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Brewers T H E

J O U R N A L

January~February 2017 ISSN 2059-6650

71 brewing How a SCOTTISH DUO ARE AIMING TO PUT DUNDEE BACK ON THE BREWING MAP

P.38

sTUART hOWE: HIS next step

P.50

BURNING SKY: SET FOR A MAJOR 2017

P.56

BUFFALO: BEER IN THE CITY OF LIGHT


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ngaging with an audience and connecting with customers in an effective, honest way is not something most of us have seen from UK breweries. It is, of course, their prerogative how much they want to share regarding what goes on behind the scenes and the thought process regarding their business decisions. It’s heartening then – and bloody interesting – to end 2016 and start 2017, with a glut of great breweries doing just that. Cloudwater, through managing director and cofounder Paul Jones’ social media presence, has always done a fantastic job of getting to the point of why, when and how. Expansion plans have often been meticulously detailed and his recent talk at our inaugural Brewers Lectures event in London outlined the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. During his lecture he alluded to the financial constraints the brewery faces when selling its cask beer, so it came as little surprise to hear they are ceasing cask production this year. A shame, certainly, but his comprehensive explanation as to how Cloudwater reached that decision can be found on page 28. It was similarly fascinating to recently read about the goals acheived by one of last year's brewing success stories, Falmouth’s Verdant Brewing Co. It was the debut year for Verdant, which has been clear regarding the funding goals they intend to hit in 2017. On the subject of transparency, I implore you to read the absorbing blog post from the typically-frank Steve Dunkley of Beer Nouveau (http://beernouveau. co.uk/) in which he presents an incredibly detailed breakdown of the costs involved in the production of its West Coast IPA, a fantastic 5.6% Cascade hopped beer that Dunkley produces on the Manchester brewery’s 6BBL kit. An extract of his post is presented here: “Putting your beer out on cask or keg doesn’t make you much money. We’d be looking at less than £500 a month. That would be my wages. Would you expect anyone to work 60 plus hours a week for that? “But as breweries we have to put beer out on draught because that’s generally where the majority people first see and try it. And those first impressions are what are vital to us, because if someone likes our beer on draught, they’re more likely to buy it in bottles or cans. “And that’s where we start looking at making a living wage. So as brewers we have to strike a balance between getting out names out there, and getting our bills paid.” Thanks to Steve for taking the time to give us this insight. Hopefully we’ll see more of it across the industry this year and beyond.

www.brewersjournal.info

Editor's choice We take an in-depth look at how breweries are playing a key role in the regeneration of the US 'City of Light', Buffalo, New York. – Page 56

On the subject of ‘Thank you’s’, here at The Brewers Journal, we really appreciate all of the speakers, attendees and sponsors that helped make the aforementioned debut Brewers Lectures event such a success. The videos of each talk will be published on our site over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. We’re also incredibly excited to be holding the next event in Manchester early this year. Taking place at Manchester Town Hall on 2nd March, the Brewers Lectures features speakers from inside and outside of the industry. You'll find it offers insights, advice and thought-provoking content, challenging the way you run your brewery. We’re honoured to have a speaker lineup that includes Beavertown founder Logan Plant, Sylvia Kopp, the Brewers Association’s American Craft Beer Ambassador in Europe and Magic Rock founder and managing director Richard Burhouse among those talking in Manchester. For more information, the full line-up of speakers, and how to attend, just turn to page 22 of this issue. Until then, here’s hoping you all have a very successful 2017 and thanks again for all of the ongoing support. Tim Sheahan Editor

January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 3


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UK One year: £29, two year: £54 Rest of the world One year: £39, two year: £69 The content of The Brewers Journal is subject to copyright. However, if you would like to obtain copies of an article for marketing purposes high-quality reprints can be supplied to your specification. Please contact the advertising team for full details of this service. The Brewers Journal is printed at Buxton Press Ltd, Derbyshire, UK.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The Brewers Journal ISSN 2059-6650 is published bimonthly by Reby Media, 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1PA. Subscription records are maintained at Reby Media, 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1PA. The Brewers Journal accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of statements or opinion given within the Journal that is not the expressly designated opinion of the Journal or its publishers. Those opinions expressed in areas other than editorial comment may not be taken as being the opinion of the Journal or its staff, and the aforementioned accept no responsibility or liability for actions that arise therefrom.

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Muntons Seminars and Innovation 2017 Following the success of the seminars we hosted from our Stowmarket Maltings, we’re pleased to announce the launch of our 2017 series of seminars. These are aimed at breweries who wish to gain a greater understanding of brewing. We have teamed up with industry specialists to ensure delegates are given a complete overview providing technical insights and of course we encourage delegate participation. You may attend one seminar or all of them, the choice is yours. To register your interest your interest at these events, please visit our website: www.muntons.com/seminars The topics include:

1: Raw Materials Friday 3rd February 2017 2: Fermentation and Yeast Management Friday 10th March 2017

For those who seek perfection, we can help. Where? Muntons Plc, Flamborough Maltings, Bridlington, East Yorkshire, YO15 1DY When? dates as listed Other info: Parking is available, refreshments/lunch will be provided. If you would like to attend these events, please email events@muntons.com, or register online www.muntons.com/seminars Any other enquiries please call Joanna Perry on 01449 618300

3: Beer stability, Consistency and Packaging June 2017 (date to be confirmed) 4: Compliance and Quality Control September 2017 (date to be confirmed) 5: Innovation & Trends October 2017 (date to be confirmed)

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Cover story

42 - We speak to 71 Brewing, the brainchild of Duncan Alexander and Mark Griffiths, on how they want to put the city of Dundee back on the brewing map. the brewers lectures 22- The full lowdown on Brewers Lectures Manchester COMMENT 24- Daniel McColl on starting his own brewery 26- The Brewers Associaton outline the merits of the Great American Beer Festival 28- Cloudwater on 2016 and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead 34- Ilkley Brewery's Luke Raven defends craft beer 36- Csaba Babak looks at the key roles materials play in the brewery ecosystem

Foreign Focus: Buffalo 56 - Investment is taking place, Buffalo’s architectural heritage is being celebrated, and brewing is once again shining brightly in the City of Light View from canada: clocktower 66 - Patrick Fiori, brewmaster at Ontario-based Clocktower on why the Canadian company has stood the test of time technology: packaging 70 - Printing and packaging firms on why effective branding is more important than ever before

Interview: stuart howe 38 - Harbour Brewing Company's new head brewer Stuart Howe talks the future and his love of beer

Science: Beer colloidal stability 80 - Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC talk Beer Colloidal stability

meet the brewer: Mark Tranter 50 - James Beeson sits down with Mark Tranter, founder of Burning Sky, who discusses the brewery's exciting plans for 2017

science: free amino acids 84 - Timothy Woolley, technical director at Pura DX on how Free Amino Nitro measurement can be an effective tool for quality and consistency

6 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

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It begins with one or two but slowly the scale becomes apparent as more brewers are found unconscious, broken and exhausted. These were the brave souls filled with true passion and a love for beer, that made up the army of small breweries providing great craft beer to the ever more discerning beer drinker. they try to keep up but in the end it is just too much…

“I can do no more”

But no... It doesn’t have to be this way! By working together with Simply Hops the brewers discover a range of natural hop derived brewing aids. These incredible products such as HopAid Anti-foam increase the efficiency of each brew allowing the brewers enough time to read the paper and grab a biscuit before they mash in once more… sanity is restored.

“we speak hops” We talk about the issues that matter to the craft brewing industry such as the pressure to produce great beer efficiently. We want to be part of the discussions that will shape the future of craft brewing. You might think we are being dramatic (we think so too). You may agree or disagree with what we say... Either way, we exist because of craft brewing so we’ll help you in any way we are able. @SIMPLY HOPS

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STUART HOWE TAKES UP HEAD BREWER ROLE AT HARBOUR BREWING COMPANY

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tuart Howe, former head brewer at Lost and Grounded Brewers, has taken on the role of head brewer at Harbour Brewing Company. Former Parliamentary Beer Group brewer of the year Stuart Howe has become head brewer at Harbour Brewing Company, near Bodmin. Howe has held roles at Sharp’s Brewery, and as head of innovation and craft brewing at the brewery’s parent company, Molson Coors. He has also been director of brewing at Butcombe Brewery and more recently, as head brewer at Lost and Grounded Brewers, based

in Bristol. Harbour Brewing founder, Eddie Lofthouse, explained that Howe stood out from other candidates owing to his breadth of industry experience, technical ability and creativity. “Stuart is here to oversee the next stage of our growth,” he said. Lofthouse added that the company has enjoyed a huge increase in sales in this year, while new fermenting vessels were installed towards the end of last year to cope with demand. Howe will lead a team of three other brewers and has already

turned his hand to creating a new coffee porter that uses Nicaraguan beans supplied by Origin Coffee. The brewery has also recently released a 3.5% raspberry vanilla Berliner weisse. Howe said he had followed Harbour’s progress keenly over the past five-years and was eager to take on the new challenge. “I have a lot of experience of breweries and this place is run very well. The brewing team are good guys – the sexiest brewing team in Cornwall!” he said. For an in-depth interview with Stuart Howe, turn to page 38

VOLUME DOWN But PROFITS UP AT FULLER’S

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uller’s has cited its stake in wholesale drinks business Nectar Imports as a key factor for a 19% growth in revenues in its beer business. London-based Fuller’s has experienced a 19% increase in sales with its beer business in the 26 weeks to 24 September. The company’s Frontier lager remains its second biggest brand while it also experienced growth in its Montana Red and Wild River beers. While beer and cider volumes were down 4%, operating profit before exceptional items increased 8% to £3.9m. Fuller’s also acknowledged that development in its Westside Drinks business has enabled it to grow its craft beer portfolio. Speaking about the business as a whole, where adjusted profit before tax was up 6% to £22.8 million, chief Executive Simon Emeny explained: “There is no doubt that the UK economy is facing some significant challenges. “The impact of increases in business rates and the National Living

n the tap. program.

Wage, combined with uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU, make for changing times ahead. “However, Fuller’s has a longterm, strategic vision, a solid balance sheet and a predominantly freehold estate, which is wellinvested and supported by excel-

lent, engaged team members and dedicated, skilled management. “These are the qualities needed to continue to delight and excite our customers, provide a good return for our shareholders and attract the best new recruits to our business.”

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 9


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AUSTRALIA’S PIRATE LIFE LAUNCH IN UK

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delaide-based pirate Life, has launched its beers in the UK. Australian brewery Pirate Life has made its foray into the UK market with a series of 'meet the brewer 'and tap takeover events. The brewery, founded in Adelaide, South Australia in 2014, is the brainchild of brewers Jared Proudfoot and Jack Cameron, as well as Cameron’s father Michael who serves as CEO. Pirate Life specialises in modern, hop-forward beers that include a 5.4% Pale Ale, its 6.8% IPA and a 3.5% Throwback IPA. The company has also experienced acclaim, winning the “best new brewery in Australia” prize from Ratebeer in 2014. The brewery said: “We never thought that less than two years after throwing open our doors and unleashing our beers upon Australians we would be taking our beers overseas.

“Earlier this year our beers sailed across the Tasman and launched in neighbouring New Zealand, with Kiwi’s embracing our Aussie brews. “Then a couple of weeks back we landed in Hong Kong and discovered that the thirst for hoppy ales in Asia was as strong as anywhere in

the world. “So it made sense that the next step would be the country which links both New Zealand and Hong Kong with our own – Great Britain.” The beer launch coincided with the launch of its import and distribution wing, Pirate Life Europe.

LORIEN LANDS PACKAGING MANAGER

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orien Engineering Solutions has appointed a new packaging engineer manager. Lorien Engineering Solutions, an engineering design and project management business, has appointed Chris Bullock as its new packaging engineering manager. Bullock has worked with companies such as Carlsberg and Heineken on the beer front, as well as Britvic Soft Drinks and Premier Foods elsewhere. He will head up the management, resourcing and technical outputs of the packaging department and will manage engineering projects. He joins Lorien, which specialises in food, brewing, drinks, life sciences, biotech, safety compliance and sustainability. Lorien engineering director Dave

Mallinson explained: “Chris has a wealth of project management experience including packaging line design, feasibility studies and design to tender along with procurement and commercial management, project planning and programme development. We’re delighted to

10 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

welcome him on board.” Chris Bullock added: “Lorien is renowned for its expertise in delivering first class engineering project management. I’m looking forward to working with the team and contributing to further growth and success.”

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 11


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Mortlake Brewery plant up for sale

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he contents of the Mortlake Brewery, which was sold to a private developer in 2015, have been placed up for auction. Eddisons in association with CBRE, is selling the brewery’s contents via private treaty and online auction ahead of the site’s inevitable transformation to a residential and commercial hub. Previously home of Watney’s Red Barrel and Pale Ale, the Mortlake brewery had produced Budweiser for the last 20 years. More than 60,000 bottles of lager an hour were processed by its

bottling line for distribution in the UK and across Europe. The plant had an annual brewing capacity of 2.35 million hectolitres. The plant comprises a Steinecker brewhouse, fermentation block, chip cellar and bottling line, along with grain handling equipment. It also features more than a hundred 100-and-200-hectolitre brewing vessels, yeast plant and energy centre to be sold by private treaty. Hundreds of lots of ancillary assets are being sold on an online auction on January 16, with a viewing day having took place on January 11.

Jason Pinder, national head of machinery and business assets at Eddisons, explained: “The vast scale of the contents of this iconic brewery is likely to attract the interest of global brewing businesses as well as those in developing countries. “This is a rare opportunity to invest in high quality, large capacity brewery plant. “We expect high levels of interest in the plant and urge interested parties to contact us sooner rather than later.” Developer Reselton bought the brewery site in 2015 for a fee of £158m.

MARSTON’S FOCUSES ON NEW DRINKERS

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arston’s has revamped its branding in a £1m move designed to resonate with the next generation of drinkers. Marston’s has placed its home of Burton at the heart of its the brewery’s new branding. The £1m campaign, which aims to focus on Marston’s story in Burton, features new packaging, pump clips, point of sale materials and a “younger tone of voice to convey a compelling meaning behind each of the brand’s stories”. In addition to the revamped beer range, Marston’s will develop new small-batch beers in its ‘DE14’ 600pint innovation brewery. Named after the Brewery’s postcode, the nano-brewery is situated in the Visitor’s Centre and gives its brewers the experiment with new beer styles and recipes. Patrick McGinty, head brewer at Marston’s said: “These smallbatch beers will turn up at national festivals and events and in bars a bit closer to home initially. Every member of the brewing team want to show what we can do on DE14 – as well inviting some special collaborators to join us too.” Lee Williams, marketing manager

for Marston’s Brewery added: “The harsh reality is that as a brewer, we’re not resonating with the next generation of drinkers who are attracted to the authenticity and simplicity of the new beer scene. For them it’s real and it resonates. “Talk to anyone working at our brewery in Burton though and you realise that we’re no different and share the same passion and love for what we do. “So you could say this is just about us presenting ourselves in a new and honest way, as only a true Burton brewery can. “We need the next generation to

12 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

consider our beers, perhaps for the first time and discover that they love the taste too – just as generations before have done and still do.”

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TWICKENHAM FINE ALES LAUNCHES OLD HANDS

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wickenham Fine Ales is targeting new, typically younger drinkers, with the launch of its new range of beers, ‘Old Hands’. Twickenham Fine Ales is aiming to tap in to the growing demand for “craft” beer with its ‘Old Hands’ portfolio of beers. The range comprises five beer styles previously unexplored by the brewery and are available in keg and 330ml bottle formats. Its complete range is: Strawberry Saison, a 6% brew made with 300kg strawberries for a fresh berry flavour Coconut Porter, a 6% made with 150kg roasted coconut and 50kg cocoa nibs Rauch Beer, a 5.2% German smoked beer, brewed by Twickenham’s resident German brewer with imported Bamburg beech smoked malt Session IPA, a 4.7% Mosaic dry hopped IPA

DIPA, a double IPA that packs a punch at 8.5%, brewed with awardwinning home brewer Fraser Witney. Ben Norman, marketing director of Twickenham Fines Ales, explained: “We are delighted to be able to bring this new, innovative and beautifully-balanced range of beers to the market, with the launch of Old Hands. “Our aim is to reach a whole new

audience of typically younger, craft beer drinkers who would normally associate Twickenham with more traditional cask beers. “We believe right now is a really exciting time for Twickenham and for beer, and we are very much looking forward to continuing to explore the opportunities for exclusive brews that will come hand-inhand with this range.”

NEW MALTING BARLEY FACILITY TO STORE INGREDIENTS FOR 120M PINTS

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risp Malting Group has joined forces with farming co-operative Fengrain on a new malting barley storage facility in Norfolk. Fengrain has tied with Crisp Malting Group on the site, which is being pitched as a storage and marketing option for East Anglian farmers. The facility features four new Fengrain silos, located at Crisp’s Great Ryburgh site, which will provide storage for 10,000 tonnes of malting barley. Crisp’s master maltsters can use this to produce 7,700 tonnes of quality malt that, in turn, can be used to create 120 million pints of beer. Rob Munro, Fengrain managing director, said: “The opening of this

great new storage facility reflects the fact our co-operative is growing. “We already have 900 members and this significant investment by Fengrain opens up opportunities for even more growers in the East Anglia region. They, too, will be able to benefit from our unique marketing proposition and excellent relationship with Crisp – and other customers. “The new silos enable direct delivery at harvest time from the farm to the customer. This avoids timewasting, resource-intensive double handling. "It means that the barley can be dried and stored in perfect conditions from the outset. All this helps attract best available premiums for members.”

14 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

“The silos will bring benefits in terms of quality controls and convenience. Their installation on our site will also reduce haulage – saving around 20,000 HGV miles and 27,000kg of carbon dioxide emissions a year,” added says Bob King, commercial director at Crisp Malting. He explained: “To produce the best malt we must have top quality malting barley all year round,” says Bob King. “Excellent storage conditions are absolutely crucial – and this joint venture will provide them. “We’ve been working with Fengrain and its members over many years. "Positioning their silos on our site shows the commitment from both parties to a long-term partnership."

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 15


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RAINDROPS ON ROSES WINS HOME BREW CHALLENGE 2016

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aindrops on Roses’ from home brewer Phil Sisson is the winner of the Home Brew Challenge

2016. The beer ‘Raindrops on Roses’ has won the third Home Brew Challenge 2016, an initiative from Waitrose and Thornbridge Brewery. Available in 70 Waitrose stores from the end of last year, the 5.3% Belgian-style wheat beer will be the first rose petal infused beer sold by the supermarket. Sisson began home brewing five years ago while working as a recording studio manager in east London and recently moved to Glasgow with his family. He explained: “This is a huge, and completely unexpected honour for me! I’m absolutely flabbergasted. I’ve been a big admirer of Thornbridge’s beers for years and it’s just fantastic to have been able to impress the judges with my own creation. “I originally brewed the beer as a present for my wife’s birthday and my daughter chose the musicalthemed name, so it’s a truly family affair. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the shelves at Waitrose.”

