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Coming soon: Barrel Aged Barleywine

Coming soon: Barrel Aged Barleywine

What? What is that? Is this…? Who’s idea was this? Why are there six whisky barrels full of barleywine over here? Good grief. What are we supposed to… Well… thanks, whoever you were.

THANKS, WHOEVER YOU WERE is this year’s special barrel-aged winter release, launching w/c 26th October! We have brewed a big, beautiful barleywine and aged it in a combination of American and Japanese whisky barrels for 8 months. It’s absorbed moreish vanilla and spice notes, woven into the decadent malty goodness of this rich, deep amber beer. It’s sturdy stuff for strange times.

Barleywine! Yes. Wait. What?

Barley Wines / Barleywines are a drinkable meme style of strong English ale with a somewhat murky origin. Over the years they have been styled as Old Ales, Stock Ales, Burton Ales and Strong Ales. Not all of those styles can be thought of as Barleywines, nor can all Barleywines be thought of as being any of those styles. Good job we don’t have that problem with IPAs, huh? Hmm. Seriously though, the key characteristics are quite simply:

  • Very strong
  • Malty
  • Paler than black

These kinds of beers would once have been brewed in the houses of great lads lords and ladies with the purpose of being aged and opened on special occasions like fine ports and brandies.

Barleywine’s popularity in The Olden Times was limited to the rich, and only after the larger-scale industrialisation of brewing in the Less Olden Times were they marketed at middle- and working-class drinkers and connoisseurs.

In the post-war years (Even Less Olden Times), Barleywines, like IPAs and other more expensive beers, fell by the wayside thanks to taxation of ingredients and alcohol, leading to the rise of cheaply made beer. They went underground, like the A-Team, until people needed them most.

Modern Barleywines can draw either on their historic vibes, or be used as a vehicle for fun. Traditional English examples tend to be big, sticky beasts of grain well-suited for cellaring and celebrating. American Barley Wines lean towards either hoppy intensity (effectively precursors to Triple IPAs) or may become barrel aged for additional complexity.

We’ve taken a semi-traditional approach to brewing ours. We used a technique called ‘poly-gyle’ or ‘reiterated mashing’, which means creating a wort and using it as the liquor (brewing water) for another mash, and so on, folding multiple mashes together into one, complex super-wort.

We then gave it some whisky barrel vibes to see where the flavours go and give it some welly. Notes of biscuits, bourbon, dried fruit, caramel shortbread and wine-like tannins make for a hefty sip. Rounded, sticky malt flavours in this massive, complex beer are offset by spiced citrus, oak and chocolate notes from the barrel.

THANKS, WHOEVER YOU WERE will be sold in 750ml bottles and 20L kegs, launching everywhere w/c 26th October!

Barleywine is Life.

Toodle Pip,

Howling Hops.

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Tank Bar Re-Opening

© Ross Cooper

Tank Bar Re-Opening

From Saturday 4th July we will be re-opening the Tank Bar for on-site drinking and eating! However, this is not going to feel like the Tank Bar that you know. In order to ensure the safety of our staff and our customers, we’ve made a number of changes to how we will be operating.

Before we go into more detail, please understand that these measures are to make things as safe as possible for everyone, but will potentially result in queues for entry, service, use of toilets etc. that you may not be used to. Thank you for your patience!

The short version:

  • No reservations or bookings for tables, these will be allocated on arrival.
  • One-way system with designated entrance and exit.
  • Sanitiser dispensers on entry and exit.
  • Groups can be seated inside (max 2 households per table if social distancing can be maintained between households) after giving contact info, or outside (groups of up to 6 people from different households OR groups of up to 2 households, if social distancing can be maintained between households).
  • Once capacity is reached inside, we will operate a one-in, one-out system with a waiting list for tables.
  • Bar will have three separate till areas, with a socially-distanced queue with floor markings.
  • Tank Bar Menu available via QR code scan at table/click here/single-use paper menus.
  • Maize Blaze will operate a reduced menu at weekends (here) and a full weekday menu (here).
  • Takeaway beer and food options remain available.
  • Additional Can Bar will also operate outside for takeaway.
  • All food will be served with single-use cutlery and containers, and bins will be brought to tables for their disposal.
  • Tables are spaced for safe distance from other customers and staff, and will be cleaned and sanitised between uses.
  • Toilets now have a socially-distanced queuing system, and the men’s toilets are now unisex to reduce queuing times.
  • High-touch areas will be cleaned hourly, and sanitiser dispensers are available for use throughout the venue.

Opening Hours from Saturday 4th July:

Saturday 12pm – 1:30am

Sunday 12pm – 10:30pm

Monday 12pm – 10:30pm

Tuesday 12pm – 11pm

Wednesday 12pm – 11pm

Thursday 12pm – 11pm

Friday 12pm – 1:30am

Full details:

Firstly, we will continue a no reservations policy for tables inside or outside.

The Tank Bar will operate a one-way system where possible, and have a designated entrance and exit to reduce contact.

At the entrance, a host will find out if you are visiting to be seated, or to buy beer or food to take away. Takeaway beer and food options will still be available.

