Wednesday, 22 October 2014

#collabfest2014



We are very excited to announce that we are taking part in Brewdog's #collabfest2014. This is an event which sees every one of Brewdog's British bars teaming up with a local brewery of their choice to brew a unique beer. All 16 beers will then be available on draught in all bars this Saturday evening, the 25th October.


An easy day for Adam.
 The team from the Newcastle bar on Dean Street came down to the brewery last month to brew a 6.5% US hopped amber ale with apricots and honey. It was a great day, the Brewdog staff got fully involved with the brew, including digging out the substantial amount of spent grain needed for such a strong beer. The beer is hopped with El Dorado, a relatively new breed of American hop which has a subtle bitterness and flavours which enhance the apricots. This bitterness is balanced with bucket loads of honey which blends seamlessly with the fruit, resulting in a complex flavour which unwinds as you drink the beer. The beer is cheekily named Amba Necta, spelt so as to avoid certain copyright infringements!


For a truly unique twist, we also put in a small amount of honey taken from our Sam's family beehives. After an eventful first year of bee-keeping, Sam's dad managed to take the first crop of honey from the hives just days before the beer was brewed, and it is some seriously tasty.

Busy bees.
Sam and his dad inspecting the bees.
We will be at Brewdog's Newcastle bar this Saturday evening from around 4pm, and will be hosting a tasting of the beer at 6pm. We are in esteemed company, with the very best breweries from across the UK also being involved in the event, it'll be an evening for giving your taste buds a workout.

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Seasonal Dark Ale - Northern Porter



Next week we launch the final instalment in our seasonal dark ale series, Northern Porter.

This 4.5% porter is brewed with a small amount of smoked malt in the mash, alongside chocolate malt, pale chocolate malt, roasted barley and crystal malts for a rich and warming flavour with a subtle and delicate smoky character.

The beer is then conditioned on toasted French oak chips for 10 days, imparting subtle notes of vanilla and enhancing its depth and character. 

Northern Porter will be available in cask from next week until the end of the year, the perfect ale for fending off cold winter nights.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Barrel Aged Heavenly Porter.


Back in April for our Monthly special be brewed the luxurious Heavenly Porter, a 5.4% robust, dark ale matured with Kentucky Bourbon from the Heaven Hill Distillery, the largest family owned distillery in the US.

At the time, we sealed away some of the beer in an oak Heaven Hill barrel that had been used to age the same Bourbon we brewed the beer with. The barrel then sat in our cold store room for six months, the charred, bourbon soaked oak adding a real depth of flavour and a rich yet mellow character. Notes of vanilla come through from the oak, and the warming whiskey flavours dominate the finish.

We have bottled the beer in 750ml swing top bottles, which look really striking and are great for sharing this full flavoured ale, or just enjoying it to yourself! They are available from the brewery shop, and will be delivered to Mmm & Glug, Fenwick and Coppers 8 til 8 in Newcastle, Bodahome in Whitley Bay, the Bier Huis in Ossett and The Curious Hop in Otley next week, and to Cornelius in Edinburgh the following week. 

The bottles make a great present, and as they are bottle conditioned the flavours will develop over time, so get one for now and one to age and enjoy at a later date!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Christmas Special Vote.



We know it's early, but we want you to choose what our Christmas special will be. Voting is now open to ensure we have enough time to order ingredients and have the beer ready to go on sale at the start of December, and give you plenty of time to cast your votes.

With previous Christmas specials including last year's Black Cascade and the now highly popular Cherry Stout, this years beer has a lot to live up to. After much deliberation we have decided on two potential recipes, and now you must decide which one we brew. The options are:

Option #1: Chocolate Lime Stout - Inspired by the traditional boiled sweet, this would be a thick, rich and smooth 5.4% stout, brewed with real chocolate, dark malts, limes, lime zest and citrusy hops.

Option #2: Orange and Ginger Pale Ale - A 4.4% pale ale flavoured with warming ginger and fresh oranges for a wintery, Christmas themed brew.

Click on the 'Christmas Special Vote' tab at the top of the page, or follow this link and choose your favourite. The beer will be in cask and keg in plenty of time for you to enjoy during the festive season.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

October Special - Dunkelweizen.


