Brewer’s blog

Brewer’s blog

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Hello Bishop Nick drinkers, I’m sorry I haven’t written a blog for a long while, but since I last had a jovial chat back in February or March, things took a turn for the worse.  Back then, Corona Virus was just a curiosity happening on the other side of the world, but international travel soon brought it to our shores.  Thankfully we remained operational during the lockdown, indeed we were very busy filling bottles, mini casks and polypins for home delivery and although the brew schedule slowed down, a good few months were spent in the cold room preparing orders for our customers.  During the Spring and Summer we also managed to fit in some limited edition brews – the blonde “Flaxen” (sold out very quickly), the fruity golden “Revelry 2020”, “Prosper” and “Respect”.  The “Prosper” was a favourite of mine – we used copious amounts of Mosaic hops (the first time I had used this variety), and despite it always being a bit risky making a single hop variety brew, it turned out well, with plenty of citrus and pine flavours.  It’s also still available in bottle, as is the “Respect” – a red ale, brewed with rye to give a dry liquorice character and hopped with the robust English Bramling Cross hop.
Moving into Autumn, things have understandably slowed down a bit.  People are back at work, pubs are trying to operate with restrictions and limited capacity and those long warm evenings in the beer garden have turned dark, cold and wet.  The slow down has given us the opportunity to prepare for Halloween and Christmas a bit earlier.  The annual brew of the porter “Witch Hunt” went without a hitch and is now available in cask, mini cask, polypins and bottles.  The bottles arrived today – Nelion and I couldn’t resist a quick sample and it’s got a big thumbs up!  Roasty, nutty, a bit of bitterness and a long dry finish and worth trying.
Who knows what Christmas will bring this year?  We have tried to prepare for all eventualities by brewing three different ales to cater for both home and pub drinking.  With the assumption that more beer will be consumed at home, we’ve decided to be a bit brave this year and have brewed a strong ale –  “Rejoice” at a fairly hefty 5.6% and full of dark fruit and nut flavours with a big bittersweet finish.  However, don’t worry if you’re looking for a slightly lighter ale, we’ve also decided to re-brew the popular hoppy golden 3.8% “Crown” this year (my favourite Bishop Nick beer I’ve brewed by the way).  Both the “Crown” and “Rejoice” are still sitting in the fermentation vessel, waiting to be racked, whilst our third brew for Christmas is still a bit of a secret – watch this space, it could be a bit special…
GREAT TASTE AWARD

GREAT TASTE AWARD

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All three of our core brands now have Great Taste gold stars!

Great Taste, the world’s most trusted food and drink awards, has announced its stars of 2020. Out of 12,777 products sent in from 106 different countries, we were awarded a gold star Great Taste award, which means judges dubbed it a beer that delivers fantastic flavour, for our HERESY Golden Ale.  This is added to the Great Taste stars awarded to us last year for RIDLEY’S RITE and 1555.

Judged by 144 of the most discerning palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as food writers and journalists, Great Taste is the most coveted of all food and drink awards. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to an outstanding product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting.

This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, after the lockdown began just one week into the schedule. This necessitated a swift and comprehensive reinvention of the Great Taste process to ensure that robust judging standards were maintained and the quality of feedback was not compromised, all in time to provide a much-needed boost for food and drink producers during the all-important Christmas period.

In 2019 we were awarded gold star Great Taste awards for our RIDLEY’S RITE and our amber ale 1555. The logo has added value to our business in terms of credibility, opening doors to new retailers, and ultimately increasing sales.  So this award for our golden ale makes it a hat-trick for our core brands.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is cake, coffee, kippers or kombucha being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a Great Taste star.

The panel of judges this year included; cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones, celebrated Spanish chef, José Pizarro, Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom, food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, and baker and author, Martha Collison, as well as drinks buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose.