Keg businesses aim to revolutionise draught beer supply chain with BeerQX The UK’s Close Brothers Brewery Rentals and US-based MicroStar Logistics have joined forces to “revolutionize the global draught beer supply chain”. Close Brothers Brewery Rentals has teamed up with MicroStar Logistics to offer brewers flexibility and efficiency while also maintaining quality on a scale of more than four million kegs. According to both companies, breweries have been forced to “compromise on either quality or cost” when exporting beer across the

The Home Brew Challenge 2016 attracted more than 200 entries and Sisson’s winning beer was judged by a panel that includes Waitrose beer buyer Sarah Hammond and Alex Buchanan from Thornbridge. Sarah Hammond, Waitrose beer buyer, added, ‘“We loved the fact that we could distinguish the traditional style of beer that it’s based on, and that it came with a really modern and well-judged twist. “The palate was refreshing and full of flavour, and all the elements were really well-balanced – distinct yet not overpowering. A great combination of delicacy, interest and full of flavour, this is an excel-

lent homebrew that we hope our customers will enjoy as much as we did.” Rob Lovatt, head brewer at Thornbridge said Sisson’s beer was “undoubtedly well made with the roses working in a beautiful harmony with the camomile and coriander”. He said: “It is a worthy winner from a great selection of beers that were submitted to the competition, which goes from strength to strength each year. “I enjoyed tasting Raindrops on Roses and working with Phil to recreate his beer on a larger scale and I am sure it will be very popular”.

Atlantic. The collaboration, BeerQX, is designed to provide a transatlantic cold-chain controlled bulk transport service from next year. US beer will now arrive in the UK faster and fresher than ever before and UK and European brewers will now be able to get their beer to the US more efficiently than ever, the companies said. Paul Sherman, managing director of Close Brothers Brewery Rentals, explained: “The global beer industry is evolving rapidly and one clear theme across nearly all brewers is an interest in higher quality, more efficient export solutions.

“As we got to know MicroStar, we were impressed with the complementary nature of our businesses and quickly realised that by working together we could offer unparalleled beer export solutions.” “Both MicroStar and CBBR were created to help brewers grow and BeerQX is a natural extension of that mission,” added MicroStar’s president and CEO, Michael Hranicka. He explained: “In addition to relying on us to meet their existing keg needs in their home markets, through BeerQX, brewers can now benefit from our combined expertise and dense network of stainless steel kegs to get their beer to new markets across the Atlantic.”

16 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 17


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SAUGATUCK’S THIRD BEAR AMBER ALE HITS UK

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eathwick has broadened its Saugatuck portfolio with the launch of Third Bear Amber Ale in the UK. Michigan-based Saugatuck’s Third Bear Amber Ale is being distributed in the UK by Heathwick. The 5.5% beer is pitched as a smooth English style Amber Ale and has a “solid backbone of nine different malts, perfectly balanced by a hint of hoppy flavour coming from Goldings, Tettnang and Willamette varieties”.

According to the company, it pairs well with full-flavoured foods such as roast chicken or English cheeses such as Blue cheese, Stilton or Goats cheese. The beer joins Heathwick’s existing Saugatuck line-up that features Neapolitan Milk Stout, Backyard IPA and Oval Beach Blonde. It also offers a seasonal Saugatuck Blueberry Maple Stout. Graham Richardson, general manager at

Heathwick, said: “The addition of Third Bear complements our Saugatuck range, which includes an IPA, a blonde ale and two flavoured stouts, to offer greater choice to the consumer. “The beer style, name and packaging, with its ‘Goldilocks’ connotations, is likely to appeal to a broad range of beer drinkers and continues our strategy of bringing innovative and creative, quality American craft beers to the UK market.”

US BREWERIES SURPASS 5,000 MARK

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S breweries surpassed the 5,000 mark in 2016, with 5,005 in operation. More than 5,000 (5,005) breweries operate in the US, 99% of which are small and independent craft breweries, according to the Brewers Association. While the number of small and independent craft breweries demonstrated 8% growth by the mid-point of 2016, export volumes also increased. According to research released earlier in the year, craft

beer export volumes were up 16.3%, equal to 446,151 barrels or $116 million. On the style front, IPAs account for around a quarter of craft volume while more sessionable styles, such as golden ales, pilsners and pale lagers, grew 33%, representing nearly 5% of craft volumes. Julia Herz, craft beer program director at Brewers Association, explained: “This has been an exponentially exciting year as the beer community continues to grow and evolve. It is incredible to watch local

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brewers innovate and validate the new way the world views the U.S. beer scene. “Much of the dialogue in 2016 centered around the craft brewer definition, who qualifies as a small and independent brewer, what independence means to beer lovers, beer quality and beer appreciation. “We will renew our efforts in 2017 on behalf of our members and the beer drinkers around the world and continue to advance the amazing beverage of beer.”

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 19


ne w s

PETAINER ROLLS OUT RENTAL SCHEME

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etainer has rolled out a series of rental agreements, a first in the oneway keg market, that cover its filling and blowing lines. Packaging specialists Petainer has launched a range of rental agreements for its filling and blowing line, designed to help customers take advantage of its PetainerKeg system. According to the manufacturer, the agreements are designed to give breweries, among others, access to new equipment that will enable them to grow and enter new markets.

The company is experiencing growth in its petainerKeg system, which offers breweries an alternative to steel kegs. It cites reduced capital expenditure, lower total cost of ownership and significant supply chain benefits, as key reasons for the increased popularity. Lease agreements can be tailored to suit customer needs, enabling them to rent a range of equipment. This ranges from standalone manual systems to fully-automated blow fill lines on a ‘pay per keg’

basis. Payment start from €0.60 per keg [$USD 0.65 / $CAD 0.85]. Brett Lamont, Sales Director Distribution at Petainer said: “We wanted to develop a solution for customers which helps them grow and expand their business. “For many, the lease agreements will provide a cost-effective option for taking advantage of all the benefits of petainerKeg. “We have already seen a great deal of interest in this approach because it can be tailored to meet individual customer’s needs.”

Peerless focuses on cask with new range

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eerless Brewing Company has kicked-off 2017 by rolling out its new cask ale range. The brewery has introduced two new cask beers, while dropping two existing cask numbers and a keg lager. It’s two new beers are Lottie Dod and Langton Spin. The former is a 4.2% beer brewed with Admiral and First Gold hops as well as a touch of Cascade. Featuring pale, cara and crystal malts, the beer is named after Bebington born sportswoman Charlotte "Lottie" Dod, who won

the Wimbledon Ladies Championship five times. Langton Spin is a 4.4% beer and a rebrand of the company’s existing Peerless Gold. Peerless said the beer is a “well balanced golden ale” with a distinct citrus fruit and hop aroma that delivers an initial hop bitterness derived from Admiral hops and citrus notes from El Dorado, Columbus and Cascade varieties leading to a crisp dry finish. Through the revamp, Peerless has dropped its Paxton's Peculiar and Crystal Maze ales, as well as its keg Storr Lager.

The company has also taken on law graduate turned trainee brewer Matt Brown while former pub and restaurant operator Pete Walsh has taken on a sales role. Peerless founder and managing director Steve Briscoe explained: “With more and more brewers on the scene each year competition is ferocious, so quality has to be at the heart of our operation. Investment in new testing regimes and new staff alongside our new brands will see us meet the challenges of 2017 and step up to the next stage of our business."

Purity Brewing sales up a third

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urity Brewing Company has experienced 33% yearon-year growth to £7.85m. The brewery, which turned 10 in 2016, has also enjoyed a trebling of its EBITDA over the last two years to £1.07m. Purity now also employs 42 people, up from 32 the previous year, and is looking to invest in new equipment, capacity and staff. It confirmed that it is on target to brew more than 30,000 brewers’

barrels or (8.6 million pints) this coming year. Purity managing director, Paul Halsey, explained: “For us, our ongoing success is 100% down to the team we have created and our loyal customers and fans. We continue to place the beer at the heart of our business and our focus to deliver consistently brilliant beer is as true today as it has ever been. “As the industry continues to face its challenges, we’ll continue

20 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

to innovate to ensure that our beers stand out in a highly competitive market. “Building up trust with our customers has been the key to retaining great relationships. Our beer delivers excellent sales and this means that our customers can confidently give their increasingly knowledgeable and discerning consumers exactly what they deserve; consistently great beer crafted with a conscience.”

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 21


T he

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M anchester

The Brewers Lectures

MANCHESTER 2 March, 1.15pm, Manchester town hall Following December's successful inaugural event in London, The Brewers Lectures comes to Manchester this March and with it a wealth of best-in-class experts from across the brewing industry.

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his March The Brewers Journal will host its second Brewers Lectures event. Taking place on 2nd March in Manchester, the half-day event follows on from an incrediblysuccessful series of talks held recently in London that featured a diverse lineup which included Fuller’s head brewer John Keeling, Cloudwater co-founder and managing director Paul Jones, and award-winning writers Matthew Curtis and Jonny Garrett. These lectures are designed to inform, educate and inspire. They will cover a diverse, but focused remit of ideas and subjects designed to help you improve the business of brewing. The lectures programme features eight experts and will place the spotlight on the issues that matter inand-around brewing in 2017, and beyond. The Brewers Lectures features speakers from inside and outside of the industry, offering insights, advice and thought-provoking content. We guarantee they will challenge the way you run your brewery. Logan Plant Logan Plant is the founder of London’s Beavertown Brewery. Celebrating its fifth birthday in 2017, Logan and the team at Beavertown have led the Tottenhambased brewery to become one of the driving forces in modern UK beer. With further expansion and growth set to take place this year, and beyond, Logan will place the spotlight on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Beavertown. Sylvia Kopp Sylvia Kopp, the Brewers Association’s American Craft Beer Ambassador in Europe, will be outlining the work of the Brewers Association (BA) and looking at

22 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

how its resources can help UK brewers. The BA is a not-for-profit trade body dedicated to promoting and protecting American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. Richard Burhouse Founder and Managing Director of Magic Rock Brewing, Richard Burhouse discusses why branding and design is important for new breweries, the decisions that were made in establishing the brand, and how Magic Rock approach their marketing. William Evans William Evans is the director of Cave Direct Beer Merchants’ northern business. He will explore what different suppliers are looking for from a craft beer brewery and how to make your beers and brand portfolio stand out, followed by a more detailed look into what a company such as Cave Direct look for in a craft beer brewery. With the importance of brands being highlighted in the above, there will be a discussion about the ‘wine-ification’ of beer which is a cause for concern in the Brewers Association in the US and steps we can take to stop it. Stuart Howe In 2016, Stuart Howe celebrated his 20th year in brewing. Having worked at McMullen’s, Brakspear and Scottish Courage in his formative years, Howe’s brewing journey has also taken him to Sharp’s, Butcombe, Lost and Grounded Brewers, and more recently Harbour Brewing in Bodmin, Cornwall. An expert in brewing, and the management of breweries, Stuart will speak about beer and how the size of the brewery impacts upon its production.

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manchester

David Smith David Smith has worked in the brewing industry for more than 40 years and has been involved with in excess of 150 brewery projects in the UK and overseas, providing full consultancy services from initial planning to completion for start-up projects and onsite quality assurance, technical support, and training services for both new and existing breweries.

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L e c t u r e s

supporters:

Robert Percival Robert is a qualified brewing professional with extensive experience in quality and technical roles in beer production. Working for yeast specialists Lallemand, his expertise includes fermentation and cask beer production. IBD young brewer of the year 2013/14, he is passionate about beer flavour and sensory science. During his talk, Robert will place the spotlight on sour beer and the application of bacteria. Simon Mydlowski Simon Mydlowski is a partner at Gordons law firm. He will deliver a high level overview of the legal intricacies of running a business looking at property, banking and funding for the industry and operational risks to be considered when looking at diversification.

Tickets ÂŁ18 Price includes a goody bag of beers, snacks and other delicious treats.

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 23


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a

B rewery

Set Your Goals From first thoughts through to the first brew, there are many obstacles on the road to launching a brewery. Here is the route McColl’s Brewery has taken to date, five months shy of its launch. Daniel McColl gives his views

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he thought of owning my own brewery crept in to my head half a decade ago. And there it stayed, leaving an indelible mark. It soon began to develop, often over a beer, and often in a dreamy, idyllic mindset of hops, brand design and happy punters supping our wares. At this point, the single most important decision I made was to secure a position within an established commercial brewery. Still, my mind ran wild with romantic images of brewing, but I quickly identified my own ‘style’ of how I’d like a brewery to operate. I would also spend time investigating every nuance of the industry, thinking about the more prosaic do’s and don’ts of day-to-day brewery life. Often avenues would prove to be fruitless or ‘not for me’, but many were enlightening. A bigger picture began to emerge. I could do this. If you’re considering setting up your own brewery, I’d highly recommend this approach as the ‘first must’. It gave me time to think, gain experience, make mistakes – at someone else’s expense – and determine whether I could actually hack it. My advice to others keen on setting up their own brewery? Make sure you stick your nose into every aspect of brewery life. Yes, the latest hop releases and fermentation profiles, but everything else too. I’m talking hygienic floor and wall coverings; van specs; vessels inside and out; water supply; and quality assurance measures, to name but a few. Plus, delve into all the costs, pricing and legalities you can encounter – and that’s before

24 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

you even try to sell your product. If you’re still keen, as I was, and now think that “I can do this better and more profitable”, well, it begins to get very real. At this point, it was time to do my fair share of soul searching. Many long discussions with the other half followed, generally centring around money, family life and the sacrifices ahead of us. At the end of it though, I was still invested in the idea. It was time to put together a comprehensive business plan. This process helped focus my mind, shifting it from ‘just brewing’ to focusing on the business as a whole. And, although ultimately it would prove useful in securing finance, it also helped in those quiet moments to reassure myself that I was doing it right. The numbers do stack up. There is a market for the product. And I do know what I’m doing. It’s at this point you must start to fully commit or equally (and unashamedly) step back from the brink. It’s important to note the time and effort I devoted to reining in my expectations – not an easy task and not to be confused with limiting your aspirations – as it directly impacted on certain decisions I had to make. What was the market? What should we actually produce? What styles, ABVs, distribution and dispense methods should we go for? How much capital will we realistically secure? The concept now needed to work. Satisfying those early heady thoughts was not enough. These questions will all affect what brewhouse, fermentation equipment and racking requirements you'll need; the kind of premises, size and location you are after; how many staff you need; and the

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portion of money you should partition off to sales and marketing. That business plan now starts to look daunting if not reassuringly professional. So, from that point onwards, it’s been nigh on two years of telephone calls, emails, meetings, reprints, refinements, and research, not to mention, brick walls, cockups, frustrations, rethinks and a bit more soul searching. A key aspect in this interim period of flux – from nothing to actual brewery owner – was the decision to run a small but highly significant crowdfunder project. The subsequent success of the project allowed us to produce trial batches of our products at Brewlab in Sunderland, test our beers out at two well-attended tasting evenings and to say to people that “this is really happening”, the secret is out, time to stand up and be counted. This solidified the whole thing and now with a launch date set – or launch month to be less precise – this two year process has proven its worth in limiting costly mistakes, reassessing essentials with ideals, improving the day-to-day functionality of the brewery and, ultimately, refining how we can produce the best quality product around. With five months to go until duty returns are filed, everything has started to fall into place, pick up pace and generally become more real. There are staff contracts; premises lease terms; interest rates; licenses; permissions; and the potential impact of Brexit on raw material prices to contend with. It’s certainly daunting, but having in place a solid business plan – with contingencies of course –has

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eased our worries. If you’ve done the maths and your research, then have faith in your core figures, your product and your core motivation. You can certainly be flexible if costs or timings shift, you just have to anticipate these things. It seems to be a fine balance between enjoying the experience, designing and brewing the beers and fulfilling the many obligations on a day-to-day basis just to make it work, to ultimately pay the bills. With more trial brews to be conducted, staff training courses attended, brand artwork and marketing realised, customers engaged with and an entire brewery to kit out, the plan is to stick to the plan – this will bring our dream into the physical world. In summary, take your time, think and then rethink things through. If you publish a business plan, financial projections or set yourself deadlines that are never looked at again and reassessed, then you are either a business guru or naively walking into a slow and painful hard slog. Retain your dream, but be willing to shift your expectations, spend a little more time on getting things right or readjust your route to achieving your ambitions. As a fan of goals and deadlines I find it difficult but necessary to remember I hope to be doing this for the rest of my life. A slight delay in getting it right is not a bad thing. Daniel McColl is owner, head brewer and general dogsbody at the recently formed McColl’s Brewery (mccollsbrewery.co.uk) Daniel worked as a research assistant on numerous research projects at Teesside University before becoming head brewer at a 32 hL brewery.

January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 25


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Great

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B eer

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American Dream Sylvia Kopp, Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Ambassador outlines why the Great American Beer Festival is well worth a visit.

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wesome, a much used word in the American lexicon, aptly describes the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). A gargantuan smorgasbord of brewing discovery, GABF is truly awesome in every sense of the word. GABF, organised by the Brewers Association, is the U.S.’ premier beer festival and in 2016 the largest selection of American beers ever were served comprising more than 3,800 beers from 780 small and independent craft breweries. Held every October in Denver’s cavernous Convention Centre – the size of seven football pitches – the festival boasts four miles of beer lines and attracts 60,000 beer lovers over three days. GABF is the holy grail of beer festivals and competition for tickets is intense. Those lucky enough to procure one will be set back USD$80 (about £65.00) and need to be quick as tickets sell out very rapidly. Hundreds of eager beer lovers queue patiently for hours before doors open and then surge in, often making a bee-line for the well-known, iconic breweries whoses brewers/owners are cult figures on a par with celebrities. Samples are dispensed in 1oz/30ml pours and beer lovers queue respectfully for the latest release of an old favourite or an adventurous, ‘stunt’ beer, only to scamper back to the end of the queue for more. Anyone unfortunate enough to drop their (acrylic) glass is subjected to the jeers of thousands.

26 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

The handy GABF App listing all the beers and breweries is a vital tool for tracking your tasting journey, and more accurate than the word of mouth buzz. Dressing up in outlandish costumes is all part of the fun and pretzel necklaces the accessory of choice. There are seminars and talks throughout the show on many different aspects of the brewing industry, a bookstore for the more cerebrally minded and a silent disco for those with no inhibitions. GABF is a unique assault on the senses, but there is a serious side – the GABF competition is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In 2016, 7,227 beers were entered into the competition covering 96 categories and 286 medals were awarded. Americanstyle IPA was once again the most popular category with 312 entries. The sheer, unmitigated joy on the faces of medalwinners is testimony to their passion for brewing and delight in producing a high quality, world-class brew. This is a collaborative industry like no other. No one wants their fellow brewer to make bad beer because it undermines the whole craft brewing industry. American brewers are very supportive of each other to continue raising the bar for craft beer quality across the world. Linked to GABF is Paired, a unique showcase of craft beer and food paired together to create sensational new flavour matches, curated by Adam Dulye, Executive Chef at the Brewers Association. Comprising 21 chefs and 21 breweries who together

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craft 42 bite sized delicacies, 1,400 per night, Paired proves that beer is as much an ingredient of the dish as it is a liquid refreshment - the difference being it is in a glass not on the plate. Craft beer’s diverse range of flavours demonstrate that it can pair with food as well, if not better, than any other beverage. Anyone thinking a pie and a pint is a good match should try New Holland’s Incorrigible, a 4.5%ABV white sour ale made with Michigan blueberries and blackberries paired with the oily richness of a smoked salmon tartare dressed with horseradish cream, shallots, capers and a blackberry! But the beer is unreservedly the star of the show. American craft brewers are widely credited with igniting the global craft beer revolution and at GABF their brewing creativity and ingenuity is given free rein. Innovative and experimental can hardly begin to describe the beers on offer from those made with marshmallows, tobacco and cannabis to others using pig’s liver, breakfast cereal and pickles! However, not all beers are quite as challenging. There is formidable interest in those breweries who are part of the Brewers Association’s Export Development Programme and distribute in the UK such as Firestone Walker, Harpoon, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Reubens, Saugatuck, Sierra Nevada, Ska, Tailgate, Victory and many more. Keep an eye out for them and you’ll get a small taste of what the GABF has to offer! While the GABF competition is only open to U.S. brewers, brewers from the UK are welcome to enter the bi-annual World Beer Cup 2018.

