21st August 2013
Our new style 9 pint mini-kegs have arrived and looking great. Available online shop from our shop in Yattendon – only £18.50 filled with Good Old Boy or try our monthly special ‘Isambard’s Steam’d Up’
28th July 2013
Everyone had a great time on the last Brewery Tour, so much so we are now running tours monthly! For available dates and booking visit the online shop or call us on 01635 202968
Red Eye Pale Ale, our award-winning Lovechild with Farmageddon
So, this was launched a few weeks ago, but in the seasonal rush we forgot to blog it. So, in typical Renegade better-late-than-never style, here is all the skinny on our collaboration brew with Farmageddon Brewery – Red Eye Pale Ale.
Packed with Columbus, Galaxy and Centennial hops this hoppy Red IPA begins with big aromas of burnt orange and passion-fruit followed by sweet malt flavours and a dry resinous finish. Full-on with bags of flavour it is unfiltered so has a nice haze on it that gives the red colour a really menacing air.
This hook-up began with a bit of a “swipe right” at Craft Beer Rising this year between our intrepid brewers here at Renegade, and their lovely counterparts at Farmageddon. After bloodshot eyes met over a “few” pints at the event and a subsequent exchange of hoppy love e-notes a genuine beery bromance was born. The result of this was a bromantic break at the Farmageddon brewery in Northern Ireland for the Renegade boys that led to this hoppy beast of an IPA love-child. A lot of fun was had and a lot of beer “sampled” – we hope you love this beer as much as we loved brewing it!
Amazingly, the Farmageddon crew entered the beer straight into the Belfast Beer Festival, fresh into its kegs, and it only went and won Champion Beer of All Ireland!! Amazing what can happen with a drunken idea at a beer event…
We Like Beer. We Like Gin. We love them put together…!
Yes, it is true, we love a bit of gin as well as all the beers. So much so, that we thought we ought to combine these two passions. So we hooked up with our friends at Drinkwell Bars, who are as daft about the drinks as we are, to see what we could come up with. The guys run two well respected venues in Old Beaconsfield (The Swan and The Treehouse) and produce small batch spirits including Lady Adler Chiltern Gin and Northern Discomfort under the Wayfarer’s label so were the perfect buddies to work with. You should check them out.
The result of this comradely collaboration is going to be launched tonight! This exciting new beer and gin collaboration project comprises Ukko Beer (a Sahti-inspired Pale Ale brewed with Juniper and filtered through pine) and Ukko Gin which has been created using distilled Columbus and Vic’s Secret hops which also feature in the beer. Ukko is the Finnish God of sky, weather, harvest and thunder. Kinda like Thor…
The beer style inspiration, Sahti, is a traditional beer from Finland made from a variety of grains, both malted and unmalted, including barley, rye, wheat, and oats; sometimes bread made from these grains is fermented instead of malt itself. Traditionally the beer is flavored with juniper berries in addition to, or instead of, hops and the mash is filtered through juniper twigs through a trough-shaped tun (called a kuurna in Finnish). Sahti is a top-fermented brew, and while baking yeast has been used traditionally, ale yeast may also be used in fermenting. The beer has a distinct banana flavor due to the production of isoamyl acetate by the yeast.
Principal taste comes from traditional gin flavouring, juniper berries. The berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine, and also give gin its distinctive flavour. In Norwegian farm house brewing, juniper infused water replaces brewing liquor. The berries give a flavour and aroma that is resinous, with pine and citrus notes and green, woody, floral tones.
“We are so pleased to be working with Wayfarers and to be involved in creating two of the best types of drink in the world – beer and gin! This small batch project has given us a great opportunity to play and create what we think are two great tasting products.” – Ruth Mitchell, Renegade Brewery
“This was a really great project to work on, it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off other people, especially those in other parts of the drinks industry and we loved the opportunity to try a new and exciting type of beer.” – Will Twomey, Head Brewer at Renegade and West Berkshire Brewery
“We are overjoyed about working with Renegade Brewery – their passion for great beer, and taking the drinker on a journey – an adventure – really matched in with our ideals at the Wayfarer’s Distillery. We hope this will be the first of many projects working with them.” – Laurie Othen, owner of Wayfarers Distillery
Ukko will be launched at The Treehouse Beaconsfield on Tuesday 6th from 6pm and The Rake, Borough Market on Wednesday 7th from 5pm with both the beer and gin available to taste. Both products will then be available from West Berkshire Brewery, Wayfarers Distillery and selected outlets across the Thames Valley and London.
