SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR

By Alex Cosgrove

Pure Hopped Cider Launch Bristol & London

We would be delighted if you could join us either Tuesday 15/11/16 from 18.00 or Thursday 17/11/16 from 5.30 as we launch Pure Hopped Cider on draught at the Queens Head Acton Street and the  Famous Royal Navy Volunteer and celebrate the last 12 months success for Purity as we showcase this unique new product. We know that this time of year is when things get a little hectic so we would be chuffed if you could join us – we hope you can make it along!

Pure Hopped Cider is a new craft cider made with a 100% fresh apple juice from Herefordshire and a dash of the finest Target hops from Worcestershire which is gently matured in  oak vats to produce a beautifully balanced and smooth   drinking cider with a natural haze and sweet undertone which compliments the hoppy citrus flavours and lingering dry finish.

By Alex Cosgrove

News from the Brewhouse No.9 – Pure Hopped Cider

Welcome to the latest edition of the news from the brews, this month we’re bringing news from the brew house and the cider press. Eagle eyed Purity and Westons Cider fans will have seen we have been busy over the last few months collaborating to bring an exciting new cider; Pure Hopped! Our new cider is a craft cider made with a 100% fresh apple juice from Herefordshire and a dash of the finest Target hops from Worcestershire.  Pure hopped cider adds genuine innovation to the growing craft cider market.

Pure Hopped is made with locally sourced cider apples from Herefordshire and Target hops from Stocks Farm in Worcestershire, before being gently matured for up to 6 months in Westons own oak vats. The result is a beautifully balanced and smooth drinking cider with a naturally hazy appearance. Sweet undertones compliment the subtle citrus and hop flavours leaving a refreshingly dry finish.

Pure Hopped is the result of a chance conversation on the annual hop walk at Worcestershire’s Stocks Farm. During the walk our MD Paul Halsey spoke to the farm’s owner and British hop advocate, Ali Capper, about the hopped ciders he had tried in the United States. With a glint in her eye, Ali took Paul to the Target hop bines and instantly Paul knew that Ali ‘got it’.

After discussing the idea with Westons Guy Lawrence, the 5th generation cider maker, they set out to create a unique blend of 100% cider apples ideally suited to the Target hops from Stocks Farm. Two weeks later they poured two glasses straight from the tap and a perfect collaboration was born – a balanced cider with a citrus hop twist.

Our founder Paul explains his excitement on Pure Hopped “We are in an age of true innovation in the drinks sector. At Purity we are proud to have been at the forefront of the craft beer movement in the UK throughout the past 10 years and are delighted to be working with Westons on our latest collaboration. Hopped cider is something I came across in the US and ever since my first pint I have been going on about these ciders to Flo & his team to see what we could do. Since that trip to Portland in the States I have wanted to create one. Combining the expertise of Westons and the innovation of Purity has led us to create a premium craft cider of the finest quality.”

Pure Hopped Cider is a great match for slow roasted apple and cinnamon glazed belly pork with buttered leeks and duck fat roast potatoes. Pure Hopped Cider is out now and available from our brewery shop and http://www.bottleshack.uk/cider-and-perry?product_id=275

By Alex Cosgrove

News from the Brewhouse No. 8 – Festival Frolics

Welcome to the latest edition of News from the Brews. This month we decided to try and hold on to the last of the summer and look back on our record breaking summer of events and festivals.

If you’ve been following our social media you’ll have seen Purity has been at lots of events and festivals this summer, it was in fact a record breaking summer for Purity in terms of the number of events undertaken. From Bruce Springsteen at the Ricoh Arena, Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul, Ocean Colour Scene, Birmingham Beer Bash, Tap Takeovers to Lunar Festival and Moseley Folk it has been an incredible summer. So as the sunshine fades we got an insight into what goes on behind the scenes at all these events with our Marketing & Events team.

Our Marketing & Events Manager Ian Parkes, our Marketing & Events Coordinator Alex Cosgrove and our Head of Logistics Ian Back have had a mammoth summer with events almost every weekend. So after a small rest bite we decided to grab a chat with them to find out just what it takes to deliver our award winning beer to all of these events.

As Marketing & Events manager how do you decide which events and festivals to get involved with?

