to be tried to be believed. Add a third dimension to that combination, with the inclusion of a fruity, hoppy American-style double IPA on the side, and you’ve got flavour fireworks. American-style Double IPAs share a fruity, mango-laden sweetness with the chutney, but they also bring out the best in funky cheese, and are one of the few beer styles that can handle the level of flavour going on in this combo, which is great on a burger. Beer suggestions: M agic Rock Brewing Co – Cannonball, Dogfish Head – 90
Photo: Lynn Bremner
So that’s the starting point, the basics. But where’s the fun in sticking to the rules all the time? Some flavour combinations sound a little bit left field but actually work very well. Here’s my attempt to challenge your taste buds into trying something new, with a food and beer combination that you might not have given a go before.
Blue Cheese, Mango Chutney, Double IPA
Strawberries, Basil, Saison Fresh, seasonal British strawberries are something extremely special. With a much more intense, perfumed flavour than those grown in other warmer parts of the world year-round, our home-grown strawberries are well worth the wait. One unusual but astounding combination is strawberries with fresh torn basil. The strawberry juice seems to coax the sweetness out of the fresh basil, which in turn highlights the aromatics in British strawberries beautifully. Only the tiniest touch of sugar is needed – if at all – yet this still works perfectly as a refreshing summer dessert and isn’t in the least bit ‘savoury’. Add a crisp, fragrant saison to the mix and you’ve got something which is the perfect end to a meal. The
herbaceous quality of a good saison just works amazingly well with the strawberry and basil combination. Every ingredient seems to bring out something different, surprising and delicious in the others – which is the basis of any truly amazing food and beer combination. Beer suggestions: B rasserie Dupont – Saison Dupont, Ilkley Brewery – Siberia, Brew By Numbers – Classic Saison, The Kernel – Saison, Brasserie Fantôme – Fantôme Saison. Lamb Rogan Josh, Porter Indian curries that have a tomato-based sauce such as rogan josh are rich, heavy, spicy and fragrant all at once, making them a difficult dish to pair. After trying various different pale ales, bitters, amber ales, IPAs and everything in between, it was porter I found to be the surprising match for this dish. There’s just something about a slightly smokey porter which works amazingly well with
the tomatoes and spicing in the dish, but the savoury style of the beer also dovetails nicely with the slow-cooked lamb too. While a lager or pale beer gets completely bowled over by a curry, leaving the beer tasting of little but carbonation and sweetness, a good porter has enough guts to stand up to the bold flavours while remaining refreshing and drinkable. Beer suggestions: A nchor – Porter, Fuller’s – London Porter, The Kernel – Export India Porter, Beavertown – Smogrocket, Samuel Smith’s – Taddy Porter. Brown Sugar, Brisket, Black Lager Beef and brown sugar don’t on the face of it sound like happy bedfellows, but when giving that brisket a long slow barbecuing with lots of seasonings and sugar, then things start to sound a whole lot more appetising.
Start by rubbing a good sized brisket (unrolled is better) with lots of dark brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Leave this to marinade for a few hours, or overnight, before giving it a long slow roast in the oven. For an even better flavour use a smoker or a really low temp barbecue with a lid – an easy way to do this is to push the white coals to one side and add some oak chips to create smoke. A black lager is a match made in heaven with BBQ brisket. Having the perfect balance of smoke, sweet dark malt and hop bitterness which manages to complement and contrast with the sweet and savoury beef all at once. Astoundingly good. Beer suggestions: B udweiser Budvar – Dark Lager, Krombacher – Dark, Primator – Premium Dark, Bernard – Dark, Full Sail Brewing Co – Session Black.
Photo: Lynn Bremner
minute IPA, BrewDog – Hardcore IPA, Great Divide Brewing Co – Hercules Double IPA, Stone – Ruination IPA.
NEW ZEALAND: A CRAFT BEER NATION
How New Zealand Became One Of The Most Important Nations in Craft Beer. By Matthew Curtis Since the mid-2000s, the popularity of craft beer has exploded exponentially around the world. Thanks to seeds planted in the 1970s by organisations such as CAMRA in the UK and the microbrewing revolution in the United States, we now have a vast array of breweries around the world, producing an eye-watering amount of great beer.
