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!

IMBC Collaboration No. 4: Rooster’s Brewing Co.

Hot on the heels of our brew day at Marble, we traveled across the Pennines to brew our fourth IMBC collaboration with Rooster’s in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.

Head brewer Ol had a very special ingredient for the beer, which was brewed on Rooster’s pilot kit: huckleberries, found only in Idaho and Washington State in the US. One of Rooster’s former interns kindly had her parents bring two kilos of the fruit across the Atlantic, and now, it has made its way into Huckleberry IPA!

While the wort tasted sweet, of course, there was also definitely a hint of berry there, which will hopefully come through even more after dry hopping and more of the berries and juice are added after a few days of fermentation.

Thanks to Ol, both Toms, Dave, Jamie, and Caroline for a great day at the brewery and a lovely lunch. Roll on IMBC!


IMBC Collaboration No. 3: Marble Brewery

After a bit of a break, the collaborations continue! Keeping it local again, on Thursday, 22nd of August, our third collaboration saw us head to an railway arch in central Manchester, home of Marble Brewery. After a swift mash in, the run off took a little longer than anticipated… but the end result will surely be stunning. All we’ll say for now is that a lot of hops found their way into the kettle… and many more into the fermentor for dry hopping.

Many thanks to @MarbleBrewers for letting us get stuck in, we look forward to tasting it!

IMBC Collaboration No. 2: Buxton Brewery

On a sunny Thursday, 11th of July, an IMBC delegation consisting of Port Street, Common, Beagle, and North Tea Power staff descended upon the quiet spa town of Buxton to brew our 2nd IMBC collaboration brew with Buxton Brewery. After swiftly mashing in, and weighing out some hops, we were treated to a lovely tasting of various prototypes and a particularly delicious bottle of Axe Edge. A bit like liquid, juicy, chewy sweets. After a delightful lunch of local pies, slaw, and cheeses, the boil was over, late hops added, and the transfer to the FV was in full swing.

Thanks to everyone at Buxton for a fantastic day, and particularly Colin, the updates on the beer are tantalising!

IMBC Collaboration No. 1: Quantum Brewing Co.

It’s the end of June. Time to get the IMBC collaborations for this year started. Our first stop: Monday, 24 June, with Jay Krause, owner, head brewer, and cask juggler par excellence of Quantum Brewing Co, Stockport. Jay has produced some absolute beery gems, most recently, US Saison and American Light, not to mention the Citra Centennial, which, at 8.1% was ruinously drinkable.

We won’t give away too much of what was brewed (well, we wouldn’t want to be called spoil sports), but you’ll be able to make some guesses based on the photos here. It’s going to be a big beer indeed. The mash tun was absolutely at capacity and a fair few hops were included. There was also a secret ingredient… but you’ll have to come to IMBC in October to taste the results.

Thanks for an excellent brew day, Mr. Krause!