SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR

By Alex Cosgrove

The Awards Keep Coming

We were delighted last week as we picked up our first awards of 2017 at the SIBA National Independent Beer Awards and SIBA Business Awards as well as picking up two medals at this years Brewing Awards held in Burton Upon Trent.

At the SIBA Beer Awards, our Longhorn IPA won Gold in the Small Pack Strong Bitters and Pale Ales category. The award winning brew is named after the herd of cattle that graze on our spent grain in fields surrounding the brewery. If you want to find out why it won why not grab some brewery fresh cans from here!

SIBA’s BeerX event also saw the association hold its growing Business Awards. We were shortlisted for the Marketing Implementation, Green Business, Commercial Achievement and Business Innovation. With tough competition we were thrilled to be named the winner in the Marketing Implementation category with our partnership with Wasps Rugby and Ricoh Arena.

Our social media engagement and the popular Twitter Hashtags #PureGold and #TweetYourSeat were highlighted by judges, with fan participation more than doubling since last season. To celebrate our win at the SIBA Business Awards we are giving away two cases of Pure Gold with this week’s #TweetYourSeat at the Wasps Rugby Vs Worcester Warriors game 26/03/17.

Paul Halsey, our cofounder: “We absolutely love our partnership with Wasps Rugby and Ricoh Arena, and engaging with fans via our social media has been a great way to share in the good times; a great game of rugby with your friends and a lovely beer or two. The award means a lot to the team, as does the latest honour for Longhorn IPA, a beer we are extremely proud of.”

We would also like to say a massive congratulations to our friends FourPure and Tiny Rebel on their awards at the SIBA Business Awards winning Brewery of the Year and Commercial Achievement respectively.

By Alex Cosgrove

Bunny Hops Into Keg!

Well the rabbit is finally out of the hat; we’re excited to share that our latest beer is hopping its way into keg ahead of spring and the warmer weather.

Bunny Hop, which was our first permanent cask beer in seven years, has gone down so well with our Puritans and customers that we are now rolling out kegs as well as casks.

The move means more UK landlords can serve Bunny Hop to punters, including a chilled version of the extra hoppy pale ale provided by keg cooling.

We will be unveiling kegged Bunny Hop at this year’s Craft Beer Rising, taking place between 23rd and 25th February at the Old Truman Brewery on London’s Brick Lane. Bunny Hop will be joined by our keg favourites Longhorn IPA, Lawless Lager and Saddle Black.

Brewed with Maris Otter, Lager Malt, Wheat Malts and Cara Pils, and generously hopped with Pilgrim, Eureka, El Dorado and Chinook, Bunny Hop has aromas of fresh grass, pine and grapefruit, with apricot and peach notes, perfectly balancing pale malts, powerful hops and a low abv (3.5%) an IBU of 55.

And with Easter and spring just around the corner, discerning beer drinkers will benefit from a lower strength beer to enjoy with other activities as many of us begin to stumble out of hibernation back into the great British outdoors.

Speaking of outdoor activities, we’re also pleased to reveal that we will also be peddling pints for riders at this year’s Mad March Hare Sportive on Sunday 5th March. The 72 mile bike ride through Worcestershire, Warwickshire and beyond will culminate with few well-earned Purity beers being served on us.

Our founder, Paul Halsey, comments: “Bunny Hop was born out of a passion to brew a lower ABV pale ale that still packed plenty of punch in terms of body, aroma and flavour. The cask version has had a tremendous response from customers, so we’re delighted to be offering a keg version enabling even more venues to benefit from this fantastic extra hopped pale ale. The evenings are getting lighter and many of us are starting to dust down our bikes and get back out and enjoy the great outdoors, and Bunny Hop is the perfect refreshing reward to savour at the end.”

We hope to see a load of our Puritans at CBR17 to come and enjoy the first pints of Bunny Hop on keg – Cheers!

By Alex Cosgrove

We’re Back For Craft Beer Rising 2017

We are excited to announce that we will be making the trip down to the capital again for this year’s Craft Beer Rising!

