Here goes with the third and final instalment of our new beer updates…

Instinct of Survival is the first beer I have brewed since the world descended into chaos a few weeks ago. Lots of oats in the malt bill, a big dose of Ekuanot and Citra hops and Vermont yeast bring a big, juicy tropical banger of an IPA, weighing in at 6.3% abv.

More details of the beer can be found at http://www.leviathanbrewing.co.uk/our-beer/instinct-of-survival/

This will be available to Trade Customers from Tuesday 7th April 2020 – contact us for pricing via sales@leviathanbrewing.co.uk, or register for an account here.

We expect to be in a position to sell direct to public the following week, so stay tuned for updates!

Available in 440ml cans.

Evening all! I’m pleased to bring news of the second of our 3 new canned beers…

Cuckoo For Cacao is a very smooth and tasty Oatmeal Stout, brewed with a variety of malts, including Midnight Wheat which brings a smoother, more subtle roast character to the beer. The addition of liquid cacao adds a rich chocolatey note to the finish.

More details of the beer can be found at http://www.leviathanbrewing.co.uk/our-beer/cuckoo-for-cacao/

This will be available to Trade Customers from Tuesday 7th April 2020 – contact us for pricing via sales@leviathanbrewing.co.uk, or register for an account here.

We expect to be in a position to sell direct to public the following week, so stay tuned for updates!

Available in 440ml cans.

Further to the little update put out yesterday, I’m pleased to announce details of the first of 3 new beers launching on Tuesday – “You And I Should Ride The Coast” – a tropical, citrus hit of an IPA brewed with the classic Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe combo.

More details of the beer can be found at http://www.leviathanbrewing.co.uk/our-beer/ride-the-coast/

This will be available to Trade Customers from Tuesday 7th April 2020 – contact us for pricing via sales@leviathanbrewing.co.uk, or register for an account here.

We expect to be in a position to sell direct to public the following week, so stay tuned for updates! More new beers incoming….

Available in 440ml cans.

Evening all. Hope you are all staying safe and not going stir crazy with the current goings on!

It’s been couple of weeks ago now since we went into some form of lockdown, with most pubs and bars closing for the foreseeable future. Like many in the industry I agonised for days over what to do. Should I dump beer and come back in a few months? Build the planned tap room? I spent days really wondering what to do for the best.

Now, I’d put a lot of hard work, time and money into starting the brewery. This on the face of it isn’t that important. However, the odd brew day over recent years has been a life saver and a welcome distraction from other serious health stuff going on in my life. The thought of not brewing for months wasn’t something I wanted to have to deal with, on top of a job I no longer enjoy and with life generally being considerably restricted for an indeterminate period of time.

The answer? Keep brewing! I decided, with many tap rooms and bottle shops now switching to take out or delivery only, that they’d still need beer. People sitting at home, unable to pop the local with their mates still needed beer. I, for my own sanity, still needed to brew beer.

On Monday, I’ve 3 beers going exclusively into cans. These will be available to trade customers only from Tuesday and, if the information I have is correct, will be available for general sale nationwide via our website the following week. The brewery is still just me on my own, so nobody is being forced into work, and our couriers operate with certain social distancing restrictions both when collecting and delivering.

I’ll be publishing more details tomorrow of the first 3 beers available and how to buy. If you are an Eebria user they should be on there from Tuesday, but we now have couriers in place should you prefer to deal direct (details of setting up accounts to follow!)

The week after next we should be in a position to sell direct to the public and to local customers. We also are looking at doing one or two virtual events in coming weeks, so watch this space!

Thanks for reading. Stay safe people and look after each other.

Chris.

Hello everyone. A month has passed since the last blog and, with lots going on at the brewery and further afield, I thought it would be a good time to share a few words.

First week of February I brewed our first beer on the new kit and, after some wort chilling issues, started again a few days later. The brew went smoothly at the second attempt but fermentation was slow – a combination of the ambient temperature of around 12 degrees in our unit for several weeks, and London Ale III being somewhat temperamental at times. It got there in the end.

I followed this up with a brew a week – a Citra Pale, an Oatmeal Stout and, this week, a Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe IPA. Next up in coming weeks are a proper dank and piney West Coast IPA, the return of the very well received Mild we brewed last year, a full size brew of our table beer (brewed again recently on the 1bbl kit) and a couple of pilsners. We’ve also a couple of fruited pale/IPAs and sours coming up in the next month or so. We started selling in earnest this week and after a week have shifted 50% of the 2 beers packaged, which is pretty pleasing, especially as most orders have come from venues new to us via Eebria / social media without any real push from our end.

Am I pleased with the beers produced so far? No. None are yet to quite hit the sweet spot in terms of being fully as intended. Then again I never am happy with them. Ever. I am always looking at how I can make beer better, improve flavours, experimenting with new ingredients and techniques etc. It’s an attitude that is ingrained in me in everything I do. One thing I am good at is learning, developing and improving. Both from a hell of a lot of reading and, of course, practice. Brewing on a 5bbl kit is something of a step up from 60 ish litres and every brew has improved my understanding of the way my kit performs and getting used to some of it’s unique nuances. This is feeding back into a process of continuous improvement, adjusting my brewing processes and future recipes.

