Meet the brewer: Wild Card

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This week marks the first edition of “Meet the brewer”. It’s a new feature which helps you - the DeskBeers aficionado - get closer to the brewers of each batch of DeskBeers, every week. Helping us kick-start, last week’s brewer - Wild Card - offered us a slice of their mind, showcasing just why they’re so brilliant. Without further ado, here it is: 

Describe what Wild Card’s about without using the words ‘beer’, ‘brewery’ or ‘pub’.

Working hard to do something we love.

What made you want to start brewing as Wild Card?

A hobby that got out of control. Taking over first the shed and then our lives. We grew up in Nottingham where good beer was widely available. We started out very good at drinking beer and thought we’d have a crack at home brewing. It was once we had built our own equipment that we felt inspired to make a living from brewing.

What’s your favourite non-beery drink?

Tea. Yorkshire Gold Blend, specifically. Gets us up and going for the early morning brew schedules. Without tea bags, all manufacture would stop.

What’s the weirdest ingredient you’d like to see in your beers?

That would be telling. We’ve got something very interesting coming out in the Spring.

Favourite hop?

Any fresh wild hops, regardless of the variety. There’s some great ones on Walthamstow marshes. One of the team, Toby, who is a keen forager introduced us to some great spots nearby.

What’s the best part of being a small brewery?

Being in control of our own destiny, making the beer the way we want to and having a finished product that we can be proud of. We are all involved with every part of the process, whether it’s driving the van, washing the casks, brewing the beer, perfecting the recipes, we all do a bit of everything.

What beers are next after the IPA and red ale?

Our blonde beer, the King of Hearts, is out in bottles this week. It is brewed with lager malts and then dry hopped in the fermenter with Citra. This gives loads of great hop aroma without making the beer astringent. The result is really a really zesty and refreshing brew.

Next is a London Porter, called the Ace of Spades. We’re launching this on cask at a free halloween party at the brewery on Friday 31st October. The bottles will be out soon after this. We’re really happy with the recipe, it’s complex, but well rounded with great chocolate and roasted coffee notes.

Tell us about the events at Wild Card.

We took such a big risk when we threw everything at getting Wild Card Brewery off the ground. And it was thanks to the support of locals and beer enthusiasts that we have managed to get this far. It’s been great because we now have a platform to offer other start ups the chance to make a name for themselves. So recently we’ve had a local start up called the Choi Boys doing a food residency at the brewery. They make incredible Korean food and it means we can focus on making and serving great beer. We’ve also worked with up and coming bands. We recently had the Tigercats do a gig here. On Thursday 4th December the Firestations will be launching their new album at the brewery.

We’re really lucky in the brewery because we share the industrial estate with some great neighbours. Chris Bracey’s God’s Own Junkyard, Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace, Aura Rosa Cake are all next to us. As well as some great traditional businesses like Shiv Motors mechanics. We’ve all collaborated to do some really ambitious events. We even had Javier Zalba from Buena Vista Social Club playing in the industrial estate car park.

We’ve got some other great things lined up at the brewery soon, including:
- A Halloween party and London Porter launch on Fri 31st October;
- A Classic & Retro Car Boot Sale on Sunday 16th November
- A winter beer festival Fri 21st November - Sun 23rd November
- Firestations’ album launch on Thursday 4th December
- Flamenco Thief Thursday 18th December

What brewery would you like to do a collaboration with?

Mikkeller. We’re big fans.

Who are some of your favourite London breweries?

It’s always great to see other brewery start-ups who are making something from nothing and starting out with little capital and lots of hard work. Strawman Brewery in Peckham, Anspach & Hobsday are good examples.

Over in East and North London we have great neighbours as breweries, such as Beavertown, ELB, Hackney Brewery, Five Points, Brodies, Crate, Pressure Drop, Redchurch, Redemption… just to name a few. One of the great things about the brewing industry is that it is so collaborative. Rather than competing against each other we are working together to build excitement about good beer and win over drinkers from the bland, multinational breweries.

What’s Wild Card’s next move for world domination?

We’re currently planning a national infrastructure project to lay pipelines across the country. By 2015 all UK dwellings will have three taps in their kitchens. Cold tap, hot tap and beer tap…

Hitting all the right notes with Signature Brew

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With London being the epicentre of (almost) everything under the sun; it also shares a particular romance with the craft beer and live music scenes, with countless efforts from both sides being seen every day.