CBR16 was one of our highlights of last year and when the chance came to return this year we didn’t hesitate in signing up.

Held at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane CBR is a beer lovers dream with over 100 brewers all bringing with them great beers then paired with a great music and street food line up. This year we will be bringing a taste of Warwickshire to the Capital in the form of Longhorn IPA our unfiltered American style rye pale ale, Lawless our Unfiltered lagered beer, Saddle Black our unfiltered hoppy black beer and something brand new that we are exclusively launching at this years CBR!

Want to be among the first to sample our new beer? Make sure you grab your tickets there are still some left – https://www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/festival/craft-beer-rising-london?t=579f5593b3c58800549e5584

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 www.bottleshack.uk

By Alex Cosgrove

Purity Brewing Company on Top of the World with Latest Award Wins

We are on top of the world after two of our beers won at the 2015 World Beer Awards to cap an incredible year for the U.K’s Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year.

Pure UBU and Lawless Lager have both received global recognition after winning the national, continental and now worldwide stages in the highly prestigious awards ceremony.

Pure UBU, has been named World’s Best Amber Ale whilst our latest brew Lawless Lager took the much-coveted World’s Best German-Style Lager. Lawless Lager is Flo Vialan’s (our Director of Brewing) take on the 500 year old German Purity Law ‘The Reinheitsgebot’, whereby the beer is brewed with only four natural ingredients but given a twist when it is hopped with El Dorado to give it a distinctive and full flavour. As we say, ‘Lawless respects the rules as long as they are the rules according to Flo’s Law’.

The World Beer Awards are the global awards, which select the very best of each internationally recognised beer styles. The annual tasting selects, awards and promotes the ‘World’s Best Beers’ to consumers and the trade throughout the world.

Judging is blind with regional style heats held in Asia, Europe and the Americas. All regions have their own Chairman and group of judges who select the style winners in their region. 

Style winners from all regions are then tasted against each other to select the World’s Best Style. From these world winners judges select the World’s Best categories, from which the World’s Best Beer is selected. World Beer Awards judges include hugely respected industry writers, leaders and critics. This year’s judges were Adrian Tierney-Jones, Mark Dorber, Will Hawkes, Jessica Mason, Jeff Evans, Tim Hampson, Glenn Payne, Chris Hall, Mitchel Adams and Claire Dodd. 

Our MD Paul Halsey said: “The national and continental awards the two beers picked up were wonderful accolades in themselves, but to see both named World’s Best with the backing of such a discerning group of judges is an absolute honour and something we are very proud of. We started brewing Pure UBU ten years ago now and to see it continuing to win awards is fantastic. The award for our newest brew ‘Lawless Lager’ is the icing on the cake and for those that haven’t tried it yet, we would urge you to do so. This idiosyncratic beer is a real gem and I think may well become the jewel in Purity’s crown.”

“Everything we do at Purity is driven by our core value of ‘Pure Quality’ and to receive global recognition is real testament to our brew team and to the loyalty of our customers who have helped us grow and remain our most prized advocates.”

For more information about and to order the World’s best for yourself, visit www.bottleshack.uk

 

By Alex Cosgrove

News from the Brew House No.3 – From Humble Grain to Great Celebrations

Welcome to the third edition of News from the Brewhouse. This time we look at the often unsung hero in brewing – malt and in particular Maris Otter, which this year celebrates its unprecedented 50th uninterrupted harvest.

To mark the occasion H Banham Ltd, along with David & Rachel Holliday from The Norfolk Brewhouse, are putting together the Maris Otter 50 Beer Festival. There will be new brewers, established brewers, small micros as well as larger brewers – but they all share one thing in common – a passion for brewing with Maris Otter.

All the brewers attending the festival are crafting a new beer to debut at the celebration event. So that’s 50 new brews celebrating the very special malting barley, which in its 50 years has become recognised as the premium choice for brewers the world over.