For customers being seated, we can only accommodate groups of up to two households per table inside if social distancing can be maintained between households, and groups of up to 6 people from different households OR groups of up to 2 households per table outside, if social distancing can be maintained between households.

Contact details will be taken for customers to be seated inside on entry, and the host will provide information about service, safety and social distancing.

Once we have reached our capacity for customers seated inside, we will operate a one-in, one-out system, with a waiting list for those who want to leave contact numbers to be reached on when a table becomes free.

The layout of the bar and seating (inside and outside) should ensure customers are distanced from staff and other customers by at least 1 metre wherever possible. Staff will be distanced from each other at their own separate tills and work areas.

A socially-distanced queue with floor markings remains in place for bar service, customers will be called forward to one of three tills to place their order. All Tank Bar payments will be contactless.

In addition to the bar inside, a separate Can Bar will operate outside for quick purchases of cans to takeaway, to minimise queues and contact inside. The Can Bar will be contactless payment only.

The Tank Bar Menu will be available to view via QR code scanned at tables, as well as here, to help speed up service times. Single-use paper menus are also available if necessary.

Maize Blaze will operate a reduced menu at weekends (here) and a full weekday menu (here).

All food orders will be served with single use eco cutlery and condiment pots. Bins will be brought to tables for disposal of cutlery and containers, and tables will be cleaned and sanitised between uses.

At busy times, all drinks will be served in single-use paper or recycled and recyclable plastic cups.

Signage will be posted on tables to advise of guidelines and restrictions on group size and social distancing.

The men’s toilets are now unisex and a marked queuing system for both sets of toilets is one-way to ensure social distancing and minimal contact. Sanitiser dispensers are in place outside the toilets for use at entry and exit.

As part of this new set-up, staff will be doing their utmost to ensure high standards of hygiene are observed at all times. High-touch areas (including doors, tables, counters etc) will be sanitised hourly, and between uses where possible.

Thank you for reading this far, and again we appreciate your patience and understanding!

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Friends | Romans | Countrymen


Why, what the hell have you done now?

After dialling our DDH Pale Ale recipes of late, we decided to do something fun and interesting to escape the old existential lockdown clouds, and bang out a triple release of snazzy new duduhuhs (that’s how DDH is pronounced).

Pah, single hop, single shmop. What’s the big deal?

The big deal is we’ve got three experimental hops – you know, those ones that are so new they’re just numbers. You can get the lockdown lowdown on them in a premium-style hopped-up ale-beverage before they get a funny new name and everyone is raving about them.

How DO you do it?

Well, to be honest, single hop beers can be a bit of a tricky pickle. Sometimes, even when you use the exact same ingredients, temperatures, timings and equipment to make the base beer, what should be identical batches of wort can turn out differently to each other (because commercial brewing is super fun).

To ensure that the individual hop varieties could be enjoyed in self-isolation we split each batch of wort across the three FVs. That means that each FV comprises each brew equally and are therefore, roughly, pretty much, “Exactly The Same” canvas upon which to paint a single hop masterpiece! Phew.

Go Science!

Go Science!

Anyway dem hops tho amirite?

Right! The hops selected for this triple threat of DDH Pale Ales are all experimental varieties we have obtained with the help of Yakima Chief Hops. They are named HBC 522, HBC 586 and HBC 692.

What’s an HBC when it’s at home?

HBC is the Hop Breeding Company, a joint venture between Yakima Chief Ranches and John I Haas.

Never heard of them.

Well these guys brought a lot of the big name hops you know and love to the market, such as HBC 394, HBC 369 and HBC 438. You know them as Citra, Mosaic and Sabro.

Shut the front door!

We absolutely will not. From being thought up to getting a brand name can take up ten years or more for some hop varieties, so brewers are always excited to get their hands on the latest super-juicy super-soldiers to be developed. The three we are using for Friends, Romans, Countrymen are new kids on the block and each have very appetising attributes.

What are the tasting notes already?

We don’t want to be too prescriptive in what you should expect to smell and taste from these hops, as we don’t want to influence your thoughts too much. It’s important to us to get useful feedback on these beers and also for you guys to have fun trying them out, so we’ll give a bit of info on each one and leave you guys to reel off the shopping list of fruits when you taste them, eh? 😉

OK so what’s the deal with them, then? Tell us something at least.

Hmm, well, since these hops are young, single and ready to mingle, here’s a little profile about them before you go on your blind date together. Saucy.

HBC 522 (Friends)

Timeless Americana vibes, this hop likes long walks in wet valleys and feeling the sun on its face. Very outdoorsy. Looks a bit grungey, knows its way around the gym, and is only into guitar music.

HBC 586 (Romans)

Bit of an influencer but also takes the piss out of themselves. Fit and knows it. Likes to go somewhere hot on holiday, spends a lot of time in coffee shops of all kinds 😉 and loves the ‘gram.

HBC 692 (Countrymen)

Who is she? Everyone wants to copy her look. Tastemaker who knows exactly what people like. Has a skincare ‘regime’ and a range of candles. Everyone stares whenever she walks in the room.

How do we get our hands on them?

Buy this new set of limited edition beers from one of our amazing independent retail customers w/c 01/06/20, or order direct from our online shop on Friday from 12pm! [AVAILABLE NOW]