 

NEW LOOK MINICASKS

NEW LOOK MINICASKS

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We love our new look minicasks.  These little fellas have been so popular during lock down that we found ourselves ordering them way more frequently and could justify getting them branded.  And we’re so glad we did.  They look brilliant.  All our core beers available in minicask, minipin and polypin.  Check the web shop for stock levels as it does fluctuate with demand.  They are perfect for BBQ’s and for taking to friends for a get together.  Filled with live beer, they just need to settle for a few hours to ensure a clear pint.  So much nicer to serve than from a bottle and plenty to go round unless you have a thirst on!  A mere snip at £20.  They have a good 6 week shelf life once they leave us and once opened need to be consumed in 2-3 days.  Keep cool and steady.

Then when you’re done, fill them with sand and use them as a door stop!

 

FATHER’S DAY

FATHER’S DAY

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New 6 bottle presentation packs have arrived just in time for Father’s Day.  Made up with a selection of our best selling beers and with the option of gift-wrapping. Pre-order yours today for collection or we deliver for free if the order amounts to £30 or more and within 20miles of the brewery.

We are opening every day this week from 9.30am-4.30pm and we are planning to open this Saturday for Father’s Day collections.

We now have REVELRY 2020 in stock in bottle and in mini-cask.  A delicious golden ale which is slipping down nicely in this weather.  Mini-casks available of all our beers and bigger quantities if you’re managing to get together with friends (or are particularly thirsty).

Sad not to be meeting up with everyone for our annual Revelry Day on Sunday but watch this space – we plan to celebrate Bishop Nick’s 10th anniversary next year.

Happy Father’s Day y’all.  Keep on keeping on!

From all at Bishop Nick

MAY BANK HOLIDAY BEER

MAY BANK HOLIDAY BEER

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Have you ordered your May Bank Holiday beer? Cut off is midnight Wednesday 21st May for guaranteed (FREE LOCAL) delivery by Saturday afternoon. See our webshop for availability. We have bottles, mini-casks, minipins and polypins available. Shipping charges will be deducted at checkout if your address is within 20miles of the brewery and your order is £30 or more.

Not that any of us are really sure what day of the week it is, we reckon it’s still worth making a fuss about a Bank Holiday. Try our new REVELRY 2020 golden ale for something different. We’d love to know what you make of it.

Keep on keeping on everyone and thank you for your ongoing support.

REVELRY 2020

REVELRY 2020

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REVELRY 2020 is our new Limited Edition golden ale for the summer. Regrettably REVELRY DAY won’t be taking place this year but we can be together in spirit. This is a super-refreshing summer fruit salad of a beer. Thirst quenching and quite delicious. Made to make your mouth water, we have thrown in Vienna and Caramalt for a rich biscuit maltiness and generously hopped. Decadence both in aroma and aftertaste.

Now available in cask, mini-cask and polypin and soon to be in 500ml bottles (watch this space).

Allow yourself a little REVELRY and keep your eye on the prize. We’ll get together again soon.

BANK HOLIDAY BEER

BANK HOLIDAY BEER

Archive

Please order your Bank Holiday Beer by midnight on Wednesday 6th May to guarantee free local delivery by 4pm Friday 8th May (VE DAY!) – applies to orders over £30 and within 20miles of the brewery (CM7 3JJ)

Check out our shop for availability and keep checking back if we don’t have what you’re after. We are brewing and re-stocking as quickly as we can.

National shipping deadline is slightly earlier – midnight Tuesday 5th May.

We hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend with your families virtually if not in person and we’d love to hear how you’re planning to mark VE DAY on Friday.

If you are key workers we salute you!

Storing your beer at home

Storing your beer at home

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We want you to enjoy your beer as much as you would at the pub so here are a few pointers which may help especially as we are experiencing some glorious warm and sunny weather:

We’ve handled your beer with care and if you do too you will enjoy a characterful pint.

Below are some notes from the brewer himself (he’s a scientist you know!). Essentially the message is keep it cool and keep it steady. Not too warm and not too chilled. (Garage is perfect)

If anything unclear just ping us a message and we’ll respond as soon as we can but please be mindful we are a small team responding to challenging times and are very busy.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy the ‘holiday’ weekend.

