Meeting point – 11.30am, Gorilla Coffee Cafe, Kings Heath with a wonderful 25% off breakfast/brunch to line your stomach. They are also well stocked with some cracking beers if you wanted to start with a cheeky one!
Fownes scooped up two awards at the SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Awards in Nottingham on the 29th June. So it was perfect timing, just days before our next review on three more of their EPIC dwarven brews and even more fitting that one of these brews was ‘Hand of Doom’ 8.2% DIPA that picked up bronze in the Cask Strong Beers (6.5% and Over) category.
Hand of Doom (DIPA, 8.2%)
“Be led away to a world of bitterness & citrus ruination.”
Appearance: Golden straw in colour with a moderate head that reduces.
Aroma: A breeze of floral citrusy notes, followed by a slight biscuity underlay.
Flavour: A blast of sweet citrus, mellowed down by a slightly earthy, bitter hoppy finish.
Nice and light, perfect for this fantastic weather!
Wrath of the Alderqueen (Pale Ale, 4.4%)
“Intense sessional subtle spice pale.”
Appearance: Pale golden, with a small white head that reduces slowly, leaving a slight bit of lacing on the surface.
Aroma: Sweet and very floral, with a touch of sweet elderflower.
Flavour: This is followed though into the flavour and counterbalanced by a touch of spice!
So guys, when it comes to the weather, so far so good! Of course there’s been a little bit of rain along the way but it wouldn’t be Britain without it! We have another decent bit of sunshine on the way, which means that it’s time for the BeerYeti Top Summer Brews! So strap yourself in, pukka up and check out the EPIC brews we have for you to smack your lips around
SweetWater Brewing Company – TripleTail (IPA, 5.5%)
From the brewery that formed in Atlanta Georgia back in 1997 by Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerny, this brew has just launched in the UK! Brewed with Bravo, Mosaic, Denali, Citra and Waimea, this lush hop-forward IPA won the bronze medal at the GABF in the category IPA.
Appearance: Light golden, with a moderate head that reduces, leaving a slightly hazy brew with plenty of bubbles.
Aroma: Sweet honey, with a hint of sweet passionfruit and pineapple, balanced out by a touch of bitter tangerine, finished off by a slight pine underlay.
Flavour: Slightly herbal, with a blast of tropical fruit, finished off by a dash of orange peel.
Very fruity, perfect for sipping on a tropical island!
“Inspired by the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, where Hop Stuff was born. This is the historic site where ammunition and artillery were made for WWI and II. It was a bleak time, so workers were permitted ‘four hour sessions’ of beer to boost morale – without getting steamed.”
Appearance: Amber with a slight haze, fair few bubble and a moderate frothy head that reduces quickly, leaving a nice layer of lacing on the surface.
Aroma: A blast of fresh hoppiness, met by a touch of maltiness, citrus and tangerine. Also some delicate fruity-floral notes, including sweet, sugary poached pears.
Flavour: Sweet golden syrup that is counterbalanced by a dash of bitter orange peel and dry hops, not too overpowering and lingering very nicely after each sip after each sip.
Very easy and exceptionally session-able, you can have plenty and not hit the deck with this one!
The Five Points spent 9 months working on and developing a recipe and brew they were happy with. The result: a modern version on this classic lager style, brewed and dry-hopped with traditional Noble hops!
Appearance: Golden straw and bubbling away, with a moderate head that reduces.
Aroma: Very fresh, with a touch of pine, and a sweet, light fruitiness.
Flavour: Slightly herbal, with a touch of sweet digestive biscuit and a dry bitter finish.
Almost one month ago, Matthew Pugh opened Hop Lord’s, Worcester’s 1st dedicated craft beer bottle shop and taproom. The place offers a fine range of craft beers and ales, from funky DIPA’s that are becoming crazier and more popular by the minute, to a whole fridge dedicated to traditional Belgian beer. With 250+ cans/ bottles and six taps that are constantly rotating, there’s plenty for everyone.
Matthew has been a publican for almost 14 years;
“I started the Firefly in Worcester 14 years ago, after having it up and running for a couple of years I then opened the Hand in Glove. I then really started getting into beer, especially Belgian beer and started putting them on tap at the Hand in Glove but no one ever really batted an eyelid, so I decided to concentrate my efforts into cask and getting the Firefly into the Good Beer Guide. I then opened the Firefly in Hereford, which is also a great pub!”
