Red Eye Pale Ale, our award-winning Lovechild with Farmageddon

red-eye-2So, 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 BreweryRed 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…!

cy-j4qnwqaupzeeYes, 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.

 

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.

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Renegade – Official beer of Fieldview Festival!

FVF profileWe 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!

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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.

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David “The Chairman” Bruce stood in the site of the new Brewery

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

New Brew: Mashed & Wired!

We are constantly looking at trying new ideas and generally see what is possible with beer. So, a few months ago, when head brewer Will was shooting the breeze with his old friend Tash, a rather cool idea was born. You see, Tash is a coffee roastery manager at the rather cool Pharmacie in Brighton (well, Hove, actually), and the pair realised there are definite similarities between the Third Wave coffee scene, and craft beer brewing. About 30 seconds after this realisation, they decided to brew a beer together and after much discussion on beer style, potential coffee/hop pairings and experimental taste tests, Mashed & Wired was born!

Wanting to prove that additions such as coffee don’t have to be in a heavy, dark beer the end result is a hoppy pale ale that pours cloudy amber with a bright, loose head. Aroma-wise, as expected, coffee  dominates the nose, a hit provided by the cold extracted, single origin Kenyan coffee. Also front and centre is a tasty fruit aroma from a great blend of Mosaic and Vic Secret hops. Taste-wise it is surprisingly light and nicely crisp, the immediate flavor of the coffee fades into rich earthiness overlaid with a well-balanced hop character, and it leaves a dry, bitter and moreish feel.

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To launch this very limited edition (only 130 bottles) brew the guys at Pharmacie are hosting a bit of a bash on Saturday 11th June from 6pm  We can’t promise a free bar, but we can promise you delicious beer and coffee, awesome bands and a right ol’ knees up in their cool hidden micro-roastery in central Hove. The music will be supplied by Sydney/Brighton dreamboats and coffee makers, Mortgage and more to be confirmed! Check out the Facebook event page here for up to date details.

*If you ain’t sold on the coffee / beer thing (why not?) you are just going to have to trust us, we’ve tried it, it kicks bum.

This month’s Renegade Sessions live music

Yes, it is that time of the month again when we decamp to the marvellous Baila Bar in Swindon for our live music sessions. We have some proper treats lined up for you music fans as well, so we leave you in the capable hands of our buddies at Songs of Praise to explain what is going on.

Thursday 26th May – Franc Cinelli, Monkfish (Acoustic) + Oli Norman – The Renegade Sessions in The Loft @ Baila Coffee & Vinyl

12801474_967430416685843_7496377762084199365_nFranc Cinelli (pictured) has has been on Dave’s radar since he reviewed his album last year (which he thought “a sublime mix of all that is familiar but crafted together into new shapes and presented with a masterful touch”). He has carved a niche for himself in the industry by bucking trends with his free-wheeling alternative folk and doing things his way. Considered by many the songwriters’ songwriter his style ranges from uptempo torch songs to blues laden road journals and love struck serenades to defiant, prison outlaw ballads.

Ed’s contribution to the line up has been to procure a rather special acoustic set from Swindon / Oxford band Monkfish. As a full on electric band they sound like the bastard sons of Johnny Cash and The Sisters of Mercy, with a dash of The Gun Club thrown in for good measure. Their acoustic set therefore promises to pitch somewhere around The Handsome Family but that is just a best guess. What ever it sounds like I think it will be something dark, lush and wonderfully unique.

Our opener, Oli Norman, kind of found us and is very much a raw prospect. Helping new talent gain an audience is one of our main drivers though, so it is a pleasure to be able to present an artist who so far has been only really been seen at open-mic slots. So let this be a lesson to all you other new faces out there – keep on getting up at open-mics and similar to hone and perfect your songs and performance, know your scene, network, ask for shows, get yourself out there and heard. Anyway, Oli presents simple songs sung with heart, and what more could you ask for than that from a guy with  a guitar?

Entry is £5 and strictly limited in numbers. Music starts around 8pm. Full details to be found here.

