Breweries come and breweries go, usually passing on their equipment to the next newcomer down the line. So most small operators start with hand-us-downs, re-used equipment. Occasionally, however, you come across a bunch of people who have done the whole thing themselves, literally from the ground up. From laying the foundations for the building to designing the tanks, creating new, bespoke kit and even writing the brewery control software.
Urban Alchemy brewery in Barnet has been several years in the making, from back room brewing, to back garden brewing and now to a fully licensed and approved operation. Their beers in development have been terrific, confidently walking the line between the Craft Beer “Hop Soups” and traditional malty ales.
I went to see them a few days after the final bit of paperwork came through.
Britain makes all sorts of beer – amber, dark, stout, blond, golden, etc. one thing we have not yet started to make to any great extent is fruit beers. These are often sneered at as alcopops or girls’ drinks but, trust me, at up to 8.5% and with flavour profiles that truly challenge, they are nothing of the sort. We’ve probably all seen Lindeman’s Kriek and some of us may have tried it; we’ve certainly all seen the flavoured ciders – they can taste easy and too sweet but thing are changing: Now there’s a new kid on the UK fruit beers block … a 300-year-old “new kid”: Liefmanns. They launched their range of fruit beers at M Restaurant in Thredneedle Street in London organised by the lovely people at R and R Teamwork. We went to find out more (I say “we” – WE didn’t go, Joesph Quartson went on our behalf and took the photos below).