I’m fortunate / unfortunate that I have other commitments at the moment. I’ve been a self employed Management Consultant for 20 years and, having decided 2.5 years ago to knock it on the head I’m still doing it. A situation that I find at best frustrating and at worst very difficult mentally to handle. I’ve had a difficult year or two adjusting to doing a job that not only do I not enjoy, but one that is also preventing me from brewing full time. It’s a bit of a catch 22 – I can’t make a living brewing here and there, so I continue to do a job that pays well but prevents me brewing full time. That said, my current project will be my last and will shortly become part time, allowing me to brew in the week as oppose to the rather tiring last month of brewing Saturdays and calling in before and after work most days to look after and check beer in progress, package, clean and so on.

I’ve been reflecting a lot over recent weeks on this situation and I think the current Coronavirus situation has forced my hand a little, or at least allowed me to focus and think and plan ahead with a little more clarity. I just had a festival cancellation, something I fully expected and support, but something that’s a bit disappointing given the level of excitement the invite had generated. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do excitement 😂. What all this means is that, rather than push on and brew more often, I will stick to the brew a week schedule, possibly missing the odd week as I see how this pans out. What this approach does is allow me to focus on other aspects of what I have planned e.g. building a cold store, taproom – and these are certainly the two main areas of focus in coming months. We are well along the Licensing process, have been speaking to fellow breweries about securing their beers for our guest lines / fridge and started clearing the space for where the tap room will be situated.

So, plenty of beer still coming out over the next few months and more opportunity for people to get out and sample our beers. More importantly it means more opportunities for you to get out and support the small, independent bars and bottle shops that we are grateful for buying our beer and who are likely to need every bit of support in the difficult months ahead.

I’ll continue to do my best to keep you updated as and when new beers are coming, so keep an eye as always on our various social media.

Cheers, Chris Hodgetts

As many of you are aware, after quite the mission to get to this point, I brewed for the first time on the new kit on Feb 1st, so I thought I’d give a little update on things.

The brew day was quite a challenge which, given I’d never brewed on anything bigger than a half-barrel kit was, I guess, to be expected. Despite having tested everything out in the days prior with just water, a few problems occurred on the day. I’d not had the time the day before to fill and pre-heat the hot liquor tank, so had a VERY long wait for water to reach strike temperature. The auger/hydrator had been wired the wrong way so I had to mash in the ‘old fashioned’ way – which was no big deal. After mashing in, I was very pleased to hit within 0.1 degrees of my desired mash temperature, pretty good for the first attempt and this held for the hour long mash.

After transferring to the kettle, I dug out the 250kg of grain used, quite a shock when you’re used to using around 12-15kg! Boil was fine, whirlpool hops added and nice clean wort was transferred to the fermenter. This is where I had another problem – the heat exchanger didn’t cool the wort down sufficiently to reach pitching temperature. In fact it was sitting at around 55 deg C. I’d probably run the wort through too quickly. Problem I had was that by this point I had an issue with the pump and had no way of moving the wort back from the fermenter, nor was I able to chill in situ as I’d not had the time to set up my glycol chiller. Rather frustrated I thought I’d close up the vessel and come back tomorrow as it was now 10pm and the end of a very tiring 16 hour day.

The following day the wort was still at 50 degrees and I took the decision to dump it, rather than risk anything nasty taking hold.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I generally felt a bit fed-up and grumpy for the couple of days that followed, hence the week long silence. After a bit of reflection I thought, maybe, I was being a little hard on myself. I’d installed this kit myself. I’d never been anywhere near kit of this size never-mind brewed on one and, inability to chill the wort aside, I’d pretty much successfully brewed first time round. So I got off my arse and went and brewed it again. And fucking nailed it…..

I am pretty proud to announce the first beer successfully brewed on our new kit!

“The Evil Has Landed” is a 6.5% IPA with new world hops.

A heavily oat laden grist, a soft water profile and multiple additions of fresh NZ hops, both at whirlpool and dry-hop, and fermented with London Ale III to bring a soft, juicy beer with tropical vibes. Expect apricot, peach and hints of lemon, lime and mandarin citrus and a lingering bitter finish.

The inspiration for the beer name was the QOTSA song of the same name. The song talks about grabbing a second chance at life and living life to the full, and this resonates with me for many reasons, and seemed an appropriate name for the first Leviathan beer on the larger scale…..

Going on a living spree
Plenty wanna come with me
You don’t wanna miss your chance
Near-life experience
Faces making noise
Say, be good girls and boys
It ain’t half empty or full
You can break the glass, or drink it all

Further details on availability will be announced in due course, once the beer’s finished doing its thing, so keep an eye on here and our various social media!

Cheers, Chris

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