As a keen craft beer fan I'm always on the look out for new breweries that are opening up in my local area as I believe that supporting your community business has been one of the biggest accolades of the craft beer movement and we need to celebrate these entrepreneurs in giving back to the local economy. So as you can imagine I was delighted to see that a new brewery, Saints Row Brewing, was opening in my town and after heading to their opening day celebration I knew that I had to try and grab some face time with Tony Prebula to talk about the beer what drives the business and their future plans.
This week I got to spend an awesome evening with Keith Kohr, the head brewer and co-owner of Waredaca Brewing Company from Laytonsville Maryland. He showed me around the brewery and we talked about the history of the brew farm, the inspiration for the brews, his brewing history and plans for the future as well as enjoying some excellent local craft beer.
Regular readers will have seen that I am a keen visitor and writer about UBrew in the Bermondsey beer mile, London. The reason for this is because I love the concept of an open brewery and they also host amazing events! By actively supporting emerging brewers since their opening in 2015 they have been able to grow their own experimental brand of beers, The Alpha Series, but the time has come for them to launch the self described 'biggest, baddest and most bodacious' of these beers for general release to you!
Producing a spectacular craft beer is a skill which brewers have been trying to perfect for years dedicating time and plenty of effort to create the brews which we love. Imagine if this recipe creation could be performed by a machine? Would it be as good? Siseley Coates-Harman and Hew Leith believe they have been able to do just that with IntelligentX Brewing Co. The first artificial intelligence brewery.
Based in the heart of the beautiful peak district Thornbridge have been creating a reputation for brewing stellar beers with their most likely beer to be recognised being the flagship Jaipur, their multi award winning IPA. The origins of this now bastion of British craft beer started from humble beginnings at their Thornbridge Hall site.
Some of you might remember that I previously wrote an article about Richard Kruller and his plans to set up a new craft brewery in the Cambridge area. (Use this link to see the original article http://www.craftbeeradvocate.co.uk/journal/2015/8/30/steadfast-brewing-co. ) Well it is now about 6 months further down the line and I thought it would be a good idea to check in and see what progress has been made on turning this dream into a reality.
Craft beer is one of the biggest growing movements in the global drinks industry with sales in the US and the UK increasing year on year, but it isn't only in these countries where it is starting to take hold. In Vienna Austria there are four intrepid young brewers who have a vision of bringing great beer to the forefront of a largely conservative drinking community. Their name is Brew Age and a new dawn of Austrian beer is what they are aiming for.
There are a number of things that really enhance our enjoyment of life. Good food, drink, art, conversation, friends and music are just a few of these. So why is it that when we go and see music live most of the venues only sell less than desirable beer which has a debatable flavour and quality? This is something that Tom and Sam from Signature Brew want to change by getting craft beer into our favourite venues.
The brewing industry was one of the most important industries in Norwich's past with its reach stretching throughout this city's history. It was once claimed that there was a pub for everyday of the year, and names like Bullards' were synonymous with over 100 years of brewing heritage. However, this stopped being the case in the late 1970s when beer production was discontinued in the city. Leap forward 40 years and there is a thriving grass roots craft beer scene in the city with breweries such as Redwell leading the vanguard to restore this city back to its rightful place in the minds of UK citizens.
Imagine the scenario. You're tired from walking for what seems like forever, your patience is wearing thin, people keep bumping into you and your throat is dry and you have a thirst that water just won't quench. This is the reality for a number of people whenever they leave the house to go shopping. Now imagine this in one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. Hell on earth right? That's where you are mistaken. In the market area of the Westfield there is a haven for the tired, thirsty and just plain fed up. This haven from the maddening crowds is the brew pub Tap East and they are serving some great craft beer to the masses.
Goose Island IPA is a classic beer of the craft movement which most people have tried. Its popularity has grown to the point that you can now find it in most UK supermarkets and even on airlines! Other beers from this Chicago brewery are harder to find in the UK, so when the chance to perform a brew with Tim Faith, the innovation brewer at Goose Island at UBrew, a favourite haunt of mine, came about I jumped at the chance to get my brew on and learn some more about a brewery that has had quite a journey from its humble beginnings in 1988.
Recently I was fortunate enough to go to the west and east coast of the US for two weeks with work. The USA has a reputation of being a country that has truly embraced local craft beer to a level which most other countries are as yet to replicate. There are a couple of reasons for this; American craft brewers are known to be pushing the boundaries of brewing, the country is so big that they can grow almost any type of hop and grain and the illegality of non-pasteurised beer being allowed across state lines being some. Whatever the reasons I saw this as a journey of adventure and discovery.
I first came across Firestone Walker at the 2015 Rainbow Project where they produced an amazing collaboration brew with the Wild Beer Co called Violet Underground, a wild sour beer which was a combination of a barrel aged Californian Raspberry wild ale mixed with candied violet petals and a mixture of proprietary yeasts from both sides of the Atlantic. So when I found out that I was going to Santa Barbara on the west coast I got on the search engines and was delighted to find out that the Firestone Walker Barrelworks facility was located in Buellton a short bus journey away.
The Bermondsey arches is a beacon for the craft beer community in London. It's an area where you can drop by Brew by Numbers, Four Pure, Partizan, Ansbach and Hobday and The Kernel.
There is one place in this stretch where if you are a home brewer wanting to use some larger equipment, or if you are a brewing novice wanting to learn some more about how four ingredients make the drink we love, or even just stop off for a couple of drinks, is the place to go. This place is UBrew.
The craft beer revolution has taken the US by storm and in now really forging a strong reputation in the UK, but what about in other countries? Are they also jumping on the craft beer bandwagon? On a recent trip to the south of Spain I found out that it isn't just the Brits and Americans that are brewing some extraordinary beers.
Sitting in the Greene King heartlands of Bury St. Edmonds there are some serious micro-brewers creating a burgeoning reputation for flavour and quality of their brews. I decided to go and visit one of these intrepid brewers at The Old Cannon and was surprised by what I found.
Originally from the De Beauvoir Area of London, Beavertown is the old cockney name for this area, famed across Victorian London for its rich characteristics and infinite revelry. The brewery has rapidly grown since their founding in 2011, collecting many accolades and fans along the way, and have some of the most iconic beers and artwork out there for you to enjoy.
Locally brewed ales are on the rise and so is the role of women in the brewing industry. One women who is riding the crest of this wave is Jo Coubrough. She is helping to reignite the role of female brewers from North Norfolk at Jo C's Norfolk Ale.
Setting up a brewery can be quite a daunting task at the best of times, let alone when you have a full time job. That didn't put off the three intrepid brewers at Three Blind Mice Brewery near Ely. I was fortunate enough to get the chance to spend a bit of time with them to get to know why and how they did this as well as what their plans for the future are.
Bottle shops give us access to beers which are not available in supermarkets and allow us to buy single bottles for a variety of different brewers which purchasing directly doesn't enable us to do. As such there are a number of challenges faced by these stores which aren't normally considered. I caught up with Kev Thorley from Cambridge Wine Merchants for a chat.