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.

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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.

 

New Beer Updates

So, the question I’ve been asked most in the last couple of weeks is “when’s your own stuff going to be ready”.

We’ve had a couple of delays, mainly caused by issues with cooling and the kegs not turning up as early as anticipated but, I’m happy to say that we’ve kegged three kegs of our Red Rye which are carbonating away in the cold room and should be ready by the weekend.

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When the rest of the kegs turn up on Friday, I’ll be able to keg the balance of that fermenter as well as the other two which contain a transpacific pale ale (hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Dr Rudi in the kettle and Eukanot and Simcoe in the fermenter) and Primordial Süp, respectively.

For those of you who don’t know, Primordial Süp is the session IPA brewed in conjunction with Primordial Radio, an internet based premium rock and metal station. I’d previously designed the recipe whilst at Pig and Porter but we have permission to produce it under licence.  It’s 4.4% and is hopped with Ahtanum, Eukabnot and Zythos.

Both of these beers will take a further week to carbonate and so will be on the bar next weekend.

Our First Friday Music Slot

 

We’re very happy to announce our first gig is coming this Friday.  As you know, we have agreed to honour all bookings Michelle made while the bar was called Offbeat. We firmly believe that music is a very important part of “the mix” when running a successful brewery tap.

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The incredibly talented Darren Poyzer and Kevin Farrell  will be on stage from 8pm. You can sample some of their work here

We’ve also got another debut for you, Martin from The Sunshine Street Food Company will be on hand to serve Caribbean style food from their converted milk float, which looks an absolute beaut.

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The sample menu with special pricing for Tom’s Tap and Brewhouse is below.

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