Brewer’s Blog

Brewer’s Blog

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Hello, my name is Alex and I brew beer for Bishop Nick.  The wonderful team here thought it would be a good idea for me to step out of the cold brewery once in a while and write a brewer’s blog in my nice new warm office!  So here goes…

It’s been exactly one year since I started at Bishop Nick, after 17 years or so at Mighty Oak Brewery in Maldon.  So rather than cycle up Market Hill in the morning to get to work, I now pedal from Maldon to Braintree every day.  It keeps me fit and warms me up nicely at this time of year so I’m ready for a day brewing, racking, cask cleaning or indeed writing blogs.

I hope the customers have enjoyed the beers over the last 12 months.  It took only a short while to adapt my taste buds to the new beers I was tasked with brewing, but now they’re like good friends, especially on a Friday afternoon when a pint of Ridley’s Rite, 1555 or Heresy aids my recovery from digging out the hot mash tun and copper!  The monthly specials seem to have been popular and we like to keep them varied to cater for all tastes, from the fruity, hoppy golden/amber ales (Revelry 2018, Brazen, Wiseman and Virtue), through to the complex rich maltiness of Respect and Festive, and the darker, roastier stouts, porters and milds (Black Cloak, Joust, Witch Hunt and Dark Mild).

Yesterday we racked one of the darker types called “Dark Times”.  It’s a milk stout and is back by popular demand.  I brewed it 10 days ago and because it’s a style of beer I’ve never had the opportunity to brew, I was both excited and slightly nervous, but everything seems to have worked out.  To put it simply, a milk stout is a sweeter, fuller bodied type of stout, with the addition of unfermentable lactose sugar to the boiling sweet wort.  This milk sugar balances the harsher characteristics of the roasted malts and makes it appealing to both stout and non-stout drinkers – a perfect pint for the cold winter evenings, and at only 4.5% and being easy drinking, you may be tempted to have seconds.  We’ll be bottling it too and should be available well into the spring when we get the first whiff of warmth and lighter times.

That’s all for today, time to get back into the brewery where I’m brewing Ridley’s Rite today.

VIRTUE

VIRTUE

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We have a new beer for the new year. VIRTUE – our optimistic ale – brimful of vim, busting with vigour – signalling the start of 2019 and the gladest of tidings. Crystal, Centennial and Comet hops shout grapefruit and tangerine. This combo, balanced with sweet malt results in a gorgeous light amber beer. The perfect resolution.

This brew is Limited Edition and is available in cask and bottle while stocks last.

FESTIVE now available in bottle

FESTIVE now available in bottle

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Our fabulous new winter ale, FESTIVE 4.8%, is available in bottle from our webshop or direct from the brewery shop.  A deep copper ‘Old Ale’ style beer which epitomises all that is fabulous about this time of year.  It has absolutely flown out in cask so don’t miss out.  It’s a Limited Edition beer so once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Order yours now https://bishopnick.com/beer-shop-eebria/

Santa’s tipple of choice I believe!

Open Saturdays

Open Saturdays

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We are open on Saturdays in December. From 10am to 2pm the brewery shop will be open for tastings of our current range of core beers and we’ll be taking orders for ‘take home’ beer for festive entertaining.  Minipins, Polypins, minicasks available across the range of permanent ales.  We’re selling gift packs, merchandise and vouchers for the Real Ale enthusiast or ‘hard to buy for’ in your life.  We are within striking distance of Braintree town centre and Freeport with ample parking and a warm (well actually it’s a bit chilly here but you know what I mean) welcome.  Come on in and tick ‘booze’ off your to do list.

We are also open regular weekday hours 9am-4.30pm.

WITCH HUNT

WITCH HUNT

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WITCH HUNT is back in bottle.  Nearly sold out in cask and very possibly on a pump near you for Halloween but our ever popular Porter will be available in 500ml for a good few months yet.  It works beautifully in a Christmas pudding so if you’re getting round to thinking about that already pop in and grab a bottle from our brewery shop.

Roasted Chocolate Malt defines this devilishly dark porter. Fuggles, Goldings, Celeia and Aurora Hops are thrown into the cauldron to bring this beast to life. Bolt the door, find a cosy nook and get stuck into this bewitching brew.