From all at Bishop Nick

All the minicasks, polypins, minipins, and most of our bottled ale are living products – it has not been filtered to remove the yeast, which continues to slowly digest the residual malt sugars left in the beer after the primary fermentation has finished. Yeast cells behave like humans, if they feel cold they go to bed and hibernate, but in warmer conditions they wake up and start feeding on the sugars, converting them to more alcohol and crucially carbon dioxide.

If you keep your beer unopened at 20 degrees or more, it will become quite gassy and will ultimately have a drier, thinner mouthfeel (loss of malt sugars). This is not a huge problem but your beer won’t be as perfect as I’d like it to be.

The big problems will arise if you allow air to get to your overly warm beer. Air is the enemy to good beer as it allows the aerobic bacteria Acetobacter to thrive, which slowly turns your beer sour. This is not a problem for your bottles, and shouldn’t be an issue for the polypins and minipins (they have a collapsable bag which prevents air ingress), but it is an issue for the minicasks as they behave like a normal cask – every time you draw a pint of beer from it, a pint of air is drawn into the cask to replace the lost volume.

The process of acetification is accelerated by warmth. In warm weather it is always better to keep your beer too cold than too warm. I must stress this is only my opinion – I don’t take too much notice of instructions not to store things in the fridge as your beer will come to no harm and it will extend it’s life.

Just remember to take your bottle out the fridge 20 minutes or so before you drink it as beer loses it’s flavour at less than 10 degrees.

The mini-casks can also be stored in the fridge, if you don’t have space, just take out the non-essentials (like salad, vegetables etc).

You may find temperatures less than 6 degrees causes a chill haze to develop (it’s just protein, don’t worry about that – it’ll disappear if you let the pint warm up, it’s because we don’t filter our beer).

If you have a garage or shed, keep your minipins, minicasks and polypins there as the cool nights and warm days will keep your beer at an average temperature of 13 or 14.

Bottles can be stored at room temperature, but if you like a cooler pint, pop in it in the fridge an hour or so before serving.

If you want your minicask to keep for longer than three days after opening, you’ll need to keep it cool, but really I’d hope you’d have polished it all off by then 😉

FLAXEN

FLAXEN

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Flaxen – new for Easter. Blonde ale at 4.2% So disappointing that we can’t sell this in cask to the pubs at this time because it’s a goodun. We do have it available in minicask and bottle though (in minipin/polypin depending on your thirst!)

Essentially this is a hoppy fruity number which pours a pale straw colour. If you liked East Street – you’ll like this. Give it a go.

Make sure your orders are in by the end of Wednesday to guarantee deliveries before Easter.

Just a reminder that we are offering free home deliveries to addresses within 20miles of the brewery (applies to orders over £30).

Free Home Delivery

Free Home Delivery

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We are offering FREE HOME DELIVERY within a 20 mile radius of Bishop Nick in Braintree. We will endeavour to deliver within a 3 working day window but ask for your patience and understanding as we are a small team responding to ever changing circumstances. We can arrange a NO CONTACT exchange of goods and payment can be taken online or over the phone.

We urge you to stay at home but the brewery shop is officially open should you be passing and want to pick something up.

You can order online and all orders over £30 will be delivered free of charge either by one of our drivers or a commercial courier (enter your postcode at checkout to adjust shipping costs). Alternatively you can call us on 01376 349 605 and place an order over the phone. We will monitor the situation and react and inform you of any changes to our services over the coming weeks.

We have a full range of bottled beers, 9pt mini-casks (perfect for Easter) and made to order 18pt and 36pt pins. Try some of our new Limited Editions which have sold out in cask. NEW for Easter is Flaxen a 4.2% blonde ale.

We assure you that we are a small team, operating in a large space with high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. The safety of our staff and customers is our top priority and measures are being taken to ensure all consumables are handled with the utmost vigilance.

WOW! Crazy times indeed. Our thoughts go out to everyone adversely affected by the current Corona Virus pandemic.