Hitting the North: Collaborations No. 8, 9, 10, and 11

We’ve been a little bit slow to post our collaboration progress here, mainly because the last few weeks have been very busy indeed. So, to recap, we went to Liverpool, to visit our friends at Mad Hatter Brewing Co in late August. We brewed a beer that we’re calling Manchester Tart, a slightly sour beer with fruit additions of raspberry and coconut, and dry hopped with Sorachi Ace — a beery homage to the lovely and delicious dessert. Should be a treat!

August also saw us visit Leeds and our beery brothers at Northern Monk. We teamed up with Tom Bolland and Hali Santamas from the superb Grove Inn in Huddersfield, as well as our wonderful IndyMan volunteers Amanda and Peter Gaunt. The result of the brew day is a Kiwi Saison, aged in white wine barrels Woody and Buzz! We had a sneaky little non-barrel aged preview at Leeds International Beer Festival — very subtle kiwi flavour that complimented the spicy saison yeast.

Continuing our tour of Yorkshire, we also brewed at Summer Wine Brewery in Holmfirth. Twiggy, an all English-hopped IPA was born and by all accounts the Burton yeast is giving the beer a hugely jammy character. It’ll be dry hopped with East Kent Goldings to give that extra little homegrown kick.

We returned to Manchester, more precisely Salford, to team up with Rik Garner at First Chop. We’ve brewed a small, dark beer with figs and molasses — a nice little palate cleanser. It’s been a full couple of weeks, and now there’s less than four weeks till the main event!

Here are a few snaps from the brew days…



Seven questions for… Logan Plant

In the four week lead up to this year’s festival, we thought it’d be fun to sling our partner breweries a few questions… Over to Logan Plant (Beavertown):

Where are you right now?

Sitting on my couch at 6.30am drinking a fresh Russian River Blind Pig IPA, actually half of that was back in my dreams but I am catching up on e-mails before I leave home for the brewery, reality strikes…hard!

Describe your brewery in just five words?

Yeast, Malt, hops, water…crazyfun!

What does IMBC mean to you?

A pain in the ass when I try to remember what it stands for ;-). The perfect platform and environment to drink some of the best beer known to man.

If you had chance to make one beer before you died, what would it be?

A Best Bitter a la ‘Bathams’. It’s the beer that got my taste buds going for everything malt and hops. Simple but definitive. Then I’d barrel age it in a Marc 1983 barrel and spike with some Brett L. Haha.

Best beer you had at a beer festival in the past six months, where and when?

Well other than Tuborg at Glasto….I was lucky enough to serve our beers at the Firestone Walker Invitational in Paso Robles, the beer I kept going back to was Pivo Pils by FW. Awesome for its style!

On a scale of one to 10, how excited are you about IMBC 2014?

Always beyond, like Spinal Tap….11!

Final question, have you ever swam in a Victorian Baths and what’s your preferred choice of swimwear?

I don’t know anybody called Victoria who has a bath but when I swim it’s mainly in my monkey loin cloth. Maximal tanning, minimal friction.


Thanks Logan for some err, insightful answers… Catch Beavertown in the Turkish Baths  from Thursday – Sunday.


London Calling: Collaboration No. 7 and other beery shenanigans

What a beery week in the nation’s capital: GBBF, London Beer City and London Craft Beer Festival. Naturally, we had to go south to see lots of friendly faces, brew another collaboration for IndyMan, and take in some of the special beer events. It was a tough mission, but someone had to do it!

First, we stopped at Olympia and GBBF, next we visited Beavertown’s new, shiny brewery in Tottenham. The goal: to make an Iced Tea beer! To achieve this, we mashed in with pale, wheat, and oats, and produced a wort that was then soured in the kettle for three days. We then did some trials with Lemon Phantom and Earl Grey Tea… to determine how much tea would be added in the secondary. Can’t wait to try this little refreshing number! It was a busy day at Beavertown, with brewers from Brazil and Jamil Zainasheff from Heretic in California stopping by. After the brew day, it was time to unwind at The Kernel’s open brewery event, and round out the evening with a visit to Mother Kelly’s in Hackney (apologies for the lack of photos, too busy chatting and tasting beers). A lovely beery place indeed.