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 27


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C loudwater

LOOKING BACK WHILe PUSHING FORWARD Cloudwater experienced a 44% increase in production last year and is projecting nearly treble that growth during 2017. Here the brewery’s co-founder and managing director, Paul Jones outlines the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

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rom day one we’ve tried to be as open and transparent as we could as a new brewery (even when the most shareable data doesn’t yet float to the top in the quickest fashion), and in that spirit I’d like to share some pretty simple facts and figures with you. The backstory here is that I think we’re ready in the UK to take another step forward together, and talk ever more straight to you, our customers. Contrary to rhetoric and fear, the world isn’t entirely post-fact, yet. We’ve been brewing for a little over 22 months, and in that time we’ve brewed 240 gyles using 145 different recipes and 24 different yeast strains. The chart below shows our weekly and annual production numbers from when we started brewing on the 14th of February 2015, totals for last year, and our projection for this year. Below: Weekly and annual beer production

28 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

The growth we expect to see though this year is very exciting for us indeed (for context, if our predictions are accurate we’ll get somewhere near Magic Rock’s 2016 annual production). To date we’ve not been able to keep our IPAs, IPLs, Session IPAs or any other beer on taps or shelves with any regularity. Sure, selling out so quickly is great for freshness, and is something we’ll work very hard on promoting this year, but it’s a shame when we know some people only get to enjoy our beer fortnightly or even monthly. The growth in production volume we anticipate delivering in 2017 we owe to consumer demand (most potent in the UK, ever increasing across the EU, and developing in the USA, Asia, and Australasia). One of our most exciting yet challenging experiences last year was transitioning from having enough beer to go round in 2015, to having just about every batch from mid 2016 onwards sell out ever more rapidly. Admittedly this an excellent problem to have, but we’re grateful for how patient and understanding some of our wholesale and retail customers have been

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C loudwater

2015 (estimate)

as we grew and adapted (and continue to do so) to this new norm.

packaging

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n the short time since we’ve been operational, everything from market demands, our ambition as a brewery, to consumer preferences have evolved. We set out during our planning stages in 2014, with the knowledge that we wanted to produce some small pack beer, and plumped for a Meheen M6 330ml bottle filling machine over similarly priced canning lines available at the time. We weren’t sure how our then undefined, and unrestrained range of sometimes yeast, and other times malt, or hop lead beers would be received in cans. We also weren’t impressed with entry level canning lines (suitable for our then modest packaging aims) that looked like they introduced significant risk of oxygen pick up or worse (infections from difficult to clean filling lines, or from bacteria floating in the air). A couple of years later, with advances in filler specs, and several mobile canning and in house lines in operation canning everything from imperial stouts to sour beers, consumer comfort and industry confidence in canned beer grows with each passing week. Our ABE Lincan 60 canning line is currently set for delivery mid January. We’re hoping to run trials immediately, likely with a Pale Ale, to ensure we’re at least matching the dissolved oxygen levels we currently see in bottle, before we ramp up the proportion of beer we put into can over the course of 2017. The charts above show packaging splits from 2015 (where our records are not as searchable as the time I’ve set aside to write this post allow for 100% accuracy), through to our initial target for 2017. The keen eyed amongst you will quickly notice two trends. The first is that we’re planning on growing the proportion of beer we put into small pack. The second is that 2017 will see us cease production of cask beer – a decision we have not taken lightly, and one I’ll go into in as much detail as I can later on in

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2016

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2017 (estimate)

Above: Packaging splits per year

this post. Specifically regarding production and packaging of our DIPAs, which total 8.5% of all the beer we’ve made so far, we lose on average 22.19% of each batch to yeast growth and dry hopping. We have, miraculously, managed to lose as little as 12%, but we’ve also managed a shameful loss of 39% on one occasion. Having spoken to brewers out on both the West and East coasts of the US last year, we’re pretty keen to give centrifugation a spin this year. Whilst a centrifuge can be used to throw out a very high percentage of particulate matter and make a murky beer a lot brighter, breweries that turn out some of the USA’s finest, tastiest hazy beer gain great success in reducing losses, stabilising their beer a little more for package, whist preserving the flavour and mouthfeel they’re most interested in through considered use of a centrifuge.

new Friends near and far

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ne of the greatest pleasures last year was the chance to present our beer at many excellent festivals, and in some of the best bars and pubs in their respective cities. We’ve made some great new friends along the way. I won’t try to thank everyone here (but seriously, thank you to everyone who worked behind the scenes to get us to each and every festival from Tilquin’s English Beer Festival to Modern Times’ Festival of Dankness and Shelton Brothers The Festival, all the meet the brewers, and tap takeovers up and down the country and as far away as Hong Kong), but I’ll make a few notable thanks. Firstly, thanks to all the folks at BrewDog for inviting us up to Aberdeen to be a guest brewery at your AGM last year. Without a doubt it was the biggest and best chance we’d had to showcase our beer to thousands of craft beer lovers. It was inspiring to see just what years of focus and dedication can do

January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 29


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to bring together so many people under one roof in the name of delicious modern beer. I’d like to thank a couple of lovely guys over the pond, Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting, and Kevin Shields of Shelton Brothers, for some excellent time hanging out, chewing the fat, and for their generous introductions to some wonderful people in beer during my time over in Philadelphia at CBC. It was some of the most fun, insightful, and productive hanging and networking time I think I’ve had the pleasure of. Despite feeling like a charlatan at the time, I really felt welcomed, through their kind introductions, into a world of brewing professionals. In August we were invited to pour our beer at Modern Times’ Festival of Dankness in San Diego. Gosh, another invitation we just couldn’t believe we were worthy of! Jacob and his team set us up to present our beer at a festival alongside the who’s who of hoppy beer brewers in the US. It was terrifying (would our beer fly over in good shape, would it get though customs ok, would it taste anything close to decent next to all those amazing US breweries?!), but also one of the most enjoyable festivals we’ve been to. The Modern Times team continues to inspire us with their generous openness, and downright infectious friendliness. Though there were many more festivals, events, tap takeovers, and meet the brewers than the three I’ve mentioned above, I look back now and see just how many doors opened to us as a result of such incredible opportunities in only our second year of brewing. We’re so incredibly excited for some of the events we’ve got lined up this year, where we’ll get the chance to head to the US several times, and make appearances in Europe and Asia too. Last year we also enjoyed fantastic collaborations with: JW Lees; Magic Rock; Harbour; Siren; Yeastie Boys; Forest & Maine; Bluejacket; 6ºNorth; Modern Times; Fourpure; Wylam; Brouwerij Kees; Port Street Beer House; Against The Grain; Jester King; To Øl; La Brasserie du Mont Salève; Lost & Grounded; and Dugges. We’ve already got some incredible collaborations lined up for this year, so watch our for some really exciting announcements! That concludes my look back at 2016, now for a look ahead. In a recent presentation I gave (at the Brewer’s Journal Lectures) I highlighted opportunities and challenges we’ve faced thus far. I’ll go over what I can in these following sections, and will go some way to explain how we’ll work this year to make even more progress than we did last year.

traditional versus innovation

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hose of you dismayed at our decision to drop cask beer early into 2017 should know that there are many reasons behind a course we’d neither predicted or planned even a few months ago. Whilst there has been great appetite

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for our cask beer in bars and pubs up and down the country, traditional price points remain an increasingly compromising norm. When we started out in 2015, we initially priced all our beer the same per litre, regardless of packaging format. Wholesalers, retailers, and beer buyers baulked and protested, insisting that our keg beer was a little cheap, and our cask beer too expensive. Though reluctant at the time, we switched to market pricing. Today we make just about sufficient margin in our keg and bottled beer, though we are occasionally frustrated that buyers look to style and ABV to gauge whether the price of our beer is fair, even when style and ABV speak nothing of disparate costs of ingredients and production. We worry that cask beer has backed itself into a corner that risks becoming unattractive to modern breweries. Where we can just about tolerate today’s market pricing for our keg and bottled beer (in light of Brexit’s devaluating effect on the pound), we see little sense in continuing to accept the labour of racking, handling, and collecting casks whilst we make insufficient margin. The price we can charge for cask beer isn’t our only issue, even if it makes a convincing case for the cessation of cask production to us on its own. When we take into consideration the sort of beer the cask market laps up we see high demands for traditional beer, albeit with a modern twist. In comparison, the keg and bottle market demands our most innovative and progressive beer. If we want to continue growing and developing as a brewery, we have to put our time, energy, and resources into the beers that help us progress our skills, finesse, and flavour explorations the most. A related point to make is that we think our cask beer is good, sometimes really good, but it doesn’t thrill us anywhere near as much as our (keg) SIPAs, IPLs, Grisettes, etc. The attention we have given to progressing the quality and flavour impact in our keg and bottled beer could have gone into making our cask beer even better, but we don’t think we’d be playing to our strengths by diverting our attention away from some of our most celebrated work yet. There’s another often encountered set of issues we face with the cask beer market – if cask beer isn’t bright the quality is often questioned (and in some cases our slightly hazy casks are flatly refused, regardless of flavour), but if casks are still conditioning out, and because of that, or because of inadequate VDK reabsorption at the end of fermentation, tasting of diacetyl, then it’s all too often good to go. Cask beer should take pride of place in every bar and pub, and the subtle nuances that make cask beer so incredibly drinkable shouldn’t be competing with easy to eradicate off flavours. Cask beer requires not just the same skill and discipline as keg beer to brew, but also requires excellent cellar stewardship to be pulled into a glass in a way that best represents the establishment, the brewer, and the rich and varied heritage of cask beer in the UK. Looking ahead to very uncertain times, when our

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margins are likely to be squeezed even further as global politics lurches threateningly to the right (for the record, fuck this guy, this guy, this lady, and this guy too), and drags the costs of our production up we have to make good decisions that protect our still young, almost profitable business as much as we can. Cask beer can only travel within the UK in good condition, so prioritising beer that is fit for travel (whether to the furthest reaches in the UK, to Europe, the USA, or beyond) is a decision we’ll try to take as much comfort in as we can, as the world changes quickly, and sometimes ominously around us. Whilst we’re sad that 2017 will mark a turning point in our production that will see us drop cask beer altogether, we’re confident we’ll be putting our best foot forward, and we might even contribute in our own way to much needed conversations about how to modernise cask beers goals, and help create a much needed look again, with fresh and forward looking eyes, at what cask beer can and should be. Regardless of the path we take, we’ll channel every bit of our quest for refreshing drinkability that shaped our cask beers into our keg and bottled beer.

bigger beer

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s a team we have benefitted greatly over the years from imported beer, whether from excellent style defining traditional brewers, or from breweries pushing the boundaries and expectations of modern beer. Whilst what lies ahead of us are undoubtedly many more life changing experiences from imported beer, a few current and potential challenges exist for us to overcome. Along with many other breweries in the UK, and indeed all over Europe, we face challenges to meet price expectations with our lager beers, with the price point buyers and drinkers alike expect set prohibitively low for breweries as small as us. Good quality lager beers imported from established brewers in Europe have set a price point that very few British (and indeed smaller, or younger continental) brewers can match. Without the scale, local ingredients, tied lines, and estates that many larger established continental breweries enjoy we’re left without an option to present our lager beer to even our local most customers. We’re determined to find ways to champion our lagers this year, whilst looking for opportunities to showcase our larger beer at a price that supports us and is approachable in the market too. Time will tell whether we can succeed in presenting a small batch, local alternative that the both beer buyers and consumers will value. Last year we also started to feel the moves of many very well established American breweries as they eye their share of the market here in the UK. Guest lines, freed from the grips of brewing companies from yesteryear, are again being snapped up with deals offered for tied lines by US brand ambassadors keen

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to showcase imported American beer here in the UK. We’re very much of the belief that this grossly benefits the UK as a whole, as we gain the chance to either celebrate how we’re catching up, and in some cases may be seen to be surpassing the quality of import beer on the bar (largely, I should add, because local beer can be presented a lot fresher than beer fresh off a boat, after weeks on land and sea to reach bars), or learn from breweries making beer of a quality and balance we still dream of achieving ourselves. With divisions and budgets established to break into the UK, we’re curious to see whether British consumers develop anything close to the local, regional, or national loyalty that was clearly so very integral to getting the US beer scene where it is today. We are doing our bit to start and contribute to conversations around beer freshness as that’s what’s best for the beer, and indeed for everyone in the supply chain too. Whilst we’re keeping half an eye on just how many taps in Manchester get tied to American or other imported breweries, we’re confident that as we help grow appreciation for fresh beer we can avoid any squeeze that may curtail the growth and development of the British brewing industry. From my travels to the US over these past two years I’ve been deeply impressed by the support shown for local breweries, that surpasses anything I’ve seen yet in the UK. I don’t think US breweries got to that point overnight though, and I imagine, without exception, that they have had to work extremely hard to turf both macro import brands and domestic macro breweries from lucrative tied lines, by winning the consumer over with damn good taste.

tight margins

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espite alluding to it earlier on in this post, when talking over some of our reasons for dropping cask beer, I’ll take a look at why 2017 is the year we’ll work hard to put ourselves in the best possible financial position. “There’s no money in brewing” is a phrase often uttered in the UK as an defence or even apology to (thankfully very) infrequent consumer criticism, and at times cynicism around the commercial realities of running a company whose business it is to make beer. On several occasions last year I had brewers from the US question how on earth we could make any money without a high percentage of direct retail sales. The chart overleaf shows our average sales figures per month, including an estimate of where we think we’ll get to this year (although we’ll not start out anywhere near that, we’ll look to surpass it by the end of the year with production around 250hl/week and barrel aged beer releases). We turned over a little over £1.15M last year, and will start 2017 with not much more than pennies to rub together – hopefully it’ll be a very different story at the end of this year, and in the paragraphs below I’ll outline how we'll work to get there.

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Above: Average monthly sales in 2016

Consumer culture in the US doesn’t just accept businesses making the profits necessary to survive, but often goes as far as to openly celebrate growth and financial success. Here in the UK most breweries still default to downplaying their size and successes for fear of rejection, but thankfully I see signs of this changing! I had a great chat with David Kleban of Maine Beer Co during Portland Beer Week, and enjoyed very much his straight forward views as we chewed over some pretty basic common commercial goals. For the record, here are ours for 2017: • Break into profit – we’re not quite there yet, but we’re very close. • Dramatically improve our cash flow (a source of regular stress since we started) – reign in or close accounts that drift, promote direct retail. • Share a percentage of our profit with the team (whilst reducing the working week to ≤40 hours). • Look for opportunities to maximise profits to pursue ever better beer. There’s another standout commercial difference I noticed on my trips to the States in these past couple of years – many of the breweries we hear and get excited about manage a staggering amount of direct retail, leaving UK breweries lagging way behind. From West Coast breweries turning anything between 50-85% of their beer over in their own tap rooms, to East Coast breweries selling 100% straight off the canning line at retail value, the margins our American peers and friends are making are both impressive and powerful. Growth can be rather more self funded, money can be set aside to dump hop lots and gyles not at their best, in house labs are well developed, businesses are financially strong, and wages could even grow at inflation beating rates (ok so I didn’t see evidence of this at any brewery I visited, but I’d like to think it

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was true). These are all things I am very committed to see through here at Cloudwater too, yet our margins currently make it near impossible to do so many of the things we need to help us step up to higher quality levels. So it’s without apprehension that I’ll say that by focusing on opportunities we have now, and will work to develop in 2017 to maximise the margin we make, we’ll put ourselves, and every business in our supply chain too, in an ever stronger position next year. I’m convinced there are so many beer lovers out there that know at least from their industries what it takes for a business to survive, let alone thrive. I can honestly state that we’re looking to make better beer than we ever have to date, expressly by taking as good care over our profit margin and cash flow as we do over our wort production, fermentations, and packaging runs. From casual conversations with friends and peers here in the UK brewing industry, even the busiest breweries are only managing to turn a maximum of 15% of what they produce through their own tap rooms (including take out sales), with many turning considerably less. So whilst our US peers are bringing about vast barrel programs (that won’t profit for years, and will eat up vast amounts of start up capital), retail sites, self funding growth, brewing recipes using hopping rates that may make our beer prohibitively expensive on the bar here, and using fruit additions at doses we couldn’t dream of, we’re left figuring out what on earth we can do to keep up whilst our turnover is up to 15 times less at similar annual production volumes. Ouch! You’ll see us do everything we can next year to continue to work with our existing retail and wholesale partners, taking on new accounts where our production capacity and demands allow, whilst growing beer sales direct from our brewery. As we make an effort to catch up to some of our British peers in direct sales, not only will we be making even fresher, cold stored beer available as fast as we

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can direct from the brewery, we’ll be making our business an ever stronger platform upon which we can grow, develop, and progress (in pursuit of ever more excellent beer).

c o m m en t

Brewing Services

& Consultancy Ltd

2017 trends

S

teady now! I’m not going to lay out all of our ambitions and ideas just yet, but I will go into some of what I think will be rather more popular this year than last. 1. A distinct lack of off flavours: I think we’re all ready for a new era, where off-flavour perception steps up a notch, and everyone from beer buyers to bartenders to consumers picks out those rather off putting and nuance covering notes of butter, cardboard, baby vomit, green apples, corn, and more. Sour beers without baby vomit, cask beers without butter, imported beers without cardboard – bring it on. For the record, if you’re local to Manchester, and either work in the industry, home brew, or just do your bit to support good beer, and would like to join us at the brewery for off flavour training, please email us on info@cloudwaterbrew.co. 2. All the juice: I know there are plenty of bitter, high IBU beer lovers out there, but when I take a look at the depth of support still found in the US today, years after fruity, juicy IPAs became the norm in some regions, it’s pretty clear to me that fruity, juicy, low bitterness beers are going to still be a big hit here in 2017. The IBU arms race of yesteryear was a very niche endeavour, hooking what seemed like few new drinkers into modern hoppy beer. Strip the bitterness back, and put fruity aromas from hops front and centre and IPAs suddenly become super approachable to non beer drinkers, and dangerously crushable to beer lovers. 3. Mixed ferm: Saisons are pretty cool, but saisons from Burning Sky, and mixed ferm saisons from BBNo are next level. We were thrilled with Cosweisse, our Biere Brut series, and are pretty damn happy with some of the beer we have in barrel right now. I think we’ll see a lot more mixed ferm(entation) beers hitting bars and shelves this year. Vermont yeast fermented IPA finished on Brett C, and then dry hopped anyone? 4. Summer crushers: 3% mixed ferm dry hopped Berliner Weisses, 2% Peach Kombucha Radlers, 3.5% Pale Ales with all the mouthfeel and hoppiness of 2016’s IPAs. I think we’ll see a renewed interest in lower ABV beer with all the complexity we love when strength is unrestrained, but in beers that will get you (and everyone in throwing distance of you) round the disc golf course in one piece. We’re thrilled to be where we are in the industry after less than two years brewing, and are currently limbering up (ok, more like slobbing around still dazed and exhausted from 2016) for an even bigger and better 2017. Here’s to a healthy, happy, fun packed, and successful 2017 for us all. Cheers!

