Friday, 27 January 2012

A new beer - The Bitter Californian

We are brewing a new beer today called The Bitter Californian, a hybrid between a traditional English Best Bitter and the wonderfully aromatic Californian Pale Ales. Our brewers, Chris (the bitter one?) and Brett (the Californian one) have combined their love of English malts and American hops to create a delicious new beer.Chris has devised the malt recipe from some of the finest English malts that have provided the base to the classic best bitter for years. Brett has used his love for new and interesting hop varieties to pick 3 hops that will give delicious flavours and aromas.

The hops are Newport (Kaffir lime leaves & citrus rind aromas), Chinnook (lime zest and lemon balm) and Nugget (sherbet lemons), these will both bitter the beer and provide flavour and aroma. We will also be dry-hopping this beer to give extra hop character.

Brett says "It will definitely taste better than the Lemsip I've been drinking."
Simon claims "it's our first Collaboration of the year." I'm not sure it counts when its between our brewers!
Chris says "Ow" because his backs hurting.

The Bitter Californian will be a limited one-off release (unless its amazing, and you all demand more, then it will be added to the ever-growing list of beers...) so get it when you can!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Today in the Brewery

Today in the brewery...

We have been brewing Southville Hop,
Racking Independence,
Labelling Exhibition,
Planning the 12 Stouts for next Christmas,
Thinking about this years Bristol Craft Brewer's Collaboration,
& seeing if the new batch of Ultimate Stout is ready...

12 more Stouts

We have decided that the 12 Stouts project was so much fun that we would like to do it again next year...

The shortlist of recipes looks a bit like a long list so we will have to start some trials right away to narrow it down. There are some exciting concepts and flavours we're going to experiment with, and its really got the tastebuds going in the office this morning.

There are 4 staying on the list and 8 new ones. With inspiration taken from all over the world, from history and the present day, from confection to curry, there promises to be a stout for everyone...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Beer & Food Matching at Montpelier Basement

I am heading to the brilliant Montpelier Basement for Dan & Elly's supper club on Saturday and have been thinking about some beer matches for the menu. Follow @MontpelierBsmt

It's a tricky menu for beer matches, but let me know what you think of my pairings and any other ideas for beers.

With the honey & mustard popcorn I am going with Bristol Hefe, the light, spritzy beer is a good start to a meal and will be refreshing against the popcorn.

I think Exhibition will pair well with the soup, the dark, rich beer will come through against the sweet onions and the dark fruit flavours will hopefully compliment the red wine flavours.

We made a beer with Windmill Hill City Farm, where we aged some beer in a red wine cask with Redcurrants and Worcester berries, I think the fruity, tart aspect to the beer will work well with the pork dish, cutting through the rich meat.

I think the dessert really needs a sweet Vintage Ale, such as Fullers with its marmalade flavours or a Barley Wine. I will have to raid my beer cupboard at home for a suitable Barley Wine I think.

A Glenlivet Cask Aged Stout will finish the dinner for me and wash down the rarebit.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Online Sales

After struggling a little with our online sales over Christmas we are reviewing how we do things in the future as the volumes overwhelmed us a bit and the couriers broke everything.

We have taken the shop down whilst we sort out the best way to make beers available online but that is both profitable (broken cases aren't profitable), we can offer the kind of service levels we want to and doesn't drive two people to breakdowns. We are working through various options of third parties, different packaging and new couriers etc, and will endeavour to get the shop going again asap.

Meanwhile we are still selling beer direct from the brewery and they are online at Beers of Europe and Best of British Beer.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Bristol Independents

The Bristol Independents website has been set up to highlight great Independent businesses in the city.

We have been nominated as one of Bristol's favourite food businesses, if you would like to vote for us, you can vote here

Monday, 9 January 2012

This week at the BBF

Brewing a bunch of hop forward beers - Southville Hop, Acer and Independence along with the less hop driven Seven.

Southville hop – Showcases the danker side of hops.
Acer – Lets you know of the complexity of hops.
Independence – Is always letting the citrus bang hit you
across the face.

Bottling - Ultimate Stout which is forecasted to be ready
early Feb. BBF Fact: Because the Ultimate Stout is such a strong all malt beer
we have to use twice as much malt.

Smelling and tasting some new hops to the BBF.
Hop varieties - Nugget, Apollo, Newport and Chinook

The brewers are now challenging each other to see who can
clean out and reassemble our mash tun the fastest. Currently head brewer Chris
Kay has set the time to beat at 29 min 11 sec for an Acer mash.

There is a lot of talk about doing another Bristol Brewers
Collaboration. Last year we brewed a Belgian inspired IPA at 6.8%. The grist
had pale crystal malts loads of low colour Maris Otter and hand toasted malted
oats. The hop bill was everything from Amarillo to Northern Brewer to Motueka…What
are we going to do this year?