Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dram & Brew Tasting Order Announced

It's not too long away before we host our beer and whisky pairing as part of all the excitement that is London Beer City. Together with Greg from Great Dramswe have expertly matched our all time favourite and special Weird Beard beers with some fantastic whiskies for this event!

The 1.5 hour tasting will kick off at Climpson and Sons Cafe, on Friday 14th August after hours at 7pm. All generous serves of beer and whisky will be offered in custom made, branded glassware and a guided tasting will be delivered by Greg of Great Drams and Natasha of Weird Beard. 

The line-up is as follows:

Welcome beer: 

Weird Beard Little Things That Kill (3.9%)
SIBA gold award-winning session I.P.A

Pairing 1: 

Four Roses Single Barrel 100% Proof (50%)
Former World's Best Non-aged Statement Bourbon
Weird Beard Five O'Clock Shadow (7.0%)
All-American I.P.A

Pairing 2: 

Highland Park 2001 Limited Edition (40%)
Travel Exclusive Whisky that should be on everyone's Whisky Bucket List
Weird Beard Fade To Black (7.0%)
Occasional brew, Black I.P.A

Pairing 3: 

Wild Turkey 81 (40.5%)
A versatile Bourbon that matches perfectly with this beer
Weird Beard Sorachi Face Plant (8.1%)
Limited release, Double I.P.A

Pairing 4: 

Ardbeg 10 (46%)
All-time Classic Islay Single Malt
Weird Beard Heaven and Hell (9.2%)
Special brew, Heaven Hill Barrel Aged Double I.P.A

All guests will receive a bottle of Jack Daniel's barrel-aged Sadako to take home with them. We will have more whisky and beer for sale for drinking in as well as beer for take-away afterwards.

More info and to book, visit here.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Dram and Brew - London Beer City Event

For those that know me, if I am not drinking beer, I am partial to a dram of whisky. So it makes perfect sense that one day I decided to treat myself to both, a little while before everyone jumped on the bandwagon of beer and a 'bump' or beer and boiler makers. Together with my fellow colleagues and beer friends, we would often be at a bar with the two drinks sat side by side, well-matched and we wouldn't have it any other way.

What's to love of this combo then? Well, both beer and whisky are made from malt; one brewed and the other distilled. Since they share a common ingredient, they can quite easily share similar flavour profiles attributed by the malt: bread-y, spicy, biscuit-y, roasted, caramel...etc. If you contemplate the other flavours used to describe beers: fruity, phenolic, floral, grassy and so on, you can appreciate similar descriptors can also be applied and are sensor-ally used for mapping the flavour profile of whisky. What all this boils down to is that there is plenty to work with when it comes to pairing the two. Then there is a whole host of history and tradition which beer and whisky share, but most important is the fact that they are both (awesome) social lubricants.

With this being the basis of why I love the two together, I thought for London Beer City to share the enjoyment of beer and whisky with others. Pairing up with Greg from Great Drams who in 2014 paid us here at Weird Beard a wonderful visit, means together we have an exciting, pulling-all-the-stops-out line up for our event. What we have to offer showcases some all-time favourite, some special and some new Weird Beard beers carefully matched with whiskies. We've got a mix of Bourbon and Scotch Malt whiskies for our selection of beers, which range from IPA to stouts to certainly satisfy all palates. Our set of beer and whisk(e)y pairings have been expertly curated and we trust our guided tasting of these two beverages will be a fantastic sensorial experience. After the 1.5 hour tasting, there will be the opportunity to purchase more whisk(e)y or beer for drinking in as well as sales of beer for take-away.


Friday 14th August


After hours at Climpson and Sons Cafe

Price includes welcome beer & set of a whisky-beer pairings 

Limited to 30 spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Brook Green Market and Kitchen - Saturday 18th July

This coming Saturday, we'll be at Brook Green Market from 10am-3pm as part of their Craft Beer Fest, which they're hosting this month and invite you to come along! More details can be found here.