Fitting comfortably within the latter two, Signature Brew combined their love of great craft beer and live music to a) Encourage bands to brew their own beer and b) start brewing their own to wage war on the poor selection of beer at gig venues across the capital. We threw in two of their best - and recently bottled - brews into last Friday’s delivery; a 5.6% Backstage IPA and a 4.1% Signature Pale Ale, making for a lot of happy faces. 

BEER NEWS

Continuing the theme of innovation, Men’s Journal have compiled a list of "(Highly) Experimental Craft Beer Style Trends Worth Trying", including brewing with food (by not eating it), foraging, ‘Grodziskie’ malt and - erm - milk. Elsewhere, Camden Town Brewery are on the cusp of releasing their Pumpkin-spiced lager, set to drop on October 30th. Forget handing out free sweets for Halloween and remember the good stuff with Camden. 

Constantly letting us revel audiovisual delight, The Craft Beer Channel have once again blurred the lines between craft beer and delectable snacks by inventing the Oreo & Chocolate beer milkshake; it looks delicious, but we’ll let you be the judge.

Finally, here are last week’s happy faces:

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#MyDeskBeers #TGIF

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Have a great week and see you on Friday!

Ed & Team DeskBeers
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Tiny Rebel and Anspach & Hobday

In true DeskBeers fashion, last week’s delivery brought in a series of firsts. It was the first time we used a ‘guest brewer’ in form of Newport’s Tiny Rebel, and Anspach & Hobday's first ever DeskBeers round. We also affectionately dubbed our DeskBeers breweries “DeskBeers debutantes” for the first time…but we’re not as sure on that one.

It was also our first delivery including a Porter - since May, anyway - so we made sure to include one of the best we’d tasted, Anspach & Hobday’s Porter, with aromas of coffee and chocolate; self-indulgence never tasted so good. 

BEER NEWS

October marks the anniversary of London’s ‘beer flood’ (which sounds like a terrible student night). In 1842, Tottenham Court road was flooded with over 600,000 litres of beer, spilling from one of Meux and Company’s ruptured vats. Raise a bottle to beer’s darker side.

Continuing the theme of gallons of beer moving around a city, Belgium have stepped aside from hosting NATO summits and mass-producing waffles and chocolate to focus on the larger issue at hand: beer transportation. Grasping this problem, Bruge’s local council has approved plans for an underground beer pipeline to help ferry the good stuff around the city. Now how do we get this for London and Brighton? 

Another craft beer quandary has been dealt with, in the form of this video, calling out those who wouldn’t even touch a craft beer with a barge pole If you know someone like this (we all know a few), send them to the video and set them right

Finally, if you’re not convinced about DeskBeers, listen to these guys - 

Have a great week,

 - Team DeskBeers

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All good things come in B’s

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Beavertown, Brixton, beer, backgammon, beards, burgers, Brogues, bacon or balderdash? All of the above? Either way it’s safe to say we love almost anything and everything that begins with and beholds the power of B; and rightly so. So, what better way to celebrate too, than to have (lovingly) chucked in some Brixton and Beavertown beers to help do our bit in conquering Friday afternoons and helping put the week to rest. In spirit of this, we’ve delivered a brilliant mixed box last Friday, built up of Beavertown’s Quelle Saison and Brixton Brewery’s Reliance Pale Ale. Now it’s time for..

BEER NEWS

With beer prices almost constantly being an inexorably hot topic of conversation, The Huffington Post said “enough is enough!” and gave us the answer to the question we - apparently - have been looking for all these years; with an article on why beer prices fluctuate so much. Inevitably, it’s not the finest piece of prose (that accolade goes to our DeskBeers newsletters), it does make for a good read and is certainly more interesting than real work on a Monday morning, ain’t that right?

Continuing on the path of beery righteousness, we’ve found that you can beautiful buy craft beer jam (or jelly, if you’re that way inclined…) to slurp all over your toast. Currently being made in Vermont, the jam consists of flavours of oatmeal stout, Hefeweizen and - of course - IPA. Unfortunately, it won’t give you that buzz you sometimes need, as it’s barely alcoholic. But, BEER JAM!

