Beer Moment of the Year: Daniel Neilson

Beer Moment of the Year: Daniel Neilson

The pub. The wonderful, cosy, convivial pub made the beer moment of the year for Original Gravity’s publisher Daniel Neilson

 

Life is too short to be indulgent when it comes to writing about beer, but as the year seems certain to immolate itself once more, Original Gravity has decided that its self-imposed rule about indulgence can be broken for once — here, then, is the team’s beer moment (s) of the year. We’ll see you in 2018, we’ve got a few things we going to do that we think we will like (you might as well, but we certainly will).

For our next moment, it’s the founder Daniel Neilson

Daniel Neilson, Original Gravity’s Founder

I’ve been very lucky this year to meet a great many people in the beer industry who I deeply admire. Meeting Jamie in the lovely Highland setting of his brewery Fyne Ales was a highlight. Other visits, including Siren, Burning Sky, Wiper and True, Lost & Grounded, Thornbridge and many more, were all united by one thing: the unerring, relentless passion of beer. 

My beer moment of the year, however, was a little closer to home. 

They call it the Cathedral, Harvey’s Brewery in Lewes. I was there on an ‘away day’ with Pete Brown, Adrian Tierney-Jones and the designer Adam McNaught-Davis. After a  planning session and a tour of the ‘Cathedral’ we all retired to the John Harvey Tavern for lunch. And it was there, as I took a long draught on Harvey’s Sussex Best Bitter and looked around the table, that I marvelled the power of a humble drink in a humble pub. Beer had brought together great brewers, great beer writers and great friends. I sat down again and the banter continued.  


Beer Moment of the Year: Pete Brown

Beer Moment of the Year: Pete Brown

That was the year that was. And for Original Gravity’s Editor at Large Pete Brown, the great beer moments of the year happened on a trip to America

 

Life is too short to be indulgent when it comes to writing about beer, but as the year seems certain to immolate itself once more, Original Gravity has decided that its self-imposed rule about indulgence can be broken for once — here, then, is the team’s beer moment (s) of the year. We’ll see you in 2018, we’ve got a few things we going to do that we think we will like (you might as well, but we certainly will).

For our second moment, it’s our Editor-at-Large Pete Brown

Pete Brown, Original Gravity Editor-at-large

My beer moment of the year has to be the mini-book tour of North America I undertook to promote my new book, Miracle Brew. Most of my events took place in breweries, and my publisher is in Vermont, so, apart from flogging a few books, I got to visit some of the most exciting breweries around right now.

I kicked off with a talk at the Brooklyn Brewery, after which Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver dragged out some of his ‘ghost bottles’ for us to taste — strong, experimental beers aged in wood with a variety of different yeast and microorganisms that start to blur the boundary between beer and wine.

A few days later I was at Hill Farmstead in Vermont, watching the queue for growler fills of their New England IPAs and Belgian style beers grow outside an hour before the taproom doors opened. And then up to Toronto, a city I’ve loved for a long time, that’s now starting to transcend its beery influences and excel in styles that are different from what you might find in bars elsewhere. In 2018, keep an eye out for the Canadians.

—–

Tomorrow evening Original Gravity’s Publisher Daniel Neilson picks his moment of the year.


Beer Moment of the Year: Adrian Tierney-Jones

Beer Moment of the Year: Adrian Tierney-Jones

What was that? Oh, it was only 2017 passing by. Still, Original Gravity’s Editor and Beer Writer of the Year 2017, Adrian Tierney-Jones, picks out one great moment of the year

 

Life is too short to be indulgent when it comes to writing about beer, but as the year seems certain to immolate itself once more, Original Gravity has decided that its self-imposed rule about indulgence can be broken for once — here, then, is the team’s beer moment (s) of the year. We’ll see you in 2018, we’ve got a few things we going to do that we think we will like (you might as well, but we certainly will).

First up, it’s Editor Adrian Tierney-Jones

Adrian Tierney-Jones, Original Gravity Editor (and Beer Writer of the Year, I thought I’d just get that in)

No notepad, no laptop, no pen or pencil, no smartphone snapping away, no blog post or deadline, and certainly no Tweet suggesting that this is the life, but the evening that I and fellow journalist Joe Stange spent at Foerster Feine Biere in the south of Berlin lingers long in the memory. A neighbourhood bar (was it on a corner?), popular, unremarkable in its looks, but a home from home for beers with a Franconian heart. No notes were taken, just the simple pleasure of beer and conversation with a friend, and the rich honeyed tones of draft Schönramer Saphir Bock, to which I tried to return to the following evening, but was told with a smile by the barman that we’d drunk it all up the night before. Such is the simple pleasure of a beer moment well won.

