Our brewery is not new – well, at least some of the equipment isn’t! The core equipment of our mash tun, hot liquor tank, copper and fermenting vessels already have a great history of producing fantastic beers. The equipment started out at Bath Ales, and when they enlarged the equipment was acquired by the lovely people at the Bristol Beer Factory. It has served these past owners well, producing award winning beers including National Champions.
In 2013, driven by this success, the Bristol Beer Factory installed new equipment with more than three times the capacity. This gave us the opportunity to start our journey into brewing, using equipment that is well proven and allows us to produce a wide range of styles. Hopefully the equipment will allow us some similar success as it has its previous owners!
how we brew
Brewing beer is a bit like baking a cake. The equipment used is quite simple in concept, but the ingredients you choose and the precise steps taken for each recipe can create all manner of different flavours and finishes. However, put simply the process is as follows:
- Heat some water (or “liquor” as brewers like to call it) to an appropriate temperature
- Mix the hot water with crushed malted barley in a vat called a “mash tun” and allow it to soak together (or “mash”) for a while. This creates a delicious syrupy fluid called “wort”.
- Heat the wort in another vat, called a “copper” (which is basically a big kettle – ours holds enough volume for about 10,000 cups of tea though!). Add hops to the wort whilst it boils, to give the required bitterness, hop flavours and aromas.
- Cool the mix back down, filter out the hops and transfer to a fermenting vessel, where yeast is carefully added. Then sit back and relax (we wish!!) for a few days whilst the beer ferments.
- Transfer the beer to casks, bottles, or polypins (bag-in-a-box)
- Drink! (Remembering to enjoy your ale responsibly.)
Altogether pretty straightforward. The more complex (and for brewers, exciting) part is getting the right balance of ingredients. Our blend of malts, hops, yeast and water all influence the taste, colour, aroma and alcohol content of each beer. We hope you’ll agree that our beers deliver that balance, with enticing aromas and refreshing flavours.
- Our beers are based on a blend of malts what we source from local maltsters Warminster Maltings. The blend of malts gives each beer its distinctive colour and body, as well as the sugars which are converted to alcohol in the brewing process....
- Each of our beers has a unique and secret blend of hops that provide the complex flavours within each ale. A careful balance of hops for bitterness, flavour and aroma is added to each beer during the boil, and results in beers with distinctive characters....
- Our friendly micro-organisms, yeast is of course what converts the sugars from the malt into alcohol. However the use of yeast is carefully managed – without careful control our yeast could be damaged, resulting in spoilt beer. As a result of this careful management of our fermenting cultures, we can be sure of producing consistently delicious beer time after time....
- Ask a brewer what water is used for in a brewery and the answer might surprise you. “Water” is used for cleaning, whereas “liquor” is used for beer. The difference? Well, none really – they both come from the tap! So, water or liquor, it’s the stuff that is the thirst quenching ingredient of our ales....
We’re in start-up mode at present, so we’re still working through the best way to lay out and organise things in the brewery. As a result it can get pretty heated in there – both for the temperature and emotions! However once we have things bedded in, we will be offering some brewery tours on a limited basis. We’ll publish details when this is closer to happening.