Innovative Breweries: Part 1
The world of craft beer is ever evolving, with innovative new concepts pushing the boundaries of what beer is ever further. There are in excess of 2,000 breweries operating throughout the UK, producing a wide range of traditional real ales and the latest fuss beers that take inspiration from around the world. British beer has come on in leaps and bounds over the years and brewers across the UK are more than keeping up with their international counterparts.
While there are many fantastically skilled brewers in the UK, creating world class craft beer, let’s take a look at the most innovative breweries. Those that are trying new concepts and introducing new ideas to the market are worth keeping an eye on. Over the years there have been many innovative breweries, but as is the nature of the industry, the most successful innovations soon become common practice. So, who’s making waves in 2018?
Little Earth Project
Taking a step back in time and a huge leap into new realms of modern beer, the Little Earth Project is no normal brewery. Sour beers aren’t particularly new in the UK, with several breweries producing world class sours. However, LEP take things a step further with their mixed culture fermentations.
Producing on a small scale, their farmhouse brewery - located in Sussex - uses solar energy and locally coppiced wood to power their artisan beer production. They grow their own barley and hops, as well as numerous additional ingredients that feature in their beers.
They produce a wide and varied range of beer styles, from IPA to stout - but what sets them apart from other breweries is that each and every beer is fermented spontaneously using their own yeast, derived from cider apples from their orchard. This gives the beers a truly unique character and with further aging in wooden casks, their beers evolve complex flavours.
Proving that sustainable brewing is possible in 2018, while creating groundbreaking new styles of beer, LEP are among the most exciting breweries in the UK today. Their beers are available in select locations around the UK, as well as online beer shops. The White Horse Inn in Edwardstone serves as their tap house and is right next door to the brewery.
You can be forgiven for not knowing about this nano-brewery yet, however, in certain circles, it’s the source of a lot of excitement. In a year or 2 the name may be more familiar, but for the time being the brewery produces very small amounts of very high-quality beer, which has been known to sell out in under 2 minutes on online beer shops.
So why the fuss? Emperor’s Brewery is the brainchild of a keen homebrewer, who set out to produce the greatest imperial stouts and porters the galaxy has ever seen. So far, his 2 releases have done just that. Both weigh in at over 10% and both offer perfectly balanced and complex flavours that subtly hint at their respective adjuncts, rather than becoming overpowering. The excessive booziness often associated with such strong imperial stouts is nowhere to be seen as you sip an all too easy to drink flavour fest.
The dark, imperial strength beers that Emperor’s Brewery is producing on a tiny scale have certainly given the more widely produced variants a run for their money. They’ve raised the bar and thrown down the gauntlet, with each new release causing ever more excitement among the craft beer community.