Having spoken a bit to Ad Hop, they were very kinds to give me a bit of their time and provide a few answers to some of my questions.
AD HOP Brewing LTD was established, in Autumn 2014 with 23 Hope Street as its home. Richard helped set up a homebrew club around that time and expressed at meetings that he was looking into starting his own brewery; an accomplice had tasted a few of Richard’s beers down at the first meeting and took the plunge with an offer to work with him. Richard continued to say “Since then we have been working tirelessly with help from a few others down at the 23 Club and local breweries to get the ball seriously rolling with AD HOP. We both work full time, so have to do everything in a very AD HOC fashion, (hence the name AD HOP). We’re very happy with progress so far, especially considering circumstances.“
For their next beer Ad Hop followed up a contact they had made at the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo 2014, in Rob Allen of Hand Drawn Monkey.
Richard was particularly excited by this, “The talking point being a fantastic sauvignon blanc barleywine using Nelson Sauvin hops named brew #100, which Rob had brewed. After much discussion on the recipe between ourselves and HDM we finally decided on brewing a Smoked Oyster and Beef Jerky Stout, with Meco Chipotle Chillies! A couple test batches were performed on our 5L kit for optimisation. Followed by a long evening (4pm-2.30am) of oyster smoking in the alley at the side of the clove hitch. We were on our way for 8am to Huddersfield the next morning.”
Indie Man Beer Con was a very good event for AD HOP, firstly Richard stated that they all had an awesome time, secondly and most importantly they made a connection and got chatting to Oliver of SQWARK brewery, based in Manchester, “We discussed a few recipes, and decided to go with a Liquorice Porter, due to much success with the homebrew recipe.” As thus it was that the Liquorice Lady was conceived.
Future ploys include such ideas as considering barrel aging most if not all beers done so far in Jim Beam barrels. Ad Hop currently brew small batches of around 80L at LCB, brewing more experimental beers including a treacle stout, stout aged on red wine lees, and a nutty brown ale.
Upon being pressed for a bit more regarding their future, Richard added “Our 208L kit has also recently arrived for the Clove Hitch and 23 Club. We aim to be brewing on this kit in January, allowing for a steady flow of new and exciting beers there on. In 2015 we are looking into avenues to expand our production, whether it be through working closely with local brewers, or setting up in our own premises. We will be looking to get our beers out there much more also, through; submitting beers to festivals, holding tasting events and establishing relationships with distributors.“
Recently (and just in time for Christmas as stated above), Richard Greensmith and co. released their latest brew, the Liquorice Lady, which is a Baltic style porter carrying a heady and rich aroma of liquorice above a layer of other intricate flavours. The Liquorice Lady follows on from other releases, the Tongue Twister (under supervision of Lally Morrison, head brewer at Wapping Brewery) and Surf ‘n’ Turf – the beer mentioned earlier featuring beef, smoked oysters and chillies.
The liquorice infused porter was served with custard tarts and liquorice, in an effort to bring out the flavours of the porter, although it was best tasted prior to the liquorice in order to maximise the deep earthy and sweet hit of the infusion. There was a surprising layer of complexity in the flavour-set under the liquorice, carrying coffee and bitter chocolate, giving the impression that these guys really do know what they are doing.
The excellent pump clip art has been sourced from that talents of one of the breweries long time friends, by the name of Martin Lexelius. It seems keeping things informal and Ad Hoc is definitely in the Brewery's nature.
Keep an eye out for some of their brews, Ad Hop are producing some very fine beers and are certainly one to watch for at beer festivals!