IP: We make sure that we work with events that enable us to get close to our consumers, align with our values and interests and those festivals which care about the quality of the beers that they offer to the festival goers. Music is close to our hearts at Purity and we have been lucky enough to work with some of the most exciting and well respected festivals within the U.K. We started off working with the Moseley Festivals, Soul/Funk and Folk and 10 years later still work with the festival to supply great beer to accompany the amazing music. Since then we have seen our beer go out to Wilderness, Shambala, Lunar Festival and most recently Camper Calling to name but a few. The festival scene has also been a great way for us to retain a real connection to our local community none more so than the likes of Kineton and Napton Music Festivals and Alcester Food Festival. We love to see people enjoying our beers and being at the festival is a great way for us to do this.

What event has been the most challenging this summer?

IP: All of the festivals we work with present their own challenges but mainly because of our own high standards that we set for the beer. We are committed to making sure that you get as good a pint as you’d get in your local pub but at your favourite outdoor festival. This in itself is no mean feat as you have to deal with bigger temperature differentials, interesting terrain for heavy beer deliveries and a turnover of beer which makes good cellar management essential to getting the beer conditioned to our exacting ‘Pure Quality’ standards. Luckily we have a team here at Purity who love cask beer and take real pride in serving a pint in the best possible condition.

IB: I found the Mostly Jazz very challenging this year especially with the addition of the OCS Concert at the end of the week. We were presented with a new location for the main bar which in itself was a challenge to set up due to the uneven ground and ensuring the racking was erected securely and that stock was kept as cool as possible prior to the events. The positive feedback regarding the quality of the beer and the visual impact made it all worthwhile!

As Head of Logistics you must work very closely with Ian P how does it work with getting the event delivered from set up with the marketing team?

IB: I have worked with Ian for a few years now setting up and delivering events and we have developed a really strong relationship. We both understand the importance of quality and brand presentation and both fully understand that event organisers are likely to change their mind or have new ideas along the way which need to be catered for. Working together as a team on these events means that every eventuality can be covered, from emergency orders to technical service and training. We also have a really strong Distribution Team who all understand the complexities of these events and are willing to get stuck in to ensure that they run as smoothly and as profitably as possible.

Alex you were looking after the Ricoh for Bruce Springsteen whilst everyone else was at Lunar how was that?

AC: What an evening! It was a busy week that week with the build up to Lunar Festival as well so I spent the most part of the week over there. We had seen the crowd queuing on social media and thought it was going to be busy but nothing could prepare you for site when I got to the Ricoh! We delivered a record amount of beer to the Ricoh for the gig and it all went! Thankfully the training that Ian and I have delivered to the guys there ensured people got served a quality pint swiftly. We got some great images and had some great social media interaction on the night which combined with Lunar allowed us to kick start a weekend of music!

Music is a key part of Purity’s core values why is that?

IP: Music, like food, beer and cycling are all things which you tend to have to get under the skin of to get the most from. Most people that are into their music are into their food, beer and music aren’t satisfied with simply eating it, drinking it and listening to it, they want to understand, how and why it is made and what the provenance behind it is. We are a pretty creative bunch at Purity and the soundtrack to our lives often provide the creative driving force to the way we do business. We constantly have music on in the office and the incredible thing about our staff is that they rarely disagree on the music choice. 6 Music tends to keep us all happy and helps us all to generate a lively and creative office.

What is the most challenging aspect of delivering quality beer to events?

IB: Temperature and hygiene, by their nature many of these events have no chilled storage and often have to be delivered through a variety of mediums, mud and dust being just two……. Through careful delivery and staff training we ensure that the final serve is as good as the first and the first is of the highest standard. Obviously weather has a major effect on delivering to outside events (let alone its effect on crowd numbers) therefore the elements have to be carefully considered when planning deliveries and storing beer during the event.

Lastly which has been the most enjoyable event this summer for you?

IP: We all love Lunar Festival. We run the entire bar at Lunar, which means we look after everything from the cellar management to the front of house. The festival is brilliant and it gives us the opportunity for the entire team to be put up in front of our consumers and to show them what Purity are all about. Lunar has a great line up and assortment of food and activities, the vibe is awesome and everyone enjoys the atmosphere, which is supremely chilled out. Personally for me Lunar marks the start of the summer and there is no better time for us at Purity than staring ahead at a long, busy summer!

