As reported in last month’s newsletter, Big Bog Brewery in Speke has launched a new beer. Mire is described as a tawny coloured session ale with an ABV of 3.8% and is now available in pubs. Another two new beers are currently being developed. Both are expected to be pale ales, one featuring American hopes and the other to be made using Australian hops. More details to follow.
Following the rebrand and crowdfunding project, Flagship Beer (formerly Ship & Mitre Brewing) are planning a bottle conditioned range. Pub stalwarts, Sublime (3.7% session pale) and Silhouette (4.5% dry Irish stout) will be joined by a new session porter and pale ale.
Having already won the Brewer of the Year at our awards evening earlier this year, Rock the Boat Brewery have won another award. The brewery gained first place in the Labologist’s Society Standard (Individual) label category for the label for their Waterloo Sunset. This award is essentially beer label of the year and was presented to David Barker at a ceremony in Salford in October. The label was designed by Ruari McDowall from Southport, a design former student who was taught by Dave’s wife when she worked at Southport College. The award can be seen behind the bar in the Corner Post, Bridge Road, Waterloo.
The Republic of Liverpool Beer Company, the rebellious offshoot of Stamps brewery, continues to highlight the 'obscene' gap in wealth between London and the South east, and the rest of the country. They are launching two more beers in their range. The first is a new beer named Independence IPA, a 3.7% ABV pale ale. The second is “Full up London Greed” (Stamps Brewery Mail Train, 4.2% ABV, relabelled). The new beers will be launched in the city centre and advertisedon social media. They will also be available at the Christmas Market at the Liver Hotel, Waterloo (2nd Dec )and at a pop-up event at 2 Pilgrim Street, Liverpool (8th- 9th Dec) alongside the football and art related group, FANSCAPES http://www.fanscapes.co.uk
Big Bog Brewery in Speke has re-brewed their Cherry Rye, as a seasonal beer, due to popular demand. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this beer, it is described as ‘ a light coloured ale, brewed with Rye malt for dryness and flavoured subtly with Montmorency cherries’. It should be available in pubs in the next couple of weeks.
Big Bog (Speke) have taken delivery of and installed a new 10bbl fermenter to their existing kit making 3 fermenters in all. They have also ordered an additional 100 stainless steel casks to help them keep up with demand. They have also release a new beer, Stog ( 4.1%) is a milk stout and is available in pubs now.
Neptune (Maghull) have two new beers out now in pubs. Poseidon (4.8%) is an orange pale ale brewed using Cascade & Amarillo hops with added orange peel. Big Sur (4.5%) is a West Coast pale ale. As with all their beers, both these are unfined and follows on after Les's (the brewer) new stout, Undercurrent (4.7%), brewed using Challanger and Tradtion hops with an addition of raisins and a combination of 6 malts.
Joe Murphy, the brewer from The Ship & Mitre (Liverpool) has brewed 4 new specials and they will feature at the Wirral Easter Beer Festival at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight. The names to watch out for are Cuckoo, Mackintosh, Oriel and Futurist.
A slightly stronger version of Quokka has been brewed. ‘Fat Quokka’ was available at the (Little) Grapes in November.
The brewery tweeted towards the end of November that three new cask beers have been produced.
‘Little Albion’, a 3.8% English Pale Ale, is on at the Newington Temple as I type this.
‘Camel IPA’, 4.8%
‘Mork’, a 4.8% Rich Oatmeal Stout.
All three have also been delivered to the Grapes.
There is also a new keg beer, ‘Forget about R.E.D.’ 5.8%, is described as an almost red, red ale. This was being served at The 23 Club, at the Clove Hitch at the end of November.
Andy reports the brewery is hoping to move to larger premises soon.
Ad Hop was a headline brewery at the recent Beer Street event run by the Tap & Bottles in Southport. Andy brewed a wheat beer with Luke from the Tap & Bottles called ‘Once More Wit Feeling’, using cinnamon and green peppercorns. Another beer at the festival included ‘My J17 IPA’ brewed with South African J17 hops that has now been brewed as cask for the first time. Other beers there were ‘Pinor Noir Saison’ that had been aged 18 months, ‘Vic Secret IPA’ and a double cinnamon version of ‘Christmas Came Early’.
Also brewed recently is a new IPA ‘Billy the Kid’, 5.6%, India Stout, 4.0%, plus a hoppy IPA ‘Blue Sky Thinking’, 5.9%.
A house stout for Hard Times & Misery will be available in December. Look out also for ‘Christmas Pudding Stout’.
Rock the Boat
Latest beers are;
'Liverpool IPA', a 4.4% beer pale in colour. Dry hopped in the cask with a four hop mix including Flyer, a bitter UK hop.
'Faith Hope Charity', a 4.0%. deep golden bitter fairly typical of the old North West England style of bitter. A little malt flavour with a bitter edge. It has a mix of five hops including Admiral for bittering plus a good whack of East Kent Goldings late on.
'Dragon's Teeth', a 4.3% chocolate stout with a chocolate edge, using five different malts.
Big Bog Brewery
Further to last month’s report, a decision has been made to make German styled beer ‘Morast’ a regular beer. A third brew has recently been racked. The beer has been available in numerous local pubs, I supped it in the Ale House, Old Swan.
A new seasonable beer ‘Peat Bog Porter’, 4.9%, was brewed at the end of November. This contains some liquorice root cut. ‘Frosty Bog', 4.0%, using Cascade Hops, has also been brewed for the winter season.
A new micro brewery has been set up in Liverpool. Their website shows that Ben and Neil met at a homebrew club and found they also had a common interest in wrestling. Their brews won some awards, so they have decided to produce beer commercially. Currently only bottled beers are being produced. I noticed that they were on sale at Dead Crafty Beer Company on Dale Street.
