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.

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.

Brewer’s Blog

Brewer’s Blog

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Brewer’s Blog: Hello again, Alex here with a few spare minutes to update you on the comings and goings in the brew house.

I got the impression that Christmas was a success. I’m not very good with figures and I’m not at the sharp end on the phone, but what I do know is that we were very busy and the cold room and bottle store were left empty on Christmas Eve. For the first time in my short career at Bishop Nick, our entire range of one-off specials were depleted from the shop (“Crown” and “Prancer” sold better than expected). This could only mean one thing – better get some more brewed for the New Year!

I’ve always found January to be a strange month. Customers go wild for beer in December and then want to abstain the following month. All that effort for Christmas and then everyone disappears after promising to give up beer for the New Year. Luckily for breweries, this resolution usually crumbles after a week or two and the beer drinkers come back looking for a low gravity, flavoursome, but easy drinking bitter. To satisfy them we brewed “Vision” for the arrival of 2020 (vision – 20-20, get it?). This 3.8% amber ale has a good caramel malt sweetness from the pale crystal and Vienna malts, balanced by an easy going bitterness, and finishing with a fruitiness from the Cascade and Simcoe hops. It’s proved to be a popular medication for the January Blues as it’s already sold out in cask, but luckily we have plenty of bottles available.

One resolution we made for 2020 at Bishop Nick was to brew a stout, and depending on it’s popularity, keep one on sale for the darker months – or maybe longer! I like dark beers, I always have done since my grandfather offered me a 330ml can of Guinness Original at the Bush Inn in Robeston Wathen, Pembrokeshire. I was only 14, but I was told it was full of iron and would help me develop into a top class Welsh rugby international. I diligently followed his orders and my father gave me a can every Saturday evening with my steak supper. I adored the roasty bitterness of the Guinness, but hated rugby, so my grandfather’s master plan was doomed. On leaving home at 18, I took up my father’s hobby of home brewing and 50% of my output was dark. Dark beer wasn’t particularly fashionable at the time, drinkers seemed to be more interested in Caffreys and smoothflow and all that nonsense, but I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to Cardiff. Cardiff is the home of Brain’s Brewery and their best beer (in my opinion) was their “Dark”. This was the first time the style of mild had appeared on my beer radar. I had discounted it for years based on my father’s advice that it was bland and of poor quality, drunk in volumes by people who knew no better. However, a well brewed dark beer, be it a stout, strong ale, porter or mild always has plenty of flavour, owing to the liberal use of roasted malts and should never be discounted as substandard. Unfortunately dark milds earned a poor reputation in the mid 20th Century when bigger breweries started churning out flavourless imitations coloured with caramel.

In 2001 I started as the brewer at Mighty Oak in Maldon, and unusually for a south eastern brewery back then, they brewed a mild called “Oscar Wilde”. I made a point of taking a minipin of Oscar home with me at the end of my first week. To be honest with you, it was really poor, but it made me very determined to improve it. It’s main failing was the recipe called for caramel and only a small quantity of black malt – not enough to get your taste buds tickling. So the caramel got chucked and the black and crystal malts were given stage, and that was that. Over the course of the next ten years, sales went from a few firkins a week to 30 or 40, culminating in it winning Champion Beer of Britain in 2011. People really fell in love with it, and I always attribute that to “Oscar Wilde” being on the roasty end of the mild spectrum.

I’ve probably now drifted well away from the subject of stout, indeed anyone reading this may have already drifted off, but what I’m getting at is there is a demand for dark beers, and simple ones at that. Don’t throw in jazzy tropical fruit hops or 20 exotic continental malts to the recipe, just make them roasty, robust and easy to drink. Therefore, to fulfil our resolution, we’ve brewed our stout called “Devout”. At 4.5%, it’s not an exotic, blow your head off “craft” beer interpretation, but one that takes the slight crystal malt sweetness and easy drinking nature of a mild, and combines that with the assertive roast barley and chocolate malts of a stout. To further enhance the drinking experience, we’ve added plenty of malted oats to give those dark chocolate and espresso flavours a creaminess in the finish and to round off the bitter edges associated with a stout. Our first batch sold out really quickly in cask but we are brewing it again this Friday to meet with demand. “Devout” has been bottled too. People seem to like it – the phones are busy! Let us know if you do or don’t, and if you don’t, we’ll resolve to make it better. One resolution I’ll never make though is to play rugby!

