By Alex Cosgrove

News From the Brewhouse No. 7 – It’s a Hard Job…

Welcome to the latest edition of News from the Brewhouse. For those eagle eyed enough to have spotted us on the recent Countryfile – ‘Shakespeare Special’ you will have seen the Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan visiting us and talking to our Front of House Manager, John Conod about Purity’s top secret tasting panel. And we wanted to give our Puritans the down low on just what happens, when every Friday various members of the Purity team disappear into the visitor centre for a special beer tasting.

John introduced Ian into this secret and now that the word is out we thought we would grab a chat with Aaron Taubman our Quality Control Manager, so he could explain to our Puritans, just what we get up to.

Firstly Aaron, tasting beer for a living must be really hard work I guess? 

Well it certainly sounds good doesn’t it, but in all seriousness there is much more to it than just standing around drinking a pint. My role at Purity as Quality Control Manager means I oversee all aspects of the production process to ensure that we produce the best quality beer possible. The odd taste test along the way is a perk of the job, but one that is done for the greater good in ensuring that our Puritans get the perfect pint.

How did the tasting panel come about?

Purity has always had a tasting panel. Before I arrived the tastings were all conducted in the brew house by the brew team and Paul and Jim. Nowadays though with Paul and Jim much busier and our standards even higher than ever, we have had to change the way we do things.

All great breweries all have a tasting panel as it ensures that all the beer we produce meets the high standards we set ourselves and by bringing staff members in from all the different departments it reduces the bias that could occur if it was just myself and the brewing team. That is what makes our tasting panel so special that each department takes responsibility for the quality of the beer that goes out of the brewery.

What are the benefits to conducting a tasting panel?

The main benefit is we are able to ensure that what we are brewing meets the quality standards we set but it also allows us to track from brew to brew and see what changes. It provides a quality assurance approach to the brewing process and is something, which has provided inspiration for other quality control processes in other areas of the business as we strive to achieve Pure Quality throughout the brewery.

By having a weekly tasting panel we can quickly detect any potential problems or changes in the beer and put processes in place to ensure that we don’t experience any crises. It also allows us to establish whether we need to make any tweaks to our recipes to keep the beers in tip-top condition. Because we constantly strive to brew the best beer possible we always open ourselves up to honest feedback and the tasting panel is a great platform to test our consistency.

What are the key things you’re looking for in each session?

The key things we are looking for are aroma, how true to brand each of the samples are and most importantly whether the flavour profiles of each beer are as we would expect. Recently we have been doing some work on enhancing the tropical notes we achieve in Longhorn IPA and thanks to the work by of the tasting panel we have been able to increase the aroma profile of the beer.

Have any adjustments been made to any of our beers following the response on these panels?

Yes – many changes have been implemented thanks to the findings of the tasting panel. It goes back to what I said earlier, we are constantly looking to improve and brew the best beer we can. The panel has helped us to make some subtle improvements here and there to recipes and have even been part of the rejection of a batch of hops, which as the brew team suspected, were not up to our own exacting standards.

It must be weird for you to have your work judged by your peers?  

No not at all, in actual fact it is refreshing. By opening up our round table it gives some of the team who don’t often have much to do with the beer a real insight into what we get up too. It keeps us on our toes and as innovators, we like that!

What beers have stood out in the tasting panel to date?

Well the two highest scoring beers of the sessions so far have been ‘X’ our bourbon aged Rye IPA and a new beer, which we have coming out soon!

Flo and I created  ‘X’ to celebrate Purity’s 10th birthday and both the bottle a limited edition keg version scored really highly with all our tasters. The second brew was one that is yet to see the light of day (apart from a few special test locations) and it scored higher than any other beer we have tasted to date. This is really exciting as we have been thinking about brewing this style of beer for a while and it seems like we are definitely on the right track with it and after a couple more small changes, think it will be ready to launch.  Watch this space I guess!

Hopefully we have been able to bring you a real insight into how serious we take quality of the beer we produce and that every member of the Purity team plays an important role into producing our award winning beers. If you want to learn more about X the highest rated beer at the round table tastings then take a look back at our previous News from the Brewhouse here…. Or to buy your own commemorative brew check out

By Alex Cosgrove

Purity partners with Barefoot Bowls for some London fun!

Say “Lawn bowls” and the image usually conjured up is of a quintessentially British sport reserved exclusively for pensioners. Not anymore. Barefoot bowls is arriving in London, with a bang. On the 28th May 2015 over 150 ‘barefoot bowlers’ will congregate on the iconic Finsbury Square bowling green to participate in a casual lawn bowls tournament. It is being used as a springboard for a wider launch of a new, relaxed format of the notoriously stuffy game.

Childhood friends Will Goy of sports events company Barefoot Sports and Sam Parton of sports and activity marketplace OpenPlay, are launching Barefoot Bowls out of boredom and frustration whilst finding alternative ways to socialise. “We’ve played table tennis, darts, indoor golf and snooker, but felt we needed a relaxed outdoor sport for the forthcoming summer months. There are few sports which can combined with a couple of drinks and lawn bowls is ideal”.

Barefoot bowls isn’t a new concept having launched originally in Australia over 10 years ago. It offers a social, colourful, dressed down and casual format of the sport where the onus is on having fun with friends of all ages. It is steering away from the traditional all white, members only, which typifies the UK’s 5,000 bowling greens.

Will Goy says “There’s actually an important wider message to this. Bowling greens across the country are struggling financially, with over half under threat whist the sports faces a huge challenge to attract younger members. Our goal is to shake off its old fashioned image and show that it is an easy game for all ages to play. Most people have a bowling green local to them, why not have a night away from the pub?”

Will and Sam’s plan is to run three Barefoot Bowls events in London this summer, before expanding elsewhere. They’re using them to refine their model and user experience before offering the concept to other bowling greens. They plan to help with promotion and offer booking tools under a licensing model. Crucial to their forthcoming launch is a partnership with Bowls England alongside craft beer company Purity and Aerobowls for the supply of all equipment.

Sam Parton who is also co-founder of sports marketplace OpenPlay says, “We’re delighted that Bowls England have been so enthusiastic and supportive from the start. With budget cuts to sport and recreation and the need for new housing, the majority of local sports facilities are under threat, bowling greens are a prime example. So Barefoot Bowls is a great way to exemplify how shaking up the format of traditional sports can help get more people active and bring in a new income stream to open spaces.

In the past year the number of people playing sport for at least half an hour a week has decreased by 125,100, particularly as a result of a decline in the number of those swimming regularly. Innovative concepts like Barefoot Bowls will have huge importance in the forthcoming years as the sports industry looks to tackle what is turning out to be a sports participation crisis.

By Alex Cosgrove

Want to join our Gang? Puritans… We Need You!

What do you call a gang of merry Purity lovers? That’s right…. The Puritans! How do I become a Puritan I hear you cry! Simply check out or come and visit us in the shop.

By becoming a Puritan you join a band of people who like the finer things in life, whether good beer, top food, ace music or the great outdoors. You will belong to a group of like minded people who share a passion for those things you hold dear.

The Puritan scheme entitles you to:

•10% on all online and brewery shop orders

•1x Free Purity T-Shirt on joining

•1x Free Puritan Mixed Case (3x Pure Gold, 3x Pure UBU, 2x Mad Goose and 2x Saddle Black)

•2 x tickets for exclusive Purity Brewery Tour or Puritan event per year

So what are you waiting for? Join the gang today! Become a Puritan and be a part of the best gang in the world!

News From the Brewhouse No. 7 – It’s a Hard Job…
Want to join our Gang? Puritans… We Need You!