IB: Similar to IP really – Lunar is a mammoth effort from the whole Purity team but very rewarding. Despite the challenge it proved I did love the Ocean Colour Scene gig straight after Mostly Jazz. It was another huge effort from everyone involved to deliver two sell-out crowds our beer and we even had to deliver extra beer in on Friday night!

AC:  Tough one, Bruce Springsteen as I was in charge (kind of), Birmingham Beer Bash was great to enjoying some awesome beers and chatting to fellow beer fans. But for me Lunar is always a highlight and this year was no exception, I even roped in a mate from home to become an honorary Purity member! It is truly like nothing else that weekend and if you haven’t been you need to check out next year and make sure to go through the Magic Door.

By Alex Cosgrove

News From The Brewhouse No.6 – From 2 Guys & a Dog To Now…

To celebrate Purity Brewing Co 10th anniversary we sat down with our founders Paul Halsey and Jim Minkin and get their take on the last decade.

The story of how Purity was born is well documented. 10 years ago friends Paul and Jim decided to leave their full time jobs and set up roots in rural Warwickshire. Since then Purity has grown from 2 mates and a dog to a team of 35 with a state of the art Brewhouse and a host of awards including World Beer Awards for Pure UBU and Lawless Lager and the award for UK Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year 2015.

To reflect on the past decade we sat down with Paul and Jim to look back the last 10 years and more importantly talk about what the future has in store for Purity.

  • Paul, Jim… I guess we should start at the beginning. What inspired you to set up Purity?

PH: “Above all else I am a huge beer fan and always liked the finer things in life. I was bored of the offering from mass produced beers and felt that we could do better. I have spent most of my working career in the brewing industry starting with the Bass Graduate Scheme in 1988. During my time at Bass, I worked within different segments of the sales operation as Sales Development Manager, Sales Training Manager and Sales Manager.

Then in 1994, I became Sales Director for a regional brewer that was part of a management buy-out from Bass. In 1998, I decided I wanted a new challenge and diversified into pubs and restaurants where I was lucky enough to conceive, design, project manage and operate two successful and award-winning restaurants in Yorkshire. Then as you could say the stars aligned and after catching up again with Jim we decided to go for it.”

JM:  “Like Paul I too am a big beer fan and after spending 15 years with Bass and M&B have always been lucky enough to make my passion for beer, my job but I always harboured an entrepreneurial desire to be my own boss. What better way than combining these two passions?

Paul and I decided very early on that the heart and soul of Purity should be based on some simple core values, which we would stick vehemently to drive the company forward. The core values we established helped us to find the site we did as the farm we found incorporated everything we wanted in a brewery site. The farm has great infrastructure links to the country despite its rural setting. We didn’t want to be working from an industrial unit in a concrete jungle; we had both been there and done that.  Embracing the countryside and being part of the natural environment was a key tenet of the business finding a home, so when we found Upper Spernall Farm we knew we had hit the jackpot.”

What were your initial aspirations for Purity and have they now changed?

JM: “Initially the aspiration was that no matter what, we needed to stick to our core values and truly believe in what we do and maintain that passion. 10 years later those core values still drive the business and motivates us to keep producing great beer whilst maintaining that conscience and respect for our environment.

The scale of what we have achieved over the last 10 years has been the result of a lot of hard work, dedication and most importantly our fantastic Team at the brewery. The journey from that first day when we walked into a disused cattle shed with Tess the dog (UBU) to where we stand now is incredible.”

PH: “Initially we just wanted be able to brew great beer for people to enjoy in a sustainable and responsible way. We believed it was going to be a success and with careful planning and sticking to the core beliefs of Pure Quality and Pure Eco, we felt we could drive a successful business and produce the great beers we knew we could.

Although, if you were to ask me back in 2005 what would happen in the next 10 years I’d never have thought that we would be sat here (in the original office now the visitor centre) with a state of the art brew house, a team of 35 and counting, national listings with the majority of supermarkets, an award winning bar in Birmingham, be the official cask beer of Wasps Rugby at The Ricoh and most importantly have 7 international award winning beers.