Photos: Matthew Curtis
This boom has not been restricted to the Northern Hemisphere, with countries such as Brazil, South Africa and Australia all seeing a craft brewing explosion of their own. One nation in particular has seen an incredible array of breweries establish themselves, producing some of the best brews in the world even though the population of the entire country is half that of London. That nation is New Zealand.
It’s suggested that the first beer in New Zealand was not brewed by its original Māori settlers, but by Captain James Cook when he and his crew arrived at the shores of the North Island in the late 18th century. Instead of hops, Cook may have used local flora such as Spruce or Rimu, with the primary objective of his ‘beer’ being to fight off scurvy. New Zealand’s first commercial brewery was opened in 1835 by Englishman Joel Samuel Polack who would’ve brewed ales and porters as the popular styles at the time. Following the First World War the country almost slid into prohibition, where alcohol would have become illegal, but the nations thirst was saved by the votes of returning servicemen.
NEW ZEALAND: A CRAFT BEER NATION
The state of the nation’s beer was set to change in 1981 when a former member of the All Blacks national rugby team named Terry McCashin founded McCashin’s Brewery, better known simply as Mac’s. The brewery was founded in the town of Nelson on the South Island where once it was the first of its kind, but is now home to no fewer than 11 craft breweries. McCashin
brought back styles such as traditional English Ale as well as brewing his own lager and cider. His beers used the local hops that were grown near the brewery, which had pungent, spicy tropical fruit flavours. They grew in popularity as an interest in small-scale brewing began. Mac’s Brewery is now owned in part by Lion Nathan, but there is no questioning the influence it had on New Zealand’s beer culture. As imports began to trickle in from the West Coast of North America, a new generation of Kiwi brewers was inspired to create increasingly flavour-forward brews. The revolution centered around the city of Wellington, already known for its arts and music scene so this seemed like a natural location for the creativity of brewers to spring forth. Microbrewing in New Zealand didn’t really begin to take hold until the late 1990s, but soon breweries such as Epic and Tuatara were creating beers with pungent, aromatic hops, both sourced locally and imported from North America and Europe. These weren’t simple clones of the popular pale ales arriving from the USA, however. Kiwis are renowned for
putting their own spin on things, which is why when you pick up a six pack the label will often proudly read ‘New Zealand Pale Ale’ and not play on the heritage of American or English styles.
Who to look for:
You’ll now find breweries over the entire length and breadth of New Zealand and not just in the cities. Hot Water Brewing has chosen the remote region of the Coromandel as its home and this hasn’t hindered its development one bit. Now craft beer from New Zealand is being exported all over the world, with American and European beer enthusiasts clamouring to get their hands on some of the rarest and most sought-after brews. In addition to this, Kiwi hops are arguably among some of the varieties most highly coveted by brewers. In fact, such is their demand that even the nation’s own brewers often struggle to get their hands on them.
Hot Water Brewing Co. 1043 Tairua Whitianga Road, Whitianga, 3591 What to drink: Kauri Falls Pale Ale
In just a couple of decades New Zealand has suddenly become a globallyrecognised force in craft beer. Here are five of the breweries that you shouldn’t miss when you visit The Land of the Long White Cloud.
Tuatara Brewing 7 Sheffield Street, Paraparaumu, 5032 What to drink: Bohemian Pilsner
Liberty Brewing Company Hallertau Brewery, 1171 Coastville Riverhead Highway, Riverhead, Auckland What to drink: Sauvignon Bomb Garage Project 68 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington, 6021 What to drink: Pernicious Weed Yeastie Boys Invercargill Brewery, 72 Leet Street, Invercargill, 9810 What to drink: Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA
Photos: Matthew Curtis
In the 1930s a New Zealander of German descent named Morton W Coutts would revolutionise the brewing process through the discovery of continuous fermentation. The result of this was a move away from the traditional ales inherited from the United Kingdom to a range of lagers, usually amber in colour, that colloquially became known as NZ Draught. Beer brands such as Speight’s and Lion Red gradually rose to popularity and became the status quo. Some even assumed the names of traditional styles, such as Tui East India Pale Ale, despite still being amber lagers. The majority of New Zealand’s original beer brands are now owned by large corporations such as Lion Nathan and DB Brewing, which together currently control 90% of the nation’s beer sales by volume.
WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX THIS MONTH
BrewDog Dead Pony Pale Ale
Bursting with a fragrant floral aroma, this beer has been created using the finest camomile from the Blending Rooms in Hull. Quenching the thirst, this is an easy-sipping and unctuous flavour-packed ale. Initially, a sweet brioche and honey malt profile fill the mouth, followed by the fragrant and floral notes of a fresh cup of camomile tea, and ending with a smooth and juicy finish.
This Pacific Coast-inspired pale ale is a member of BrewDog’s Headliners range. It is crafted from an insane amount of US hops which gives it huge citrus aromas, particularly of lemongrass and lime zest. Its toasted malt base helps to balance the massive hop hit and complements its tropical fruit, floral and spicy flavours. Despite its relatively low ABV this is no small beer. It packs a serious punch and is the perfect session beer to be enjoyed all night long.
Espiga Garage IPA
Automaton is a larger than life IPA brewed with new season Citra, Centennial and Columbus. Swathes of pine, lime and citrus leap across the palate of this bold IPA, topped with a crisp white head. This refreshing golden beer delves into a long clean finish with flavours lasting long in the memory.
Garage IPA is a toasted IPA which is reddish in colour with an explosion of fruit aromas from the Galena, Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Its resinous pine, lemon, peach and plum aromas are offset by the sweet caramel, toasted malt and coffee flavours. This is all rounded up with a medium bitter finish.
WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX THIS MONTH
La Pirata Viakrucis
La Pirata are the ‘pirate’ brewers of Barcelona. Like pirates who used to destroy the evidence of an enemy ship with fire, these guys are setting the craft brewing scene in Spain alight. Brewing initially for friends and family, Viakrucis is their first ‘legal’ brew. It is an all day IPA. Their love affair with hops smacks you in the face when enjoying this beer. It is light bodied, balanced with a sharply bitter and dry finish.
Rascal is the third instalment in Inveralmond’s Inspiration Series. Influenced by the brewing styles of 18th century London, Rascal London Porter is dominated by spicy aromas and delicious chocolate flavours. Packed full of toasted malts, this porter is super silky on the palate with a complex, mellow finish. There’s mischief lurking in the embers of its dark mahogany depths.
Buxton Far Skyline
Ceriux beers are brewed in the heart of La Rioja wine country in Spain which explains their use of grapes in beer. Their beers are unique and unusual in flavour yet all have their own specific identity. Tostada is a rich mahogany in colour with aromas of toasted hazelnuts, caramel, raisins and coffee, balanced by background notes of roasted malts. On the palate it is creamy and complex with mild bitterness and subtle flavours of dried fruit and liquorice on the finish.
This dry hopped Berliner Weisse is a real twist on the traditional style. The aroma contains everything you would expect of the style notes, with lemon and hints of straw, and bready elements from the yeast. But when it comes to flavour it’s different in the extreme. The dry hopping gives it a kick of tropical fruit flavours, adding to the complexity of sourness balanced with hops. Although it is less sour than some of its counterparts, it is a refreshing, tart, easy-drinking beer.
Photos: Nicci Peet
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S COLLABORATION BREW DAY
International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day 2015 By Nicci Peet In modern history the brewing industry has been viewed as a maledominated world. We are all familiar with the tired old stereotypes, but thankfully perceptions are changing for the better. There may still be some issues to overcome but nonetheless this is a fantastic time for women in the beer industry. In my opinion it is something that needs celebrating and there doesn’t seem to be a better date than March 8, International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a globallyrecognised day acknowledging the accomplishments of women and how society’s view and treatment of women has improved so vastly. Although there is still a little way to go in some societies to achieve equality and a long way in others, International Women’s Day concentrates on the positives. It’s a day of celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with beer?