Republic of Liverpool Beer Company
This brewery has been set up by Tony Rothwell with the beer being brewed at the Stamps Brewery. The first beer, a fruity IPA with a mix of four hops, was named ‘Northern Powerhouse...My Arse’. A second beer is due to be brewed before Christmas.
Terry has tweeted that he has left Liverpool Craft Brewery. We wish him well for the future.
Neptune Brewery has settled into the 6BBL kit now and is brewing to capacity twice a week. The brewery is now packaging Keg conditioned keykegs within the CAMRA remit. Bottled beers were relaunched during October with new labelling to compliment the new pump clips.
Brewer Les brewed a collaboration brew with the Pied Bull in Chester for their beer festival at the end of October.
New cask beers brewed recently have been Fugu (the name of the infamous poisonous fish), a 4.0% Pale Ale brewed with Sorachi Ace hops from Japan and Black Moor, a 4.0% Porter.
Another dark beer due soon.
Some stronger IPA's and some other specials will be brewed for keykegs, but will cask a couple of these as specials for regular customers.
Big Bog Brewery
Big Bog is now registered into the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme. They are also SIBA FSQ (Food Safety and Quality) accredited. Big Bog is pleased to join and support the SIBA Assured Independent British Craft Brewer initiative.
A new beer is Will O the Wisp the second beer named after the ghostly apparitions seen floating over marshes and bogs, the first being Hinkypunk. At 4.7% abv this is a premium golden coloured ale made with Citra, Chinook and Cascade hops in generous proportions. The beer has a distinctive hoppy aroma with good bitterness and loads of foral/citrus character.
Another beer is currently in development, called Morast, the German for Quagmire or Bog. It will be a German style beer using Vienna Malt with German Hallertau Mittelfruh and Hersbruker hops, with an anticipated ABV of 4.3%. Initially it will be brewed EXCLUSIVELY for a festival at the Frank Hornby in Maghull (see diary).
Those who attended our branch Get Together at the Big Bog brewery in October will all wish to thank Paul and Gordon for their generous hospitality.
The latest trial beer from Liverpool Craft is Half Nelson. I enjoyed a pint at the Refinery during September.
Rock the Boat Brewery (Little Crosby) is producing a small number of bottled beers. They are all bottle conditioned (Real Ale in A Bottle) and are held for at least a month in cold storage to condition. They have been selling well, in the Crosby Bottle Beer Shop, College Road, Crosby, and are also available in the Blackburne House Cafe Bistro in Liverpool.
Big Bog Brewery
The branch has been invited to visit their brewery in Speke for our October Get Together on the evening of Wednesday the 19th.
You can read about the brewery on page 7 of latest edition of MerseyAle http://www.liverpoolcamra.org.uk/index.php/merseyale/merseyale-2016/item/723-merseyale-september
Big Bog Brewing Company Ltd, Unit 74,Venture Point West, Evans Road, Speke, L24 9PB http://www.bigbog.co.uk/home.html
Big Bog discovered in Speke!
No...this is not an announcement of an archaeological find in L24 but rather confirmation that our branch has yet another 'new' microbrewery!
Big Bog Brewing Company Limited, to give it its full name, started life in Waunfawr near Caernarfon five years ago and has a well established customer base in pubs all across North Wales. But last year, the company decided that they needed to move to larger premises in order to keep up with demand and to enable it to expand into Merseyside and beyond.
Once they had secured funding to build the new kit and acquire new premises, they moved into a 3,500 sq ft unit in Speke. The unit is large enough for a custom built, UK-made, automated 10bbls plant, 2 fermenters (with space for 6 more) and a large cold store. From the point of order, the components of the plant and automation were manufactured within twenty-six weeks and were assembled then commissioned in only six weeks and the first batch was racked in early April.
Big Bog is made up of brewer, Paul Jefferies and his business partner, Gordon Hurst. Paul has over 30 years experience in the brewing industry and is a qualified Master Brewer of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. At present, Big Bog beers are brewed up to three times a week at night and weekends, as by day Paul still works full time at Hydes Brewery based in Salford, as their Production Director.
Gordon is the Big Bog Sales and Distribution Manager and up until the move to Liverpool he worked for over 20 years in the NHS. He has now left to concentrate full-time on sales matters for Big Bog. Currently Gordon is going around pubs in our branch area drumming up business and has already successfully secured orders.
At present there are six regular beers ranging from the session Bog Standard Bitter (3.6%) through to the award winning premium ale, Quagmire (6.0%). This beer won the silver medal at the CAMRA Champion Beer of North Wales in 2014, followed up by a another silver at the prestigious International Beer Awards last year, not bad for brewery of only four years at the time.
Seasonal beers are also available, with the current one being, Spring Bog (4.0%) a straw-coloured thirst quencher to be followed by an amber coloured beer with light and refreshing citrus hop notes – Balmy Bog (4.0%) in June. All the casks (including 60 pins-36 pints) used are stainless steel as Paul doesn't like plastic!
To celebrate moving to Liverpool, the guys have produced their first 'Welsh' named beer in the form of Blonde Bach ( 'Little Blonde') and is described as 'a pale coloured ale with citrus/grapefruit notes derived from the use of South American Cascade hops' on their website (www.bigbog.co.uk) and is available now. All the pump clips are currently being re-designed to reflect the fact that the beer is now being brewed in Speke and thus giving it a local identity, but regular deliveries will still be made to their Welsh customers.
In time to come, there are plans to install a bar and introduce brewery visits by appointment – so watch this space!
From my point of view, subject to committee approval, I hope to become the Brewery Liaison Officer for Big Bog, which will enable me to keep local branch members informed of the brewery's development.