It shows what can be done if you stick to your values and principles and constantly innovate with the beer and the brand.”

Did you think that 10 years later you would still be here?

JM: “It has been hard work but immensely rewarding and Purity as a business almost has its own personality and it is now about how we manage it and control the beast!

When we started we did put in a lot of research (drinking in pubs mainly) and we truly believed we had something that was different and marketable as a brand – the beer isn’t bad either! It was a calculated yet massive risk but like I said hugely rewarding.”

Any stand out memories?

JM: “There have been many! A lot of the standout memories for me came from the early days but the last two years since we opened the new brewery have also provided some great moments. I guess brewing and then tasting our first brew was very special as it made everything real then and since the second brew of UBU we have hardly changed the recipe. Other moments include our first bulk delivery of casks. The lorry arrived full of casks probably about 800 or so and at that time we didn’t have a logistics team so no fork lift truck it was taking the casks off by hand and then stacking by hand. We well and truly earned a beer after that day!

Another stand out moment, not just for me but for Purity was Flo’s interview. People may not know that before Flo I was the brewer. The interview process was a brew day, Flo arrived in his huge white wellies and as soon as the topic of rugby came up we hit it off. Paul and I felt he was the best fit and we haven’t looked back since!

Perhaps in recent times the stand out moment was the install of the new brew kit – 13 trucks from Germany driving through Great Alne we had to send someone to check all the overhead cables were not going to be damaged. We then had some problems with problems with some missing documentation – it went to Amsterdam instead of Munich! But that is now a distant memory and was the best thing we could have done.”

PH: “Now I’ll have to think! The first sale Purity made was momentous, what a buzz! We had business and a product that people wanted. Another highlight was when Mad Goose won champion bitter category at the SIBA awards in 2009 in the 1st year it was brewed. To have a winning beer judged by industry experts was real testament to how far we’d come.

Recurring highlights have come from the festivals we do in Birmingham, Moseley Folk, Mostly Soul and Funk and Lunar. Seeing people enjoying the great music and our beer is something I am always proud of. We also host an annual cricket match in the summer between some of our customers, staff and suppliers, which I umpire. To say the ability is mixed is a bit of an understatement but it is great that we can bring all these people together and share in great beer and great company.”

What are the immediate plans for Purity?

JM: “Well we have just reported our results for the last year and something that we are very proud about, as we are with winning two world beer awards and being named the most sustainable manufacturer in the UK. For the next few years I would like to see us win some more international accolades and continue to invest and develop new products and new formats. There are some exciting projects planned so stay tuned!”

PH: “Well we are not long into the New Year and as Jim said our EOY results for 2015 were outstanding and I have to thank our whole team for their effort and commitment to achieving the record breaking results. 2016 we’re looking to grow even more with new account managers to allow us to share Purity to even more markets, there is a new brew in the offing and we’re just starting to export – watch out Sweden and North America!

We are also joining forces once again with Martin Hilton and Andreas Antona to open another Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, this time in Nottingham. After the success of the bar in Birmingham which was named the Morning Advertiser’s Beer Pub of the Year we decided to open a second site which we are hoping to open in the March this year.”

I guess it is a bit like choosing your favourite child but do you have a favourite Purity beer?

PH: “Well yes it is a bit. I have affection for all our beers but I think Saddle Black just pips it. As a beer I think there are very few that come close to that style and Flo and his team have developed this and there is nothing finer than a tough mountain bike ride at the weekend finished with a pint of Saddle Black. The whole brand story behind Saddle Black is something that I was very hands on with and keen to pay homage to the West Midlands cycling industry. Biking is something I enjoy and is probably one of the best ways I escape from beer – although the team don’t think I ever switch off even on holiday!”

Finally how do you keep a friendship going when so much professional activity is going on?

JM: “Well they say opposites attract or something along those lines! We are great friends and have been for a long time and know each other very well so we know what makes each other tick. We are very different in personalities but that’s what makes it work. We let each other maximise their strengths and the pair of us can bounce ideas of each other to determine what is best for Purity.”

PH: “If anything I think Purity has developed our friendship and enhanced it. To go through the growth and rapid development that we have been through often brings its problems but the rewards are worthwhile and to be able to do this with a friend has been even better.