Saving the best bit ‘til last, last week was DeskBeers’ biggest week ever; needless to say we had a little celebration, and hopefully so did you! 

So there’s your Monday morning DeskBeers fix; it’s almost Friday, anyway!

- Team DeskBeers

Savouring Fridays with Savour

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The new kid on the block - Savour Brewery - commandeered our deliveries last Friday and championed three of their finest brews, with a Blond Ale, a Saison and a Dubbel. Only slightly older than DeskBeers itself, we believe Savour will go from beery strength to beery strength, so what better time to bring them to the masses?

Arguably the best thing to come out of Clapham Junction since JK Rowling, Sandy Kirkpatrick - Savour’s Founder & Creator - originally fell in love with brewing by drinking Belgian beer and decided to bring it back to London. Each beer a nod to this style and to the explosive learning curve Sandy went through (we’re meant to Savour every drop, geddit?) and to Belgian brewing, Savour makes for a fantastic brew.

BEER NEWS
Whilst a little far out of London (it’d probably be Zone 10,000), Paul Smith’s College in Upstate NY is offering a Minor in Craft Beer, essentially a fast-track ticket for any alumni to become a Craft Beer Wizard; an affable title no doubt. Doubtless too is the relentless search for endless listicles about great craft beer, so here’s The Londonist’s 10 Best Craft Beer Pubs; inclusive of two of our favourites: The Craft Beer Co. and The Earl of Essex

Turning their attention away from an imminent global economic meltdown, The International Business Times decided to take a peek at "London’s Booming Craft Brewing Sector". Perfect to ease you into your Monday.

As always, thanks for being part of DeskBeers and we can’t wait to show you all what’s going to come next; needless to say we’re damn excited.

- Team DeskBeers

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The way of the Weird Beard

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Having been out of our deliveries since April, we thought last Friday’s delivery would be perfect for Weird Beard Brew Co.’s re-introduction into our boxes of beer-y goodness. Award-winning, ahead of the curve and one of London’s most innovative brewers, Weird Beard are built on having “no gimmicks, no crap and [being] never knowingly under-hopped”, which makes them the perfect match for DeskBeers. In the box, we put a 7.2% American IPA - Five o’clock Shadow - and a lighter (in comparison, anyway) 5.3% Transpacific Pale Ale, lovingly named Mariana Trench

BEER NEWS

Craft 100 have started showing off (and rightly so) with their fantastic beer list for their event in Clapham. What do you make of it? Elsewhere, BBC have jumped on the craft beer bandwagon by looking into why canned brews have had a rebirth and how they may be the best thing for beers since, well, DeskBeers.

In other news, some eyebrow-raising brewing techniques dropped into our inbox this week. Paleo Quest - a nonprofit in USA - partnered with Lost Rhino Brewing Company to start swabbing old bones for beer-making cells and - as a result - pioneered Bone Dusters Paleo Amber Ale. Similarly, Oz’s Doctor’s Orders Brewing have started brewing Cephalopod, a batch of Berliner Weisse made with Squid Ink with a questionable colouring of “grey to turquoise”. We’re not here to judge!

Have a great week,

Team DeskBeers 

The Kernel Brewery takeover

Grasping the quintessentially English concepts of modesty, understatement and - obviously - great craft beer, The Kernel Brewery dominated this week’s delivery with their Pale Ale and IPA. 

Part of the now-infamous Bermondsey mile, The Kernel Brewery rub shoulders with the likes of Fourpure, Partizan, Brew By Numbers and Bullfinch; whilst brewing with “upfront hops, lingering bitternesses, warming alcohols and bodies of malt [and] depths of flavour”. That’s a pretty good MO, if you ask us. 

BEER NEWS

Often find yourself in the dark about craft beers? Want to know the different between a subtle Saison and a hoppy IPA with deep hints of malt? Well, we’re here to help. Well, the aptly named C’est la Beer has come to your rescue. Whilst it won’t solve all your beer-y problems, it’s a good place to start recognising those little differences in our boxes of joy.

Craft 100 kicks off in under two weeks’ time, with a winning combination of free entry, no tokens and a smorgasbord of beer offerings, from London’s craft beer elite, namely Beavertown, Bullfinch, Pressure Drop, Weird Beard, Buxton and many more. So, descend upon Clapham and revel in the Craft beer-goodness with us!