After a little bit of a tour around central London’s public houses, we stopped to visit Redchurch, during the busy workday as well as for the chill session in the evening. Well worth visiting on a Thursday evening, and keep an eye out for expanded opening times! Furthermore, we met up with Steve and Mark from Beer ‘O’ Clock Show — the podcast of our chat will be online in the near future, watch the respective Twitter feeds. Finally, it was time to visit the Oval Space, and London Craft Beer Festival, which was back for its second outing. More friendly faces, more excellent beer, and then it was time to leave that there London and head back North.

A huge thank you to Beavertown for hosting us and brewing a special for IMBC, and a further massive thanks to all the beery friends, old and new! We hope to see all of you in Manchester in October. Cheers!


On the road again… in the West Country: Collaborations 3, 4, and 5

It’s a new month and thus time for IMBC to get back into the collaborative swing of things. Collaborations 3, 4, and 5 took us to Bristol and to Cornwall, to brew with Wiper and True, Arbor, and Harbour. It was a brew de force, with three brew days in a row!

Our first stop was with Wiper and True in Bristol. We convinced Michael and Will that it would be a great idea to brew a Gose… kindly, the gents obliged and started a sour mash that was ready and smelling pretty potent by the time the brew day rolled around. To keep things German, Polaris went into the mash, and Magnum and Polaris were added to the kettle. Look out for this sour little number to cleanse and refresh your palate!

Day 2 in Bristol and it was time to visit Arbor. Jon mashed in a massive 750 kilos of pale malt to enable a double brew day, with the first runnings for a Lemon and Lime Double IPA. Fruit was purchased and zesting was the name of the game for much of the sunny afternoon. We’re quite sure we don’t want to see anymore citrus in the near future… Plenty of hops was also added into the mix, with the heavy hitters Citra, Simcoe, Galaxy, and Cascade the lupulin carriers of choice. It should be a mouth puckering affair.

After we said our goodbyes, we cruised on down to Cornwall, to visit Eddie Lofthouse and Rhys Powell at Harbour. A huge barley wine was on the cards there, a first for Harbour. Summit and Centennial were the hops, and a bit of Amber malt to add a bit of colour. After primary fermentation, the barley wine will get to soak up the woody and whiskey flavours of Jim Beam casks… This one will be huge. Quite possibly, a most excellent night cap.

Thanks to the gents at Wiper and True, Arbor, and Harbour for their superb hospitality and for making these exciting brews happen! We can’t wait to try them in October. And if you think that this is the end of the collaborations road, then you’d be mistaken… Lots more to come!



What’s been happening: IMBC Collaborations 1 and 2

We’ve been quite busy here at IMBC towers. Not only have we got a slew of new breweries lined up for your delectation in October, we also got our collaborations for this year under way.

To kick off our collaborations this year, we traveled to Caerphilly a few weeks back, to brew a very special Berliner Weisse with Tom Newman at Celt Experience. Tom loves to experiment, so he set up a yeast collection station at Tintern Abbey. After leaving it exposed to the elements for a while, Tom sent off the specimens to a lab, where the yeast was isolated from bacteria and other organisms, and then grown up for the collaboration! So, in addition to the traditional Berliner Weisse yeast strain, the wild yeast has come into play. It’s still souring away now… the results are definitely going to be unique. There may also be a fruited version in addition to the straight Berliner Weisse…

The next day, it was time to brew with the guys at Weird Beard Brew Co. Conditioning in the tank now is a Dark Saison, hopped with Magnum, Aurora, Target, and Columbus, as well as orange zest. The result should be a beer that may look dark and heavy, but is light and fruity… Thanks to both Celt and Weird Beard for letting us come down and making beer for IMBC!