Every October we like to brew something with a German influence, and this year is no exception. Our brand new special for this month is Dunkelweizen.

Germany has a rich heritage of producing high quality beer for centuries, culminating every year in the world famous Oktoberfest. To help celebrate this prestigious event, we have brewed a traditional Bavarian style Dunkelweizen. A dark wheat beer at 5%, which uses a mixture of wheat and caramelised barley malts. This beer has all the characteristics of a wheat beer with hints of banana and bubblegum, but has the added depth of subtle roasted malt flavours and a full bodied mouthfeel.

Dunkelweizen is unfined, as most of it's unique flavour comes from the German Wheat Beer Yeast needed to break down the more complex sugars in the wheat. Not only does this mean that the beer retains all of its flavour, but it also makes it vegan friendly if that's your thing. 

Naturally hazy, Dunkelweizen is available now in cask, and a very limited amount in keg from next week. So if you're not lucky enough to be making the trip to Germany for the Oktoberfest celebrations, you can still get involved with a Maβ* full of tasty dark wheat beer.

*glassware permitting, it's more likely to be a good old pint or two for an authentic British twist!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Green Hop: Batch #2, unfiltered kegs and launch night.

The first batch of our September special has flown out in cask, there are only a tiny number of casks of the Goldings hopped pale ale left in the brewery just a few days after it's release. 

The First Gold hops delivered straight from the farm.


Currently sitting in the fermenter is the second batch of Green Hop, this time using a later crop of First Gold hops. Using the same malt bill and additions this beer will be slightly different to version #1, with the hops providing floral notes, and a crisp tangerine-like bitterness. When they arrived yesterday they had a distinctly earthy and spicy aroma, typical of English hops.



In addition to the second batch, we have kegged a small amount of the first version. This is the first time we've kegged a beer in house after a few test kegs to get the carbonation right, and the beer is unfined and unfiltered, leaving in all the wonderful fresh hop flavours. This also means the beer is vegan friendly too.

Next Thursday you can join us at the Cumberland Arms in the Ouseburn Valley to enjoy both versions of the beer side by side, along with the unfiltered keg. We'll be there from 7 to answer any questions and talk about the beers, so pop down and taste the freshest hops at their best.

Friday, 5 September 2014

September Special - Green Hop


This week we brewed our latest special, Green Hop. This beer is the freshest you can possibly get in the UK, brewed using freshly picked hops within 24 hours of them coming off the bines. This 4.4% all English pale ale has one job; to showcase the unique properties of these full flavoured fresh hops.


video
Some clips we took of the harvesting process, the last shot is all the unwanted parts of the plant after the hops have been stripped from the bines.


Right now it's the hop picking season in the UK, over 1500 tonnes of hops will be harvested and used all over the world in many different styles of beer. The majority of these hops will be dried in the Oust House for storage, this process removes around 70% of their moisture and with it, some of their natural oils which provide flavour and aroma. 


Adam getting lost in a Jungle of hops.


Ready to be picked.



Julia and Adam made the trip down to Herefordshire to see the hops being picked, and came straight back to the brewery to throw them into the beer. The variety being harvested on that day was Goldings, a popular aroma hop that is known to produce delicate fruity notes and a smooth, sweet flavour. We used about five times the quantity we would normally for a 4.4% pale ale, as the flavours are less concentrated compared to the dried hops. When the beer had been transferred into the fermenter it smelt delicious, with huge orange peel notes. 



A bunch of hops straight off the bine.

This beer will be best drank fresh, with a big aroma thanks to lots of late additions to the boil. There will be two versions of the beer, using two different hop varieties, both within 24 hours of being picked.



The hops are picked by hand as the tractor slowly moves along the rows.


Tear one open to reveal where all the oils and resins are stored.
 
 
The drying process, which our green hops avoided.
 

The first of our Green Hop ales will be available in cask next week and keg from 15th September. The second crop edition will be available from 22nd September in cask, and in keg from 29th. Make sure you try it a fresh as you can in both methods of dispense for the freshest hop flavours possible.