Last year, Sophie de Ronde, a brewing technologist at Muntons PLC, had a brilliant idea. Then head brewer at Brentwood Brewery and founder of Project Venus UK & Eire, she approached the Pink Boots Society – an American organisation with the sole purpose of empowering female beer professionals and helping them advance their careers through education – to undergo the mammoth task of organising the first International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD). The aim was to help promote the awareness of women working in the beer industry across continents; help to continue the positive change in perceptions; and reiterate that beer is accessible to everyone. It raises awareness for International Women’s Day and money for charity. Not only that, it brings together breweries from around the world and sees them working together to produce something incredible.
Each participating brewery makes a beer based on the same simple recipe. This allows each brewery to add its own creative twist, whether it is fruit, spice or other hops of the brewer’s choice. Last year over 70 breweries made United Pale Ale, and this year saw over 100 breweries making Unite Red Ale. One of the participating breweries in the UK was Gyle 59 in Chard, a picturesque part of West Dorset. I was lucky enough to visit on IWCBD and get stuck in to the brew. Producing unfined beer made with spring water from the brewery’s grounds, Gyle 59 believes beer can be enjoyed by almost everyone. Run by founder and head brewer Jon Hosking; co-founder Amanda Edwards; and international award winning brewster Emma Turner, Gyle 59 is small but perfectly formed. Everyone who came along to get involved on the day was welcomed as if they were old friends and made to feel as though the brewery were a second home. Beer and
conversation flowed equally and I must admit that Emma and Amanda did most of the hard graft. Gyle 59 may be out in the sticks, but it can impressively boast that it is free from three-phase electricity. A log burner fuels the brewery and the spring water is boiled by propane gas. Gyle 59 attempts to utilise the land it is lucky enough to be based on. The elderberries in the Elderberry Stout were hand picked from around the brewery and the mash from each brew is fed to the pheasants that co-habit the grounds. To me the brewery and the brewing felt natural and organic, perfectly reflecting the surroundings. Rather aptly, one of the varying reasons behind the name is that 59 is an important number to feminists. In the 1970s, feminists in the USA would wear 59 badges highlighting the gender pay gap. For every dollar a man made, a woman would only earn 59 cents. It is used in the name as a declaration of gender equality in brewing. This, however, is only one of the many reasons behind the name, spanning from 59 being a number of transition from seconds to minutes and minutes to hours, to Gyle 59 representing the ultimate batch of beer. But as Jon says, the reason could be a combination of these or none of them at all. Not being ones to stick to the norm, Gyle 59 decided to take the recipe and turn it on its head a little by making a Red Rye Saison, a perfect example of the diverse beers produced worldwide this year. With breweries involved from across the country, Unite Red Ale should be available nationwide. Other participants in the UK: Sophie de Ronde who joined in the brewing at: Wild Card Brewery Dancing Duck Brewery Ashover Brewery Riverhead Brewery
WHAT IS CRAFT BEER?
Photos: Lynn Bremner
Craft Beer is a term so readily used nowadays but what does it really mean. By Erin Bottomley
WHAT IS CRAFT BEER?
What seems like a relatively simple question is in reality one of the most difficult and debated areas of craft beer: What exactly makes a beer ‘craft’? The term ‘craft beer’ is a tough one to define. Although we don’t actually have an official definition for craft beer in the UK, many drinkers would say they know it when they see it. However, they couldn’t give specifics as to what actually makes it ‘craft’. So what is craft beer and how is it differentiated from other beers on the market? Is it just an opinion of the drinker or is it something that can be set in stone so that consumers are overtly aware of what they are drinking? So we know craft beer when we see it, but that doesn’t help much in pinpointing what exactly constitutes a craft beer. Sometimes it is easier to look at craft beer for what it isn’t. It isn’t large corporations deciding what the people want to drink. It isn’t about cutting corners. It doesn’t use cheap, low quality ingredients. It isn’t solely driven by profit and the idea of ‘stack’em high and sell’em cheap’. It isn’t brewed to be tasteless, drank ‘ice cold’ and ‘triple filtered’ (Who knows how that is supposed to make beer taste better?) and it certainly isn’t Tennent’s Aged with Whisky Oak. But it is about passion and creativity. It is about discovering new tastes and enjoying a variety of different styles. It uses the best methods possible to bring you your beer. The brewers do everything in their power to preserve the quality of their product. It is a reflection of the brewer and their personality. Yet, despite knowing the do’s and don’ts of craft beer, it is still debated whether there should be a clearcut definition for it. Some argue that a definition is needed in the UK similar to that of US Brewer’s Association in the States. It sums up craft beer as being ‘small, traditional, and independent. “Small” is defined as an “annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less”; “independent” is defined as at least 75% owned or controlled by a craft brewer; and “traditional” is defined as brewing in which at least 50% of the beer’s volume consists of “traditional or innovative” ingredients’. BrewDog’s captains James Watt and Martin Dickie are both strongly in favour of having a definition. Speaking at the Indy Man Beer Con in 2012, James Watt explained explicitly how he thinks