P.S. – In all the christmas kerfuffle and business we have neglected to shout too loudly about some of the other special pilot brews we have been playing around with recently. We made a Bannana Rye Ale (called Bananas-in-Ryejamas) in conjunction with the team at The Lanes in Bristol (best get down there if you want any as it is flying out) and have been over to Northern Ireland to brew a collaboration with the guys at Farmageddon which ended up as Red IPA called Red Eye PA, which walked straight into the Belfast beer festival and absconded with the top prize. More on this shortly.
How music can change the taste of beer
Beer and music are perfect bedfellows (in fact only a curry could probably come between them). So we found a recent scientific study (how do you get to work on things like this? Cushty number or what!) that showed that your soundtrack of choice can influence how drinks and food taste, and even alter their alcoholic strength, rather fascinating. So if your beer is too bitter or your wine is too sweet – it may be the music you are listening to.
Volunteers at the Music Instruments Museum in Brussels, Belgium, (the Belgians will do anything to improve the beer drinking experience it appears) were asked to taste a beer, and rated the experience, each time under the influence of a different sound stimulus. Participants were not informed that they were, in fact, tasting the same beer each time. Three type of ambient background music were used ; a Disney-style track – for sweet; discordant high-pitched notes – for sour; and a deep bass rumbling sound – for bitter. Three organic beers where used, which varied from pale to dark, and from 4.5% alcohol strength to 8%, for comparison of the results.
Each experiment used one type of beer, and a combination of two soundtracks, involving different combinations of perceived taste – bitter–sweet, sweet–sour, and bitter–sour. The sour had the least effect.
Study lead Dr Felipe Carvalho, of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, said: “Participants rated the beer as significantly sweeter when listening to the sweet soundtrack than when listening to the bitter soundtrack. And volunteers rated the beer as significantly stronger while listening to the bitter soundtrack. For the first time we have demonstrated that it is possible to systematically modulate the perceived taste and strength of beers, by sonic cues.”
The study suggested restaurants might even choose their background music to influence the diners’ taste, as Dr Carvalho explained: “External sound can add value and pleasure to the overall eating and drinking experience. People’s perception of the sweetness and bitterness of bittersweet foods can be modulated by means of customized sweet and bitter soundtracks.”
The researchers concluded: “Overall, the soundtracks influenced the participants’ rating of the beers’ taste and strength. The results demonstrate that soundtracks that had been specially developed to evoke a specific taste can effectively be used in order to influence the participants’ beer tasting experience.”
It is believed the effect – synesthesia – is caused by one type of stimulation leading to the involuntary stimulation of another sense in the brain.
And it proves that when Heston Bulmenthal cooked up his groundbreaking Sound of the Sea dish he had the right idea. Michelin-starred chef Blumenthal is celebrated for his unusual combinations of food, challenging looks with taste. His gastronomic experimentation led him to combine eating with sound. Sound of the Sea, on the menu of the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant, Bray, featured seafood and edible seaweed on a bed of sand-like tapioca – all washed down with the sound of breaking waves.
He said: “Context is incredibly important. Listening to the waves lapping up against the shore, most of us have heard that somewhere in our lives. It’s all about ‘nudging.’ If you nudge people – not turn them into lab rats – they have chance to lose themselves in a memory that is triggered by food.”
So, it appears folk music fans like it sweet and Drum and Bass fans are a bit bitter….
The Germans are at it again – Boga anyone?
Students have to take part in classic yoga poses but also have to integrate a beer bottle into the routine. The so-called ‘Bieryogis’ say that combining their two favourite things, beer and yoga, is the most fun way to get fit. During the yoga session, students can drink the beer, although some agreed that the session got harder after the second beer.
And after the fitness routine is complete, many of the students usually stay on to continue drinking together.
