The Beer Hot Tub is a thing!

No Diving, No Bombing and No Heavy Petting! In what sounds like the ultimate fantasy of a beer fan, it appears the beer hot tub is now an actual thing!

Bathing-in-Beer-ImageSome mad nutters at Austrian brewery Starkenberg have turned one of their fermenting tanks into a hot tub. I guess, for some beer enthusiasts drinking their favourite brew isn’t enough, oh no, they have to take a dip in it. But, is there actually a point to this lunacy or is it all about bombing in beer? There is actually some science to back this idea up. beer beer does actually have nourishing qualities that benefit your skin, with the alcohol able to remove toxins and clean pores (isn’t his more commonly called “getting a booze sweat on”?), while the hops, yeast and vitamins are hydrating and rejuvenating. And for your hair, beer can totally amp up the shine and eliminate dandruff. It might not smell amazing of course, but hell you can’t have it all.

Additionally this is not in some sticky warehouse  — it’s a converted castle nestled into an enchanting forest in the Austrian country side. This thing is massive too, there’s room to both swim and soak. According to the brewers, you’re welcome to drink it, this isn’t just the contents of their ullage tank, the quality of the soaking beer is as high as the drinking beer from the taps –  the alcohol helps to keep it from spreading bacteria. So if you don’t mind the bitter taste and the fact that yours and a bunch of other peoples backsides have been soaking in it, go for it!

Check out some highlights from the breweries promotional video below

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Reconnaissance Mission

Simon, Tom and I were given the arduous task of traipsing round the country to have a look at some breweries to glean some inspiration for our own plans for expansion.

Day one was Wye Valley Brewery. A family run business who have recently had a new brewhouse installed. They use an efficient boiling system that uses a thermal fluid as opposed to a more traditional steam plant and batch sizes are 80 Brewers Barrels or 23100 pints. Highlight was the ROBOT that stacks the casks after filing. We had an excellent chat with Vernon and Jimmy and sampled some of their beer. It was extremely good.

Purity Brewery was the next morning. Flo, their head brewer (6ft 4in giant of a man) showed us proudly around his new 60HL brewery. 60HL is equivalent to 36.5 Brewers Barrels or 10563 pints per batch. They run a continental style brewhouse that comprises of 3 vessels. This type of plant allows them to brew up to 5 times in a day, giving them lots of flexibility for producing smaller batches as well as allowing them scalability. The brewery was immaculate and a real inspiration. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’, was the mantra. Their Longhorn IPA is delightful and it is also available in cans, which I quite like. A case was swiftly stowed in the boot.

Next we went off to Shropshire to Salopian Brewery who brew a range of beers that lean towards the pale and hoppy bracket. They have won an incredible amount of awards over the years. Their plant is an interesting mix of British and continental with an extra vessel added to allow for hop separation and steeping of extra hops for aroma. This allows them to cycle through 3 brews in a day. They were extremely hospitable, despite being in the middle of brewing. Again, we loaded the boot with beer and headed off after chatting with the team.

Day 4 saw us at the Great Yorkshire Brewery where they brew a good mix of traditional beers, (served through a sparkler), as well as Keg beer. The kit was a new install which was very nicely planned out and put together. It’s situated behind the brewery tap and you wouldn’t know it was there from the road, a really idyllic place to work by the looks of it. It reminded me of a larger version of the 5bbl plant behind the Pot Kiln we used to brew on all those years ago.

Hitting the road, we headed south to Osset Brewery. Again, a traditional style of brewery shoehorned into an industrial unit just outside of the town. These guys are clearly bursting at the seams and it was no surprise that they are looking to move site within the year. They had some cool stuff; the automated racking machine was the highlight.

The following day we were in Nottingham where we took in both Navigation Brewery and Castle Rock. Navigation run a 15 bbl plant and keg a lot of beer on site. It’s a real skill to keg beer at a decent quality on this scale. They have a small filter that they run the beer through as they keg. Castle Rock are traditional in their range and have been around for a while. Their brewhouse is a mix of stuff, much like our own beloved plant. They brew 50 bbls a batch and can knock out a double brew when necessary. I’m a massive fan of Castle Rock beers and it was a real pleasure to see the brewery where so much good beer is made.

The overwhelming thing that we got from all the sites we visited was the need for space. Pretty much everyone, even the newest installations said that cold storage was the pinch point for the casked beer.

Lots to think about and plenty of beer to be drunk on our return!

Cheers,

Will Twomey

Head Brewer