—–

Tomorrow evening Original Gravity’s Editor at Large (and 2016’s Beer Writer of the Year) Pete Brown picks his moment of the year.


Siren opens ten line Tap Yard

Siren Craft Brew opens new tap yard

Berkshire-based Siren Craft Brew is set to officially launch a new Tap Yard at their brewery in Finchampstead

 

Berkshire-based Siren Craft Brew are set to officially launch a new Tap Yard at their brewery in Finchampstead. The ten-line, 50sqm, 100-person Tap Yard will open to the public officially on Friday 15th December and feature ten dedicated lines.

Siren will launch with core beers, West Coast IPA ‘Sound Wave’ and Loose Leaf Pale Ale ‘Yu Lu’. They will also be pouring Grapefruit Sour IPA ‘Pompelmocello’; Pale Ale ‘Suspended In Rye’; Breakfast Stout ‘Broken Dream’; Rye IPA ‘Ryesing Tides’; Winter Double IPA ‘Forest For the Trees’; Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter with Tamarind ‘Sheltered Spirit’; Imperial Stout with Coffee & Figs ‘Turkish’ (Project Barista); and Irish Dry Stout ‘Afterlight’.

Siren’s Tap Yard, is based at Marino Way, Finchampstead, Berkshire and will open from 12-8 on Friday and 12-7 Saturdays pouring the freshest Siren beers all year round. Tap Yard fridges will house every Siren beer including every new collaborations with the likes of Brooklyn’s Other Half, Spain’s Naparbier and neighbours Elusive Brewing.

Siren’s Andy Nowlan commented:

“This is a really exciting development for Siren that we’ve been planning for some time. Our kegs are filled and immediately moved to cold storage, where the same space acts as the Tap Yard cellar. This means we’re serving super fresh beer at all times. In addition, we’ll now be able to run larger scale parties more regularly, offer event space for local businesses and act as a centre-point for the local community.”

The new Tap Room caps an exciting four years for Siren. Opening in 2013, Ratebeer has named Siren Best New Brewery in the UK (2013), second Best New Brewery in the World (2013), Best Brewery in the UK (2014) and a Top 100 Breweries in the World (2015). 30 minutes from Reading city centre, the closest railway station to Siren’s Tap Yard is Wokingham, the site is serviced by Reading Busses’ ‘Leopard’ route, Sat Navs should use RG40 4RF.


Read Original Gravity% Issue 15 for free here

Do you know where you are, do you know where you’re from, do you know where you are going? Three vital questions that people ask themselves time and time again as life rolls on, but when it comes to beer this triumvirate of brain-teasers is often forgotten. Beer can be made anywhere, it doesn’t matter if the beer that was born in that town is now made in that town 100 miles away. On the other hand there’s almost a mystical connection between a beer and its sense of place, which, let’s be honest, isn’t always essential to the beer (a recent conversation with one of this issue’s contributors Boak and Bailey about the excellent quality of Young’s Ordinary, which has long  gone from its London home, springs to mind), but it’s this mysticism, this sense of the other, this sense of beer being like an oak with its long tendrils of roots glued to the very earth where a tiny acorn once fell, is what our writers have tried to convey in this issue.

Roger Protz has done a Michael Parkinson and interviewed an IPA (born in London and grew up in Burton); Pete Brown argues that beer does have a sense of place and also visits a brewery with its roots and beers firmly in the west Flemish countryside; Daniel Neilson rhapsodies over Wiper and True’s English Saison, which is also reviewed elsewhere; Emma Inch visits Brighton FC and drinks Harvey’s Sussex Bitter, perhaps the first beer that springs to mind when the South Downs hoves into view.

Elsewhere, Jessica Mason remembers her early exposure to the pub, and Copenhagen inspires its own sense of place. Beer meets wine, barley wine goes beneath the microscope and we’ve got some cool beers reviewed to whet your thirst. Oh and a little bit of news — November 13 sees the launch of our new website, which will feature exclusive stories and features that won’t be in the printed edition and there’s a regular monthly newsletter, which I would highly recommend you sign up for, so mark 13/11 in your diary!

Chin chin

Adrian Tierney-Jones, Editor