Many of those turning up for one session in Berlin recently admitted they were not regulars, but one added: “It is really funny to come just a couple of times. It’s really cool.”
Sport experts, however, are sceptical. Dr Ingo Froboese (yes, I know that sounds made up, but we have researched this, honest!), from the German Sporting School in Cologne, said: “Alcohol clouds the perception, hinders muscle control, impairs balance and restricts endurance.”
He said that the alcohol would also restrict people during the recovery phase, saying that anybody drinking after exercise should stick to water in the hours immediately afterwards, or at the most in the second hour an energy drink.”
Bieryogi trainer Jhula, however, was keen to stress that nobody was forced to drink. She said: “People can drink what they want and when they want.” She added that even pregnant women take part – using alcohol-free beer.
So, a further nail in the “Beer is bad for you” coffin. OR that is what we keep telling ourselves as we adopt the Sphinx pose whilst glugging a Berliner Weissbier….
Upcoming live music at The Renegade Brewery Sessions
Whoops. It has been a while since we published anything here. Rest assured this is only because we have been so busy (and on holidays). But, following a ticking off from our social media guru it is back in the communication saddle we get with some news about a bunch of upcoming gigs for early autumn at Baila Coffee & Vinyl, our favourite coffee shop cum craft bar cum vinyl shop.
These include the solo project from the drummer for Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls (The Sad Song Co.) who is playing with the new project from Xtra Mile Recordings signed Oxygen Thief (Non Canon) and we have the return of double-bass wielding sociopolitical funnyman Grant Sharkey. Perhaps the most impressive show though is a special intimate gig from non other than Nick Harper, son of folk legend Roy Harper and a man with a serious musical talent and pedigree. There are more to be confirmed as well, but in the meantime, check out this little lot! (Full details can be found via the SoP Live website at songsofpraise.live )
Swindon Shuffle Music Festival is go!
The Renegade Brewery sponsored Swindon Shuffle music festival is celebrating its 10th year this week and has a bumper line up in place across multiple venues in the Old Town area of Swindon. Already sponsors of the Songs of Praise nights at Shuffle venue Baila, our beers are a regular fixture in the town, available on the bar at Baila and The Victoria and the shelves of Magnum Wine.
Tonight there is a warm-up event in the shape of a music quiz to get in the mood but it all kicks off in earnest tomorrow night (Wednesday 13th July) with the first session at The Roaring Donkey featuring some of the best local singer-songwriters performing from 8pm. Expect some dextrous playing and intelligent songs from Jamie R Hawkins, Phil Cooper, Oli Norman and Mike Barham.The other key sponsor is local craft brewer Renegade Brewery.
Thursday 14th is split between The Castle and Baila Coffee & Vinyl. The big story is at The Castle where Gaz Brookfield (who opened the very first Shuffle 10 years ago) returns to the shuffle after a 6 year absence. He is ably supported by the brilliant George Wilding and band, the piano-indie of Familiars and the blues shuffle of Fake Walnut Dash. Baila, meanwhile, has a headline set from The Shudders who will be acoustic for the night, with Jim Blair of HipRoute playing some slide blues and local songwriting siren Emily-Jane Sheppard. Of course, there will be plenty of Renegade beer available here too!
The really serious business starts on Friday 15th when The Victoria hosts a night of punked up rock music from All Ears Avow, 2 Sick Monkeys, Raze* Rebuild, IDestroy and some crazy psychotic punk from Martyrials. Renegade Craft Lager is available on tap here! Over at The Castle you can catch a headline set from heavy shoegaze outfit Rain, some cinematic dream-pop from Polar Front and indie-pop from Misfires and Break Glass To Open.
Saturday 16th is jam packed, starting with lunchtime singer / songwriter sessions at The Central Library (in the courtyard if the sun shines!) followed by a night of crazy madness at The Victoria from the mental ska party that is SN Dubstation, Ruby Confue’s urban jazz Psychedelia, more upbeat ska from The Hat Club, Chaney with his dance-indie crossover and atmospheric dreamy acoustica from Dreuw. The Castle get rocked up with A Way With Words and the brilliant stoner riffs of Rewire The Time Machine whilst The Harlers take blues to new places, Horizon show indie music is alive and kicking in Swindon and The King In Mirrors remind us of the golden days of indie-pop. The Beehive join in with sets from Dead Pheasants, Black Sheep Apprentice, Luke De-Sciscio and the weirdly spelt Spida Sense. Baila meanwhile will host some top DJ’s playing out on vinyl on the Friday and Saturday.
