Monday 29 July 2013

Week of big deliveries coming up.

Now then.

This week sees us begin deliveries in earnest as we take a full vanload of lupulous goodness up to Derbyshire (Old Oak, Horsley Woodhouse, Thorn Tree, Waingroves and Hunter's Arms, Kilburn) then off to Shiny Sheff to drop at the Shakespeare and Rutland Arms...

Before that, however, we brave London where we'll deliver to a rash of places including the Pelt Trader, William 4th (Brodies), the Euston Tap, Southampton Arms and Howling Hops (the Cock at Hackney).

Any feedback on our beers is positively encouraged so, if you see some, sup it and let us know what you think (good or bad, we don't bite) at


Load 'em up...

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Kegwashing Hopcraft style...

We've found an old keg so are experimenting with washing methods.  This one we call "old faithful"...

Thar' she blows!

Acid rain....

Plus, we've racked 71 casks and secreted them in our new cold store ready for dispatch... if you want any please email us!  (

71 casks in the cold store!

Thursday 18 July 2013

"Redneck" American Red is in FV2...the 1st month anniversary brew!

Today we brewed yet another one-off, this one vaguely in the American Red style (I say vaguely as we used Weyermann malts for colour and flavour not the usual crystal which Yanks seem to be addicted to in a bizarre obsession with creating "balance" and "body" in their beers) with Columbus, Nugget, Citra and Cascade, it'll be about in a couple of weeks and around 4.5%.

This was our 7th brew and exactly a month to the day since our first one!  As it's only now the beers are beginning to emerge you can see we don't exactly rush them... dry hopping in the tank with pellets and/or hops for a long enough period, under a CO2 blanket, is the way we give our beers their pungent hop aroma - the wait is worth it!  Call it craft, call it doing things the American way, call it what you want; we won't release a beer we wouldn't drink ourselves and, thus far, all have passed muster!

Well, it's red alright....

Weyermann Chocolate Wheat malt ready for "sparging over"... 

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Cold store delivered...

We never thought we'd get it out of the ramshackle industrial unit in Aston, we really didn't... but, with the help of a superb forklift driver and a bit of brute force, as you can see we did!

It's a 23-foot ex-lorry cold container which we'll use to store the beer once it's been casked/kegged up to free up conditioning tank space.  It's a bit tatty at present but, with a good jetwash and lick of paint, it'll look the business, plus the aircon unit is almost new which was almost worth the price of the container!

Clearance, what clearance?

Maneuvered into position...

Attaching the HIAB straps...

Winching it up... (what's the load of a pallet truck, by the way?)

Secured on the truck

And finally at it's new home!

Friday 12 July 2013

Conditioning tank washing and beer transfer...

Today we've been doing some of the mundane tasks that most people don't know happen in a brewery; it's not all sprinkling hops into a copper, swanning around pretending to be a celebrity brewer and drinking free beer you know!

It was time to transfer our 5th brew "The Public wants what the Public gets" from FV1 to conditioning tanks 5 and 6 which means going through the cycle of rinse/caustic wash/rinse/peracetic rinse/CO2 flush on the tanks so the beer you transfer is installed into a sterile environment as possible, one with a CO2 blanket which stops oxidation and keeps the beer lovely and fresh whilst it matures for a week or two.

We've also beer racking beer for delivery next week in Birmingham.

And look at those goggles, eh... quality PPE that is!

Sprayball in action...

Holding the caustic sprayball just in case it jumps out... !

I'm inordinately proud of my new goggles...

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Delivering beer for the first time!

Today was spent delivering beer to Bristol, picking up our repaired pump and scouting out potential new places to hawk our wares.

Surprise of the day was just how amazing the beer range at the Barley Mow (Barton Rd, St Phillips) was with eight cask and ten keg on sale giving one of the best beer ranges I've seen in the UK for a long time - a session there is calling!

We also dropped at the Bag o' Nails and Arbor (for the Three Tuns festival next weekend) and chatted to landlords at other pubs where we're hopeful of getting some business in the next month.

So, we're finally getting out beers into the market and it feels good; next stop tomorrow are some local pubs, mainly Tidy Bitter.

Next week should see us brew twice, we've not decided what exactly as yet but there's a strong possibility they will include an American Red and a pale brewed with the new French hop Triskel.

No photos today, we forgot to take any... so you'll have to make do with this picture of Malcolm.

Malcolm lives at the Bag o Nails in case you didn't know...

Saturday 6 July 2013

Second-hand casks!

Just found these photos and thought I'd share them with you all... see, Brewing isn't all rock'n'roll celebrity brewing, sometimes you have to spray paint numbers onto old casks....

The finished casks... ex Blackfriars and, before that, Wibblers I think!
Livin' the dream....

Tidy bitter is in the cask!

Our first full-scale brew is in cask!

Yesterday we racked Tidy Bitter into 31 brand new steel casks (hired ones, as you can see!) and transferred Spanish Main to conditioning tanks for a week of flavour development (it has plenty already, believe me!).

So, as you can imagine, within a few weeks we'll have a range of beer to sell and will start to take it out to pubs both nearby and further afield; we've already had some good interest and have sold a surprising amount of all the beers thus far!

So, no brewing next week as we get our cold store and sales sorted out, then after that everything will ratchet up as we begin to brew and sell full-time.

Exciting times!

Portal to another dimension... or the valve at the bottom of CT7?

The first casks of Tidy bitter are racked!

And, a mere 45 minutes later, we have 31 casks filled!

"The public want what the public get" starts it's fermentation in FV1.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

On on on cried the leaders at the back...

Well, not exactly, but we're pressing on with brewing this week with another 1400 litre brew tomorrow, this time it's "The public want what the public get", an extra-pale brew with a right old mix of hops including Columbus, Magnum, Bramling Cross, Dr Rudi and maybe even some Sticklebract too!  We'll see what we feel like tomorrow...

The awesome sales department is now in full swing so, if you're a landlord who wants in at the cutting edge of UK craft beer, then give us an email on and we'll see what we can do.

The rest of the week sees transferring Spanish Main into conditioning tank, racking Tidy bitter, and various other jobs that need doing... 

|Tidy bitter - looking Tidy!