Enjoy the weekend and Friday’s only a few days away, anyway…

Cheers!
Team DeskBeers

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Pales by comparison: Camden Brewery and Redchurch Brewery mixed box

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"CAN IT GET ANY BETTER?", screamed the headline of the Camden Post, which found its way into DeskBeers deliveries last Friday. Also in the box - perhaps unsurprisingly - was a bountiful mixed selection, from Camden Brewery and Redchurch brewery, with two wonderfully refreshing pale ales. We wouldn’t be surprised if all our subscribers didn’t scream the same thing after washing down their beers. 

BEER NEWS

With a personal (and not-so-top-secret) mission of giving craft beer lovers the best news, we found this article on The Guardian on “how hops got hip”, (we like to call it the DeskBeers effect), and the revolution that followed. For the Camden Town Brewery fanatics out there (count us amongst that list) they will be releasing a new lager on November 1st, aptly titled ‘India Hells Lager’; looks tasty. 

Beavertown Brewery continue to mind-blow, with their latest endeavour being their aptly-titled 'rainbow project, set to stun on September 13th. In a nutshell, 7 breweries (most of which are DeskBeers regulars) will be brewing “exquisite collaborations”, all based on colours of the rainbow and - here’s the best bit - available on draft in Beavertown’s tap room. 

Finally, who got their DeskBeers on Friday? We’d love to hear about it so we can really impress you next time, so don’t be shy. You can write us a romantic emailTweet us something nice, or Instagram your lovely DeskBeers. Your call!

If you’re not part of DeskBeers, why not? Head to DeskBeers.com (duh!) to get involved.


Cheers,
Team DeskBeers

Pressure Drop double box, pairing with Partizan and Beavertown’s Tap Room

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Last Friday, DeskBeers delivered a sight even better than London’s sleek skyline - a fantastic double box from Pressure Drop. Originally from Stoke Newington - but now in Hackney - Pressure Drop come armed with inspiration from all around the world, naming English, German and modern US beer recipes amongst some of their favourites. In the box was a ‘Stokey Brown’ (5.1%) Brown Ale, which pays a hoppy homage to the brewery’s roots and a ‘Pale Fire’ (4.8%), an aptly named Wit Beer. 

BEER NEWS

Tonight, our friends in Partizan are popping on their oven mitts and teaming up with KIN, for a night of Asian street food and craft beer pairing. Taking place in Leather Lane (and conveniently seconds away from The Craft Beer Co.), KIN and Partizan will combine to create 5 dishes paired perfectly with 5 beers from Partizan, making for an interesting meal. Head here to get involved.

On Saturday, DeskBeers favourites Beavertown Brewery brewed up a storm in their tap room, with a smorgasbord of keg offerings and bottles. Part of their taproom takeover, the Gamma Ray geniuses undoubtedly made for a lot of happy craft beer lovers. 

We’re also celebrating our biggest ever week here at DeskBeers, so have a cold one for us.

Cheers!
Team DeskBeers
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The mixed box strikes back and beer festival extravaganza

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With the sound of refreshment now cascading through London and Brighton every Friday (you can thank us later…), it was last Friday’s mixed box that sent the latest - and one the best - batches of “that Friday feeling” to offices. Two of DeskBeers’ favourite brews - Beavertown's Gamma Ray and a new Red Ale from our friends Brew By Numbers - were sent out on Friday.

BEER NEWS

We went to London Beer City over the course of last week, with our proverbial highlight reel including watching watermelons get put into a brew (that’s right), eating tapas and drinking great beer with Moncada Brewery and much more. We finished off a great and beer-y at London’s Craft Beer Festival, with Magic Rock, Buxton, Partizan, The Kernel, Camden Town, Siren - to name a few - working up their magic for the London-dwelling craft beer lovers. 

If you missed it, fret not. There’s another festival just on the horizon and - here’s the best bit - it’s free! It’s called Craft100 and comes from our friends at the Craft Beer Co; from September 18th-21st. Why not head along after having your DeskBeers on the Friday?

So that’s it from us easing you into your Monday morning. Friday’s just around the corner anyway, right?

Enjoy the week!
Team DeskBeers
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