Mat’s had the idea of Hop Lord’s in the back of his mind for years…
“The idea came about five years ago, we just never got round to it. Then another bottle shop called Saucy Pears opened and we felt that it would be too overcrowded, but when Saucy Pears closed, I thought why not. The other pubs were being taken care of by management, so I decided in January to start looking for a new place. I came across somewhere in Worcester but luckily I pulled out last minute due to certain ties. I’d already done the groundwork with the shop fitters on stand by so all that I needed was new premises. Then in March I noticed there was a shop right in the middle of town and the tenant above drank in the Fireflies, so I contacted the landlord through him and the landlord virtually gave me the keys straight away.”
Mat says that it has been really busy and the feedback has been tremendous.
“Things are going well but we always knew that it was going to go well with a gap in Worcester’s beer scene for a place like this. We also opened just in time for Worcester Food Festival, which was great but we have plenty more exciting things on the go.”
Hop Lord’s has been received with open arms by the people of Worcester, one customer said that it is “Just what Worcester needs! Superb range of beers, chilled atmosphere!” Another said “Love this place! Unbelievable selection of beers and the guys that run it really know their stuff..”
But the thing that has really caught most people’s attention is their EPIC 500ml “Crowler” system where you can get any of the brews on tap canned before you very eyes… oozing with freshness to wack in your own fridge at home for later!
“People are loving it, most people get one just to see how the machine works!”
Mat has big plans for Hop Lord’s and with taste and quality becoming a big thing, wants to focus on bringing the freshest beer to the people of Worcester…
“I want us to be 100% refrigerated, as it stands we are about 90% of the way there but a big challenge is sorting out the shop’s old cellar to accommodate a cool room, which is a tough gig. At the end of the day, if everything’s been cool stored since leaving the brewery to when it reaches the lips of the customer, then that extra flavour and taste will be preserved. I think this is where the beer world is going and what the beer drinkers of today will really be looking out for in the next 5 years.”
Mat also reckons that the taste of beer drinkers may significantly change too..
“The industry is moving so quickly, sometimes it’s hard to keep up at the moment, but I’m loving everything that DEYA, Cloudwater and Verdant are bringing out. There’s some really mad flavours out there, like hamburgers, chips, milkshake and don’t get me wrong I love the hype stuff but I do really think that people will start going back to basics with no gimmicks, just good solid beer. Sometimes I think where is the traditional German lager or Belgian Dubbel nowadays? This is why I have one fridge solely dedicated to Belgian beer and to be fair this is where my heart really lies. I get customers coming in who really appreciate having a nice traditional brew! This is why I will not only be striving for the variety of cutting edge beers but solid and traditional at the same time.”
Hop Lord’s have just run a Cloudwater tap takeover and they are also planning a tasting evening with local legend and Beer Sommelier Roberto Ross. So now is the time to come down, check it out and see what the hype is all about!
Summer is SERIOUSLY heating up and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than with a great brew in your hand! This is why we’ve picked three crackers from ASDA for you to enjoy over the sunny period. So whether you are having a BBQ with friends, basking on the golden sands of a lavish beach or simply chilling and watching the sunset, WE HAVE GOT A BREW FOR YOU!..
Camden Town Brewery – Pale Ale 4.0% abv
Whether it’s chucking it down or a blistering heatwave, you NEED what we like to call “old faithful” in your fridge!
Appearance: Golden amber with a thick, dense white head that retains.
Aroma: A fantastic mix of sweet malty aromas accompanied by stone fruit and a slightly bitter hoppy/ pine underlay.
Flavour: A touch of sweet citrus followed by bitter grapefruit and a slightly dry hoppy finish.
An epic bitter-sweet mix, very crisp, refreshing and cutting-edge.
Abbfest is a charity beer, food and music festival held at Fermoy’s Garden Centre, Newton Abbot, Devon, which has raised over £220,000 for local charities, community groups and good causes since it started in 2004. Organised by a group of dedicated volunteers, the festival returns over the 21st to 23rd of September 2018. Featuring over 200 local ales from breweries only in Devon, as well as a choice of 30 ciders, over 50 food, drink and craft stalls and entertainment from Riviera Dogs, Go Tell Alice, Take a Chance on Us Abba Tribute and Long for the Coast plus many more bands! A variety of award-winning street food is also available to wash down the ales and ciders.
Saturday 22nd September also sees the return of Abbfest’s well-loved cookery demonstrations from four top Devon Chefs, including Darrin Hosgrove from Ashburton Cookery School, South West Home Cook of the Year Sue Stoneman and Dez Turland from Brend Hotels Collection. Stuart Crook will be performing an improvised and unpredictable Ready Steady Cook demo as he darts around the food tent grabbing ingredients from our various stall holders, tasked with creating a tasty meal with what he’s given!
