Friday 27 September 2013

A kind of meet the brewer....

Last night we were at the White Gross, Groeswen, where we gave a talk on the difference between Ale and Lager.  Yes you heard that right... a talk on factual stuff, not stuff we've made up 5 minutes before!

Well that's not necessarily true as we only wrote the script (for script, think A4 page with major points to discuss) an hour before we arrived at the pub but, given our woeful state of preparation - I blame the brew we'd just completed for hogging our time - it went pretty well, or at least no-one obviously nodded off of shouted obscenities so that's judged a success in my eyes!

For the occasion we'd brewed a special lager of our own!  Well, it had been brewed a few months back by a visiting hotrod builder (Ben) from Oakland, California, on our mini-kit, but we thought this would be the ideal opportunity to release our first, and maybe only, lager onto the world...  suffice it to say our beer went down well although you try explaining to a roomful of people with varying levels of beer knowledge that the beer on tasting is a hybrid San Francisco "steam" beer crossed with a double-decoction mash European lager... that was fun!  There was another lager on tap, I won't name names but it tasted like cider; nice!

In other news, we've re brewed Mosaic Plus due to popular demand, have delivered beer to the Thames Valley and the rather good Hope at Carshalton and have more beer off to Birmingham and Bristol tomorrow.

Friday 20 September 2013

Sorry for the lack of updates....

... But we've been mad busy brewing, selling and delivering beer!

Our two latest are now in cask; the "nuclear Armageddon" series shows why you shouldn't watch the news whilst thinking of beer names! In our defence "Preemptive strike" is dry-hopped with the new German Polaris hop (giving a bizarre grassy, sweet oily melon-like character) and "Bikini atoll" is hopped mainly with south Pacific hops with the glorious Nelson sauvin being the star of the show.

We've just brewed "Prince of Bengal", a 5.5% golden brew, to I s new recipe and we're pretty happy with the ,preliminary tastings.

Also in the tanks is an amended recipe of Gazza's favourite Steel City beer "New Dawn Fades" which is stuffed full of citra and calypso hops for a fruit cocktail of a beer!

More news soon and we promise to update more frequently next week... The Facebook page gets more frequent updates if you really want to know what's going on!

Monday 9 September 2013

Just the one brew this week....

After two weeks of mad brewing (to build up some stock after we were virtually cleaned out) and equally manic delivering it's just the one brew tomorrow, a revamped Pixie Spring beer; "Prince of Bengal IPA"!  This golden 5.5% brew has plenty of hops to keep the hopheads dosed up but enough malty body so normal drinkers don't get too scared by it!  

Last week here at Hopcraft Towers the theme was "nuclear armageddon" (proof, if more were needed, that watching the news isn't good for you or beer name creation!) with "Pre-Emptive Strike" (German Polaris hops) and "Bikini Atoll" (mainly New Zealand hops) being sent to FVs 1 and 2 for your delectation in a few weeks' time.  

We also casked up "You Love Us", our mad-hoppy 5% pale brew with a name which simultaneously pays tribute to one of the finest Manics tracks as well as poking fun at those who don't like us... oh, and it could also be construed as "You Love US" seeing as all the hops are from the US; clever, eh?

Also in the conditioning tanks is "Graveyard Eyes", our porter, which received a hefty dose of mental Sorachi Ace hop pellets and is currently being disgorged of said hops; I suppose reading this you'd imaging a scene a la Francais but the sad reality is Gazza crouched under the tanks with a very large bucket getting splashed with green goo.  Livin' the dream...

Sunday 1 September 2013

Another mad week at Hopcraft Towers!

Well, it looks like it's going to be another one!

After hitting our 6-month brewing targets within 9 weeks we're already considering upping our batch size to 12 barrels for beers we feel will be more popular and also brewing twice a week, every week, and maybe trying to deliver some beer to more local customers rather than sending it all over the country.

In the last week we've sent beer out to Boggart (Manchester) and Pigs Ears (London) wholesalers, delivered a full vanload to London (Pelt Trader, Snooty Fox Canonbury, Southampton Arms and Brodie's King William 4th) plus a bit of local stuff, this week we're planning a run to Reading, Euston Tap then up to Derbyshire and Sheffield as well as squeezing in a couple of brews plus the trip up to the brewer's jolly that is the Charles Faram hopwalk in Herefordshire!

This week we're brewing a special with the interesting new German hop Polaris called, appropriately, "Pre-emptive Strike" along with another as yet un-named hoppy pale beastie which will have all manner of hops utilised such as Mosaic, Citra and Nelson Sauvin... "noms", as they say on that there internet thingy.

We still welcome - nay, encourage - feedback, so if you've anything to tell us then try or, if you're particularly enraged about something and want to tell it to our smug faces then come on down the brewery and let us know... honestly we love to talk to people about beer and brewing and, if you do manage to find us in the confusing maze known as Coed Cae lane industrial estate, we'll try and make you feel welcome with beer whilst we listen to your point.  Then try to sell you a T-shirt.

So, cheers to everyone for their support so far; it's been a great start and we intend to get better with each brew; the first half-dozen were decent enough but we're now getting into our stride with the brewing and let's just say you've seen nowt yet!