DEVOUT

DEVOUT

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Devout is our new Limited Edition. This delectably smooth stout is the answer to your prayers! It’s been a little while since we brought out a new dark beer and we’re really rather pleased with this one. Loosely based on the Devout stout we brewed four years ago this recipe has been modified by our master brewer who certainly knows his dark beers having won Champion Beer of Britain for his Mild at Mighty Oak.

Expect velvety smoothness and a long bittersweet finish. with notes of roasted coffee, liquorice and chocolate.

For the savoury pair with a generously seared steak and for the sweet, enjoy with a fruity pudding.

We hope you like our new look Limited Editions too.

VISION

VISION

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Brand new for 2020 – VISION. A Limited Edition Amber Ale at an easy drinking 3.8%. Try January! Now available in cask.

This is a floral amber ale with grapefruit and pine aromas, and a recipe of sweet crystal, Vienna and Maris Otter malt plus some Simcoe and Cascade for a long hoppy finish.

We had a brilliant Christmas to finish off a bumper year of sales. The shelves are looking a little bare as all of our Limited Edition beers were snapped up in the lead up to the festivities. But we are expecting VISION back in bottle next week soon to be followed by a deliciously smooth stout which we’re brewing at the end of this week.

We took all of our online sales in-house at the beginning of the winter and I’m pleased to say that’s all going well and online sales were definitely up on last year. We like having closer contact with our customers and more control over transportation.

You will probably have noticed that we’ve got a new design for our Limited Editions too. Thought it was time to shake things up a bit. We hope you like them.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Thank you for your continued support.

Festive Opening Hours

Festive Opening Hours

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This is when we are open for business guys:
For last minute beer needs….
Friday 20th – 9am – 4.30pm
Saturday 21st – 10am – 1pm
Monday 23rd – 9am – 4.30pm
Christmas Eve – 9am – 1pm
Christmas Day/Boxing Day – closed
Thurs 27th – 9am – 4.30pm
Friday 28th – 9am – 4.30pm
Saturday 29th – closed
Monday 30th – 9am – 4.30pm
Tuesday 31st – 9am – 1pm

Brewer’s Blog – my favourite time of year!

Brewer’s Blog – my favourite time of year!

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Hello everybody, it hasn’t escaped my notice that I haven’t written a blog for ages. It’s been a little hectic over the Summer and Autumn and brewing activities have occupied every spare hour – not only did Bishop Nick have to keep up with the usual late Summer demand for sacred ale, but it also had the small matter of a large contract with Wetherspoons to distribute “Divine” nationally. As the flurry of “Brew Day Experience” visitors found out – Friday was “Divine Day” for the last 10 weeks. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves helping me brew the stuff, especially the bit where I had to crawl about on my hands and knees to gather up the spent hops (see attached photos, taken by James the brain surgeon on a visit in early September).


Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying the “Divine” these days. We have enjoyed getting to know this beer much better ourselves and have given it a minor tweak of the recipe by adding a little more crystal malt to increase the body and nuttiness and also increased the hopping levels. Judging by it’s increase in popularity, we may have won over a few more customers.

Now it’s now December and we have the elephant in the room that comes to visit annually called the “C-word”. This year we have brewed two extra special ales for the festive period (both available in bottle) – “Prancer” at 4.5% and “Crown” at 3.8%. They are very different in character – “Prancer” is a more traditional, full-bodied deep ruby coloured ale, brewed with crystal rye malts and the English Challenger and fruity Bramling Cross hops – perfect with your main course and pudding. “Crown“, however is a lighter golden ale, hopped with the citrusy Comet and floral Cascade hop and designed to refresh you or to be drunk with your starter or just a bag of nuts, whatever takes your fancy…Bottles, minicasks, minipins and polypins will be available in our brewery shop and remember that the shop will be open Monday to Friday 9.00a,-4.30pm and we are open SATURDAYS from 10am to 1pm from this weekend through to the 21st December for all your beery gifts, including our excellent tankards.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’ll be wrestling with that elephant, so have a good C-word and I’ll see you all when the dust has settled.