Hoppy Collie 1 BBL Pilot Brewery Delivered!

Yesterday we took possession of our 1 BBL pilot brewery. Without any further ado (and with Viola for size comparison):

Hoppy Collie Pilot Brewery
The Hoppy Collie Pilot Brewery

It’s not a big plant, at 165 litres per batch, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

We’re still working on suppliers, council paperwork, and waiting for some finishing on the space. But we’re on track to start selling in August. Perfect for the Olympics hangover.

Now to brew some BETA beer in the garden.


Brewing Resources (and a hint at EXCELLENT news)

Although I’m young in my brewing experience, I’m old enough to know that many, many people are much more experienced than I am. I’m making good beer, mind you, but there’s always someone who knows more than I do.

So, for those that like to brew, here are some resources I highly recommend:

Books to Read

  • Brew Like a Monk, by Stan Hieronymus. A great companion to Designing Great Beers, specifically aimed at Belgian styles. Fascinating.
  • Brewing Better Beer, by Gordon Strong. Lots of lessons from a master of the US homebrew world. A great check against what you think you know.
  • Designing Great Beers, by Ray Daniels. An excellent reference for just about every beer style you might want to emulate. Great as a sanity-check when designing recipes.
  • How to Brew, by John J. Palmer. The single most important homebrew book out there. Seriously, this is building block zero.
  • Radical Brewing, by Randy Mosher. take Designing Great Beers, throw it into the blender, and add irreverence, and you have Radical Brewing. Rethink what you thought were the rules, again.
  • Self Sufficiency Homebrewing, by John Parkes. The friendliest entry for a newb. My first book, and an excellent start.
  • The Microbrewers’ Handbook, by Ted Bruning. Not really a brewing reference, but an essential business guide to anyone setting up a microbrewery in the UK.
  • Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation, by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. It all comes down to yeast, so we better understand it. My O-Chem and Microbio are very rusty, but this book is accessible.

Clubs to Join:

  • CAMRA. The Campaign for Real Ale: the grand-daddy of beer pressure groups. A bit dogmatic on real ale, but still a great organisation.
  • Craft Brewing Association. A brewing group in the UK with an excellent newsletter.
  • SIBA. The Society of Independent Brewers, representing small brewers (like this one) in the UK.

Courses to Study

  • Brewlab Start up Brewing. It’s the only course I’ve done, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. I am seriously thinking of an additional practical course.

Pubs/Bars to Frequent:

  • Brewdog. Selflessly (and shamelessly) promoting craft keg beer in the UK. They make amazing beer. Go drink some and see what you think.
  • The Craft Beer Company. A lovely bar with an extensive selection, but they don’t let dogs in. So not a regular visit for me and the pup.
  • The Euston Tap. Convenient for commuters, and with an excellent selection.
  • The Great Northern Railway Tavern. It’s what @TonyJLennon did next. It’s as awesome as it can be!
  • The Rake. Great selection, great people, and a perfect location for a bevvie after fighting through Burough Market.

Websites to Use:

  • BrewUK. An excellent homebrew supplier in the UK. Fantastic customer service.
  • HomeBrewTalk. The daddy of Internet brewing forums. A great resource for recipes, hardware ideas, and help.
  • Jim’s Beer Kit. The UK’s number one homebrew forum. Good group purchase deals.
  • Northern Brewer. The go-to for gas hardware. Unfortunately doesn’t ship outside North America, so you need a maildrop.
  • The Home Brew Shop. The first place I bought homebrew supplies from in the UK. My all-grain starter kit is still going strong, but I think newbs are better off with BrewUK.

I’m sure there are more resources out there. What do you use to brew and judge beer?


PS – Big news next week. I’ll give you a hint: it’s shiny, and it should be delivered to the site before any Sabbath is properly underway. We are also working on getting our first BETA Tasting event. And there’s a brewday on the horizon: any suggestions? So much to do!