it is necessary to have a definition to protect the industry from the big beer companies coming in and jumping on the bandwagon of craft. As he puts it: ‘We need to stop the movement being bastardised by the faceless monolithic corporations.’ He argues that a definition would: ‘Firstly, protect craft brewers and what we are all working hard to build. Secondly, help retailers promote craft beer and structure their offerings to enable strong growth in the category. Thirdly, help guide consumers and ensure they are protected from being exploited by monolithic mega corporations masquerading as craft brewers. Fourthly, enable true craft brewers to charge a fair and sustainable price for their beers. Fifthly, enable the category to grow as strongly in the UK as it has in America.’ Although a definition would need to be formulated by the craft brewing industry as well as in collaboration with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), BrewDog’s rough definition would be:
and protected for their craft. Although BrewDog’s definition is still very much a work in progress, in some ways it seems to be quite restrictive.
big breweries aren’t able to. This is what makes it so special. It has the freedom to change with the times and constantly evolve.
Dan Shelton, of Shelton Brothers importers, offers a further-reaching definition which encompasses and evokes more of the emotion behind craft beer. He gives five clear categories a brewery would need to fit into to be considered craft:
Would having a definition restrict the very thing we love about craft beer: its creativity? After all, it is just terminology. Should a definition define it, or should you the drinker make up your own mind as to what craft beer should be? At the end of the day it is about craft. Craft by the very nature of the word implies using skill. Is that not enough to define some of the incredible beers made since the start of the so called ‘craft’ beer revolution?
Ingredients – does the brewer seek the best possible ingredients or is s/he more concerned about keeping costs down? Methods and equipment – the brewery’s intent – does the brewery do everything it can to maintain quality or does it let things slip as it grows? Is the brewery making the best beer it can? The brewer’s spirit – hard to measure, but does the beer reflect the brewer’s personality or is it simply generic and lacking in faults? Are they just following the market, or trying to do something special? Company structure – who’s calling the shots? It’s not necessarily about company size, but does the brewer decide what beers are brewed or does the marketing department? Control – is the brewer able to exercise some control over how the beer turns out or is s/he simply throwing in ingredients and hoping for the best?
A European Craft Brewery: 1. Is Authentic a) brews all their beers at original gravity b) does not use any adjuncts to lessen flavour and reduce costs 2. Is Honest a) All ingredients are clearly listed on the label of all of their beers b) The place where the beer is brewed is clearly listed on all of their beers c) All their beer is brewed at craft breweries 3. Is Independent a)Is not more than 20% owned by a brewing company which operates any brewery which is not a craft brewery 4. Is Committed a)If the brewer has an estate, at least 90% of the beer they sell must be craft beer.
Watt and Dickie believe that although this is not a perfect definition it would protect the industry and it could be adapted for use across Europe.
But would this help to strengthen the connection between different breweries across the UK and Europe? And what does it protect? The breweries or the innovation of the product?
The issue is that craft beer still isn’t recognised properly by CAMRA or SIBA. It is argued that a definition would bring together the craft beer movement in Britain and provide an association where they can be supported
It looks like we are yet to settle the debate as to whether a clear definition for craft beer is needed. Get in touch with us on Twitter @beer52hq to tell us what you think ‘craft beer’ is and what it means to you.
His definition would allow those even in the larger breweries to fit into ‘craft’ but only if they satisfied all of the above criteria. It doesn’t exclude anyone on size but instead measures their overall objectives as brewers. It focuses on intent and making sure that those involved care about what they are doing. It would help to hold any brewery claiming to be craft to account and prove that craft is about the passion that you put into it.
