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!

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.

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.

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.