We sat down with our Director of Brewing, Flo to delve deeper into Maris Otter and ask him why we couldn’t miss out on this opportunity to celebrate with the growers:

Well Flo, it is the Maris Otter 50th beer festival this week, can you tell us why Purity use Maris Otter malt and what it gives us that other Malts can’t?

Maris Otter provides a strong base to our beers. Essentially it is the spine of a good beer that allows the speciality malts and hops to flourish. The reason we use Maris Otter is the consistency of the harvest. We know that year after year we are getting high quality malt, which allows us to create the highest quality beer. Using Maris Otter also improves the clarity of the beer too as some lesser malts can cause haze issues in the final beer, owing to the nitrogen levels in the grain. Some malt has high levels of nitrogen can cause this hazing, whereas Maris Otter which has a low nitrogen content helps us to brew a crystal clear beer. Another benefit of using MO is that it mills well and breaks down into a fine grist any which doesn’t get stuck in the lauter tun or pipes which pump the spent grain out to the farm for feed.  However, more important than anything is that MO gives great mouth feel, something that Purity prides itself on with our beers.

Where do we source the malt and why them?

All of our malts come from Simpson’s Malt and our MO is all grown and malted in East Anglia, funnily enough Henry Blofeld from BBC TMS family own a lot of arable land in East Anglia and are some of the largest producers of MO in the UK so our resident cricket fan in the office was over the moon when we told him about this. We use Simpsons’ again for the quality and year on year consistency that we need to keep producing award winning beers.

Why is Maris Otter such a pleasure to brew with?

MO has superb maltose extraction levels. Maltose is the sugar we need to allow the yeast to feed and produce alcohol. MO provides us with 98% maltose extraction, which is brilliant for yields and means we can produce more beer for less input.

How did the idea of Pure MO come about and why did we get involved?

Essentially they approached us as they knew we care about our ingredients and only use the highest quality possible and how could we refuse? To showcase this great malt and celebrate it being used for 50 years in the brewing industry we felt we had to get involved. As MO is a winter variety of malt it grows slower and is more difficult to grow but it is this slow growth cycle that gives the low nitrogen and high sugar levels.

Pure MO is our nod to this malt and we feel it showcases the brilliance of the malt. We kept the addition of other malts to a minimum as we wanted MO to be the star of the show. Pure MO is extra pale ale but we have added some Chinook, Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops as well as our new bittering hop Pilgrim from Worcestershire that gives a citrus fruit aroma and taste and giving Pure MO a zesty finish.

Why should we celebrate the 50 years of Maris otter?

One reason we should celebrate the 50th harvest of MO as it is a crop that has been developed with brewers and farmers together for a better quality beer not just for a quick crop to be a cash cow. The difficulties to grow the malt are outweighed by the final products. We wouldn’t use anything other than MO because it is the premium malt, we as a brew team can trust that it will be reliable to give us a high quality pint and it is proved and tested. Let’s hope that we can celebrate another 50 years of MO.

There we have it a glowing testament to MO from Flo, we feel that Pure MO is a great celebration beer for the MO festival, we want to hear what you think. If you are going to the festival and try Pure MO let us know via our social channels what you think. Follow us  @purityale on Twitter or like us at PurityBrewingCo on Facebook.

For more information on the festival check out http://www.h-banham.co.uk/marisotter50/

 

By Alex Cosgrove

News from the Brew house No.2 – The Story Behind Longhorn IPA

Welcome to the second instalment in our new series of ‘News from the Brewhouse’. In this blog we explore the thought process and story behind Longhorn IPA, which recently won a medal at the International Beer Challenge.