Some believe that having a definition would restrict the industry. Craft beer is something which is able to move quickly by being able to react to market trends in ways that
NATURAL SELECTION BREWING
Hopping over Microscopic Hurdles. By Sam Fleet and the Natural Selection team.
For the last two months the team have been staring into mash tuns wondering what to brew next. We’ve been asking ourselves what will make our beer unique in a scene where everything has been done and oxymoronic beer styles are the norm. Do we branch out into unchartered worts, with experimental styles, grains or hops? Do we revisit forgotten recipes? Do we stand out through branding and packaging? Do we even need to stand out if we can guarantee sales and a quaffable beer people will enjoy? Whatever the question, the answer is beer, a fortifying slogan I inherited from my local, Moeder Lambic, in Brussels. So, sticking to our strengths, and taking guidance from our monastic forbearers, we poured ourselves some strong brews, meditated, and set off on boozy quests – before returning to the brew-house, mashing all the ideas together and fermenting the result.
But our microscopic friends would not resurface, likely outcompeted by bacteria long ago, or on the swabs themselves. They weren’t the only ones. With the generous help of the HeriotWatt lab team, we tried to revive a 500-year-old yeast strain discovered last year in Scotland, and now frozen in nitrogen. Unfortunately, Saccharomyces cerevisiae LCBG-3D6 refused to return from the dead – for now. Another hurdle, but we haven’t given up.
You might still be drinking a one-off medieval beer in a bierstiefel (beer-boot) come July. Reade, our brewer, took a metaphorical journey home to think about the styles which inspired him and those he’d like to bring to the UK. Then we got brewing. With the initial home-brewed batch bottled and tasted, we refined the recipe in the Stewart Brewing craft beer kitchen, splitting the batch to trial two different yeast strains. We then amped-up the bitterness with different hop additions and tried alternative base malts on the Heriot-Watt one-barrel pilot kit. With four variants of the final style fermenting away, we’re going to set up a taste panel in April to gather our first bit of market feedback. The style? Well, you’ll have to wait until next month... Rich set off to Aberdeen to scope-out potential sales. It’s an as-yet-untapped market for Natural Selection Brewing, and with an excellent scene we’re confident. The trip, along with Rich’s continued work reinforcing relationships in Edinburgh, gives him an insight into what distributors and bars want, and in what format. Rich has the daunting
Photos: Natural Selection Brewing
I snooped around artefacts from Edinburgh’s social and cultural history in the Edinburgh Museum’s archives. My hope was to root-out wooden equipment from extinct Edinburgh breweries and swab them for yeast spores. Unique yeast makes unique beer.
Yeast spores can survive for remarkable periods of time embedded in wooden equipment. Before Pasteur’s work in the 1850s and 60s, the role of yeast in fermentation was poorly understood, and it often began accidently when beer came into contact with the complex microflora living in the brewhouse and barrels. Cantillon in Brussels is a modern-day example of this, with over 2,000 microorganisms playing a role in fermentation, picked up from the air and the barrels. Breweries and the equipment were teeming with life. With that in mind, I sampled old ceramic bottles from Dalkeith’s, and wooden barrel heads, cask taps and 200 yearold brewing clogs from the Palace brewery.
NATURAL SELECTION BREWING
task of projecting our sales split across kegs, casks, bottles and cans, which will govern when and what we brew. And yes, you read cans! Hopefully we’ll be the first small-batch canning run out of Edinburgh, a first for Stewart Brewing, Heriot-Watt and Natural Selection Brewing, and the best format for keeping beer fresh. Sarah, coordinating all of the team, returned with the name and some newly acquired project planning skills. With test batches fermenting; branding under development; and a whole load of financial planning, accounting and sales figures to get to grips with, we need a clear way to keep track of what and when things need to be done, and by whom.
You can follow developments at www.naturalselectionbrewing.com For more information on the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling, see www.icbd.hw.ac.uk For more information on Stewart Brewing, visit www.stewartbrewing.co.uk
It’s been busy, and will likely remain so. Next month brings taste testing; grain, hop and barrel orders; branding; and the big ‘reveal’ of the name and style. There will also be plenty of brewing – hopefully some of our microscopic friends will turn up this time.
