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Route & Branch: Our journey with Norwegian farmhouse brewing

Route & Branch: Our journey with Norwegian farmhouse brewing

Alberto, our Lead Brewer, once left us for a 6-month sabbatical in Norway. There, brewing among the rugged fjords and endless snowscapes, he heard the story of kveik, a heritage mother yeast, passed from farm to farm in rural Norway, creating the basis for a thriving but not widely recognized style of farmhouse brewing with this extraordinarily active and fruity yeast at its heart. It was recognised in its rural isolation and introduced more widely to a restless and curious beer world, ever thirsty for new flavours and techniques, by Norwegian beer lover Lars Garshol. From there it has taken off, with the different local kveik offers added to yeast banks and coveted by brewers for an incredible ability to ferment quickly and at very high temperatures. When he came back to us, Alberto, a restless and curious brewing mind, was determined that we would test out this yeast and discover its full range of possibilities.
 
We’re starting with a traditional Norwegian farmhouse brew using a blend of two kveik yeasts – Kvoss and Hornindal and flavoured with fresh Irish juniper branches during the mash. We’ve dry-hopped with generous helpings of HBC 472 hop, with its mellowing and warming coconut and vanilla flavours. HBC 472 is the sister of the popular Sabro hop, known for its distinctly pina colada aromas, but this one delivers a softer character.
 
Expect a brew that bursts with rich flavours and fresh aromas of a Norwegian wood – sharp, piney juniper, the tangerine tang of the super fruity kveik itself, layered onto the lightly toasted base of Vienna malts.
 
Route & Branch Juniper Amber with kveik
ABV, IBU: 5.48%, 15
Malts: Vienna, Rye Crystal, Torrified Wheat
Hops: HBC 472, Huell Melon  

Route & Branch Juniper Amber is part of our Ltd Edn range of small batch experimental brews. AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY in 30L Keg.

Pour yourself a pint of ambition!

Pour yourself a pint of ambition!

Brixton Brewery x Big Chill collaboration launches lower ABV ‘9 to 5’ Desk Beer for Big Chill’s redesigned workspace

Lower alcohol beers are having a bit of a moment. Our newest brew, 9 to 5 Desk Beer is a 2.8% ABV pale ale collaboration with Big Chill King’s Cross. Big Chill wanted to celebrate the relaunch of their flexible work/social space with the ultimate beer to take you smoothly from your workday ventures to your evening adventures. The result is a lower ABV beer you can enjoy just as easily during working hours, or from 9pm to 5am if that’s more your thing. It’s the anytime brew that you can really work with.

9 to 5 is a hop forward, lightly hazy pale ale, brewed with Australian hops Galaxy and Vic Secret. It fizzes with bright peach flavour and stone fruit aromas. We’ve packed in all the full free-time flavour of a stronger beer, without the productivity-crushing punch of a higher ABV. 9 to 5 is part of our Ltd Edn range of small-batch, limited edition brews.

Say no to endless cups of the same old coffee and savour the full flavour of a workday beer! Never let making a livin’ be all takin’ and no givin’!

Brixton Brewery x Big Chill 9 to 5 Desk Beer is available at Big Chill Kings Cross and Big Chill Brick Lane from 28 February 2018, and other fine beer suppliers, including online at brixtonbrewery.com and eebria.com, while supplies last.

9 to 5 Desk Beer 2.8% – Pale Ale – apricot, peach and citrus flavours. Light and flavourful.
Brewed with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops.
Available in: 330ml bottles

 

Brixton Fund uses community currency for local good

Brixton Fund uses community currency for local good

Brixton has an extraordinary range of ambitious social organisations trying to make life better in our area. As a community business, we try to support as many of them as we can to give back to the area that inspired and welcomed us, including the ‘hyperlocal’ Brixton Pound/Brixton Fund. 

The Brixton Pound is among the most innovative, visionary and high-profile groups working locally. It’s a currency aimed at keeping money circulating in Brixton, and encouraging a diverse range of businesses and services to stay in the area. The money, with its colourful and distinctive paper notes featuring local heroes like David Bowie and renowned social activist Olive Morris, has been operating since 2009. You can spend your notes, or sign up for the electronic version, at numerous businesses around Brixton, including in our off-sales and Saturday tap room.