However with the new Purecraft bar opening and the export journey taking shape I am hardly in the office, which probably is a blessing.”

We hope you enjoyed reading our reflections with Paul and Jim and were able to find out more on how your favorite brewery was set up and continues to go from strength to strength. If you have any standout Purity related memories from the last 10 years we would love you to share them with us.

Also if you are yet to get your hands on our celebration brew X then make sure you check out www.bottleshack.uk as we only have a limited amount left!

By Alex Cosgrove

News From The Brewhouse No.5 – On Tour To Veltins!

Welcome to a very special edition of News from the Brewhouse, which this month is brought to you all the way from Veltins Brewery in Germany! Last month some of the Purity team had the opportunity to head over to Dusseldorf and get to grips with all things Pilsener and to by no means rub it in, here’s what we found – Enjoy!

What is a Pilsener?

Pilsener is a type of pale lager that takes its name from the city of Plzeň, Bohemia, Czech Republic, where it was first produced in 1842.

Purity Brewing Co. and Veltins:

Purity has been importing Veltins Pilsener for a number of years. Veltins is highly regarded as one of the finest examples of German Pilsener. The water from the mountain springs all around Grevenstein is unusually soft. The brewery was formed in 1824 and is still owned by the same family. Veltins has gone from a small family operation starting as a brewpub in Grevenstein to now one of the largest brewers in Germany!

On the plane back from Germany we sat down with Purity Director of Sales Darryl Hinksman to give his reflections on the trip and explain how Veltins has become an integral element of Purity’s extended family.

  • Firstly why was Veltins chosen to join the Purity family?

We felt there were a lot of similarities; independently owned by the same family, a passion for quality and a strong ethical conviction which underpins everything they do which we felt matched our own approach.

  • What is it that makes Veltins Pilsener so special?

An absolute obsession with quality; strict adherence to the Reinheitsgebot (the 1516 German Purity Law) and their own natural spring water, they realised that their water was the perfect base for brewing Pilsener. They took the decision to only brew that style and brew the best beer that they can

  • Our Lawless Lager won the best German Style lager – how does it differ to Veltins?

Perhaps the biggest difference is the style; Veltins is a classic Pilsener whereas Lawless is a classic Pilsener with an idiosyncratic Purity twist! Lawless unlike Veltins is unfiltered and unpasteurised which adds to the flavour and also the hop profile we use differs to our German friends. We use an American hop El Dorado which gives Lawless its citrus notes and the kicker at the end.

  • What do you think are the similarities between the two brewers?

The main similarity has to be that we are both committed to sustainability. Veltins have their own water treatment centre similar if not more industrial than our own wetland system. They also are sticklers for quality and like us do everything to the best of their ability. You could easily apply our mantra of Pure Quality to Veltins in that the cleanliness and pride of work in the brew house drives us all forward.

  • How different is their brewery to ours?

It’s all about scale – the principles are the same as is the passion for hygiene and quality – it’s just that their brewery is one of the largest in Germany.

  • What can we learn from the way Veltins do business?

Build it and they will come! Essentially if you focus on producing the best possible beer without compromise then there are consumers who appreciate what you do and your business will grow. The trip to Veltins was an inspiring trip for us at Purity as it shows that even large established brewers who stick to their core values can flourish. They also recycle old and damaged beer crates to gain the raw material for new boxes. The rinsed bottles labels, cardboard boxes and other paper waste are recycled from paper mills.

Additionally Veltins strive to protect the environment and support numerous conservation projects in their local community. This commitment to develop sustainable future is something that we at Purity take inspiration from and shows us that brewing with a conscience is the right way!

The trip was a great success and not only gave us a greater insight to the Veltins business but also how beer fits into German culture. Check our social channels for some more pictures from the trip.

If you want to try some Veltins for yourself or to check out our other German beers pop over to www.bottleshack.uk/beer/bottled-beer&filter=34

Prost! – Grab yourself a Veltins!

Pure Hopped Cider Launch Bristol & London
News from the Brewhouse No.9 – Pure Hopped Cider
News from the Brewhouse No. 8 – Festival Frolics
News From The Brewhouse No.6 – From 2 Guys & a Dog To Now…
News From The Brewhouse No.5 – On Tour To Veltins!