More collaboration news soon…


Words by Claudia Asch



2014 Partners

At long last, we can share with you who will be at the helm of our lovely rooms at IMBC 2014:

Magic Rock, Summer Wine, and Thornbridge have supported IMBC from the early days, and needless to say, they have all grown in leaps and bounds since then. We are chuffed to have them as partners this year! Our newbie for 2014 is the mighty Beavertown. Rest assured that all partners will be bringing some special beery treats to the baths!

Watch our Twitter feed and this space for updates as preparations for IMBC ramp up!


IMBC Collaborations — A preview

IMBC is all about a most cherished beverage: beer. We here at IMBC like to get involved in making beer whenever we get the opportunity, so this year, we managed to do five collaborations with our friends @QuantumBC, @BuxtonBrewery, @MarbleBrewers, @RoostersBrewCo, and @Thornbridge. We selected, sniffed, and weighed out hops, dug mash tuns and coppers, and tasted beers that are still tucked away in the breweries — really hard work, but someone’s got to do it! We think the resultant beers are going to blow your minds — well, at least we hope they will, even just a little. Here is a little preview of what you can expect:

Cast your minds back to June. It was warm(ish) probably, the sun may have been out for extended periods of time, in other words, the perfect weather to brew beer… which we did in our first IMBC collaboration with Mr. Jay Krause, of Quantum Brewing Co. What did we brew? Only an Imperial Treacle Stout, and yes, treacle was added at transfer to the kettle. This dark, rich, 8.6% ABV potion will be on cask.

Our next brewing destination was Buxton. We brewed a saison with plenty of late hops, Galaxy, Cascade, and Sorachi Ace. Oh yes, Sorachi Ace. There will be two versions of this at IMBC: a cask version that was dry hopped with Citra, Galaxy, and then ‘dry tead’ with Bouquet Royal, one of North Tea Power’s super fruity teas. The barrel aged saison, with reported vinous notes, will be on keg. We are spoiling you lucky, lucky people!

Fast forward to August and a brew day at Marble, where a Farmhouse IPA was on the brew sheet. Plenty of late hops Centennial, Columbus, Citra, and Galaxy went into the kettle and more Galaxy for dry hopping. You’ll find the Farmhouse IPA in both keg and cask on the bar.

We then crossed the Pennines to go brew a Huckleberry IPA with our friends at Rooster’s. The special ingredient was 2 kilos of huckleberries — some very late in the boil and some post-fermentation. For bittering, we used Bramling Cross, and late Crystal and flameout Pacific Gem. For good measure, there more Pacific Gem as dry hops. Latest reports tell us that the 6.9% IPA has taken on some colour from the huckleberries. There’s only one cask of this in existence.

Our final stop took us to Derbyshire’s Thornbridge and its 10 barrel Thornbridge Hall brewery. Otter’s Tears consists of Maris Otter and a bit of Carapils — and 8 kilos of Columbus, Centennial, Galaxy, and Nelson Sauvin. After a bit more dry hopping, this will be on the bar in cask. Pale and hoppy, just like Simon Johnson would have liked it — and we hope you’ll like it too.

Thanks to all the breweries for indulging us, we’re looking forward to tasting these beery treats!


IMBC Collaboration No. 5: Thornbridge

On Friday, September 13th, we traveled to Bakewell, to brew with Thornbridge at the Hall brewery — our final collaboration for IMBC!

After the untimely death of beer blogger Simon Johnson in May this year, we at IMBC felt something ought to be done. Simon volunteered at last year’s IMBC, tweeted during the event, and wrote up a really nice post. He was also a great friend and supporter of Thornbridge, so it only seemed right to join forces and brew a beer in Simon’s honour. Plans were hatched accordingly, and Rebecca Johnson (@BecEmerald), Simon’s wife, and her friend Lucy kindly joined us for the brew day.

@ThornbridgeWill guided us through the smooth brew day, everyone got to weigh out hops, and @ThornbridgeDom provided us with a cracking lunch and some delicious beery samples. We cannot wait to try ‘Otter’s Tears‘ on the Thornbridge bar at IMBC!

Thanks to everyone at @ThornbridgeHall for their hospitality and especially for Rebecca Johnson for taking the time, Simon is proud, I’m sure. See you next month!