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Brewery performance audits Quality assurance audits Microbiological and analytical sampling Production and product development New brewery start-ups Troubleshooting Training

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January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 33


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craft

beer

Different Strokes Luke Raven, director at Ilkley Brewery, responds to a Daily Telegraph article regarding American chef Anthony Bourdain and his comments on beer, a piece the broadsheet called: “Craft beer is turning people into zombies”.

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ear Daily Telegraph,

We read your piece with interest this morning [1 November 2016] entitled “Craft beer is turning people into zombies” about Anthony Bourdain’s interview with Thrillist. As one of the owners of Ilkley Brewery, and an avid eater of food and drinker of drink, I would like to kick off with the fact that I agree with many of the sentiments in the full interview (and even some in the article), and rate Anthony’s cooking and broadcasting very highly. I think that by condensing some quotes you have pitted Anthony’s sentiments and principals against themselves. It was sneaky of you not to include his ‘admission’ that if someone brings a good craft beer, he’ll drink it and say how good it was. But then I guess that wouldn’t suit the slant of the piece, nor would a balanced discussion on a success story industry, fit the profile of joining the hipster-bashing bandwagon. The veracity and speed-of-response on social media highlights how emotive beer is. Indeed that is one of the joys of being in the beer industry – we make a product that isn’t functional; it elicits happiness! Of course, taste is subjective, and so one’s amber nectar is another’s drain-pour, but isn’t variety the spice of life? And as a journeyman himself, Anthony Bourdain of all people I’d expect to champion the sense of journey and discovery that people can experience when it comes to imbibing! I suppose it was this emotiveness that spawned the article’s slant. Get those shares and likes. Get those brewery owners spitting out their morning coffee-infused milk stout and penning indignant responses to Mr Bourdain. As I see it, the biggest issues when it comes to beer, and “craft beer” in particular, seem to be snobbery, commodity Vs luxury, quality and in this case, bar/ pub/restaurant environment. Your article, and the response it’s had, encourages me to state a response of a kind, and also, to get off my chest a couple of things about this great industry and how it is perceived. I don’t expect Anthony Bourdain, or anyone else for that matter, to pretend to be passionate about something they’re not. But in the full interview he states that it’s “interesting” to him to be surprised by wine – to try something that he knows is an unknown

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quantity, something that could sometimes “suck” and could also be good. It is a frustration in the beer world that this inverted snobbery, that somehow this can’t be true of beer, is reinforced. Many of the people Bourdain criticises are merely being interested in their beer. Of course interest leads to passion, and passion can spill-over into something less positive. Judgement of other people, their tastes and their opinions is not cool. But that cuts both ways. Writing off craft beer snobs as zombies is as judgemental as some of the comments from such snobs can be. They shouldn’t criticise anyone for what they’re drinking, and likewise shouldn’t be criticised for their choices. There are absolutely times when I look in my fridge and don’t really want the specialist brews that populate it, pining instead for something cold and fizzy and easy or non-challenging. But there are times too when I search out the latest release, not because of an insatiable urge to have tried everything by the ‘must-have’ latest brewery (whether the malt was rolled betwixt Napoleon’s thighs or not), but because I believe that it’s important to try new things, even if I don’t like them. And in a community where there is so much discourse and interest, it is a positive thing to be able to share my thoughts and see what others think too. I point to something my friend Warren McCoubrey from Living Ventures once said on the matter – be a beer geek, not a beer snob. Another hot topic that surrounds beer, is the price. In a recent and excellent blogpost, Magic Rock Brewery despair that the same people who complain (as often as not directly to the person serving them) about a pint of real ale being £3.10 will happily shell out £4.90 for a 330ml bottle of Peroni in mainstream Italian restaurant (even if they did feel aggrieved do you think for one second they’d berate their waitress though?). Stuart and Richard ask the question of Commodity Vs Luxury. I’ve read lots of comments to the Bourdain piece that express consumer despair about a “city-centre craft levy”. Well, even looking past the overheads a bar/pub/ restaurant has to cover in order to deliver your perfect eating or drinking experience (and hence the price differential from the loss-leading supermarkets), there is also the issue of supporting an independent company, namely the brewer. Mr Bourdain talks at length (in the full interview) about provenance and supporting independent producers. Rightly, he champions this wherever he can, as should we all.

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craft

Against the backdrop of recession, be it in memory or fear of the future, people are rightly concerned about what they pay. In my opinion this has driven quality, and goes a long way to explaining the rise to prominence of craft beer itself, as drinkers place more emphasis on quality and provenance. But as small producers, we don’t have the marketing budgets, the economies of scale in terms of production costs, or instant route-to-market enabling us to enter new products easily or without risk. The success of the industry is driven by a positive competitiveness, that is driven by friendship from within, despite the commercial pressure we each face from our neighbours. I think it’s GREAT that there are so many GREAT breweries nearby – it’s good for beer, it’s good for drinkers and ultimately good for business, even if the competition for space is sometimes a challenge. But Brexit and the crash of Sterling has increased our packaging and raw material costs by up to 20%. And to CRAFT beer you need to buy the best ingredients. Against a backdrop of the brewery boom, to cut corners when it comes to ingredients would be lead to being easily found-out against the quality offering available. So whilst the craft beer industry craves mainstream acceptance in terms of an increased market share (5-7% of the beer market isn’t huge), this doesn’t necessarily mean that “mainstream” stereotypes should be applied: let’s face it, free-range eggs are part of normal everyday life, but they’re not the same price as mass-produced eggs. We happily pay the extra because they’re better socially and arguably in terms of taste. So, beer that cost more to make, was made by high-welfare brewers (I’m proud to be a Living Wage Employer, and no I don’t expect the drinker to pick up the 10% increase in many of our worker’s salary as a result of a socially responsible choice the business made) should indeed cost more than something mass-produced. Hopefully it will taste better too. If you want another view on why good beer shouldn’t be taken for granted, check out Matt Curtis’ thoughts here. The final point to make, and perhaps which answers one of Mr Bourdain’s complaints about the atmosphere in bars, relates to what a bar (or indeed a beer for that matter) should or could be: “This is wrong. It is not what a bar should be” he says. The beauty of choice is that that there’s something for everyone, whether it’s food, beer, wine or different types of drinking establishment. Bourdain talks of his future vision where all restaurants are like Singapore street vendors. Whilst this suggests a desire for eaters not to take things too seriously, it also points to enjoyment being a driving factor when it comes to ingesting or imbibing. And so if people are enjoying analysing or discussing their beer – more power to their elbow! Continue the discourse. Will everyone agree? Hell no! Should they? Hell no! Taste is subjective, and is ever changing – my go-to beer from years ago no longer tastes the same as my palate evolves. I didn’t used to

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like olives either but my palate has evolved. I used to like dancing on tables until 6am in city centre bars, but my lifestyle has evolved. None of these evolutions are necessarily better or worse, it’s just different. Different strokes. Isn’t that great? Sometimes I want to eat or drink one thing, and other times something else. I do place high regard on what enters my body though, and encourage others to be discerning too. Anthony Bourdain was in fact an early influence on my own culinary interest, and reading his books (and yes, the FULL interview) it’s clear that he encourages enjoyment and discovery, along with not taking life too seriously. So whatever you’re into at The Telegraph, before you bash the Fosters drinker, the beer geek or the craft beer bar, ask yourself if, when it comes to beer (and of course other drinks), isn’t the important thing to drink for pleasure, not for effect? And when it comes to journalism, wouldn’t it be nice (if not terribly British) to champion a part of an industry that bucks a general decline? To champion difference, passion and hard-graft instead of denigrating or dismissing it as a fad? Take wine once out of reach for mere mortals, it wasn’t ‘normal’ to have a glass at home on a Tuesday night 15 years ago; it wasn’t in everyone’s shopping basket. These days some level of knowledge, from basic to Sommelier is accepted across the social spectrum. Why then this aversion to a category that has more variety than wine? Why the barrier to celebrating our national drink? Let’s consign beer stereotypes to history; the lager-lout, the sandal-socked-warm-beer-drinker and the tattooed-hipster. Let’s talk about drinking and eating well. Sincerely, Luke Raven (Above, second from right) Director at Ilkley Brewery and beer evangelist

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materials

Business of Brewing In his latest article, Csaba Babak explores the essential roles materials play within the brewery ecosystem in ’The Business’ chapter of his recently-published book ‘Beer Means Business’

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rewing beer is practically like producing any other consumer good as it creates a product that is the result of a transformation process. With knowledge (experience and expertise) and equipment, brewers transform primary and secondary materials into a final proposition. Through marketing, it will be made accessible to consumers, and they will enjoy it in ways and under circumstances of their choosing. Many businesses, which spend and earn money, are involved in this relatively simple chain, and the price paid by the consumer is effectively distributed along the chain. If somebody runs out of money, the chain and all businesses in it are disrupted. Brewing is business: either produce something to make money or become a liability in the chain. Ambition in terms of the amount of money made may be different, but it remains a business. At first, new wave brewing businesses were the result of redundancies brought about by consolidation in the beer industry, people using their expertise and equipment to provide an alternative income to being employed by one of the big companies, but some new businesses aim to become alternative global corporations. Regardless of what intentions you started your business with, there is one common element of business which you cannot afford to ignore: making money. Your other intentions for brewing are not business ones, but essentially they can contribute to your business.

materials

T

he primary inputs in brewing are water, malt, hops and yeast. These have their own sorts and can form plenty of combinations. Then there are a myriad of other ingredients used, especially in the brewing of unconventional beers. All in all, the combinations are limitless, and consequently provide an unlimited choice for consumers. There are secondary inputs essential for the final

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product, e.g. packaging (bottles and labels, cans, etc.). The process itself and the tweaks therein make some additional materials essential for the operation, e.g. barrels for ageing and utility services. The selection and sourcing of the materials used for the final product can strategically position a brewery. They can influence the sustainability of and sensitivities to the business model, the consistency and other qualities of the final product, and can provide its distinctive element on the marketplace.

malt and hops

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alt and hops are agricultural produces, and as such their quantity and quality are weather- and climatedependent. And, as rightly summarised by the European Commission, in agriculture there is an inevitable time gap between demand signals and supply responses. Small changes in the amounts produced can have big effects on prices as our consumption of food is largely constant compared to other products. The typical characteristics of new wave brews are claimed to be that they are adjunct- free, meaning they have a higher malt content and thus trigger more demand for malt, and they are rich in flavours or highly bitter, meaning more and wider varieties of hops are required. Considering the pace of growth in new wave brewing, the demand for some of these primary materials will be hard to keep up with. Europe is a major malt producer, with malt export significantly contributing to the EU trade balance. Nevertheless, this supply, so crucial for brewing both conventional and new wave beers, remains under pressure as demand for beer increases on other continents. Maintaining acreage and total production remains a challenge as farmers explore the possibilities of growing alternative more lucrative crops rather than malt- grade cereal. As a result, malt is sold at ever increasing prices. Reportedly, adjuncts account for up to 30% of the mash in European beer production, meaning you will need significantly more barley for an all-malt brew.

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materials

Replacing conventional beers with new wave all-malt brews will have a practical limit: the availability of good quality barley. Furthermore, the growing demand in some regions around the world offsets or even exceeds the decline in mature markets. Malting is also energy-intense, and malt is typically transported over long distances from malt houses to the destination brewery, so energy and fuel prices can easily affect the price. Of the total surface area used for hop-growing worldwide, 60% is in the European Union, Germany alone accounting for about one third of it. The UK is another of the main EU producers along with the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia. The EU has traditionally been a net hop exporter, the main buyers of surplus hops being Russia, the USA and Japan. However, the availability of both the amount and variety of hops is limited in the UK. Therefore, some of these supplies have to come from faraway places, leaving pricing dependent on the costs of transportation and international trade agreements. Hops acreage has been fluctuating, so has total production. Statistics from the USA suggest that the hopping rate of beer on average is increasing, as is the number of varieties used in new wave brewing. Some of the most popular varieties are grown almost exclusively in certain areas, which is a major risk in terms of both price and availability. Consumer preference can shift even over relatively short periods and demand products that are made with more of a specific primary ingredient. Such developments can disrupt the supply chain as all parts of it have to have the right response at the right time. Consumer preference, though, can be influenced by the availability of products, and ideally it can be shaped in such a way to fit the realities of the supply chain and availability of primary materials, both now and in the future. The number of players in malting is relatively low compared to the number of breweries because of the high capital investment required. Other circumstances as well, like climate or transport infrastructure, can determine the maltsters’ profitability. These factors set certain limits to vertical integration, but collectives of brewers with similar needs can increase negotiation power. Having ‘local’ sources can limit exposure to the dynamics of the global market and transportation costs, as well as ensuring a smaller carbon footprint. For sustainable final product prices, and thus margins, take into account that primary materials are likely to become more and more expensive. Going forward, diversification of malt and hops suppliers and contracts might lower the risk of lags in the supply to breweries. Recent shortfalls in certain types of hops have demonstrated the implications of dependence: reportedly, core ranges of some breweries in Europe will be curtailed. However, they have also initiated a more creative and opportunistic way of brewing (including foraging), focusing on and experimenting

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with relatively cheap materials to get the most out of them.

water and yeast

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he water used for brewing has a definite impact on the quality of the beer. The quality and quantity of the water available will be determinant for the expansion plans of a brewery too. That, combined with the costs of fixing the water quality and content, will define the right place for a brewery and the sustainability of the operation. A consistent water supply is essential for beer quality and taste. If the water quality deteriorates due to environmental impacts, e.g. contamination or pollution, sourcing water through an alternative channel can be significantly more expensive. Any core ingredient has a major impact on the final product, including yeast, but yeast is probably more exposed to a brewery’s cleanliness and capacity to retain the right strains consistently in the brewing and keep them under the right conditions than supply chain issues.

other ingredients and factors

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ithout prejudice as to what other ingredients should or could be used in beer, or where they’re used in a core product, you have to keep an eye on their price, quality and availability in the long run. Climate will not only affect crop yields but also influence the energy required for setting and keeping the right conditions, including the temperature of the different brewing processes, and it might be a simple decisive factor for some specific practices, e.g. open fermenting. Looking ahead, some human inflicted changes or patterns in climate and environment, e.g. fracking and water, can affect sourcing materials and should be seriously taken into account.

January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 37


T he

b i g

in t er v ie w

stuart

howe

fresh start In 2016, Stuart Howe celebrated his 20th year in brewing. Having worked at McMullen’s, Brakspear and Scottish Courage in his formative years, Howe’s brewing journey has also taken him to Sharp’s, Butcombe and, more recently, Lost and Grounded Brewers. But as last year drew to a close, he made his latest career move joining Harbour Brewing in Bodmin, Cornwall. And he’s in no mood to be moving again anytime soon.

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tuart Howe spent 14 years with Sharp’s Brewery in Rock, Cornwall. But 11 years into his career at the business, it was acquired by Molson Coors in the February of 2011 in a deal worth £20m. Pocket money in the context of today’s buyouts and acquisitions. And with this, Howe moved on from his role as head brewer at Sharp’s to take up the broader role head of craft brewing and innovation within the business This position meant Howe (above, right) was given control of the operational aspects at Sharp’s, as well as Molson Coors’ owned Franciscan Well in Cork and a microbrewery in Burton, William Worthington. Charged with optimising quality, the procurement of raw materials and increasing capacity and capabilities, Howe’s brief was far reaching. But the call of a role driving success in a smaller brewery was impossible to resist. “It got to the point where I looked for something where I had more direct control. It was important to be in with a business where I felt like a leader when it came to brewing, and that’s why I eventually took the Butcombe job in 2015. They were looking to kick on and move forward. That fit well with me,” he explains. Howe joined from Sharp’s where production increased from 10,000 hectolitres per year to 400,000 during his tenure. Speaking at the time of his appointment, he said his passion is “to make great

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beers”, something he felt he almost didn’t have time for at Molson Coors. But what was also key was the ability to have control, something he may now have finally found several years later at Harbour. Howe’s tenure at Butcombe was brief, but he is keen to point out that this was no means a negative reflection on his time there. “I wasn’t unhappy. The beer at Butcombe was better than ever and the business was growing strongly. But when the opportunity to join Lost and Grounded, and brew on a brand new Krones brewery came around, it was something I could not pass up,” he says. But at the end of 2016, Howe’s time at the Bristolbased brewery had been and gone. “Once the brewery was up and running, they didn’t really need someone like me to do the tasks I was carrying out. I felt guilty taking a head brewer’s wage for doing the basics so it made sense to me to lighten the financial load on a fledgling brewery,” he explains. But that, as they say, is in the past and the 2011 Parliamentary Brewer of the Year is starting the year as head brewer at Cornwall’s Harbour Brewing Co, and the company’s founder Eddie Lofthouse is excited about the road ahead. “2016 has been an exciting year at Harbour HQ. We installed a new kit in January, moving from a 10bbl plant – with 140bbl of tank space – to a 30bbl plant with 400bbl of tank space. That expansion was supposed to see us through a few years of growth,

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but in August we reached capacity both mentally and physically,” he says. Lofthouse explains that the company had to reduce the varieties of beers it could offer, so to keep up with demand on a few of its beers. “It was never the plan, nor will it ever be, to be a single brand beer factory but we could see things moving that way and we could see our creativity and flexibility disappearing. So it was at that point that we started to plan our next phase of growth,” he says. Commenting on the context behind hiring a new head brewer, he says that identifying that if the brewery wanted to continue to grow, and still have time and capacity to brew a full range of innovative and exciting beers, then it needed more space, tanks, equipment and people. Lofthouse says: “We quickly worked out how we could make space, but knowing what equipment we needed isn’t as simple as it used to be. Should we invest in more tanks; a separator; upgrade the canning line? There were lots of questions and everyone seemed to have a different answer. “We knew at that point it was the right time to bring in an experienced head brewer to help inform our decision making around capital investment and also to help us keep improving our recipes, processes and procedures. “2017 will see us, yet again, invest in a range of new equipment, what that is yet to be decided but the purpose of the new equipment is simple: To continue to improve our beer quality; to allow us more time

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It’s innovation for innovation’s sake and you find yourself being asked why you’d want a round wheel when you can have a square one.