What’s brewing: Black IPA This is Reade’s take on the Black IPA, with all-American hops on the boil. It lays out a bitter foundation with Chinook and Columbus, and then brings in spicy, citrusy aromas with Cascade at flame-out to complement the dryhopped Topaz. A solid grain base, and a solid beer. We hope you enjoy it! Tasting notes: This is a seriously hopped Americanstyle black IPA which comes with 90 IBUs of bitter kick, balanced with some sweet malts and finished with tropical aromas from the Australian Topaz. Ours came out a little stronger than 6.6%, providing a helping-hand through a good few brewing sessions.
Batch size: 19 litres Brew-house efficiency: 65% Original gravity: 1.060 Final gravity: 1.010 Bitterness (IBU): 90! ABV: 6.6% Mashing-in: Crisp Best Ale malt: 4.12 kilos Crystal 150: 240 grams Munich I: 146 grams Chocolate Malt: 122 grams Carafa III: 151 grams Single infusion mash at 65°C for 60 minutes The boil: Columbus hops (13.7 % alpha-acid): 35 grams at start of boil Chinook hops (12.1 % alpha-acid): 30 grams after 30 minutes Cascade hops (6.8% alpha-acid): 40 grams at flame out Fermentation: Mangrove Jacks US-West Coast Yeast, at 18°C Dry-hopped with 60 grams of whole-leaf Topaz during secondary fermentation.
BEER BREAD FROM THE HUNGRY BEARS’ BLOG
For anyone who thinks beer is just for drinking, this recipe should change your mind as the end product is truly delicious. Three things make beer bread awesome: It’s simple (it only has three main ingredients – flour, sugar and beer – so you can never go too far wrong with it). It’s quick to make with no need to wait while it proves for hours on end. And it tastes unbelievably good thanks to a really crunchy crust with a soft dense bready centre, lightly fragranced with beer. It’s so good you can eat this stuff on its own. Our favourite beer choice when making beer bread is a strong citrusy IPA as the smell and fresh taste keep it light which can help as the texture tends to be more dense and substantial than your usual loaf. Alternatively, you could try using a weisse bier such as the Buxton Far Skyline for a more delicate flavour, or maybe even a blended beer like the Atom Chamomile for a more herbal taste. We’ve knocked up this basic bread recipe here to get you started. But the greatest thing about beer bread is you can be as inventive as you like with it as it takes on other flavours well too. We love chilli cheese, which is perfect as an appetiser, or garlic butter & herb which goes really well with a homemade spag bol. Both of these recipes are included below. Whichever recipe you make, try a few chunks of the bread warmed up, toasted, sliced for sandwiches or just ripped off to dip into anything saucy. Our favourite way to devour beer bread is straight from the oven with smotherings of butter. Give it a go, we promise you won’t be disappointed. Why not snap a picture of your bread and tag us @thehungrybearsblog so we can see your creations? Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 50 mins Makes: One loaf
Garlic Butter & Herb Beer Bread Recipe
Chilli Cheese Beer Bread Recipe
Ingredients: 380g self raising flour 330ml Espiga Garage IPA 2 tsp sugar 50g melted butter pinch of salt
Ingredients: 380g self raising flour 330ml Espiga Garage IPA 2 tsp sugar 50g melted butter 2 cloves of crushed garlic handful of roughly chopped fresh basil pinch of salt
Ingredients: 380g self raising flour 330ml Espiga Garage IPA 2 tsp sugar 50g melted butter 125g mozzarella pearls 2 large red sliced chillies 1 tsp chilli flakes pinch of salt
Instructions: 1. Preheat your oven to 180°C . Pour the beer into a small saucepan then add the sugar to the pan and stir. On a low heat, warm the beer for one minute. It should be slightly warm to the touch but not hot.
Instructions: Follow the basic bread recipe to stage 2.
Instructions: Follow the basic bread recipe to stage 1.
3. In a saucepan add your butter, crushed garlic and roughly chopped basil. On a low heat, melt the butter gently for a few minutes and let the herbs and garlic infuse, then set aside to cool.