AbbFest 2011 - YouTube
A true family day out, children will have the chance to take part in archery, have a go on a climbing wall with the Army Cadets and get their faces painted! Children’s workshops from Nature Make, Whatever the Weather Pottery, FizzPop Science and Two Tarts Cookery School are also available to keep every member of the family busy.
If this wasn’t enough, there will be food, craft and drink stalls to browse selling cheese, honey, fudge, chocolate, pies, chutneys, and jams; as well as a large array of craft stalls offering jewellery, pottery, hand-crafted wooden products, bags, skincare and much more!
Free shuttle buses from Newton Abbot will be running courtesy of Grey Cars, please check the website for more details, nearer the festival.
I went up to visit the guys at Fownes Brewing Company, based in the Black Country, West Midlands. The boys have definitely been busy, brewing up a storm with their beers earning copious amount of awards and loyal fans along the way!
The brewery was conceived by brothers James and Tom Fownes back in late 2010…
James: “It all started, like the best things do, down the pub. After a number of pints the conversation moved to how thin and uninspiring the real ales were. What we should do, was open a Dwarfen brewery! The next morning it still seemed like a good idea despite never having brewed. But, being men of science, we started learning the craft in my kitchen using 30 litre buckets. Then moved onto 100 litre stock pots. Soon we realised, with the help of Mrs Fownes who was on maternity leave and wanting her house back, that we were gonna need somewhere bigger to brew!”
Then in early 2012, the lads then came across an opportunity at the Jolly Crispin Pub, just around the corner from James’ house.
James: “The landlord offered us his garage. We had a look at what we thought was the building, brick walls, pitched roof, roller shutter door; it was ideal! Then the landlord said ‘no, not that one’ and pointed to the ship lap fronted pre-fab structure next to the smoking shelter that needed a lot of tlc .”
But James and Tom took him up on his offer and got to work, making it weather tight and brewing worthy within 10 months. Over the next 18 months they also added a temperature controlled shipping container at the end of the car park to store their grain and finished beers and increased their capacity from 320 litres a week to 800 litres. The brewery also boasts an inspiring view over the industrial sprawl of the Black Country especially at sunrise! Fownes now are brewing as much as they can in this space with four fermentors and are brewing 2.5 barrels/ 10 firkins twice a week.
With the brewery up and running, the guys had to start naming their brews. They started being a bit more creative, pairing their beers with fictional Dwarfen tales created by Tom and James providing the artwork. John Edgar, Wolverhampton’s greatest professional wordsmith and orator, was the final component to bring the stories to life. Fownes now run special events with John’s live performances breathing life into their Dwarfen ales and tales!
Fownes now have ten awards (and counting) to their name including King Korvak”s Sagapicking up Gold CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain, for the porter category at the Midlands region and Visions of Heresy winning silver in the Mid to Dark Speciality Small Pack and Cask categories, Midlands region, SIBA Independent Beer Awards.
Fownes are now looking to expand and grow with six years of solid brewing under their belt.
James: “There weren’t too many challenges back in 2012, but now with the market being so overcrowded we need to less Dwarfen in size in order to survive and keep on creating the beer that drinkers love!”
Check out what the guys have been brewing up here!
So the weather has picked up… and crashed slightly but despite this, we know that there is more sunshine on the way. So what better way to enjoy the sun by hitting the beach and bringing along our top brews from the sea!..
Shape Shifter IPA – Fourpure Brewing Co. 5.9% abv
This epic, hop driven brew is inspired by Fourpure’s love for hops and has just launched in Waitrose!
Appearance: Deep amber with a moderate white head that is very dense and retains.
Aroma: Rich tangerine, followed by a touch of citrus and other tropical fruit, polished off by a slight bitter-pine underlay.
Flavour: Bitter orange peel, met by a slighty sweet maltiness and a very tropical splash of mango, grapefruit and pineapple.
Awesome, really refreshing and VERY easy to drink!
You’re invited to join us at The Rescue Rooms Beer Festival on Sunday 26th August 2018 (Bank Holiday Weekend)! There will be food stalls, plenty of beers from local and international breweries as well as live music throughout the day over multiple stages.
LIMITED RELEASE OF £5 TICKETS –
Your ticket includes;
– an ABK Stein
– 2x beer tokens
– and a £1 donation to a local charity.
For more info and beer line-up updates, check out the Facebook events page here!
For tickets click here!