For those of you whom are interested in beer styles or want to know about the beers in our range.
So lagers tend to have a bit of bad reputation in certain quarters. There is a tendency to disassociate them from "Real Ales" because they are distinctly different and predominantly associated with the large beer corporations.
What needs to be considered is there popularity. Yes, we can blame the evil empires of the lager magnates for imposing it on the masses - or we can acknowledge that they are popular because historically they were good.
Where "they" are now, is subjective and open to much debate but the "rise of the lager" (cue Stars Wars Imperial March music) is down to years of work developing excellent lagered beers in various parts of Europe.
In the UK Tennants (yes, Tennants) built a bespoke lager a brewery and brought german brewers over to develop their lager - the first in the UK and one that won international fame in 1885.
Why - because like many lagers, it was a quality product made with quality ingredients and taking time to let it develop into the pale crisp loveliness that it was.
This is where i get to my point....
Lagers are generally clean, clear and crisp - the high attenuation means they are often dry and there is little to "no where to hide" from a brewing perspective - if you get something wrong it will show.
There are many types of "lager- beers" i.e. Pislner, Bock, Helles, Kolsch, Dunkel, Schwarzbier and so on - each style has its own heritage, some are malt driven, some are pale, some are bitter etc, but ALL good ones are made properly. Lager as name comes from the term "to store" - lagering beers effectively meant keeping the beer somewhere cool for storage during which the yeast would go to work cleaning up the beer, creating carbon dioxide (the fizz) and removing lots of the esthers and "off flavours" that we love in "Ales"
This could take anything from a month to 6 months - note most modern lagers are made within 3-4 days from start to finish...
Kolsch or Koelsch,( strictly speaking it should have an umlaut too) is a style of lager beer from Cologne/Koln.
We love it as it is pale and brilliant, like a Helles or Pilsner, but unlike these popular styles it has a rounder softer mouth feel, lighter carbonation (smaller bubbles) and is less bitter.
It's made with a top fermenting (ale yeast) then lagered at a cooler temperature for a period of time to allow the beer to clean and carbonate - Kolsch yeast is well known for pushing out sulphur smells during the primary fermentation, something the yeast magically cleans up as it lagers.
What we like about Kolsch as a style is it lends itself to the use of traditional (noble) hops such as Saaz and Hallertau, which we use in our beers, as well as allowing us to use modern hop strains to produce a lager with a punchy hop flavour - but without the bitterness. We are currently holding some of these hoppy lagers back but propose to release them to the public, when they are ready for them !
Blonde beers are lovely. The term Blonde is not one traditionally associated with British beers but it has certainly come to the for over recent years, with the UK producing some fine examples.
The name Blonde comes from the colour, its super pale. The style of Blondes is they are clear, crisp and dry, with a low bitterness unlike IPA's, Pale ales and Bitters (for example). The malt character is somewhat subdued, in part because most BIG malts tend to add colour too. The beer tends to be more carbonated than most pale ales, which lends itself to bottle conditioning.
We make too blondes, both have a simple grain bill of pale malts, a little wheat to aid head retention and teeny bit of vienna malt to give it little biscuity flavour without dominating.
With whippet we stick to traditional hops, ensuring low bitterness and some late addition to give it a little kick of hop flavour.
For our Mosaic Blonde, we use some american hops that give a huge tropical, piney hop kick whislt retaining the elements of the style - its a good choice for people who don't like the bitterness of an IPA but want some punchy flavour
Schwarzbier literally means black beer. it is german in origin, predominantly associated with Saxony & Thuringia, first appearing on record in 1390. Originally it would have been a lagered Alt beer (using top fermenting yeast) but now is predominantly made with lager yeasts.
Its is opaque, black in colour poking a little like a stout. The stout appearance comes from the fact it uses traditional dark malts like stouts and porters (pale beers are relatively modern, being developed during the industrial revolution when clean coke was used in the malting process).
Unlike stouts it only hints at coffee and chocolate flavours, rather than pushing them to the fore, the brewing and lagering process gives them a less prominent role. By its very nature the lagering process means that the yeast also doesn't impart any flavours to the beer - this results in a malt driven dark beer that is easy drinking and whilst reminiscent of stouts/porters - is very firmly in the lager camp.
Its great for those who don't like pale lagers, hoppy beers etc but want something different to a Porter or Stout - especially on a hot day or with a meal.