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to be creative; to brew a wider variety of beers and to continue to increase production output to meet demand. “I could go on for ages about the things he has achieved in the past, but what is the point? That is all history. It’s what we can achieve together in the future that is exciting! Stuart is as passionate about making great beer as anyone I have ever met, he has an unhealthy obsession with water chemistry, and the technical abilities to help us make world class beer,” says Lofthouse. “Our aim at Harbour has always been to make the best beer we can, beers that are exemplary versions of style, and that takes knowledge, passion and a meticulous eye for detail.” Early in 2017 will see the brewery launch a new range of 330ml cans and bottles, as well as revisiting its core range of cask beers in addition to creating

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four new cask beers to replace its current offering. Harbour is also designing a range of monthly specials to fit the season. Lofthouse adds that Howe will also be heading up its, as yet untitled, new project. He says: “The aim of the project is to develop our teams knowledge and passion around specific beer styles. They will research the history of the style, acknowledge outstanding versions, decipher the ideal flavour profile, and then look to brew a version with consummate elegance. “By identifying the perfect ingredients, method and processes our version maybe a classic take on the style or an innovation of such. Stuart and his team of brewers will keep a blog of the whole process, and for those who have read Stuarts previous blog can be sure it will be both interesting and entertaining!” For Howe, the latest step in his brewing career appealed for a number of reasons. “Harbour is well funded, which is key. Funding has stifled creativity at some breweries I've worked at. You know you can brew beers people that people want but you can’t afford to. That isn’t an issue here and that is so important,” he says. “The scope of the brand being mine is also very important. In some previous roles, the scope wasn’t as such.” He adds: “ Harbour has never really had a head brewer as such, more lead brewers, so this is a great role to have. The main thing the business needs is for

I need it to be successful. I will happily work every second to make sure the beer is good and the business is successful. I don’t just want it, I need it, and I can’t move again, it’ll kill me!

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someone to be in charge. Lots of people are looking for direction. For a business of its size, Harbour is a complex machine, you need someone to bring order to the organised chaos that can sometimes exist.” But one area the head brewer isn’t envisaging any issues is when it comes to the water supply to the brewery. “Some parts of the UK have evil water which even the most complex treatment systems can’t fix. but here we have a spring that needs little adjustment. It’s a much easier ride,” he says. “I am completely obsessed with water and the impact it has on brewing. You go

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around the country and make tea. Sometimes it’ll be great, sometimes it’ll be delicious. Sometimes not so much. It’s the same with beer, simply because there is so much of it in it!” The UK landscape has changed beyond recognition in the 20 years Howe has been brewing beer, but is aware more than ever of both the challenges, and opportunities that exist in the industry. “The market we are in demands diversity but quality still needs to exist, and consistency needs to exist. You need someone to ensure that the liquid is as strong as the branding and everything else around that,” he says. “We are seen as high quality brewery, and we want to adhere to that.” Howe adds: “We want to appeal to people that are keen on beers not just the casual drinkers that are happy with the first thing they see in the pub. “I will be looking at developing examples of certain styles rather than the weird and wonderful. I want to sticking to classic styles so we are starting with a Belgian Blonde and also a Helles lager. When I was 18, I was a weird bloke that all my mates took the piss out of as I was importing beers from Belgium so it’s good to see “normal” people loving beer as much as I do. . “However, it’s got to the point that there are so many new beers being brewed that someone is likely to have already done it. It’s innovation for innovation’s sake and you find yourself being asked why you’d want a round wheel when you can have a square one.” But while the industry continues to develop and transform around him, you get the impression that Howe is focused firmly on the task at hand, and that’s brewing beer to the best of his abilities. “I need it to be successful. I will happily work every second to make sure the beer is good and the business is successful. I don’t just want it, I need it. I can’t move again, it’ll kill me!”

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Eastern Promise They might not know it, but the team at Melbourne’s White Rabbit Brewery are responsible for Dundee’s first brewery in more than half a century. 71 Brewing, the brainchild of Duncan Alexander and Mark Griffiths, goes live this month and they want to put the city back on the brewing map.

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t was six years ago when Duncan Alexander, co-founder of 71 Brewing, had his beer epiphany. He was visiting family in Melbourne, Australia, and a stop off at the city’s White Rabbit Brewery with his home brewing cousin changed everything. “It was an eye-opening moment. To see raw ingredients go in at one part of the process and turn into something quite fantastic at the other end was inspiring,” he explains. In his own words, Alexander admits that he always enjoyed beer but was more enamoured with, and aware of, the intricacies of wine. Beer, he says, was great, but a love of food and wine pairings was where his passion lay, until then. “I carried that enthusiasm and zeal back with me and started home brewing but even at that early point, I knew I wanted my own proper brewery to make my mark,” he says. So in 2011, Alexander ventured down south and picked up a 1bbl kit from a “metal basher” in Watford and before long, he had set up a community brewery in Portobello, Edinburgh. “At first I wasn’t sure what I’d do with the kit but after brewing lots of different recipes, the venture turned into something of a community brewery. Portobello is the hippie side of town, a bit of a Boho, so someone donated some brewing space and we would end up putting out all types of beers for local parties, bars and events,” says Alexander. “It allowed me to concentrate on the hop-forward beers that I was a fan of, and gave me a platform and an audience to allow people to try the beer I was making.” All good things come to an end, though, and the community venture tailed off naturally in 2015 with involved parties having their attentions diverted elsewhere. And it was at this point, that Alexander knew he had to act if he wanted brewing to play a key part of his future. He explains: “I went through a period where I was brewing intensively and then it stopped. But I had the realisation that to continue, I couldn't do it justice as

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a hobby, and in my spare time. As a software engineer, my career was dragging me more into the world of finance, which I didn’t like. So it was time to give it a bash, or let it pass me by. “I chose the latter.” But if it was going to be done, Alexander says, he wanted it to be done properly. So he contacted an ex-colleague, Mark Griffiths, a fellow beer fan and someone he knew was experienced in running companies incredibly well. Despite being a proud Dundonian, it was the start of the 71 Brewing journey that truly brought Alexander back to the coastal city after his career and life had moved him away. “It seemed to be going through a period of regeneration. For a town that had been very much down on its luck for a few years, it felt as if the winds were blowing in the right direction once again. It felt right, and after realising Dundee did not have its own brewery, it helped make that decision even easier,” he says. While exploring options for funding the venture, Alexander and Griffiths explored the various possible sites to call home. Some weren’t suitable. Some were functional, but were soulless. “We wanted to be an urban brewery and located centrally. We eventually came across a place in the DD1 postcode. A glorious building and something of an oddity and uncommon for the area as it looks more like something you would see in Brooklyn, not Dundee! We fell in love and we knew where we wanted to be. The owner of the building was on board with our plans and with with that in tow, we rolled it into our business plan. The building became a big buy-in for people,” he explains. And it is that which inspired the brewery’s name. The building is the last left of a huge complex which made up the Blackness foundry and was headquartered at No 71. “We liked the idea of using a number for our name that had connections to the industrial heritage of

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Alexander: "If you are not on your A-game then you should be nervous."

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the building and the area. And yes there are 'secret' tunnels running somewhere under the surrounding roads which once connected all the disparate parts of the foundry complex. Be great for a taproom if we can find them!” Alexander says. The new brewery has been made possible due to funding from Scottish Enterprise, Regional Selective Assistance and The Scottish Investment Bank, as well as private investment. “There were a few hoops to jump through but thankfully Scottish Enterprise accepted our plans and gave us thumbs up. It’s a very long and drawn out process, but we are very grateful to them and they’ve been nothing but helpful,” adds Alexander. 71 Brewing has commissioned kit from both the brewing and winemaking industries for its facility. It called on BevTech as equipment supplier for its 7,200sqft industrial warehouse that houses the 25hl brewhouse and integrated 12 tank system. The supplier’s managing director David Cowderoy is a qualified winemaker of 30 years and as a result, 71 Brewing has opted to include equipment more commonly used in winemaking than brewing. Cowderoy explains the rationale: “There are three main areas where we’ve leaned on technologies used in winemaking. Firstly, the pumps we have specified for moving wort/beer around the brewhouse come directly from the wine industry and are very new to the brewing world. “They come at a cost but have a number of advantages namely they have very little oxygen pickup, they generate very low shear forces which can chop up the yeast and proteins in the beer and they lose very little dissolved CO2 i.e. fizz. “Our fermentation vessels are also more closely related to wine fermentation vessels than those in a traditional brewery due to their shallow base cones. “It is pretty trend-setting in the craft brewing industry to have large cylindro-conical tanks but as wine yeast acts almost exactly like beer yeast we have taken a leaf out of the winemaker’s book allowing us to have lower, larger vessels. “And lastly, our kegging machinery was originally produced to handle Prosecco. The main benefit here being that it is designed to have extremely low levels of oxygen pick-up, far better than many equivalent kegging systems, leading to a beer with a much better shelf life.” The brewery also has a bottling line that was something of a last minute addition to its setup. The machine came from Cromarty Brewing and was built by Chappy, the father of the brewery’s founder, Craig. It is based around a Vigo 4 head counter pressure filler that has the addition of a flush and purge station, an automatic capper (built by a gunsmith on the black Isle no less) a rinser, drier and conveyors allowing semi automatic bottling of 4-500 bottles an hour.  “It is truly one of a kind but we love it! A bit of Scottish brewing history, we like to think,” says Alexander. The initial setup at 71 Brewing gives Alexander and

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his team enough space to lead with lagers and to get up to schedule where they brew three brews a week. And its lager that is playing a key role in the formative stages of 71 Brewing. “It has been something of an important thread for us as this whole thing has developed. Growing up in Dundee as as boy, it was something of common knowledge that we had beautiful water here. So when it came around to it, we tested that theory and sure enough, the results proved to us how soft it was. It was akin to the water used in a Czech Pils,” he enthuses. “There are some nice connotations with whisky so it was no-brainer to lead with a Pilsner, as we don’t have to mess around with it.” The brewery is concentrating on a 4.4% Pilsner, 71Lager, that Alexander has been brewing for many years, calling on Muntons for malt and Hopsteiner on the hop front. Overseeing the installation of the brewery was David Smith, a brewing consultant and former head brewer at Samuel Smiths of Tadcaster,

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who also helped the team scale up the recipe. But with an official launch scheduled for this month (January), the team is more than aware that the hard work truly starts now. “The beer industry continues to change. It has metamorphosed a great deal in the time we have been putting this brewery together. So you have to be at the top of your game, nimble and willing to adapt,” he says. The company currently occupies three quarters of the building’s ground floors, with plans to take over the remaining part in due course. The upstairs floors also offer scope for packaging and events spaces. A taproom element is possible in the next 12 months, too. “If you’re not on your A-game, then you should be nervous. But I believe there is still room to grow in this industry. The market is crowded but you should be ambitious, and have faith in what you’re doing,” he says. “We want to build a local base, to prove ourselves and to make great beer. If we can do that, who knows where we can go next?”

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Burning Ambition Burning Sky has become something of a byword for quality when it comes to mixed fermentation, wood-aged saisons. But there is also so much more to the Sussex brewery than those excellent beers. James Beeson sat down with Burning Sky owner Mark Tranter recently to discuss some of its very exciting plans for 2017, and beyond.

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very happy accident.” ­– That’s how Mark Tranter, a former fine art student with a penchant for punk rock and tattoos, describes getting into the beer industry. Twenty years on, the former Dark Star head brewer is the proud owner of his very own successful brewery, Burning Sky, and he has some exciting news to share. We’re sitting in the cellar of Fuggles Beer Café, where eleven of the Sussex brewery’s beers are pouring from the taps and down the gullets of a considerable number of the Tunbridge Wells pub’s clientele. “We’ve got some quite interesting stuff going on at the moment,” Mark says, “We’ll be releasing a batch of Flanders Red that has been ageing since 2014. We’ve also got some Table Saison in Chardonnay barrels, and we’ve resurrected and revamped our Devil’s Rest IPA.” “When’s this piece going out again?” He asks, pausing as if weighing up a decision in his head, “Oh, and we’re installing a coolship in January.” Exhaling deeply, he leans back in the rickety wooden chair on which he is sitting. “That’s the first time I’ve told anyone that.” Make no mistake; this is huge news. The excitement on Alex’s (the owner of Fuggles) face is palpable. After keeping quiet and behaving himself throughout the majority of the chat, he is unable to resist interjecting. “Really? That’s batshit exciting!” he squeals. “We’re trying to keep it relatively in the background for now

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until its set up,” Mark replies, “so don’t start tweeting about it!” The installation, thought to be the first in the UK since at least the 1930’s, will allow Burning Sky to create beer fermented with wild yeast from the South Downs. This naturally occurring yeast will be let into the brewery and allowed to mix with strains cultivated in their own oak barrels, which Mark intends to break up and hang over his coolship. “We will hopefully be doing wild fermentations that will be reliant on a variety of barrel cultures that we have,” Mark confirms, “and the way we’re going to get those in is… well, you’ll have to come and see it when its done!” Up until the middle of the 20th Century, many British breweries used large, shallow metal trays called coolers to reduce the temperature of their wort ahead of fermentation. However, as new methods of cooling were introduced and the importance of having a sterile brewing environment was realised, coolers dropped out of use and are rarely used in modern brewing. Elgoods brewery in Cambridgeshire are the only other British brewery to use them, but theirs are older models, put back into action in 2013. For traditional Belgian producers such as Cantillon and Lindemans, however, coolships are an essential part of the production of the beer style known as lambic. Their wide surface area provides the perfect environment for spontaneous fermentation by wild yeast strains in the air to take place, and this, mingled

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We had no knowledge of working with wild yeasts, but we created something I’m just dead proud of

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with natural bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces in wooden barrels after fermentation, creates a distinctive sour taste when aged. One to three year-old lambics are often blended to create complex and highly sought-after Gueuze, something Burning Sky will soon be able to create in rural Sussex (although legally it cannot be referred to as such). Although reluctant to compare Burning Sky’s new venture to the work done by Cantillon, Mark acknowledges that Belgian brewing traditions have influenced his brewery in a big way. “Obviously we produce a lot of pale ales and hop forward beers as well,” he admits, “but they’re the kind of ones that pay the bills upfront. But the barrel-aged stuff is something I’d wanted to get into doing for quite a number of years.” He cites Saison A La Provision, a 6.5 per cent farmhouse ale aged in oak foudres for three months,

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as the beer he is most proud of creating. “It proved that I could,” he says emphatically. “We had no actual physical hands-on knowledge of working with wild yeasts, but we created something that I’m just dead proud of. “I love the way it tastes and I love the way it’s changing as the foudres get older and the yeast strains are evolving. ” Of course, Mark hasn’t always been brewing barrel aged saisons and experimenting with wild yeast inoculations. Growing up in the West Country, he would pass the time drinking real ales with his parents and friends in local pubs. “I was surrounded by beer from quite an early age,” he admits, “My mum and dad both homebrewed and as a family we tended to go to the pub a lot… I guess its always been there, for as long as I can remember.” After leaving Bradford-upon Avon, Mark’s days at college were mostly spent homebrewing, a skill that came in handy when he moved to Brighton after graduating: “I was working as a chef whilst running a record label and drinking in a pub called The Evening Star, which had a tiny brewery in the cellar.” This brewery was of course, Dark Star. In 1996, on the back of his homebrewing exploits, brewer Rob Jones offered Mark a job. “It was just a pub brewery at the time,” Mark recalls, “and we didn’t really make very much beer at all – a few hundred litres a week. Beer was not popular at all, or at least it wasn’t trendy back then.”

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At the end of the day I’m a stubborn punk rocker who doesn’t give a shit about anyone else

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Nonetheless, the brewery soon took off, and Rob and Mark quickly found themselves unable to keep up with the demand for their beers. In 2001 they relocated to a new purpose-built brewery in Ansty, where Mark took on the role of head brewer. It is this time at Dark Star that Mark recalls most fondly: “I remember when Rob and I moved the brewery out, brewing Hophead (the brewery’s 3.8 per cent pale ale) with him and then drinking it with him two weeks later. It was just fantastic.” Meanwhile, the rest of the industry was beginning to catch on to what Dark Star were doing. “There was no real one event or brewery that really made it take off,” Mark says, “people just started to pick up on certain flavours… and then with the internet becoming widely available, suddenly there was all this information out there, and breweries like Thornbridge and Brewdog started springing up and it really started to take off.” Eventually, after 17 years at Dark Star, Mark decided it was time to do his own thing. According to rumours at the time, he became fed up with brewing the same recipes and, feeling constrained by the commercial side of the brewery, he handed in his notice and left in 2013. I ask him if this is an accurate description of what happened. “That sounds harsher than how is actually was,” he responds diplomatically, “I was really proud of what we achieved at Dark Star and really proud to be a part of it. It wasn’t because I was bored so much as I was too comfortable – and getting a bit too fat!” It was a desire to experiment and create something totally different that eventually forced Mark’s hand. “Dark Star wasn’t the place where I was going to be able to do the kind of things I wanted to do because it would conflict with that company’s approach to brewing,” he laments. Despite this, he and Rob – who ironically left the brewery six months later – still have a good relationship. “Rob was my mate. Yeah, he employed me but we were friends and still are.” After leaving Dark Star behind, starting up his own brewery seemed like the only option. “I’d never thought about doing my own brewery at all. It’s actually quite a scary thing,” he admits, “I don’t own a house, I don’t own a car, but I own a brewery! Every single penny that I got out of 17 years of working went into setting up this brewery. “It could have fallen flat on its face, but if it did it would have been better for that to have happened than to have never even tried.”

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As it so happens, Burning Sky has been a huge success, reflected in the number of people who have swamped to Fuggles to try their full range of Belgianinspired beers, including the first pour of their brand new 8.5 per cent Imperial Stout. The brewery was voted Brewer of the Year 2014 by the British Guild Of Beer Writers and was rated the 4th Best New Brewery in the World in 2014-15 on ratebeer.com. They now produce up to 7500-10,000 litres of beer a week, and are currently installing a new barn for barrel ageing, where their new coolship will also be housed. In light of this success, is Mark concerned that he may soon find himself constrained by the same limitations that led him to leave Dark Star in the first place? “Not really, no,” he replies, “it’s true that the types of beer’s we’re making are relatively fashionable at the moment, but I’m a firm believer that if you do something to the best of your ability and you really believe in it, then other people will eventually follow. So my view is just to do the things and make the beers that I love and not be swayed by market trends. “At the end of the day I’m a stubborn punk rocker who just wants to do his thing and doesn’t give a shit about anyone else. “Actually that’s not true,” he adds, “I do give a shit about a lot of people, but I don’t give a shit about being told what we can and can’t do. We do what we want to do, and thankfully other people like it as well.” Given this stubborn approach, its unsurprising that Mark doesn’t have a lot of time for the whole controversy that surrounds keg vs. cask beer in the UK. “Ten years ago, twenty years ago, today. My answer is the same: Good beer is good beer. It doesn’t make any difference,” he says, “there are certain beer styles that would be wrong in cask and there are certain beer styles that would be wrong in keg… when we approach beers we design them for how they’re going to be dispensed.” Another debate he’s not keen on being drawn into relates to the current bitterness being expressed by certain breweries in response to the amount of investment and attention the likes of Cloudwater and Lost & Grounded have received. “When people talk about investment and where the money comes from I don’t really care. I don’t think it’s any of my business, and I don’t think it’s the business of anybody else’s.” Nonetheless, he’s keen to stress that investment isn’t always an indicator of success. “Look at what Kernel produced their first beers on! It was essentially like a shiny dustbin,” he points out. “Regardless of investment you’ve got to have good beers, good recipes and good brewers in place.” “Sure, if people have got a million pounds to put into a brewery they’re going to have money to put into marketing. But there’s room for everyone I think.” As we finish our conversation and head back upstairs to enjoy some more beers in the slightly warmer and vibrant surroundings of the pub, I’m left in no doubt that Mark, Burning Sky and their new coolship won’t be being squeezed out of the market anytime soon.