Situated in west London, the market is more than a place selling FARMA certified products. Alongside there interactive demonstrations and produce sales there will be bottles of our beer for you to purchase throughout the day for drinking on site or takeaway. That's not what this market is simply offering this weekend though....Team Weird Beard will be there so you can meet brewer and co-founder Gregg. He will also be giving free tutored tastings of our beers: Mariana Trench and Black Perle, the latter having recently won 2 silver awards at the recent SIBA regional beer competitions. On top of these guided tastings, there will be carefully curated and matched, beer and food pairings offered by the market's streetfood vendors. And if that's not enough, we shall be holding beer talks ad hoc by our Cicerone certified beer server, Natasha, so that you can really get to know a bit more about beer.

We're expecting the market to be a great and innovative way for both the west London food and craft beer scene to come together and you'll surely walk away knowing more about us, beer, our products and our industry.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, 13 July 2015

A reluctant farewell.

This wasn't really the subject I wanted my first blog to be about but after just four short months I will be leaving Weird Beard.

My Dad was diagnosed with cancer last year and after multiple surgeries and treatment it's still on the move. At this point I'm faced with the very difficult but also very simple decision to leave London to be with my family.

Bryan and Gregg have been very supportive, including letting me use the blog to announce this news. My other request was to let you all know about my job here as lead brewer and what's been going on since I arrived.

Starting in the brewhouse we've made adjustments to yeast and fermentation to get the beers tasting cleaner. Upgrade works have taken place on the mash tun and we've installed a new CLT and HLT to help make double brew days run quicker and smoother.

Production has increased as we've found more ways to improve efficiency. Regular QC during the conditioning stage has helped us to get the beer into your hands tasting the best it possibly can.

Packaging was pretty military but we've managed to push it a bit more, we're on the cusp of automation which is very exciting. This has all led to Gregg and Natasha having to sell a lot more beer (although you guys seem to have obliged!)

Work has just been completed on our cold room for packaged beer and the automated labelling machine is running like never before (thanks to some great technical minds in our team).

Natasha is working hard to make sure we appear at as many of the best beer events at home and abroad, she also posts some nice informative stuff on social media to keep you all up to date with the length of Bryan's beard, how many cups of tea I've drank and some behind the scenes brewing shenanigans. Not to mention our more regularly occurring open days, trust me when I say she's definitely made it worth the trip out west to see us!

We've put together a production schedule to make sure we meet the demands of our customers, honing the core range and making sure we don't run out of Sorachi Ace or Citra...

I'm proud of the work we've done over the last couple of months, I'm genuinely working on some of the best beers I've ever brewed at the moment. The next batch of Little Things That Kill is my baby (we offer hop choices around the staff for each batch). I chose Simcoe, Cascade and Willamette. It's in the conditioning room under lock and key as Bryan can't seem to stop drinking it, that's a fair compliment. Our 200th brew is also close to being unleashed, a triple IPA loaded with Sorachi, Summit and Apollo hops!

What I'm trying to get at is there's a really great job just about to open up and I'm urging somebody to take it. The four months I've been here have been a transitional period for Bryan and Gregg as they see their home-brewing days slip further into the distance. The team they've got around them are helping them to cement their place on the map as one of London's most exciting breweries, producing more beer every week it seems.

I had plans for the coming months, most notably moving to force carbonation in keg and introducing wet yeast. We've also talked about doing a Berliner Weisse and Gregg's wild yeast barrels are producing some truly exciting results (watch that space).

If you're an experienced brewer with a lot of ideas and ambition you'll do well to take on this role. I'm sad to leave it but feel lucky to have been a part of it at this most exciting of times.

I'm going to get settled in with the family but I'm sure it won't be long before I'm doing something in beer. Not quite the right time to start a brewery but I do have some interesting ideas forming. If you've got the patience keep up to date with me on Twitter ;) and I'll see some of you over the coming months as I try to keep myself up to date with the beer scene.

I'll sign off by saying a big thank you to Bryan, Gregg and everyone at Weird Beard for supporting me and I'll miss you guys a lot!