Sunday 29th May – Phil Cooper + TBC – The Renegade Sessions @ Baila Coffee & Vinyl

12186682_627036667437884_8953069292337318079_oSop regular Phil Cooper (pictured) is a contemporary singer/songwriter with thought provoking songwriting and energetic, often unpredictable live performances. Phil has regularly (especially from Dave) drawn comparisons to Neil Finn, Glenn Tilbrook and Ben Folds, which is a very good thing.

Having been the frontman for The Haiku for 6 years, 2012 saw him go it alone, and since he has played a host of solo shows, including highly successful support slots for Mark Morriss (The Bluetones) and Dave McPherson (InMe). During his live shows, he makes a real connection with the crowd, often starting and finishing the shows entirely unplugged and shunning the stage to stand right in among the captivated audience.

Entry is free, music from 3pm. Details here.

Renegade is now in cans!

We are really rather stoked to have finally got our beer canned! Yes, you heard right, you can now enjoy your favourite brew from a nice cold 330ml can. They look pretty damn sweet too!

So, keep an eye or our social media feeds for stockist announcements. Alternatively either head on over to our virtual shop, or come and see us at the real shop to get yourself canned!

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Renegade Sessions – Live Music

RB-SoP20160204-05 smallI am sure you have noticed by now a certain musical leaning to things here at Renegade. With an experienced guitarist, a currently gigging drummer and a music promoter and writer among the brand’s core team it was always going to be the case. So it will come as no surprise to anyone that we are starting to sponsor some gigs and get involved with some music festivals this summer.

There will be more on the festivals when we can announce them, but in the meantime we focus on some upcoming plans as we link up with promoters Songs of Praise and our fellow music geeks at Baila Bar @ Baila Coffee & Vinyl to start programming some fantastic music to drink beer to in what we are styling the Renegade Sessions.

Baila Coffee & Vinyl is an oasis of brewed loveliness in RB-SoP20160204-04 smallSwindon’s Old Town district. By day they serve some of the finest coffees, alongside a great selection of vinyl records. It is a wonderful place to idle away some time over a hot brew and to flick through the racks of quality music. Then, in the evening the venue is transformed into a fabulous craft beer and cocktails bar (that serves Renegade beer) and they utilise this musical pedigree for regular DJ nights (vinyl only!) and occasional live music.

So, commencing on a twice monthly basis, from late April, we will be taking up residency and helping to put on some of the best in under-the-radar acts from the local region and beyond in both the venues main cafe / bar area, and in the upstairs room. We are very excited to announce that the first  Renegade Session will be taking place on Thursday 28th April. We will be announcing the acts very soon.

In the meantime, here is a gallery from our first foray into music, a show at The Victoria in Swindon (again hosted with Songs of Praise) back in January featuring the bands Rain, IDestroy and Hollow Mask.

For more on the activites of live music promoters Songs of Praise, please visit their website by clicking here.

 


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Renegade Recommends – Echoic

11952933_947313728666629_6488709465772713167_oSticking with music for this weeks “Recommends”, but taking a rather noisier path than last weeks. This is another outfit from round our way  helping to prove we do have a local scene that is in rude health in terms of bands (the venues could do with some help still in terms of support, although if more of them stocked Renegade that would probably fix  the problem!).

Hailing from the cosmopolitan metropolis of Reading, Echoic are a melodic but muscular modern alternative-rock band not too dissimilar to guys like Kids In Glass Houses, Blitz Kids or any other band with the word “Kids” in their name. Except New Kids On The Block. They sound nothing like them.

The critics at some pretty major publications and radio stations love them:

“100% Unique, absolutely amazing” – Alex Baker, Kerrang!
“Really good vocal range!” – Ian Camfield, Radio X
“Bloody brilliant, such a unique sound” – Linda Serck, BBC Introducing

We love them too, so check out the video below for recent single “My Mind” and visit them at their website for tonnes more stuff on them (tour dates, videos, tracks, reviews)