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Buffalo new york More than wings While Buffalo, New York, might be more famous for its hot, spicy chicken wings, brewing is an industry once again shining brightly in America's City of Light.

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etween its American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the equivalent of nearly 150 million Canadian pints flow every second across the world-famous Niagara Falls. It is rather fitting then that in downtown Buffalo, a short 20 or so miles south, the beer is flowing better than ever. Home to more than one million in its metropolitan area, Buffalo has a rich history and heritage. Known as the ‘City of Light’ owing to the fact that it was America’s first city to enjoy electric street lights, hydroelectric power, thanks to the falls, has played a big role in Buffalo’s identity. But for many decades, rust-belt Buffalo has been in something of an industrial decline. That is, until now. A buoyant mix of culture, investment, affordable housing and hi-tech industry is helping regenerate Buffalo, all while the city’s impressive architectural heritage remains in tact. And like so many other cities and towns across the globe, the brewing industry is proving to be a key component in the growth and rebirth of such areas. With less than a handful in operation three years ago, there is now close to 30. With that showing no sign of slowing down either, Brewers Journal caught up with some of the key breweries in the field. “We are seeing a resurgence, it’s a nod to what is going on in Buffalo as a whole. People are coming back to the city, the scene, the economy,” explains

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People like living near a brewery as it’s a communal space and a glimpse into what is going on in a neighbourhood.

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Jeff Ware, owner of the fittingly-named Resurgence Brewing Co. “Beer is definitely helping. People like living near a brewery as it’s a communal space and a glimpse into what is going on in a neighbourhood. People that aren't used to the area visit us to get a flavour of what is happening. It gives people a reason to go into certain areas, which is only a good thing.” Resurgence Brewing Company, located at 1250 Niagara St, opened its doors in June of 2014. Ware and his team don’t shy away from their dedication to furthering the resurgence of the local economy through beer as an economic and social driver, starting the taproom and biergarten on the West Side of Buffalo for that reason. Since its inception, the brewery has been dedicated to creating unique, creative beers with iconic flavours, including Sponge Candy Stout, Loganberry Wit, Blood

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Woodcock Signature Beers Signature Beers

Amber Ale ABV: 5.5% A medium body with caramel flavors balanced with a light bitterness and spiciness from the hops. Hoppycock India Pale ABV: 6% Ale Citrus and Pine nose with a citrus flavor balancing with a malty backbone. Not over bearing, very approachable. Porter ABV: 5.9% A robust body with an upfront malt characterized by the roasted malts. Hints of coffee and chocolate. A good hop presence to round it off.

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Orange Saison, and its flagship Resurgence IPA. “We like experimenting, trying things out of the box, and blending the lines a little bit. We are probably not the greatest at making beer that wins awards as you have to adhere strictly to style. Our IPAs are hazy, not crystal clear,” he says. “We are probably leading the charge when it comes to experimental beers but as a region, it has really come into its own in recent years. I would say the quality is up there that’s for sure.” Ware says the drinking culture in Buffalo is more focused on quality, rather than quantity. That people will spend extra on a beer them deem to be worth it. But he also believes that breweries have an important job on their hands when it comes to educating the consumer, something that will help drive growth. “When we opened there were only two or three breweries. Now there’s close to ten times that. I believe there is still a huge opportunity for education, though, and the others agree with that. It’s about working together and getting the word out. Come here, and you can visit multiple breweries and experience everyone's own take on good beer. It’s about variety and diversity. It’s important." Like so many breweries, space proves to be an issue for Resurgence. “We have maxed it out,” says Ware. “It took us 15 months to hit that point when we anticipated it would take five years. And as we get better and the economy improves, it ends up becoming a more competitive market so you need to stay on top. Saturation will hit at some point and people will work even harder as a result, which is only good news for drinkers. But for us, stores only have so much space, as do bars. So we have to stay alert.” With that in mind, Resurgence Brewing Company recently signed with Sanzo Beverage Company, Inc., a Left: One half of the founders at Woodcock Brothers Below left: Their brewery setup in Wilson, NY Right page : Jeff Ware from Resurgence Brewing Co and a look at the company's brewing operations

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Resurgence Brewing Co Signature Beers

COSMIC TRUTH SESSION ALE 4.1 % ABV This Session-able ale is a little lighter on the palate than some of our IPAs with the same characteristic pineapple, tropical fruit and citrus profile you love from your favorite New Zealand hops. Brewed to be a better all-day option than the standard Vermont-style IPA, try Cosmic Truth when you want a dose of the truth. BLOOD ORANGE SAISON 5.5% ABV Our popular Blood Orange Saison is a farmhouse saison with all of the grassy wheat profiles you love from right out of the fields with plenty of juicy, citrus-forward flavors from real blood orange juice. Find this one on tap in our taproom as well as in cans, all around the area! SPONGE CANDY STOUT 5.5% ABV We use real Watson’s Sponge Candy clippings to make this subtle stout, with hints of caramel, dark malt and toffee. That burnt sugar taste of sponge comes through on the back end, so don’t be afraid of the sweetness. RESURGENCE IPA ABV: 7.2% Our signature Resurgence IPA is a West Coast-style IPA with notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine. Notice hints of mango and tropical fruit, balanced by slight grass on the back end. Its subtle complexity will challenge and please your palate! LOGANBERRY WIT ABV: 4.2% We at RBC love everything local, and loganberry is about as local as you can get. This beer was brewed in a traditional Wit style with some mild banana and light fruit esters with a subtle loganberry finish. Order one and watch heads turn at the pink color!

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Southern Tier-based distributor. The partnership allows Resurgence to broaden its distribution throughout Western New York, including markets where the brand had not previously been sold, such as Allegany, Orleans, Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties. Resurgence has worked with Try-It Distributing for the past year to sell into Buffalo-area markets on a larger scale than the brewery was able to reach on its own. That relationship allowed Resurgence to expand throughout the Buffalo-Niagara market. Through working with Try-It, Resurgence has been able to sell into a wide range of establishments, with the help of the distributor’s staff of salespeople and the support of the larger company’s team. Working with Sanzo will help RBC do the same in the Southern Tier counties. “We’re excited to partner with the Sanzo team to bring our beer into the greater WNY region, and offer craft beer lovers the beer experience we’ve been bringing to the Buffalo area for a couple of years now,” explains Ware. “Since we first opened our doors on Niagara Street over two years ago, we’ve worked hard to bring the experience of our beer to people who appreciate quality, carefully crafted brews. Partnering with distributors helps us do that to a larger group of people than we could on our own.” Located at 840 Seneca Street, Flying Bison Brewing Company is a reference point for many breweries in Buffalo. In 2000, it was the first standalone brewery to open its doors in the city since Iroquois Brewing ceased trading way back in 1972. Started by Phil Internicola and Tim Herzog, along with 25 individual investors, Flying Bison is inspired, in part, by the city’s strong aviation manufacturing. It’s only right then that the brewery that started as a means to bring brewing back to Buffalo, has gone on to inspire so many to return to, or start out in, the industry. One such individual is Colin Herzog, a brewer at Flying Bison and son of founder Tim. Colin had initially set out to become a journalist before the brewing cause came calling. And he hasn't looked back. “Beer in Buffalo is very much a social affair. It can be during a post-work gathering, a family celebration, or just over a quiet drink. Or it can be the beer geeks hunting down their new stash,” he laughs. “We are a rust belt at heart, but at the same time surrounded by lots of countryside so it’s a good mix. I see that in the diversity of the people that enjoy our beer, and the beer of Buffalo itself.” While Herzog believes there is little end in sight for the “IPA craze” just yet, he remains very proud of the brewery’s Buffalo Lager which always flies out, he says. With new fermenters in and conditioning capacity increased during 2016, Herzog expects wild beers to become even more commonplace over the coming years. “It’ll become more approachable, not always stronger but long-aged. We are doing that, getting our feet wet. It’s important to cover your basis and to challenge yourselves,” he concludes.

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Big Ditch Brewing Company Signature Beers

HAYBURNER - IPA ABV: 7.0% IBU: 84 Hayburner is a luscious and citrusy IPA with primary notes of orange, melon and grapefruit, and a slightly earthy finish. It packs a firm bitterness but remains balanced by abundant late hop additions and a soft and airy malt base. LOW BRIDGE - HOPPY GOLDEN ALE ABV: 4.8% IBU: 48 This bright, slightly fruity, and very hoppy golden ale features old-world American and German hops. Low Bridge has impressive depth of flavor, yet is also extremely drinkable and will always serve you well, whether savoring it with a fine meal or while visiting from a far away town. Everybody down! EXCAVATOR - RYE BROWN ALE ABV: 5.8% IBU: 27 Excavator incorporates seven different malts to achieve a rich, yet smooth flavor and balance. It is highlighted by judicious amounts of chocolate malt, with a subtle, spicy finish from the use of flaked rye. Matt Khan (above) and the team at Big Ditch: "The Buffalo scene is new, it's growing, and it's moving in the right direction"

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Community Beer Works Signature Beers

Frank - American Pale Ale ABV: 4.6% We start with a mellow malt base to showcase the hops against a lightly grainy sweetness. Zeus, Centennial and Zythos hops are used in the boil and again in dry hopping to maximize hop aroma and flavor. The result is a superbly drinkable Pale Ale loaded with zest, pine, and a touch of citrus. The Whale - Brown Ale ABV: 5.9% abv The Whale is a smooth yet complex beer, packed with flavor yet easy to drink. We layer distinctive English brown malt and two types of chocolate malt to create aromas and flavors of coffee, chocolate and a surprisingly deep roast. That IPA - American IPA ABV: 5% This beer is loaded with Simcoe, Mosaic and Zythos hops for that American hop goodness you know you want. Flavors and aromas of pine, peach and other stone fruits combine with a soft malt character. Stout Affective Disorder (Winter Seasonal) ABV: 5.4% Our winter seasonal, Stout Affective Disorder is a dark beer for dark days. Roasted malt is expertly balanced against hop bitterness, yielding a short finish to this highly sessionable beer. Roasty, toasty, and a little nutty, it will also compliment such foods as squash, grilled steak or crème brûlée. Ethan Fox, Community Beer Works: "Quality is key"

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Quality is above everything you do, and we bring that attitude to what we do. You cannot afford to have bad experience, it’ll ruin it forever.

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“Oh my goodness, this year feels like it has been a lot longer than one, maybe five!” enthuses Matt Khan, co-founder and president of Big Ditch, located on 55 East Huron St. But thankfully for Khan and his team, it is meant in a wholly-positive way. “We started 2016 with two goals. One was to expand the brewery as we were hitting capacity and we wanted to keep growing,” he says. “We were also only selling beer on draught so we looked at canning. We were making good beer, along with running a nice taproom, so we wanted to make more of an impact out of our market and create a buzz. And I think we accomplished that.” And those words are backed up. They tripled capacity, increased its brewing schedule and added a CASK canning line. Big Ditch also triumphed in the most recent Tap NY awards, winning the accolade for best craft brewery in New York state in a category contested by 120 other breweries. No small feat. “It was a ‘Holy Crap’ moment, we were kinda shocked,” he explains. “We provided all of the samples expected of us and tried loads of new beers entered into the awards. All we could think was that there is a lot of very good beer being made in NY. We were hopeful to make even an impact, but expected nothing. So it has been very nice,” says Khan. “The award helps, but it’s more recognition of what we do. At the end of the day, the proof is in the beer. One thing we often hear when people are drinking our beer at the taproom is that the environment doesn’t remind them of Buffalo either, which is a backhanded compliment to Buffalo I suppose. It’s positive.” Named after the working name of the Erie Canal, the historic waterway that altered the trajectory of Buffalo and the Great Lakes region forever, all of Big Ditch’s brews are produced on site on its Criveller brewhouse that was manufactured in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Big Ditch Brewing Company journey started with Matt Kahn and Corey Catalano, two aspiring scientists and beer lovers, that were working in a biotech lab in early 2011, and wanted to start a new business for themselves. They used a food-grade bucket—otherwise destined for the trash—as their first fermenter, and they created new beers right then and there in a garage. Over the next two years they met

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Flying Bison Brewing Company Signature Beers

RUSTY CHAIN ABV: 5.2% Medium bodied Vienna style amber beer. Soft nutty, malt flavor with a hint of caramel. Just enough German hops to balance the finish. Available on draft, bottles and cans all over WNY. "Chain" goes great with chicken, mild fish and especially with grilled vegetables. Buffalo IPA ABV: 6.4% Medium Bodied British-Style India Pale Ale Using the best British Pale malt and aromatic Centennial, Cascade, and Galaxy hops IPA is as hoppy and as bold as they come. IPA is available in bottles at your favorite store and on draft all year round. BUFFALO LARGER ABV: 5.3% Light bodied golden beer. Very balanced flavor with soft, clean finish. Buffalo Lager is a great "first beer of the day". Matches well with lighter tasting foods, milder cheeses or great all on its own. Available in bottles at your favorite store and on draft all year round. Aviator Pint ABV: 5.3% Buffalo's favorite red ale. Ruby red and malty with medium body and a spicy hop signature to balance. Drinkable on its own, but full flavored enough to pair with your favorite foods like BBQ, roast pork, and anything spicy. Available in bottles and draft. Flying Bison's Colin Herzog: "I see the diversity of Buffalo in the people that enjoy beer, and the beer itself"

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Wes Froebel, a previous co-owner of other breweries, who was also interested in starting a new brewery project. The trio’s pursuit of a building to house their brewery intersected with Iskalo Development Corp’s redevelopment of a former Verizon fleet maintenance facility at Ellicott and Huron Streets in downtown Buffalo. The two groups worked intently for more than a year planning the brewery and tap room, with Paul Iskalo joining the Big Ditch team as its principal investor. Big Ditch opened for business in October of 2014 with the Tap Room opening in the summer of 2015, serving Big Ditch beers alongside fresh food in an enviable downtown setting. According to Khan, the brewing scene in Buffalo is a healthy one and something that has recovered from the malaise it was in from the 70’s until the opening of Flying Bison 17 years ago. “We have a good collection, it’s collaborative, it’s not competitive. The scene is new, it’s growing, and it’s moving in right direction,” he says. Khan adds: “Buffalo has industrial roots, it’s a rust belt city. We have seen decline in population and employment for the last 20-30 years but that has changed. We are seeing development and I think brewing has helped with that. I remember parking across this building we have before hand thinking there’s nothing really here. But the state has invested in the area, and we are seeing growth, which is great. Walk a block and you’ll see another restaurant or a bar, it has life and has become a new district.” And it’s that newness, coupled with the team’s eye for detail and the meticulous, that ensures no stone is left unturned in their brewing operation. “Everything we do is about quality control. Quality should be above everything you do, and we bring that attitude to what we do. You cannot afford to have bad experience, it’ll ruin it forever. Previous jobs of mine involved bar cleaning, inspecting and validating pharmaceutical tanks, that grounding helps,” he says. “While Corey (Catalano) worked in a cleanroom for five years, so he knows a lot about how to make sure what goes out meets our rigorous spec. We didn't work in brewing before now, but we’ve done this for a long time, and we came at it differently.” Going forward, Khan admits that Buffalo is “still all about IPAs” with its own 7% IPA comprising 70% of its production, but he still wants to push sour beers despite Buffalo, in his opinion, “not really getting them”. And despite a hectic, but positive, 2016, Khan and the team have no plans to rest on their laurels. “By expanding, we have grown really quickly. We only opened two years ago, and we are already making ten times more beer than that point. We are taking what we have and making it better. We want to become more efficient and to grow sales,” he says. “We are also looking at new markets, maybe outside of our own area. Looking at in state and more out of Buffalo. By now, we’ve had beer in places like Rochester and we can build on that and work towards it. After that,

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Substituting passion for quality in beer isn’t right. You can’t do it. It’s like giving an 'A' for effort.

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who knows?” Elsewhere, Woodcock Brothers Brewery on 638 Lake Street, Wilson, NY is the brainchild of “two brothers and their wives. One old cold storage building in a historic town. And a lot of good beer”. They explain: “This pretty much sums up who we are. We work hard to bring you great beer, great food and a great time in our beautiful building located in Wilson, New York. We’re the first brewery in Niagara County to make our beer on site and serve it here too. “Cozy up to our bar and check out our brew floor below. We also serve a number of wines from local wineries in the area. So if you’re on the wine trail and want a taste of something different, or you’re traveling the area in search of something to quench your thirst, come visit us! You won’t be sorry!” The final stop on the tour of Buffalo took Brewers Journal to Community Beer Works, a nanobrewery set up by a group of friends. We met Ethan Fox, who is one of the founders of Community Beer Works and works as ‘president & chief instigator’ with a goal of bringing beer back to Buffalo. “Brewing in Buffalo has grown a lot, both in the number of breweries and locations. There was only a few at the start when we opened, and that has definitely changed. But I think that there is still a great deal of awareness to build in the market. Look how craft beer is doing in other markets then look at us. We still have a lot of potential,” he explains. “In Buffalo, we are unique where Labatt outsells Budweiser but ultimately, that doesn’t mean anything to me as it’s the same difference.” Fox adds: “Buffalonians are proud of our market but it’s a very real fact that the Stone’s, Sierra’s, Lagunitas’ of this world are as much competition as they are complementary. They are moving into your markets and dropping 12 packs at prices that you are not able to reach. Can they be both? Maybe.” To Fox, Community Beer Works is a brewers’ brewery and one that belongs to the location, not one that takes advantage of it. “We also have an obvious conscience. We are not faceless, we are real people,” he says. Moving forward, Fox is focused on increasing capacity, identifying room for growth, a larger taproom and expanding to a 20bbl kit. He explains: “One way of looking at it, as a nano brewery, is that this move is to a point where we should be. But we have done things in a measured

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way, other people have scrambled around and had too much beer. We have had too little. “We are looking at our own expansion not too far from where we are now. And we are also partnering for a brewpub operation in Niagara Falls, with completion due mid 2017. We feel pretty good about it, and we can also start to initiate the packaging of our beers to help move more of it. We are not interested in grocery stores. In my opinion, they do not look after beer. It’s beat up.” The Niagara Falls situation is one where “when opportunity knocks, you should answer the door,” says Fox. “The health of Niagara Falls is very important to the health of Buffalo. The Falls have been beleaguered but they are turning things around. Things are coming together and we have a very good location for the new venture. We will have a small brewing system on site so we can provide beer for it, with some guest taps, too. It’s exciting,” he adds. With grand plans ahead for 2017, you could forgive Fox for getting swept up in things. But the considered approach he and the team have taken to stabilising and growing Community Beer Works ensures he remains grounded. “We are irreverent, a little goofy as people but we are deadly serious about beer. We are obsessed, it is what we do. When we are at work, when we are not work, there’s no difference,” he stresses. “Substituting passion for quality in beer isn’t right. You can’t do it. It’s like giving an 'A' for effort. And I don’t like elevating brewers to rockstars, it’s not right. Craft beer is disingenuous in that sense., that’s why I think the term passion is poorly used. It’s not an artistic calling. Do it because you want to. And we want to.”

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Right Place Right Time 2016 was a landmark year for Ontario, Canadabased Clocktower. Patrick Fiori, brewmaster at Clocktower for nearly a decade, has witnessed the industry change dramatically around him in that period. But for Fiori, a fan of UK beer styles and the pubs they are served in, a considered approach to business, and brewing, is the reason Clocktower has stood the test of time.

