We’ve never done this before, we might not again, but it seemed like good idea to do it this time. We’re going to fill all 12 of our draught lines with beer from one brewery, for a whole week. Starting July 10th.
Redchurch should be familiar with most beer folks in Scotland. After all, Scotland was the first place to be able to offer Redchurch outside of London back in 2012. Recently the brewery has managed two successful crowdfunding rounds in order to aid considerable growth. Their new brewery at Harlow is home to their ‘clean’ beers, the core range, the beers the brewery was built on. Beers like Bethnal Pale, Old Ford Stout, and the nowhere near talked about enough, Great Eastern IPA. That brewery building is also about to become home to five large tanks, for brewingBeavertown’s Neck Oil, that the brewery in Tottenham have simply run out of capacity for (it makes sense, it’s about 15 minutes down the road, it’s on exactly the same kit and even if the Beavers run out of brewers one day to go and brew it, Redchurch’s head brewer is an ex Beaver).
The ‘wonky’ beers as head brewer of Urban Farmhouse, James Rylance, rather adorably calls them are the other arm of Redchurch and they’re brewed in the original brewery at Poyser Street.
Barrel ageing and sour beers are pretty commonplace now. Wild Beer Co have 400 barrels or so, Hammy’s grotto at Beavertown has something like 270 and counting, Kernel have a large number of barrels (most of which they don’t tell anyone about), and Six Degrees North have well over 100 hidden away from the brewery, too. Also Thornbridge, Cloudwater, Magic Rock. The list isn’t endless, but it’s much longer than that one.
What James is doing, well that’s just completely different. That sentence isn’t for the sake of hyperbole either, it really is. The closest I can compare in terms of philosophy is Tom at Little Earth, and even he’s not using the myriad of ingredients James is (although Wild Beer Co might well be). To give you an idea in less than a year James has made; a cold brew coffee sour, more than one raw (unboiled) sour unhopped nordic inspired beer. A sour beer with straw, cleavers, nettles, field balm and bay. A hop free farmhouse pale made with an ancient Norweigan yeast. Another sour with nettles and hogweed and a saison with lemon thyme and cider lees.
You’d think you’d be right to be sceptical, I mean, what the hell is field balm and why is it in my beer? If you’re in to sour beers, you’ll likely be thrilled. All of what we tried was great, most of them were exceptional.
Chuck in a Bethnal Pale Ale which is singing in a way few UK pales do, the heroic Great Eastern IPA and new brewery flagship beer, Brick Lane Lager, and we have a week of winners.
Full list looks a lot like this (identical, actually)
Bethnal Pale Ale - 5.5%
Brick Lane Lager - 4.7%
Great Eastern IPA - 7.4%
Brett pale - 5.7% - brewed with Eureka and Madarina Bavaria hops
On Skins: Blueberry - 6% - sour beer with wild yeast from the blueberry skins, macerated using James’ feet.
In Barrels: Plums - Originally ‘On Skins: Plums’ now aged in Pinot Noir barrels for 6mths.
Four Fields - Complex sour brewed with four different grains with added yarrow for bitterness
Rye Hop Sour - Sour brewed with crystal rye for a little sweetness, then dry hopped with Motueka
Tartelette: Blossom - 4.5% - Berlinerweisse with added hawthorn blossom
UFIPA - Urban Farmhouse IPA made with Cascade and centennial, with the house brett yeast for funk
Dry Hopped Sour: Simcoe & Citra - 5.4% - does what it says on the tin
Pasture - 4.7% - Sour with foraged herbs & straw
Resins - 6% - a dry hopped herb sour
Little One - 3.8% - Grisette w/ lemon thyme and cammomile