Weird Beard hail from West London, which has somewhat a dearth of reputable drinking establishments, the White Horse in Parson’s Green aside from what I had experienced from a recent visit (although it should be noted, I only had one day to scan the area and went off recommendations from acquaintances and friends). Following a wealth of experience (and some awards) two brewers by the name of Bryan and Gregg decided to take the plunge and swap their respective small batch kitchen based enterprises and go full on with their brews. The remit of their beers is the use of hops to pack as much into their beers as is possible, whilst wearing rather fetching facial hair. Okay, I did make that last bit up, as I doubt things would grind to a sudden halt should one of them decide to defuzz.
Weird Beard are apparently at the stage of considering more space to continue their quest to deliver more beers out into the world, they currently have 3 full time personnel on the brewing and are even considering a tap room from which to directly dispense their wares.
And so, onward to an early May Monday evening, one of the chief beards, Gregg Irwin is stood in front of a crowd awaiting stories (of which there were many) and some of the fabled Beard brews.
The most popular beer of the Weird Beard stable, an American Pale style using Citra and Pacific Gem hops which started life as a homebrewed beer; this was initially called Mariana’s Trench, with the ‘s dropped due to some rather rude connotations (I’ll leave that to you guys). At 5%, this soft, slightly sour beer has a character with some stone fruit including mango, tropical passion fruit a notably peachy finish, a slight haze and orchard fruit aromas. The name is clearly derived from the geographical reference to use of trans-pacific hops.
5 O’Clock Shadow
This American style IPA uses four different hop types; Citra, Apollo, Summit and Colombus. Heavy hops flavour and a ABV of around 7% gives this beer a slight savoury edge with yet more apricot and nectarine aromas, though the presence of these on the nose did not quite convey into the flavour. The beer is dry hopped at 8.5g hops per litre and started life as a darker product.
A very interesting story reared its head in the presentation by Gregg resulting in the current name we have for this beer. It started life as a collaborative beer, brewed in conjunction with the Brewdog bar based down in Camden with a name that made another prominent brewery rather unhappy, although this has now been firmly resolved and the beer is a delicious American style wheat beer. The use of Willamette hops in the initial hopping and then with Centennial in the boil, Centennial and Cascade are finally used in the ferment to great effect. The Willamette provides the woody spiciness often conveyed by Simcoe. This interesting beer comes in at 5.5%.
Fade to Black
Another Weird Beard beer of homebrew origin, this excellent black IPA weighs in at 7.1% with a low payload of roast for something so dark. The use of three different hops in Sorachi Ace, Citra and Summit give plenty of flavour hit, which has depth and length without issue. Some slight chocolate flavours hum in the background along with a hint of toasted coconut, something which has been played upon with the follow up version of Fade to Black.
A one-off brew playing on the original beer above, this iteration removes the use of the Sorachi Ace hop and came about through a mistake with a hot liquor tank and the elements remaining on for much longer than anticipated. This beer is almost at a level where you’d classify it as a liquid chocolate bar inundated by toasted coconut, which is testament to the amounts of coconut that was thrown at making this beer, although it did have the unwanted side effect of clogging up lots of equipment with coconut. Fade to Black (coconut) was not dry hopped, retaining some more stout character as opposed to the black IPA and comes up with a strength of around 6.1%.
The use of 10 different grains and predominantly US Chinook and Goldings hops, this 4.8% stout uses no roasted barley and concentrated on the use of less acidic malts to retain a full body and chocolatey flavour with a hint of coffee and pleasant creamy mouthfeel.
Boring Brown Beer
This rebrew of the first ever beer Weird Beard made, with the possible exception of Hit the Lights, this 8.2% monster is based on the beer ‘Arrogant Bastard’ by Stone Brewery and was brewed with Chinook hops in a Pale ale style. A tinker with the yeast to a specific type helped fine tuning with the brew and a ferment temperation of 29 degree Celsius helped keep some ester compounds (ask an organic chemist, not me… I do know, but it’s the wrong branch of Kemistry, arf arf) to convey a fruity flavourful beer. This ‘Imperial Best’ beer has notes of raisins on the nose and in the flavours and over 100 IBUs, which would do well from aging both in cask and bottle.
A special shout should be given to Kusina ni Lola for providing the cooking at this event, four excellent courses to accompany the beers were provided and from the taste (and photos above) they were excellent – you can catch them occasionally at the Foodslam events at the Camp and Furnace, infrequent pop up events or at the Albion Market in Crosby, North Liverpool.
Until the next time….
Weird Beard Brew Co.
Unit 5 Boston Business Park, Trumpers Way, Hanwell. W7 2QA
Tel: 0203 645 2711
Twenty Three Club / Clove Hitch
23 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TwentyThreeClub or https://twitter.com/theclovehitch
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0151 709 6574
Kusina Ni Lola