Thursday, 22 January 2015

Hosting a Brewery Tour

As a beer geek I've been on many brewery tours... from London Fields back when it was tiny, all the way to Adnams which is not so small.

I think it's fair to say that from a combination of this and my love of beer, that I know a fair bit about the stuff.

I remember when Redwell Brewery first opened, it was much smaller than it is now and I was given a kind of informal tour of the brewery... this was two years ago.

Two years on I'm working at Redwell, it's much bigger and now I'm doing the tours.

I am actually hosting brewery tours. I've done two so far and coming into the brewery on a Saturday to educate people about craft beer and most importantly our beer, brewery and future plans excites me.

Seeing people have their first taste of Steam Lager, their eyes lighting up, the 'woah, I didn't know lager could taste like this' factor, to me is exciting and it's what I live for.

Then comes even more excitement when I tell people that we can sample unfiltered, fresh as hell beer straight from the tank... on Saturday it was our India Pale Lager that was ready to drink. This 5.5% hopped to hell and back, yet cool, crisp and refreshing lager is the one beer of ours I now drink most of and as I poured glass after glass and handed them to people I heard gasps... I felt everyone's excitement and happiness. I had a room full of people who had never met before engaging in conversation about how downright amazing this beer was.

It just makes me feel so happy and it's hard to put it into words... just doing something awesome for people, making them feel special and privileged as they get to take a glimpse into what we're doing, and getting to taste beer in the vessel it's lagering in. Seeing people walk away knowing that they've learned something, and seeing the smiles on their faces.

What's more is that I'm making friends out of my job... people who have come to my first tour are following me on twitter, suggesting going out to dinner or for drinks.

It's amazing and I love my job!

Nate

*Photo Credit to my good friend James Wilson. He's an amazing photographer!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A small crawl in London

I had Friday off work so I decided to go to London for a few beers. I'd not done a proper London pub crawl in ages so it was rather nice, I got to drink some beers that I otherwise wouldn't tried.

I started off in Craft Beer Co Covent Garden (which, btw, isn't really in Covent Garden) with a half pint of the Siren/Beavertown/Magic Rock collaborative beer Rule of Thirds. It's 6.4% and pours golden with a fluffy white head, it's full of grapefruit, blood orange, mango & peach flavours and was really delicious.

The bar itself is brilliant... one long bar with 45 beers on draught. Most of these are keg, but there were around 10 cask beers (about a third of these were Thornbridge so not that varied). It's very bright upstairs, windows all around allowing you to look at the busy passersby. There was also a small smoking area out the front which made me happy as I could take my drink with me, unlike many craft beer bars. Downstairs is The Lounge, which is dark and beautiful. They also serve burgers, but I didn't have one this time. They all sound amazing though.

I then decided to have another beer, which was Siren Haunted Dream, a pumpkin porter at 6.5% and possibly my favourite pumpkin beer ever. Straight up you could smell the spices and chocolate so I couldn't wait to take a sip... yum. Chocolate, coffee, spices. I could have drunk two pints!

I then walked to the first craft beer bar I'd ever been to, many years ago, The Euston Tap, which I'm sure I've written about before. As soon as I got there I knew I needed to try the Lagunitas Hop Stoopid at 8%. Big, boozy, sweet and fruity. I loved it but I'm glad I only got a half as it was a little hop sticky. Next was Founders Breakfast Stout (8.3%) which was basically breakfast... chocolate coated oatmeal with coffee on the side. I'd  had this bottled before but keg was even better. I needed something lighter next, before I headed out, so I plumped for an old favourite - Maisels Weiss... a perfect hefeweizen.

Next was Brewdog Camden, again it's a favourite. The ante was upped here when I saw Alesmith Speedway Stout on keg... this beast is from California, is 12% and cost £5.05 for a third of a pint, expensive but a rarity. Was it worth the price? Well I enjoyed it. The true tradition of imperial stouts being chocolate and coffee, this had all of that but without the insanely booziness that such strong beers often deliver. My good friend Boggle then arrived and got himself a beer, so I got another... it was a collaboration beer from Brewdog and the legendary Weihenstephaner, India Pale Weizen. The whole idea was to create a hefeweizen but hop it to fuckery like an IPA. It was good but I'd take Schneiderweiss Tap 5 Mein Hopfenweiss over it anyday when I want a hoppy wheat beer. Next came Stone Sprocketbier, a black rye kolsch which was certainly interesting with spicy rye and chocolate notes working well together. Andrew then arrived and we got more beers... I went for Dead Pony Club which has long been a favourite and these days I think I'd even prefer drinking it to Punk IPA.

We finished at The Black Heart where we met Jonny from Craft Beer Channel and to be honest, I don't remember what I drank and nor do I care because I was having a great time with good friends.

It was a really nice day out and I do need to get back to London more often.

Nate