RESPECT

RESPECT

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As a mark of respect we have brewed a one-off Limited Edition red ale to commemorate 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day. We intend to donate proceeds from this brew to UK military charities.

Alex chose Phoenix and Bramling Cross hops to give this tribute beer a rich toffee molasses backbone with a blackcurrant hit.  Think bittersweet and hedgerow fruits.

Here’s to the venerable servicemen and women who defended and fought for us.

A Crystal Rye salute to them at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month 100 years on.

This 4% Red Ale is now available in cask and in a couple of we’ll have bottles.  Watch this space…

BRAZEN in bottle

BRAZEN in bottle

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Wow! BRAZEN sold quick in cask.  All gone I’m afraid.  Might have to brew it again sometime.  Just shows you have to grab the Limited Editions while they last.  But…we saved some for bottle and these can be purchased from our shop, online or selected outlets throughout the county.

BRAZEN (3.8%) is an Amber Ale brewed with Cascade, Goldings and Bramling Cross hops which gives a hint of fruit, hedgerow and honey and a trace of spice.  Add to this bold, biscuity Munich malt and you have a shameless beer which beats pipe and slippers hands down.

It makes Autumn all the more palatable after the fabulous summer we’ve had.  Order yours now or pop in and see us!

1555 wins SILVER

1555 wins SILVER

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1555 wins SILVER in the BEST BITTERS category of CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain 2018  competition. Results just announced at The Great British Beer Festival at Olympia.

We were really chuffed to have two of our core brands selected as finalists for the competition this year.  Heresy 4% Golden Ale and 1555 4.3% Trad Best Bitter are both on Bar B18 at Olympia for the festival.

Essex is leading the way with two fellow breweries garnering awards in the Bitters and Golden Ales categories too.  Congratulations Mighty Oak and Colchester Brewery.

Siren Craft Brew’s Breakfast Stout ‘Broken Dream’ has been crowned Champion Beer of Britain 2018.

Will post full results when we have access to them.  Very proud of the team here at Bishop Nick who are up there with the best following our triumphant SILVER overall win in the Bitters category last year.  Keep up the good work.

JOUST Summer Stout

JOUST Summer Stout

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Don’t ride in to battle – it’s too hot – instead allow us to fix the tournament and send out JOUST our summer stout as the noble winner. Royally refreshing and dark as knights in velvet robes.

Launched at Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival, we now have JOUST in cask.  Our brand new summer stout is a 5.2% banquet of a beer.  It is jet black in colour with a dense creamy head, espresso coffee in aroma and roasted malts and dark chocolate in taste.  It has a distinct roasted bitterness but the addition of oats gives it a creamy sweetness to balance it out.

We sold all we took to Chelmsford Beer Festival and feed-back was overwhelmingly positive.  Alex Ratter came up with this recipe and we all know he is the king of dark beer (won Champion Beer of Britain for his Oscar Wilde Mild) in 2011).

NB – No horses were harmed in the brewing of this beer!

We’re due to get bottles back next week so keep an eye on Facebook or our website for availability.

We revelled again.

We revelled again.

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Revelry Day 2018 was such a fun day last Sunday.  Our Father’s Day event is growing year on year and once again we attracted in excess of 800 people spanning generations to our brewery in East Street, Braintree.  Graham Good and his band entertained with easy festival vibes, Timmy Tickle delighted the children with balloons, magic and puppetry, the hog was roasted and gobbled up in its entirety, Japanese pancakes were tossed and loaded and we were drunk dry!

Our REVELRY 18 beer (an Golden English Ale at 4.3%) sold out quite early on despite us putting three firkins up.  Memo noted for next year!

We had locally produced Berties Cider and Perry and we had Felsted Vineyard wines which went down extremely well.  Molly Moos also chimed in with their delectable handmade ice-creams which are always a hit.

Nelion and Alex conducted brewery tours and were on hand to answer questions and Ridley juniors were busy bees re-filling the shelves in the shop which was a hive of activity for most of the day.  I guess people were stocking up for the World Cup!

Lots of smiley happy faces were testament to a job well done by the Bishop Nick team who all pulled together once again.  Cheers to that.