I should have seen it coming when they started to dry hop the water in the water coolers. Brettanomyces-flavoured PG Tips in the canteen was also an indication that change was afoot. But it was when my brewing team were issued with baseball caps and GreenDay CDs that it all fell into place. I am a now brewing craft beer!
Photo credit Charles Best 2012 we will be placing an order!
Sharp’s have been incorporated into Molson Coors’ triangle of craft with the newly ‘Cossi’ficated William Worthington and Franciscan Well breweries completing the trinity. We are very much the big brother in triangle at 25 times the size of Worthington’s and 150 times the size of Franciscan Well.
I suppose now I am a craft brewer I should start doing things like using whole hops, dry hopping beer in FV and CT, using spontaneous fermentation, novel yeast strains, collaboration brewing and making keg. Oh wait, I’ve been doing that for 10 years. That’s a relief!
Dry hopping and spontaneous fermentation brings me on to my latest WIGIG Panzerfaust, the world’s first, strongest and most environmentally-sound Gose. Panzerfaust is a collaboration brew with Adrian Tierney Jones, a man who once interviewed Morrissey for NME but is equally at home brawling on the pavement in Southwark in the early hours of the morning. The challenge was originally for me to brew a Gose true to the Leipzig tradition. I saw this as too easy and not craft enough so Black Gose was born.
Gose is a refreshing, sour beer with a high salt concentration so our black gose has a generous concentration of chloride, potassium and a good amount of sodium (too much makes the beer undrinkable). The sourness in the cask version comes from lactic acid derived from lactic acid bacteria which has been purified to remove the bugs. In the aged bottled version this will come from the spontaneous fermentation expected to happen at any time in the IBC in the yard of the brewery (or when it warms up maybe).
Sour, salty black beer does not sound appealing but a balance provided by non-fermentable sugars and dextrins from judiciously large amounts of special malts makes what is currently macerating in Simcoe in CT 16 multifariously enjoyable. So much so that the 9 pint sample keg I sent to Mr Tierney Jones’ Dartmoor estate disappeared overnight. So far it is a riddle of a beer, complex and refreshing and doesn’t drink like a black beer at all.
Once simcoeified and lacticated, Panzerfaust will be unleashed on drinkers across the UK and Ireland in February.