Everything gets wrapped up on Sunday 17th with an afternoon chill out at Baila from Nick Felix, Canute’s Plastic Army, acoustic Ruby Confue and an upbeat closing set from young hip-hoppers Mutant Kids. This is followed by the traditional roots music closing party at The Beehive that stars Tamsin Quin, George Wilding & Stu Rowe, Mr Love & Justice, Splat The Rat, Auralcandy and finishing it all off the amazing music hall Americana of Kid Calico & The Astral Ponies.
Headline sponsor are The Swindon Robins Speedway team, who will not only provide the festival with the backing that helps to keep the festival free entry to the public, but they will help further establish the Swindon Shuffle name as an important part of the Swindon community, in the same way the Robins have been for the last 70 years. The Shuffle will also be helping Swindon Robins to raise awareness of the team and the sport to a younger audience who may not be aware that Swindon has a speedway team, especially an Elite League level team who have won the GB league title as recently as 2012.
As usual all events are free entry, and following a few sad losses to the music community in the last few years, money will be collected for Mind, the amazing mental health charity.
OktoberWest Bier & Music Festival is back!
The OktoberWest Bierfest Returns!
Saturday 24th September 2016. Midday – 11.30pm.
Our “other” brewery, with a lot of help from us are back with the annual party blowout to end all party blowouts! Yes, the can’t-miss event of the summer is back and better than ever!
The West Berkshire Brewery OktoberWest Bierfest 2016 promises to be a cracker complete with some of the best local bands and some of Bavaria’s finest brews alongside their award-winning real ales and our superb craft beers.
Tickets will be priced at just £12.50 until 30th June and can be purchased here.
So dust of those lederhosen, gird your loins and prepare to get beery. Prost!
P.S. Check out the bunch of clowns below, all dressed up at last years event. Yes, it will be that silly again.
This months Renegade Session Live Music (pt1)
Thursday 30th June– Dreuw, Luke De-Sciscio + TriAmi – The Renegade Sessions @ Baila Coffee & Vinyl
This months musical opening salvo at Baila Coffee & Vinyl in Swindon is a real sweet show, as the guys at Songs of Praise explain…
“We have managed to secure three marvellous acts that are all hallmarked by their spine-tingling vocal styles and atmospheric music, so it promised to be a very special night. Headlining is Swindon’s own Dreuw, an artist we have seen many times, performing his beautiful, hushed and dramatic songs acoustically to largely indifferent pub audiences. Therefore, this step into a the cosy confines of Baila will allow an audience to appreciate the ethereal splendour of his art; delicate and ethereal songs built as much from atmosphere and expectation as from words and music – intangible, chilled, beautiful…
“Taking the middle slot is Luke De-Sciscio, an old friend of SoP; an artist who, despite still being a veritable youngster, has been one of our go-to guys pretty much since Ed started promoting. Luke is a songwriter with a supremely gymnastic vocal style, one for who silence and space in a song are of equal importance to the notes and who likes to follow a process of total immersion in song-writing that allows him to search his soul and find the voice of each piece. The result is always spine-tingling and highly emotive…
“Openers are Salisbury trio TriAmi, a band where hushed folktronica meets chilled acoustica and the harmonies, oh my god the harmonies, well, you’ll just have to come along and see what I mean but bring something to wipe the tears away with.”
Due to some physical changes at the venue, the rather wonderful space upstairs (The Loft) will no longer be suitable for live music, so all shows will be moving downstairs to the just as wonderful main room. This means that they will no longer be ticketed and we will be relying on the tip jar to help pay the artists.
For full details and to listen to the artists head to the event page here.
Renegade – Official beer of Fieldview Festival!
We are more excited than a chimp at tea-time to be confirmed as the official beer of Fieldview Festival! Happy Festival goers will be able to refresh themselves with our Craft Lager, West Coast Pale Ale and a soon to be launched new product!