Not content with merely inventing a new money, the Brixton Pound organisation went on to launch the Brixton Fund, a local grants scheme that directly funds projects that benefit the area. They also opened the Brixton Pound Café, a ‘pay what you feel’ café on Atlantic Road serving up delicious food, often made from donated surplus produce. Money raised from both the pound and the café go towards the Fund. When the staff of the Ritzy Cinema approached us about collaborating on a new, limited run beer, we all felt strongly that proceeds should also go to the Brixton Fund. The result was Britzy XPA, an extra pale ale brewed with all British ingredients that has raised more than £1000 directly for the Fund.

That means more money to support what Lucy Cava of the Brixton Fund calls ‘hyperlocal’ projects. She says, “What’s really nice about the Fund is that it ties the project to the local area and people can see what they are funding.” Lucy highlights the example of a recent initiative by WeRise, a social business that helps young people build professional networks and get project-based work experience. WeRise successfully secured funding for its PressGang, a week-long project that had 10 young people working with the Brixton Bugle to produce media content for the Brixton Design Trail 2017. It was an exciting opportunity for talented but unconnected young Brixtonites to get a taste of producing high quality multimedia material, guided by a team of professionals, and will likely have a lasting impact on its participants.

Lucy points out that the Brixton Pound organisation provides more than just funding. “Our ambition is to make the Brixton Pound Café into a community hub and platform for local groups. We provide support through the Fund, but there are other things that groups need, including affordable space to carry out their activities. That’s where our café comes in.” On the day we spoke to Lucy the café was a busy with members of Lambeth Better Together, the group formed in the wake of the death of MP Jo Cox, which has received money from the Fund to bring together people on opposite sides of the Brexit divide to encourage greater understanding and exchange of experiences between Remain-voting Lambeth and Boston, a Leave-supporting constituency in Lincolnshire.

In the last round of funding in 2017, the Brixton Fund had more than 40 applications for its grants. Check here for more information about the 2018 funding round, or find out how to support the Fund. Follow @brixtonpound on social media.

The Brixton Pound Café is at 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU. Follow @brixtonpoundcaf on social media.

We’ve got the last keg of Britzy XPA on in our Tap Room so you can get a taste Saturdays from 12 til 6.

Grainspotting: Brixton Brewery x Ritzy Cinema Present A Very British Ale

Grainspotting: Brixton Brewery x Ritzy Cinema Present A Very British Ale

What do you get when you take Brixton’s best-known brewery, its most historic cinema and its most innovative social enterprise scheme? If you add a good dose of all-British ingredients, and a name in no way inspired by A Certain Referendum you may have heard of… you get BRITZY XPA, our new one-off extra pale, extra British ale collaboration with our friends at the Ritzy Cinema, with proceeds going to the Brixton Pound’s community-focused Brixton Fund.

We started with an idea of seeing what we could do with all-British ingredients. The craft beer industry has been pretty heavily dominated by New World hop varietals and flavours, but we have been increasingly impressed by what you can do with what you find closer to home.

We’ve used Epic and Jester from hop merchant Charles Faram. Jester has an intense, punchy aroma of new world proportions, with flavour notes of grapefruit and tropical fruits. We’ve combined them with British ale yeast and our regular Maris Otter (Grand Cru) malt from Warminster Maltings, which has been producing extraordinarily high quality malts using a method virtually unchanged since it first started in 1855. For us, craft brewing is so much about sourcing the best ingredients and using them skilfully to extract the maximum flavour.

The result is a typically British mix of irreverence, dry wit and irony, with undertones of misguided colonial nostalgia. A pint is probably best enjoyed on a disappointingly rainy summer picnic on a windy beach, during the blitz while you and your friends sit around Not Grumbling. But a sunny day on the Ritzy terrace, overlooking the action in Windrush Square would be a close second.

We’re so pleased with this exceptionally flavoursome, very pale and slightly hazy brew, that we can’t resist a little New World-style shouting about it. We took our time perfecting the recipe, and nearly as long cracking each other up with terrible film-inspired punning name possibilities – a pint of With Ale and I or Yeast is Yeast anyone? – before sticking with the straightforward combination of Brixton and Ritzy, with the pleasing symmetry of Br-for-British also sneaking in there.

You can get Britzy while it’s cold and available, on tap exclusively for a limited time at the Ritzy Brixton from 8 July. All proceeds from our side, plus an optional point-of-sale donation from tap sales at the Ritzy will go directly to the tireless community work of the Brixton Pound’s Brixton Fund.

Brixton Brewery Tap Room is open Fridays from 6 til 10 & Saturdays from 12 til 6.

 Brixton Brewery is proud to be an accredited London Living Wage employer.