2. Add the flour, salt and chilli flakes to a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour half the beer into the middle of the bowl and begin to stir, bringing some of the flour into the liquid. When it begins to form a stiff paste, add the remaining beer to the bowl and mix well. The dough mixture should be reasonably wet and pourable.
2. Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour half the beer into the middle of the bowl and begin to stir, bringing some of the flour into the liquid. When it begins to form a stiff paste, add the remaining beer to the bowl and mix together well. The dough mixture should be reasonably wet and pourable. 3. In a saucepan, melt the butter gently and set aside to cool. 4. Find a bread tin or a small deep-sided dish and butter all the sides and bottom well. Pour your bread dough into the tin and spread evenly. Pour the melted butter over the top of your dough and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for around 45 minutes until golden and crisp on top. 5. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.
Follow the basic recipe through to stage 5.
3. In a saucepan, melt the butter gently and set aside to cool. 4. Using a wide, flat tray, butter the sides and bottom well. Pour your bread dough into the tray and spread evenly. Pour the melted butter over the top of your dough and place in the middle of the oven. 5. Bake for around 30 minutes, remove from the oven and make some small holes in the top of the bread. Into each hole pop a mozzarella pearl and push it down into the bread. Scatter the top of your bread with the sliced chillies and return to the oven. Cook for a further 15 minutes until golden and crisp on top and the cheese has melted.
Photos: Hungry Bears’ Blog
BEER BREAD FROM THE HUNGRY BEARS’ BLOG
22â€ƒ FERMENT Photo: Martin Leveneur
Whisky Regions: A quick guide to the five regions of whisky. By Laurie Black each region has distinct characteristics unique to distilleries in that area, and the following generalisations can be made: • • • • •
Lowlands – light, delicate and citrusy Highlands – floral Speyside – fruity and sweet Islay – peaty and smoky Campbeltown – coastal and heavy
However, certain production methods are often much more influential than the location of the distillery. After all, with the oak cask contributing 70% of a whisky’s character, surely people would prefer to know how their whisky has been matured as opposed to which side of an imaginary border the distillery sits? Furthermore, with distilleries becoming more and more experimental – particularly in terms of peating their barley and giving their whisky smoky flavours – the number of exceptions to
the regions system is growing. For example, Bruichladdich’s house style is a light, sweet spirit that isn’t particularly complex but is very smooth and pleasant to drink. Based on the bullet points above, it would be safe to assume that it is either a Lowland or perhaps even a Highland whisky. Wrong. Bruichladdich is from Islay, home of peat monsters such as Laphroaig and Lagavulin. Likewise, Benriach 10 Curiositas is fullbodied, complex and has a huge burst of smoke and peat. A-ha! All the hallmarks of an Islay malt! Wrong again. It’s actually from Speyside, home of sweet, fruity whiskies such as Glenfiddich and Macallan.
mainland. This is definitely feasible, until you discover that the vast majority of casks are matured inland, miles away from the distillery and from any salty sea air whatsoever. In summary then, the regions system can be helpful at first but it is limited in its application. Furthermore, distilleries often use it as they please. For example, Macallan and Aberlour are both labelled as Highland whiskies, being made in the area of the Highlands known as Speyside – which you’ll recall is in itself a whisky region. Confused? You should be.
The splendid Old Pulteney distillery has also been confusing whisky drinkers by explaining that the saltiness of the spirit is a result of its casks breathing in the salty sea air of the distillery in Wick, on the north east tip of the Scottish
Photo: Emma Jane Hogbin Westby
As you’ll have learnt from previous editions of Whisky Corner, there are many factors that have an impact on the final character of a whisky – some significant, some less so. This month we’re going to look at the different whisky regions of Scotland and evaluate their importance and usefulness. There are five whisky regions in Scotland: Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. Until fairly recently there was a sixth region known as ‘Islands’, but this has since been incorporated into Highlands. The premise of the regions system is similar to that of a wine’s terroir, in that whiskies made with shared or similar natural ingredients, climate, etc, will subsequently have similar characteristics. More importantly though, the regions system is a nice, simple way of categorising the 100+ Scottish distilleries, and makes whisky seem a lot less overwhelming and intimidating to new drinkers. That in itself is no bad thing. It can be said that
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