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askatchewan > Edinburgh > Saskatchewan > Ottawa is unlikely to be much of a well-worn path for many brewers in the industry but, then again, the fact that there isn’t a one size fits all approach in brewing means the sector is all the better for it. However, that particular journey was the one taken by Patrick Fiori, brewmaster at Canada's Clocktower. Since stepping through the doors of the original Brew Pub on 575 Bank Street, Ontario, in 2007, Fiori has helped ensure the brewery continues to cater for drinker’s tastes across Canada's province. And he places a great emphasis on his background for the approach to brewing the continues to take. “I started developing an interest in beer and brewing during my university days when I was

studying for my BSc Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. What interested my was not just home brewing, but the culture that surrounds beer, and how it has influenced history. It was fascinating to me,” he says. Fiori, as he explains, was reluctant to work in a laboratory so his interest in beer led him closer to these shores, and to the revered International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. “I felt at home. It was a great programme led by those steeped in academia as well as those with decades of industry experience, true veterans. Spending spare time in proper pubs drinking beers from Harviestoun and Caledonian that were lower ABV, but still packed the right amount of flavour and punch, were the places I was comfortable. These

Clocktower core beers

The flavour of this beer is complex. At first taste, sweet caramel and light toffees are overwhelming. As the flavour develops, a mix of fruity, spicy and citrus start to present themselves and eventually take over the sweeter flavours. The ESB is perfect to pair with traditional English foods such as fish and chips or bangers and mash. • International Bittering Units = 32 • Standard Reference Method = 8 • % Alcohol By Volume = 5.0

Kölsch Kölsch is our flagship brand and our lightest offering. Patterned off of German Kölsch that was originally produced in the city of Köln, Germany. Traditionally, this beer was brewed using a portion of the grain as wheat instead of barley. The aroma is that of cereal grains with a light floral note at the end. Upon drinking, the flavours subtly take over the mouth leaving very little bitterness. There is a noticeably sweet taste that appears just before the carbonation cleans the palate. This beer is perfect for those experimenting with craft beer for the first time. • International Bittering Units = 25 • Standard Reference Method = 3 • % Alcohol By Volume = 4.4% Bytown Brown The Bytown Brown is light drinking beer with complex blend of sweet and roasted malts that leaves you feeling refreshed. There are seven different types of malt in the Brown that range from coffee, chocolate, toffee and caramel malts. The malts have been well balanced to ensure that one flavour does not dominate your palette. This is the perfect pint to match with a burger, steak, stew, or pizza. • International Bittering Units = 28 • Standard Reference Method = 17 • % Alcohol By Volume = 4.8% Wishart’s ESB The Wishart’s ESB is in the tradition of a British Extra Special Bitter. ESB’s typically have more flavour, aroma and alcohol than a standard bitter. Our ESB is copper in colour and the nose is a blend of sweet caramel and fruity aromas.

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Clocktower Red Our most complex beer, the Clocktower Red is brewed with a blend of five different types of malt and two types of hops. Aside from the rich colour, the malts add varying degrees of sweetness: caramel, chocolate, and toffee can all be found in both the flavour and aroma. Perhaps most interesting is the presence of a nuttiness, that presents itself on the nose and mouth. The hops used in the Clocktower Red are best characterized as citrus or pine flavours. The citrus and pines notes stick around in the mouth afterwards leaving a very pleasant after taste. • International Bittering Units = 43 • Standard Reference Method = 15 • % Alcohol By Volume = 5.3% Raspberry Wheat The Raspberry Wheat is a crisp, refreshing beer with just a hint of raspberry flavour. The flavour is not tart but lightly sweet, reminiscent of summer berries. The Raspberry Wheat is made with premium Canadian 2-row barley and wheat. Just enough imported Czech Saaz hops are added to give a light floral note to compliment the raspberry flavour. This is an extremely drinkable, crisp, refreshing anytime beer. • International Bittering Units = 25 • Standard Reference Method = 4 • % Alcohol By Volume = 4.4%

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experiences gave me an idea of the warm, personable type of environments I enjoyed drinking beer in,” says Fiori. But with the end of the course, and a MSc in Brewing and Distilling secured, he briefly returned to Saskatchewan before his wife received a job offer from an employer in Ottawa, so off they went. “It was the case of the right place and the right time. I rolled in to Clocktower, which only existed on Bank Street at that point, and asked for a job. They were looking for a brewer, and I was a brewer! There were not many brew pubs in town at the time and in Ottawa, the craft boom was more of a whisper at that point, but it was a great opportunity,” he says. "When I started, I was brewing once, maybe twice a week. Now in 2016 we have five sites, more than 100 staff, and brew at least five times week. We are at capacity so we also use a partner facility (Ottawa's Lowertown Brewery) to help meet the demand we experience.” The need for a partner facility is perhaps unsurprising considering the Bank Street site serves all five Clocktower pubs, as well as a growing presence across the province, which includes the sales through its Beer Store, Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and an increasing number of grocery stores. The brewery sells 3,000hl a year with around 2,500hl produced at its own facility. A recent investment in a threehead canning system from Cask Brewing Systems has enabled the company to expand its small-pack sales, too. 2016 has been a year of development for Clocktower, but when it comes to developing its beer portfolio, Fiori and his brewing team maintain a considered approach to its recipes “One thing at Clocktower does well is staying in the 4.5% and 5.5% range of beers. We’ve never really looked at high ABV, because we are approachable and we want to stay that way. We think of ourselves as a gateway,” he says. “There are others in town do those much-higher ABV beers, and they do that well. But we can still be fun without going that far out.” He adds: “For myself, drinking in pubs near you in the UK, these were the gold standards of pubs and the ones I enjoy, which is what Clocktower was aiming for. And that is reflected in the beers, too. So we went for as close as we could get to those types of environments. There’s not an awful lot of places over here trying to imitate the UK style of pub. They are going on the volume approach. It’s not cool, it’s not personal, and I don’t get on with it.” Fiori points to the Clocktower restaurant clientele that it serves as a major reason for this considered approach, but is keen to point out that the team doesn't simply rests on its laurels when it comes to brewing. “We were the first to bring a Pumpkin beer to Ottawa eight years ago, and the same with a Berliner Weisse. It’s fun without having to push boundaries for the sake of it. Only this past year we did an official Star Trek beer, and we continue to push the envelope with the implementation of different styles

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and different ingredients,” he says. “Some breweries do that for the sake of it, that’s the game they want to play and the beers that they probably want to drink. Arguably they are brewing for their own palette and not other people’s. That is their decision. What is also important is that we show drinkers that just because they drink one type of a style, that there is room for manoeuvre. The North American IPA style is one style of IPA, it is not the ONLY style!” Fiori adds: “There are lots of people that still just drink blonde beers. That is fine. But by coming to us, we can hopefully do something to convert them to other styles such as Reds, Wit beers and Brown ales.” At Clocktower, its Kölsch is the number one seller, often followed by the seasonal beer they have on at that period in time. But during Fiori’s near 10 years at the business, he has noticed considerable shifts in people’s drinking habits in and around the province. “People’s perception around craft beer has definitely changed. When it first started, the situation was very much that if you wanted to drink something good, you had to look at Stella or Heineken. So what’s interesting for me, is that people have come to accept change. It was easy to see the early adopters that moved on to drinking blondes, Reds, and IPAs. As a result, breweries popped up to cater for that,” he explains. “But there are other groups that took a bit longer to slowly get their minds around it, and that’s important. What’s key is those beers are not on the fringe anymore. It’s there, everyone knows it’s there, and that is great.” And while there has been marked changes across the drinking landscape in Ontario, Fiori explains that the emphasis breweries are placing on quality and

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consistency continues to change and develop, too. He says: “It’s an interesting thing. In Ontario there are a lot of trained brewers, but we have to make sure that with all the new facilities opening, everyone is keeping to the level of quality and consistency that is expected of us. “It hurts everybody if you put out a bad beer because there are still people that generalise craft beer so everyone gets hurt by a negative experience. We need to elevate people because a negative experience is the one thing that can derail all the good work done by this industry. “Here at Clocktower, we have a lab and an experienced crew so it’s also about having firm protocol and procedure to ensure everyone is doing the same, all of the time. It can be something as basic as drinking your beer, several times, before it goes out. We are constantly improving and it is something you have to work at because it is easy to let slip if you don’t keep that at the forefront of the agenda.” With quality and consistency a prerequisite for Clocktower, Fiori and his team are looking ahead at the next stage of the brewery’s development. The Cask canning line arrived earlier this year, new delivery vehicles will arrive in the coming months and the company is continuing to grow its sales team to broaden the visibility of Clocktower. It is also gearing up for the 150th birthday of the country it calls home, and the ways it can celebrate this. He adds: “In my ten years, I have never had two years that were similar, they have always been wildly different. "We are forced to adapt, to change, to grow and expand. And we will continue to do that.”

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Brand Awareness As the number of breweries in the UK continue to grow, pubs close at an alarming pace. This leaves breweries fighting for space on increasingly crowded shelves across the onand off-trade marketplace, making effective beer branding more important than ever.

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here’s no point in being naive, or ignorant, you need a strong message to help you survive and flourish in this industry. The quality of the beer should be paramount, but effective branding improves your chances,” explains a confident Stuart Kellock, managing director of labelling and packaging manufacturer Label Apeel. The Leicester-based business adheres to the consensus that you consume a beer before you actually drink it, and attractive, effective branding goes some way to helping swing that purchase decision. It’s no secret that good packaging sells a product, so it’s no surprise that breweries continue to place an increasing emphasis on the way their bottles and cans look when they hit the on- and off-trade. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach for the way beer styles look across small-pack sales and that in itself, makes the packaging proposition across the UK’s 1,700 breweries all the more exciting. “We have seen is towards a more professional look in beer branding. I don’t think anyone is kidding themselves now that if they want to make the business work, it needs to be professional from the brewing to the brand itself,” explains Kellock. In my opinion, the logo has to be strong, the message ,and the brand. We are moving away from the comedy names and cartoons that graced older brands so, while there is a

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physical maturing of the industry, there is also a very noticeable one across branding, too.” He adds: “People are thinking about what they want to portray and how best to reflect the values of their brewery. They are dealing with their marketing and presentation on a more mature basis and I think that’s a reflection of how the beer-consuming demographic is much wider now, too. According to Kellock, effective beer branding helps a brewery convey its value to the customer in question. “People want to invest in the value of that brewery and the beer they are drinking. Be that if it’s a locallysourced product, or perhaps the beer or brewery observes an age-old tradition, it’s about reflecting that on the label. It’s essential,” he says. “But you also need to do in an attractive way that makes it jump off the shelf. It needs to do a lot at the same time, it’s a fine balance.” Kellock is keen to mention that that Label Apeel will advise and point clients in the right direction when they believe the beer label is undermining the product they are selling. “If we think the work isn’t up to scratch from their side, we will let them know. We will err on the side of the caution in our approach but ultimately, we won’t be supplying them many more labels as that beer is going to face a challenge when it comes to selling in any great volume,” he adds. Speaking to Simon Smith, managing director of

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Northern Monk Patrons Project: A CS Labels award winner

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Beatson Clark: Partnered with BrewDog on its Abstrakt range

CS Labels earlier in 2016, he said that breweries will continue to spend more on their branding going forward. “The successful ones tend to invest in their marketing which goes right through to the packaging. Packaging, including the label, isn’t something they want to skimp on as they know consumers make a lot of buying decisions based on quality packaging in this market,” he said at the time. “Plus most brewers are proud of their work; they genuinely love their craft and why spoil a fantastic beer with a cheap label? Also if you look at many of the recent award winning labels, they were either gins or beer.” Fast-forward to the end of 2016, Smith’s company reinforces this, and has the accolades to back it up. “You need to offer something different. Every year. If you get results from the branding you help suggest, then people trust you as a result,” he says. One recent project CS Labels has been recognised for the peel and reveal label it produced for Northern Monk Brewery's Patrons Project (Coffee Porter), which was carried out on its Xeikon CX3 press and GM DC330 finishing line.    The Northern Monk Patrons Project is designed to foster collaboration and community between artists, athletes and creatives across the North. The beer in question use roasts from North Star Coffee Roasters, and are adorned with artwork and photography by Leeds-based Tom Joy. “Initially they came to us to request a standard peel and reveal using just white material. We suggested using a silver polypropylene face instead and some other tricks and tips to make the most of this special edition,” says Smith. “Northern Monk obliged, trusted us, and gave us poetic license on the label’s structure and artwork.” He adds: “Adam’s team changed the middle left page to allow for the silver face material to shine through and create a metallic look. The labels are able to illustrate all three pieces of photography in their glory on the inside, and show off the main version on

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the outside. You can also read about the project and brewing notes. The addition of the double sided silver is a special solution developed by us.” Mike Impson is the sales director at Saxon Packaging, a company that has supplied packaging products to a number of UK breweries and contract filling companies, among others. Beer-related sales now account for around 8% of business at the company. “We have been fortunate to deal with breweries for many years. Lots of customers come to us to look at the corrugated packaging options available to them, whether that be a box for 24 cans or a gift pack for a limited edition beer. Lots of breweries start by opting for one colour on the packaging but our ability to offer three colours in one pass proves very attractive,” he says. “With print, there are no longer any boundaries, from simple one-colour prints to photographic quality output, there is something for everyone.” Several examples of the work Saxon has carried out is with Beavertown and Five Points Brewing Company, two London breweries. One example is when Beavertown tasked Saxon with the production of a bespoke gift pack for its Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde beers, two collaborations with Danish brewery To Øl. “The beer we produce is to the highest standard we could possibly achieve; we give it our all. We’ve always approached our branding and design the same way, attempting to keep it on par with our beer so we wanted a gift pack that reflected this” explains Nick Dwyer, creative director of Beavertown Brewery. Beavertown’s packaging had previously been flexographically printed. However Saxon recommended a lithographic print with a matt laminate finish using e-flute corrugated board 150K/150T. Following successful results on the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde gift packs, Beavertown also returned to the manufacturer for its ongoing 'Tempus Project' series of barrel-aged beers. When it came to Beavertown’s recent ‘Tempus Project’ series, lithographic printed packaging was “an easy choice” said Nick, he also continued to say “the feel is simply more premium”. “As a brewery known for its considered packaging its nice when people notice we’ve stepped it up further still, and that was absolutely the case with both of these projects.” adds Dwyer. For its work with Five Points Brewing Company, Saxon cemented its existing relationship with the Hackney-based brewery in the summer of 2015 through supplying the boxes for its canned beers. “Kate Lyons, the graphic artist behind The Five Points’ visual branding, created the striking visual design of the boxes. The concept behind the design mimics the brewery’s can designs and draws upon the rest of the strong branding for each of The Five Points’ core range of beers,” says the manufacturer. Doreen Joy Barber, communication, events & marketing manager at The Five Points Brewing

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Company, explains: “Kate Lyons has created a clean and classic look that still manages to be bold and eye-catching, yet also contain all the key information such as amount of bottles, size of bottles, alcohol by volume and so forth.” Once the visual artwork was finalised, Kate worked with Saxon’s in-house design team to develop the final box design. Several weeks later the design was deemed so successful that The Five Points extended the design onto its bottle boxes as well. Saxon referred to the Pantone colours from Kate’s artwork and the existing branding of The Five Points, and provided samples of the ink to be featured on the packaging. The process of getting the colours exactly right involved extensive consultation with Ed Mason and Greg Hobbs, including sending copies of the brewery’s bottle labels to the ink supplier in order for them to match the tone directly. Previous experience allowed the manufacturer to specify an exact grade of material for the boxes. Due to the cans generally being damp when being packed, a kraft inner liner and a waste based fluting was recommended to help deal with the moist packing conditions. “Printing onto a white substrate ensured the chosen colours remained bright and bold. The bottle boxes remained in the same grade as the original packaging albeit they were switched to a white outer liner to make the most of the colours once more,” says

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Saxon Packaging: Works with breweries such as Five Points, Beavertown, Magic Rock and Gipsy Hill

Impson. “With the cream being printed first, we added additional wax to the ink recipe to ensure it dried in time before the 2 additional colours were laid down to prevent ink rub across the design and ensure a quality print finish.” Elsewhere, Charlotte Taylor, marketing manager at glass packaging manufacturer Beatson Clark, echoes Kellock’s point saying “brewers are only too aware that their branding needs to be on point”. She says: “From a visual perspective that means their bottles and their labels need to work together to create an eye-catching impression on the shelf. Most beer brands realise that they need distinctive packaging compared to their competitors. Because of budget restrictions and minimum volume restrictions many smaller breweries have to use the same standard bottles; fortunately the range of standards available has expanded a lot over recent years. "The bottles that really stand out, however, are the bespoke shapes and embossed designs, as well as the bottles with individual, modern labels that look really bold and appealing. "If you want your beer to stand out on the supermarket shelf, a contemporary look, shape and feel are key. We have supplied bespoke bottles to BrewDog and standard bottles to Bedlam Brewery,

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Bedlam Brewery: Combines a 330ml bottle with screenprinted art

for example, and both brands have used creative decoration to create unique and distinctive packaging for their beers. “Decoration techniques mean there are now many different options when it comes to further improving the look and feel of a bottle – as well as the different shapes, styles and colours that are available, we can also use textures, sleeving, printing and spraying to create a unique look.” She highlights the recent work Beatson Clark has carried out with breweries such as BrewDog and Bedlam Brewery. The former commissioned the manufacturer to supply 375ml Champagne-style amber beer bottles for its Abstrakt range of beers. Recent additions to the Abstrakt range include AB19, a 13.1% blend of two barrel-aged imperial saisons and AB20, a 14.2% Tiramisu oatmeal milk barley wine; a blend of an English barley wine brewed with coffee, oats and milk and a complex rum caskaged imperial stout. Its most recent launch was AB21, a 12% liquorice and blackcurrant infused imperial stout. The new 375ml bottle, which features the BrewDog logo embossed on the shoulder, complements the 660ml Vichy beer bottle Beatson Clark already supplies the company. Chris Palmer, business development manager at Beatson Clark, explained: “We’ve worked with BrewDog for several years so we’re pleased that they have come back to us for this special design. “Our in-house design service is second to none and something which customers really appreciate. We are also able to manufacture bespoke bottles at small volumes, which almost certainly helped us to win the contract in this case.” For West Sussex-based Bedlam Brewery, the

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company took Beatson Clark’s standard 330ml amber beer bottle and gave it a twist with colourful artwork screenprinted onto the glass by Yorkshire Bottle Solutions. “We try to minimise packaging and have been able to opt for a screen-printed bottle over a printed label to lessen any excessive waste,” says managing director Dominic Worrall. “All glass bottles can be fully recycled, which is something we actively encourage and promote.” When it came to finding a UK supplier for its bottles, Worrall says flexibility was the key. He explains: “We were looking for a quality UK manufacturer that was happy to work in supporting a new start-up business like ourselves,” he explained. “Beatson Clark offered great flexibility and reassurance when walking us through the ordering process for the first time. “They also offered us a quality design not often found and at a fantastic price point. It was important to us to support UK manufacturing.” Elsewhere, gifting and presentation boxes has been a major growth area for McLaren Packaging "We have definitely noticed increased consumer demand for craft beer, which has led to a growth in the sales of seasonal varietals, vintage releases and limited edition bottles," says Michael McLaren, sales and marketing director at the business. He adds: "This has impacted on the demand for the packaging of those products. We are providing breweries with individual tubes and boxes for packs of three, or six bottles, among others. These help breweries add value to their beer and sell at a higher price point. "It is closer to what we've seen in whisky and, more recently, gin. For us, it is a case of value engineering and the premiumisation of beer in the marketplace."