Taking place between 4th and 7th August in a field at Little Somerford near Chippenham in Wiltshire, Fieldview is one of those beautiful events that no-one has a bad word about, where the sun always seems to shine (genuinely) and where the even the audience is encouraged to be creative and expressive. Add to this a ‘Magic’ theme (fancy dress encouraged), some of the best underground, up and coming new and exciting music available anywhere, local ethical traders providing some of the best street food in the country and one hell of a beautiful rural location and you have the perfect home for some Renegade brews.
Starting life as an annual garden party for the founders school friends, Fieldview is a little oasis in a desert full of over the top mono-saturated festivals, taking the big concepts of localization and sustainability and put them into practice. Its trick is the family feel, as it’s grown it has retained this, even though every year more people hear about it and want to be involved. It’s the people at Fieldview who make the festival what it is. Based on old fashioned values of honesty, charity and community, over the years the festival (which is a non-profit making organisation) has donated tens of thousands of pounds to local and international charities, including buying up swathes of Peruvian rainforest.
Musical Headliners at this years event are the brilliant Submotion Orchestra, Melt Yourself Down, Keston Cobblers Club and Spring King (fresh from an appearance on Later With Jools Holland) along with a raft of other bands from the local area and beyond (watch out for Polar Front, Rain and SN Dubstation in particular).
Tickets for the festival can be obtained via the website by clicking here, where you can also book rather cool looking Glamping pitches and find out all about the bands and other activites. We really cannot wait for this!
New Pub, New Brewery, it’s all good news!
It has been a bit of a landmark week here at the brewery with two mega bits of news! We have now signed the deals on our new custom-built, cutting-edge brewery that will increase brewing capacity ten-fold – and, to put the cherry on top, we have also purchased our first urban pub, Shillibeers, in Islington, London.
The new brewery will be situated in the former dairy next door. We have agreed Heads of Terms with our current landlords, Yattendon Estates and, subject to planning, building works will begin in the next few months, starting with erasing all traces of cow. This new brewery will feature state-of-the art equipment capable of creating a massive range of beer styles. We will also be bringing all packaging in house, something which we have not been able to do before and we will also be providing packaging facilities for other breweries. A new shop, café, bar and beer garden are also on the cards! We have asked for a staff slide and ball pool, games room and cinema, but we aren’t holding our breath.
Our new London pub, Shillibeers, will allow us to showcase our craft beers, alongside the cask ales from our big brother, West Berkshire Brewery’s range. A new menu of quality food designed to pair with selected beers will be introduced at the venue, which is split across three levels and includes a kitchen and deli.
The boss (that’s Mr Bruce to you, AKA “The Chairman”) in one of those written for PR quotes, said,
“This is a real turning point for us at West Berkshire Brewery. We are thrilled to have secured such a fantastic site in one of London’s most exciting areas. For the first time we can proudly serve our beers directly to customers. Our pub will be full of atmosphere and showcase a stunning range of beers and ciders from all over the world, including those we make ourselves. It will really put our brewery on the map.
“We’re just as excited to have signed an agreement for our new brewery. We have a fabulous brewing team who are full of ideas and our new equipment will enable them to let their creativity loose. It also means that we can significantly increase our production, allowing us to spread our wings further than our current distribution heartland; it’s truly an exciting time.”
The new brewing equipment from brew gear boffins CFT, based in Parma, Italy, is a state-of-the-art, three-vessel brewery that will enable the brew crew to increase our current range of beer styles, while a fully automated and flexible packaging line will be able to pack a mind boggling 7,000 bottles or 10,000 cans per hour and will allow us to begin high-quality contract packaging for other breweries.
We have signed the deals during the final weeks of our crowdfunding campaign, via both the Asset Match and Seedrs platforms, which aims to raise £1.5m (so far we have raised over £1.3m via the process). There is still time to invest, with the minimum commitment less than a round of beers. The crowdfunding campaign draws an end to the wider fundraising project to raise £4m to fund the expansion of the brewery.
The new brewery and packaging line is expected to be delivered in December 2016 and operational from early 2017.
More information on the crowdfunding campaign is available at www.seedrs.com/wbb