Some breweries declaim their excellence from a mountain top. With a loudhailer. Some will employ PR companies to design a campaign about how they are going to change the world, one beer at a time.
But some just get on brewing beer. Excellent, tasty beer. No fanfare. No fuss. They let the beer do the talking.
For me, that’s Brewsmith.
Founded in 2014, they’ve been with Us all the way on our little journey. And they’ve just got better and better, producing consistently high quality beers. Time and again. You know that when you see that distinctive pump clip, that you can trust what’s going into your glass.
Trust. That comes with consistency. And consistency is important. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
Meeting James Smith at 7am constituted a lie in for me – less welcome was the spilt coffee on the bus seat. Without a really strong cup of coffee I’m a grumpy old git.
With the grist (majority Extra Pale malt) pre organised in the case, this was a quick start for mashing in with the usual life-affirming malty aromas soon filling the brew space.
Being gravity fed (like Wishbone on Tuesday), little or no manual agitation was required as it struck me again that this bespoke kit (advised by James Campbell – now of Cloudwater) was designed with simplicity, efficiency and ease of use in mind.
The first gas fired copper I have encountered being a further example of this. Cost effective in operation and quicker to boil. I was fascinated.
(gratuitous sparge shot)
Transfer was quick and smooth (another day of no hitches) and we were soon up to boil and adding Aurora & Green Bullet for bittering…
Time for some fun. Opening up fresh packs of Citra & Mosaic…. Bloody hell did they smell fabulous! Broke up a good chunk of Simcoe too. This beer will certainly be aromatic!
Throughout the brew, the dedication to getting things just right was apparent, with regular ph measurements and gravity checking all with the aim of making this beer as good as…
And as you can see, it’s going to be Pale. And aromatic!
With flameout, in went the aroma hops. All of that beautiful Citra, Mosaic & Simcoe, with the copper flooding the area with tropical fruit smells. Stunning.
Shortly after, transfer to FV started. And another new addition to me. Oxygen. To help fire the yeast up.
With transfer to FV completed and the yeast pitched, if was back to testing for gravity (and subsequent abv prediction). This will be low abv – about 3% – and will be dry hopped with large chunks of Simcoe, Mosaic & Equanot.
It will be light, nicely bodied and hoppy – what Brewsmith does exceptionally well. A Table Beer. Something we’ve lacked previously. And – given my predilection for early loading with big beers – very welcome indeed.
This brewday was another object lesson in design, thought and planning. The brewery being expertly designed around what’s important. Brewing excellent beer, consistently well.
I’m really looking forward to this.
Massive thanks to James & Jen (and Ozzy – you were NEVER getting that sandwich fella!), especially James, for tolerantly coping with my ceaseless questioning. Also for travelling to Finchampstead to brew in the #EvilKegFilth 5-a-side Collab series with Andy Parker at Elusive.
This Table Beer is first on my list. At the first place to get it. #ISBF4
Remaining tickets here.
Don’t miss it. It’s gonna be an amazing few days!