on beer can be summed up in one word; hops! We are both huge fans of the sticky green bracts and, in our opinion, there simply aren't enough brewers in the UK making beer with enough - or the right types - of hops in them!
We intend to brew - with the help of Richard, Gee and Gary in the "Brick Shed" and Pete at the Brew Company - some beers that will appeal to those beer lovers who want beer with flavour, those who love hops as much as we do, and those who simply want to be challenged and not drink "lowest common denominator" beer. Our beer won't be for those without a sense of adventure or who consume bland crap from multinationals, it will be flavoursome, hoppy beer for those with inquiring tastebuds who want to discover new taste sensations and to find out, as our strapline goes, "What hops are for".
All our "mainstream" beers - yet nothing we do will be mainstream in a commercial way - will be brewed from all-natural ingredients, although we don't subscribe to the über-restrictive Rheinheitsgebot so may use more unusual things to add extra flavour or interest to our brews and you can be sure that whatever we brew will be made with care and with natural ingredients. We will, by deliberate policy, be dry-hopping all our beers so most specials we do will be in reverse to most brewers in that they won't be dry-hopped! There will probably be one of these from each brew albeit in limited quantities and these will all be called "Bez Suchého Chmele" (Czech for "Without dry hops") and suffixed with a number... in Czech; you'll have to be on your toes! We may occasionally do another special from a batch but we don't intend to produce dozens of beers from the same gyle and all variants will be listed on the Our beers page so you can see what we're up to and keep an eye on us!
One thing we won't be adding to our pale brews, however, is Crystal malt which we think is the ruin of many a good beer both here and in the States; there's no place for it in our beers nor, we believe, in the general scheme of things! Crystal malt belongs in old-fashioned British "brown bitters" and not in pale ales; we want you to be able to taste the hops not sticky toffee; see here for our opinion on a new beer style the UK has developed and why we're big fans of it!
We are primarily interested in brewing pale hoppy beers in the "Mid-Atlantic" style - simply because it's the style of beer we enjoy drinking the most - but will, on occasion, produce something a little different yet still made with the intention of packing in as much flavour as possible. We currently have a whole stack of interesting recipes to go on including old-fashioned stouts, porters from the last century, Government rationing ales and suchlike; most won't make it into the mashtun but those that do may surprise you...
Both of us have been thinking about doing something like this for a number of years as a way of proving that making interesting beer can be done here in the UK, but it was Dave who finally got his act together and sorted this opportunity out so you've him to blame! Another factor in our decision to start brewing is the increasing availability of Brewdog beer and the growing acceptance that this is some of the most interesting currently being made in the country; we feel inspired by Brewdog's attitude and, if they can make such a good go of hoppy beer, then surely we can sell 5BBL around the North once a month?
Drinking cask ale has, for far too long, been a commodity-led exercise of drinking many pints of the same bland, brown hop-less fluid and never varying the what/where/when/why. We think that cask ale, to survive, has to change and here's where we differ from common industry practice of "pile it high, sell it cheap"; we aim to sell our beer to discerning drinkers who don't mind paying a bit more for a craft-brewed beer which they appreciate has cost maybe double in ingredients what the brown swill on the next pump cost to manufacture: hops are expensive, you know! "Drink less, drink better" is a slogan which has been banded about increasingly and, we think, it's one we can put our name to.
Being beer scoopers ourselves we want to be as straight with our drinkers as possible and so we will tell you, via the "our beers" page, any information about the beers including any one-off variations we do and what the difference from the "mother" beer is. We also guarantee never to rebadge or otherwise pass off the same beer as something else, although we can't be held responsible for the actions of landlords; if you see one of our beers in a pub which isn't listed on here, just email us with the name, strength and where you drank it and we promise to get back to you with an answer as soon as we can. We aim to deal with reputable pubs and wholesalers so, hopefully, this will never occur!
So, here's to Sean Franklin, Brendan Dobbin, Sutty Sutton, the Brewdog lads and everyone else who has inspired us to give this idea a go; let's hope we can live up to their high standards, and let's hope people want to pay for our beer!