Christmas Gift Ideas from Tom’s

We’ve been asked if we’re doing bottles and minikegs for Christmas and we’re glad to say, yes we are. We’ve been beavering away in the brewery all week (we even had some regulars come in for a couple of hours to label 500 bottles on Tuesday) to bring you a selection of beers in 500ml bottles and 5 litre minikegs.

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The minikegs should keep well for two to three months if kept cool but should be consumed within 5 days once opened. We have two available, a Session IPA called Primordial Sup (£27) and The Mighty Stout (£25).

By tomorrow (7th Dec) we will have four bottled beers which will be ready to consume at Christmas.

Mighty Stout £3

Baltic Porter with Morello Cherries £4

Chocolate Orange Porter £4

Coffee and Coconut Stout £4

We’ve also got a limited amount of three pack presentation boxes and if you buy three bottles you get £1 off.

Still stuck for ideas? Why not try our t-shirts or glassware.

Lastly we are taking orders for 20L bag in box beers, we’ve got a pale ale available to collect from next week. A reminder that all our beers are not only live but unfined and unfiltered so they won’t be clear and will need two to three days “settling”

 

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Winter Opening Hours

The nights are drawing in, the days are getting colder and the brewery side of the business is getting busier. We’re now starting to get some of our beers outside the immediate environs of the taproom. You may have noticed this article floating around the interwebs; we’re experiencing quite a bit of demand for Mighty Stout as a result of this publicity.

We need to up the amount of work we do in the brewery and need to fit in extra brewing and packaging time as Christmas approaches. We can’t brew and have the taproom open at the same time for fairly obvious Health and Safety reasons. When we package, we need to be able to dedicate that time to packaging be that bottle, minikeg, keg or cask. So, for that reason we’ve decided to change our opening hours for the winter period.

We’re now going to open at 5pm on Friday instead of midday. Friday afternoons have always been the least busy sessions of the week for us so it makes sense to be able to fit in an extra brewday or racking session in that time.

We’re hoping, in time, to expand the brewery side of the business which will enable us to increase the amount and variety of the beer we produce as well as make some modifications to the bar. We hope to make an announcement about that in due course.

 

Drew’s “Nutty Walt” Moment

I’ve know Drew Harris for what must be getting on for seven years or so now. He worked at my local craft beer shop in Canterbury, later became my son’s boss then went to work for Time and Tide in East Kent before landing in Faversham-based Boutilliers last year.

I had time to sit down and have a chat with Drew (and Phil and Rich) on a rare visit back to Kent last week while we brewed a Green Hop Saison collaboration, which will be on the bar at Tom’s in a few weeks. Talking inevitably leads to trying beers and Drew brought out a bottle he called “Jam Sandwich” from the cold room.

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Turns out that this beer is a pale ale brewed with left over sourdough bread from the bakery next door to the brewery together with some Olicana (an English hop) and “dry hopped” with a fruit tea.

When Drew tells me about these new beers it always reminds me of the famous Bob Newhart sketch, “Tobacco” in which Newhart has an imaginary telephone call with Sir Walter “Nutty Walt” Raleigh.

I tasted the beer and have to report that it is very pleasant indeed with big jammy raspberry goodness. It’s going on tonight, I don’t expect it to last the weekend so pop down and try it out.

The Brewing of Green Hop Beer

Coming from Kent, the home of hops, I’ve been brewing Green Hop (or Wet or Fresh hop) beers for five years or more and thought, when moving to Crewe, that I’d seen the last of them.

Then, Johnny Craven, cyclist, beer lover and general bon viveur,  mentioned that he had three plants growing  in his garden and would I like to brew with them.

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The ripe cones ready for picking Chez Craven

I must confess to being a little sceptical at first because of the number of green hops required to give any appreciable aroma and flavour to a brew (you can find out a bit more about wet hop brewing here)

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Transfer from copper to mash tun underway

Fresh hops begin to decompose after about 12 hours off the bine which is the main reason why they are dried in oast houses. It’s quite a skilled operation because it’s easy to under or over dry the hops. The drying also has the effect of concentrating the flavours.

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Re-purposing the mash tun as a kind of giant hop back.

For this reason, a much higher dosage of hops are required in a green hop beer and on my little kit, we can’t fit all the hops in the copper. Instead we use the mash tun as a hop back and let the beautiful flavours seep into the work as it cools before transferring it into the fermenter and pitching the yeast.

 

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We couldn’t resist doing this

This will ferment out for about a week and then chill for a bit before going into cask and keg. If you’d like to reserve one, drop us an email at tomstapandbrew@gmail.com

The Everyone Welcome Initiative

Visitors to the Tap will have noticed the Everyone Welcome initiative wording in our menus and also displayed in the bar itself.

The wording can be found at the Everyone Welcome Initiative Website

I’m not going to repeat it verbatim here, instead I’m going to talk about why it matters to us. Today, coincidentally, is the 11th anniversary of the death of Sophie Lancaster a girl kicked to death for being different. If you’re not familiar with her story I urge you to read the website but also on how the Sophie Lancaster Foundation creates respect for and understanding of subcultures in our community.

Sophie’s story is a sad reminder of what can happen when “derogatory comments” or discrimination are allowed to grow. We feel it is vitally important to be clear where we stand on discrimination which is why we signed up to the Everyone Welcome Initiative at its launch in Manchester in July.

Be kind to each other, people.