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S tability

Beer Colloidal Stability Beer is prone to form colloidal hazes, which is a haze type known as non-biological haze. This is in contrast to biological haze, caused by the physical presence of large numbers of microorganisms. Brewers need to be cognizant of the processes and conditions during and after brewing in order to maximize the colloidal stability of the packaged beer. This article, from Gary Spedding, Matt Linske and Amber Weygandt at Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC, KY, USA, addresses some aspects of colloidal stability and some of the principles involved in colloid formation during wort boiling, cooling, trub removal, and in aging beer. Brief details of the methods available to reduce haze formation are also presented to hopefully remove some of the mystery behind this complex topic.

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ver time many alcoholic beverages are likely to form a haze, show a light precipitate, or even exhibit a potential for significant turbidity which can be caused by colloidally dissolved substances. A search through the brewing literature on the topic will provide many definitions of what are considered colloidal substances: “A colloid is a homogeneous, non-crystalline substance consisting of large molecules or ultramicroscopic finely divided particles (1 to 1000 millimicrons [= 10-9 meter or nanometers] in size) of one substance dispersed within a continuous medium in a manner that prevents them from being filtered easily or settled rapidly. Colloids include gels, sols, and emulsions; the particles do not settle and cannot be separated out by ordinary filtering or centrifuging like those in a suspension. The term also refers to the particulate matter so dispersed. Colloids may be thought

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Figure 1. Two examples of very heavy haze and appearance of particulates in beer.

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Figure 2. An example of the complex class of biologically-derived plant molecules known as polyphenols. Polyphenols in beer are derived from grain husks during mashing and lautering operations and as extracted from hops during wort boiling. Note the monomeric and dimeric forms. Trimers and even more highly polymerized complexes are possible by addition of more polyphenols. The proanthocyanidins (also known by brewers as anthocyanogens) in particular have been associated with haze formation.

of as a mixture with properties between those of a solution and a fine suspension (finely “floating” matter). “A colloidal gel is a colloid in a more solid form than a sol (liquid). “A sol is a colloidal suspension of very small solid particles in a continuous liquid medium. Sols are quite stable and show a unique light scattering pattern known as the Tyndall Effect. “A hydrogel is a colloidal gel in which water is the dispersion medium. “An emulsion is a colloid consisting of a mixture of two liquids such as that of oil in water. It refers to microscopic particles of liquid dispersed in another liquid. Milk is an example whereby lipophilic (fat loving or hydrophobic = water hating) particles are dispersed in a water-based medium.” The colloidal stability of beer refers to its propensity to form the non-biological hazes due to interactions between beer components, principally polyphenols and proteins, leading to the formation of visible precipitates. Colloid formation in beer typically presents as gelatinous or “jelly like” masses (See Figure 1). As many brewers in the US move away from filtration or fail to filter their beer properly we are seeing many complaints and examples of beer such as that shown in Figure 1. The extreme use of hops in many modern US beer style examples is only exacerbating this issue we believe, through a higher

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input of polyphenols derived from the hops, and is one of the culprits of a decrease in colloidal stability seen in some examples of hoppier beer styles. Beer Colloids and Haze: Beer colloidal haze is generally the result of beer protein molecules joining together with polyphenols to form molecular aggregates of a size large enough to cause visual turbidity. Polyphenols: These are a very diverse set of compounds which are known as polyhydroxy phenols. They commonly exist as base monomers, or as dimers, trimers and as larger, more highly complexed, polymers. The very large polymeric forms are known as tanols, tannoids, and tannins. The degree of polymerization is, however, important with respect to haze formation because dimers and trimers are much more likely to create hazes as compared with monomers. Polymers greater than trimers are not carried through the brewing process, but can form during beer storage as a result of oxidation reactions. This explains why hazes can develop with age in otherwise clear beer. Figure 2 shows a selection of polyphenol compounds with some named species. Proteins: The haze-active proteins or protein fragments (polypeptides) that are involved in protein polyphenol complexation (and derived from barley proteins) have regions rich in the amino acid proline (which is technically an imino rather than an amino acid) and it is the proline rich regions that form the

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Figure 3. Protein-polyphenol complexation. A model originally defined by Prof. Karl Siebert at Cornell University in the US. Polyphenols cause the cross linking of protein/polypeptide chains.

binding sites for proline recognition sites on the polyphenol molecules. A schematic of the resultant protein polyphenol interaction is shown in Figure 3.

chill and permanent hazes

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olloidal hazes in beer are classified as either chill haze only occurring at low temperatures or permanent haze which is present at any temperature. Chill haze is formed at 0 °C or below but solubilizes and disappears as the beer is rewarmed back to 20 °C. The haze forms as a result of weak hydrogen bonds between small polymerized polyphenols and proteins (Figure 3). These “weak bonds” are disrupted as the temperature rises, causing the aggregates to dissociate and the haze disappears. When beer is stored over longer time periods, further polymerization of polyphenols occurs and these much larger molecules form stronger covalent bonds with haze-sensitive proteins and the resultant hazes do not then dissolve when the beer is warmed up. Permanent hazes form in packaged beer over relatively long periods. Controlling Colloidal Stability – At the Wort Preparation Step: While a careful choice of raw materials and milling and mashing all have an impact on producing the precursors for colloidal instability we only consider the wort boiling and cooling processes here for assisting in colloidal stability of wort and the subsequent fermented product. Further details on these other aspects may be found in Leiper and Miedl (2009) and in a series of quality in brewing articles written by the current authors and published in the Scandinavian Brewer’s Review.

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Preparing for Beer Colloidal Stability – Wort Boiling – Hot Break (aka. Trub): Colloidal protein material is removed by wort boiling; reducing some of the coaguable nitrogen (protein) promotes colloidal stability. Boiling heat leads to coalescing and denaturing of proteins which reduces protein solubility, causing precipitation of proteins which are then more easily removed. The production of this matter known as hot break or trub is dependent upon the physical vigor of the boil, oxygen content, reducing agents, calcium phosphate reactions and the polyphenols present. Calcium reacts with malt derived phosphates which helps to reduce the wort pH and further assists in precipitating the proteins. Kettle finings which can promote precipitation via electrostatic interactions are sometimes used to remove hot break matter. The composition of hot break, however, not only consists of denatured precipitable protein but also insoluble salts, hop resin matter, lipids from the sweet wort and hops, polyphenols, spent hops and carbohydrates. As seen in Figure 3 protein and here in this case oxidized polyphenol complexes form which are insoluble in boiling wort and so are separated out as hot as possible. Usually today a device known as a whirlpool is used to separate out hot trub from the cleared wort. Preparing for Beer Colloidal Stability – Wort Cooling – Cold Break (aka. Trub): Cold break forms once wort is cooled to about 60 °C. Wort becomes cloudy with the appearance of 0.5 micrometer sized particulates - hence cold break is also known as fine or cool break. Protein- polyphenol complex formation is also involved but this time with unoxidized polyphenols, unlike in hot break, which precipitate out best at lower temperatures. The trub here forms slowly as a finely divided precipitate and the polyphenol content is higher in cold break than in hot break. Hydrogen bonds holding the proteinpolyphenol complexes together are more stable at lower temperatures. Some cold break matter is considered desirable in the wort as it ultimately rounds out beer flavor, improves beer foam, beer stability and assists the efficiency of fermentation. So today many craft brewers consider its removal as optional. If it is removed it is done so by plate and frame DE filtration, centrifugation or natural sedimentation. Controlling Colloidal Stability – After Fermentation From the above discussion it should hopefully be apparent that reducing the propensity for colloidal haze formation in the beer itself could involve removal of either haze-active proteins (generally hydrophilic proteins), polyphenols or both. However, a compromise is needed as proteins influence body and mouthfeel of beer and assist in foam formation (generally hydrophobic foam positive proteins). Polyphenols are also powerful reducing agents and act as antioxidants. So, there is a balance between removal of some but not all protein and polyphenolic materials. Nevertheless, two key strategies to reduce haze formation involve physical stabilization by decreasing

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C olloidal or removing either or both the protein levels and a bulk of the polyphenols. Protein removal is achieved by treating the beer with silica gel – this binds protein in a similar manner to the polyphenols as seen in Figure 3 and allows the larger aggregates to be removed during filtration. Two types of silica gel adsorptive beer stabilizers are commonly used: hydrogel and xerogel (themselves colloidal substances as described in the definitions above). Silica gels are not soluble in beer and are thus also removed during the filtration step. Manufacture’s literature should be consulted for further details on the use of Silica gels for this purpose. Removal of polyphenols on the other hand is done via the use of an agent called polyvinyl polypyrrolidone (PVPP). Insoluble in water and beer, this nylon-type polymer has a higher affinity for chemical bonding with polyphenols than the proteins present in beer. A high proportion of the polyphenols in the beer will bind to the surface of finely granulated PVPP and can then be filtered out. It is also possible to use a combination of silica gel and PVPP with the selective removal of the protein and polyphenols in the manners described above. This can reduce the overall cost of the process as PVPP is a quite expensive commodity. A full understanding of the conditions of use of either or both adsorbents is needed for effective and efficient removal of these haze precursors. For those wishing to delve more into the terms presented here see the series of short articles in the work by Oliver (2012).

conclusions

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rewing operations consist of a very complex series of processes which involve many chemical and biochemical reactions. Colloidal stability leads to a more stable product from a visual viewpoint by preventing the formation of hazes and unsightly precipitates in the final beer; both hot break and cold break formation and subsequent removal assists in preventing beer chill and permanent hazes! In making readers aware of the need to remove hot break trub and sometimes cold break it is hoped that the information presented here has helped to build a better understanding of the importance of creating a colloidally stable wort and subsequent beer.

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Further reading Leiper, K.A. and Miedl, M. (2009) Colloidal stability of beer. In: Beer: A Quality Perspective. Charles W. Bamforth (Ed.). Academic Press/Elsevier. Oliver, G. (Ed). (2012). The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. BDAS, LLC. The authors have a series of articles available on many topics of interest to brewers. Available upon request. See: www.alcbevtesting.com.

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JPJK<DJ

palmercanning.com (773) 463-7714 info@palmercanning.com

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS / LAFAYETTE, INDIANA

January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 83


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measurement

Free Amino Nitrogen Measurement Free Amino Nitrogen measurement on its own is a ‘blunt instrument’, but if its used with other measurements, such as pH, IBU, EBC, ABV and microbiology screening, it can provide the brewer with a valuable insight into the quality and consistency of their product, explains Timothy Woolley, technical director at Pura DX

O

ther than sugar, nitrogen is probably the most important macronutrient required for yeast health and growth. Nitrogen deficiency is associated with several fermentation difficulties including stuck and incomplete fermentations, whereas excess nitrogen is related to the production of both off flavours and beer spoilage. Nitrogen is often assessed by measuring Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) or to give it its other name Primary Amino Nitrogen (PAN). FAN or PAN assays, test for the concentration of amino acids and small peptides that are utilized by yeast for cell growth and proliferation. Together with ammonia, FAN/PAN makes up what is known as Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen or YAN. FAN compounds are formed naturally during malting and mashing by the action of protein degradation enzymes on hordein, a protein found in the grain. The level of amino acids available in the wort relies on several variables including grain variety, as well as malting and mashing conditions, but the overall types of amino acids available will be similar among all whole malt worts. Likewise the specific amino acids taken up by yeast follow a similar pattern during fermentation, although environmental changes can alter this. Using adjuncts, such as corn and rice, dilute FAN levels in the wort while increasing fermentable sugars. Consequently, high-adjunct worts are nitrogen deficient and fermentation can be adversely affected, leaving high levels of sugars in the beer. FAN levels in the wort are often regarded as the best indicator of potential yeast growth and are therefore directly related to fermentation efficiency. Yeast need FAN to grow and reproduce, so theoretically the more you have the quicker your yeast will grow, the stronger it will be and the more alcohol your yeast will produce. Yeast consume most of the FAN in the first 36-40 hours of fermentation, during its propagation phase. As they do so they can produce a range of metabolic by-products some of which affect flavour and stability of the finished beer.

84 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

Studies appear to have resulted a general belief that a minimum level of 150 mg/L FAN is required for complete fermentation, with 200-250 mg/L being seen as ideal. However more recent data suggest wort FAN levels might need to be higher, especially in some higher ABV beers. Work published by Stone Brewing found that on average IPA samples tested had levels of approximately 250 mg/L in the wort and 133 mg/L in the pre-filtered beer samples. In contrast, the higher gravity double IPAs had even higher wort and pre-filtered FAN levels, 316 mg/L and 175 mg/L, respectively. Craft breweries (due to their use of all malt wort) have the opposite problem to macrobreweries, and need to monitor excess FAN levels to control haze and the production of off flavours, such as diacetyl, or higher alcohols like isoamyl alcohol, propanol, and isobutanol— all of which cause alcohol heat in your finished product. While excessive FAN levels produce a perfect growth environment for spoilage organisms. The traditional way to determine protein content in a beers was the Kjeldahl method, however it was both complex and expensive as such it has more or less been replaced by the ninhydrin method. The ninhydrin method estimates amino acids, ammonia, and the terminal nitrogen groups of peptides and proteins (YAN) and is listed by the European Brewery Convention (EBC), MEBAK, and American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) as the method of choice for FAN measurement. However although an improvement on the older method, its still quite time consuming and there are a lot of reagents to buy. Apart from the spectrophotometer you would also need a hot water bath and a range of different reagents, in addition to this the assay itself takes about an hour to do from start to finish. An overview of the basic procedure is given below.

preparation of Reagents A. Ninhydrin Colour Reagent: Dissolve 10 g Na2HPO4, 6 g KH2PO4, 0.5 g ninhydrin and 0.3 g fructose in a total of 100 mL of

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measurement distilled water. B. Dilution Solution: Dissolve 2 g potassium iodide in 600 mL distilled water and then add 400 mL of 96 % ethanol. C1. Glycine Stock Solution: Dissolve 107.2 mg glycine in a total of 100 mL of distilled water. C2. Glycine Standard Solution (working solution): Dilute 1 mL of the glycine standard stock in 99 mL of distilled water. This standard solution contains 2 mg/L amino nitrogen.

assay protocol 1. Dilute 1 mL of beer in 49 mL (or 1 mL of wort in 99 mL) in distilled water. Use 50 mL distilled water for a blank. 2. Perform analysis of the sample, standard solution and H2O (blank value) in triplicates. 3. Pipette 2 mL of the diluted sample, the standard solution and blank solution into separate test tubes. 4. Add 1 mL of Ninhydrin Colour Reagent and mix. 5. Close each test tube loosely in order to avoid evaporative losses and heat the solutions at 100C for 16 minutes. 6. Cool the solutions at 20C for 20 minutes. 7. Add 5 mL of Dilution Solution and measure the absorbance within 30 minutes in a 10 mm cuvette at 570 nm against distilled water. 8. Read all of the blanks, standard and test samples on the spectrophotometer at 570nm After all that there is a nice calculation to have a go at. However if your not really bothered about using ‘approved methods’ and all you want is a FAN level then there is another much easier way. The ninhydrin method measures YAN, but its time consuming and quite complex, especially if you don't have a scientific background. However evidence suggests that a newer method called NOPA (alphaamino nitrogen by OPA) gives almost the same result (99%), this method is quick and is available as a premade kit, in addition to that its also pretty cheap (£99.77/100 tests). The kit I looked at is available from Megazyme (Ireland), the benefit of this kit, is that the reagents are stable, there is an easy method to follow and the website includes both a spread-sheet to automate the calculation and an online ‘how to’ video. The reagents used are: Bottle 1 (Soln. 1): Tablets (100) containing N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). Stable for > 2 years at 4°C or -20°C. Bottle 2 (Soln. 2): Ortho-phthaldialdehyde (OPA) in 12 mL of ethanol (96% v/v). Stable for > 2 years at 4°C. Bottle 3: Isoleucine standard solution (5 mL, 140 mg of nitrogen/L). Stable for > 2 years at 4°C. The process is straightforward. Dissolve one tablet

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from Bottle 1 in 3 mL of distilled water for each assay planned and allow to dissolve over 2-3 min. Aid dissolution by shaking, stirring or crushing with a metal spatula. This is Solution 1. Prepare immediately prior to use. Use the contents of bottle 2 as supplied, this is Solution 2. This solution is stable for > 2 years when stored in the dark at 4°C. Use the contents of bottle 3 as supplied, this is the Internal Quality Control (IQC) and can be used as a check sample to ensure you have performed the assay correctly. Stable for > 2 years at 4°C. Pipette into cuvettes Soln. 1 (NAC/ buffer) Distilled Water Sample/ Isoleucine standard

Blank

Sample/IQC

3.00 mL

3.00 mL

0.05 mL

-

-

0.05 mL

Mix, read the absorbance’s of the solutions after approx. 2 min and start the reactions by addition of: Soln. 2 (OPA)

0.10 mL

0.010 mL

Mix read the absorbance’s of the solutions at the end of the reaction (approx. 15 min)

beer metrics

P

erforming a pH is probably the easiest test you can do and once you have bought the pH meter its more or less free. In the last publication I also showed you how to perform IBU and EBC for less than £1. Both of these last 2 parameters require a spectrophotometer and although this bit of kit isn’t cheap (approx. 5K), you will get a quick return on your investment, especially if you currently use a contract lab for your chemistry. If you don't use a lab at all the saving will come from managing raw material usage and preventing wastage, for instance setting and maintaining an IBU level will prevent the overuse of hops, in addition your batch to batch consistency will improve and you will have a range of essential metrics to maintain your beers quality. FAN measurement on its own is a ‘blunt instrument’, but if its used the other measurements mentioned, such as pH, IBU, EBC, ABV and microbiology screening it can provide the brewer with a valuable insight into the quality and consistency of their product. Allowing the brewer to monitor the quality of their raw ingredients, yeast health and efficiency, shelf life and beer spoilage potential.

January~February 2017 | The Brewers Journal 85


dat e s

&

e v en t s

e v ent s

Craft Beer Rising returns to London at The Old Truman Brewery from 23-25 February, and will feature around 170 breweries

2017 21 January 2017 Manchester Beer & Cider Festival Manchester Central www.mancbeerfest.uk

24-25 February 2017 Craft Beer Rising The Old Truman Brewery www.craftbeerrising.co.uk

18 February 2017 Five Go to Beavertown Beavertown Brewery www.beavertownbrewery.co.uk

2 March 2017 Brewers Lectures Manchester Manchester Town Hall www.brewersjournal.info/lectures/manchester-2017/

23-25 February 2017 Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair Convention Centre, Dublin eu.alltechbrewsandfood.com

8-10 March London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival Camden Centre, London www.northlondon.camra.org.uk

86 | The Brewers Journal | January~February 2017

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Higher quality, more efficient export solutions Launching soon For more information about beerQX and how we could help you, please contact our team: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals David Beswick (UK/Europe enquiries) Email: info@beerqx.com Telephone: +44 (0)1425 485421 www.closebreweryrentals.co.uk

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The Brewers Journal Jan-Feb 2017, iss 1 vol 3