Longhorn cattle are an ancient and hardy breed of cattle that wear a floppy fringe and are so named because of their impressive and humungous horns. The farm here in Great Alne has long reared Longhorn cattle because of their stunning meat and friendly temperament. Now… Purity has a little confession to make. When we needed a new Brewhouse to cope with the demand for our beer, we had to move the Longhorn herd into another part of the farm. However, their new home is a happy one and as a tribute to this rare and powerful creature we named our rye IPA after them. The benefit to the Longhorn didn’t simply stop at a shiny new home and a beer named after them though! A bi-product of the brewing process is a source of spent grains which the herd merrily chomp away on as they look out majestically over the farm. And so it is, the circle of life is complete and thanks to initiatives like this Purity has recently been named the ‘UK Sustainable Manufacturer in the Year’.

We sat down with Aaron Taubman, the Quality Manager at Purity Brewing Co. to understand more about the two types of Longhorn on our farm! We started off by discussing how Aaron and Flo (Director of Brewing) came up with the ingredients for this rye IPA.

Aaron – how did the brew team come up with the malts and hops for the Longhorn IPA?

We wanted to create a balanced American style IPA that would appeal to our customers but maintain a Purity twist. This was the definitive reason for choosing crystal rye and rye malt as the speciality malts for the brilliant copper orange colour and also the spiciness on the palate that they impart to the beer. The rye also gives Longhorn a distinct ‘dry’ taste which counters the sweetness that is needed to balance the high bitterness of this style of pale ale. This makes a pleasurable drinking experience.

Which hops did you chose then and why those particular varieties?

Essentially to branch away from the standard hops that are in all our beers previous to Longhorn and both Flo and I were excited to use Galaxy for its massive tropical fruit aromas and flavours. Chinook gives Longhorn a resin and pine taste which some people also taste marmalade. Simcoe was chosen for the citrus flavours which all together give a rounded, fruity and mouth-watering aroma. Recently we have become fans of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire grown Pilgrim hop. Pilgrim has a deeply spicy, yet unusually pleasant, garlicky onion aroma. As a bittering hop Pilgrim is not being used to its full aromatic potential, but stay tuned.

A lot of American craft beers are ordered by IBU (International Bittering Unit) – How do you determine the IBU and what is the ideal IBU for this type of beer?

LHIPA is 60 IBUs. We had that number in mind because it allowed us to brew a relatively balanced beer using the bittering unit and gravity unit ratio (BU: GU) Longhorn’s ratio is 60:51. The gravity is 51 and we wanted it to be close to parity with the perfect ratio 50:50 however to maximise on flavour and aroma you need to have a slightly higher BU than gravity or otherwise it would be to strong and the hops would be lost in it. For example a typical mild has a low BU GU and is very “mild” due to having a high gravity and low bitterness.  Longhorn is much more aggressive by comparison.

How did the decision to leave Longhorn unfiltered come about?

We wanted to have the most appealing beer possible which incorporates aroma, appearance and taste. Having the beer unfiltered not only maintains the flavour profile but aids the mouthfeel of the beer. We also wanted to be able to educate consumers that hazy beer is not always bad and can be mean a good beer and isn’t ‘off’ or sour. However, we do try to ensure that it doesn’t come out like mud and full of sediment! With modern breweries you get brilliant wort straight out of the Brewhouse which ensures we aren’t sending out thick and cloudy beer but the best beer we can. With using a higher quality ingredients and new technologies we can continue to push boundaries and continue to brew award winning beers!

When Longhorn was launched we were often asked when it would be bottled be available – why were cans chosen as opposed to bottles?

Cans are great for many reasons but ultimately it is about flavour and ensuring the quality of the beer. Other benefits of canning are that they are lighter are also fully sealed containers so almost no oxygen can enter your beer ensuring that brewery fresh taste.

There we have it an insight into the inner sanctum of the Purity brewing team. Next time we delve deeper into the world of Lawless and get to grips with Flo’s law breaking brew.

The Awards Keep Coming
Bunny Hops Into Keg!
We’re Back For Craft Beer Rising 2017
News From the Brewhouse No. 7 – It’s a Hard Job…
Purity Brewing Company on Top of the World with Latest Award Wins
News from the Brew House No.3 – From Humble Grain to Great Celebrations