Oops!

It looks like you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.

This website is best viewed using IE9 and later. Please update your browser to continue and experience the site and content at its very best.

Alternatively open the site in a recommended modern browser such as Firefox or Chrome.

Gipsy Hill Brewing Company

8:58 am

A peek inside the barrel store


News

A few weeks ago we released a sneak peek from one of our barrels at Cloudwater’s Friends & Family & Beer Festival. Today, we’re catching up with Fred, Head of Quality Control and Wild Beer, about our burgeoning barrel ageing programme. 


Over the past three years, we have been developing a barrel ageing and souring project, quietly stowing away beer and experimenting with various different barrels and cultures.

Barrel ageing is a patient and expensive game to be in (typically, early stage you can expect to lose between 20-50% of what you put away). However, the end result – a product with the complexity and depth of flavour that’s neigh on impossible to replicate from a clean fermentation – means we’re deeply committed to having a BA programme here at Gipsy Hill.

We’ve got over 40 barrels here at the brewery, collected over the course of the last five years and housed in The Taproom and Unit 9 of the Brewery. 22 of these barrels are freshly emptied whisky barrels from Scotland, containing a big and boozy Imperial Stout, brewed with Tempest Brew Co and racked in June 2019. Another six contain a Gipsy Hill sour base, brewed at Christmas 2018 and loaded into sterilised white and red wine barrels, before being pitched with mixed cultures collected from a variety of Belgian Lambic producers.

Those of you that attended Cloudwater’s Friends & Family & Beer Festival last month may have been fortunate enough to sample a sneak peak from one of our barrels. We drew off a small amount of the sour from a single French oak barrel (originally containing Château Pape Clément – one of the oldest Grands Crus of Bordeaux) and refermented it in bottle to add some carbonation. Beautifully complex, with a balanced acidity, it was just a little taste of what’s to come from our barrels in the future.

In the coming months, we’ll be stepping up our barrel ageing efforts by installing a dedicated barrel ageing facility that will house all of our barrels, as well as 3-5 Foedres and a couple of stainless tanks exclusively for mixed fermentation beers. I (Fred) have got recipes for a number of these beers already written, and can’t wait to share further wild beer updates with you very soon!

Want to support local, whilst showing your appreciation of the NHS? Why not “Buy the NHS a pint!”

Buy 'em a pint!