Mashing in is the process that extracts all the fermentable sugars from the malt. It's one of the most important steps for all-grain brewing and here's how to do it.
What is RateBeer and why should you care?
Homebrewing is much easier than you think. Here's how to make an amazing IPA in 8 simple steps.
Want an article full of terrible puns? No? How about 10% off these fangtatsic beers?
It's the second in a new series featuring the favourite beers of Beer Hawk staff. Up now is Anthony who is loving the German classic, Flensburger Gold
A Touch of Prost is our exclusive Oktoberfest collaboration with Tempest Brew Co, one of the country's best new breweries. Pick it up now!
Beer Hawk's Craft Beer Advent Calendar is better than ever. 24 incredible beers including 9 exclusive to Beer Hawk. Plus a free tasting kit (worth £20) plus incredible prizes (think all-expenses-paid trips to the USA) and loads more
Welcome to the first in a new series featuring the current favourite beers of Beer Hawk staff. First up is Ellie who chooses Magic Rock's High Wire Grapefruit
The UK's first Trappist brewery has launched with the delicious Tynt Meadow. Read the amazing story behind it here.
8 things you need to know about low alcohol and no alcohol beers
Both the propane burner and electric kettle have their advantages, but for reliability and speed, the burner is our preference
Siren Craft Brew is one of the country's most innovative breweries. We chat to founder Darron Anley and Head Brewer Kyle Larsen to find out why
This week at Beer Hawk University we're going to get prepped to homebrew last week's recipe for the Mosaic golden ale. The time has come!
Known as a Filet Américain in Belgium, the steak tartare is one of the great dishes. But what to pair with it? Our Beer Sommelier Maggie Cubbler picks out a classic
In an industry where breweries can be hyped as much as new bands, Co-Founder of Manchester's Alphabet Brewing Company, Joe Fernhead explains how the brewery became so good, and whether we should believe the hype
In the first of our (virtual) cut-out-and-keep homebrewing course, we're looking at preparation – it'll make your brewday go much more smoothly
Bold, dry, rich and delicious, here's our easy homebrew recipe for a classic: the Dry Irish Stout. A noticeable roasted character with a rather high hop bitterness.
Northern Monk Brewing Co amazing rise continues in a new brewery. We catch up with Head Brewer Brian Dickson who charts its rise and learn about his favourite beers
English vs US IPAs, Bohemian Pilsner vs German Pils, Belgian Witbier vs German Weissbier. How exactly do the same beer styles differ in different countries?
We only answer the important questions here at Beer Hawk and this week it is: should you be using pelletised (real word!) hops or whole cone
Join Goose Island brewer Austin Niestrom to taste and make beers at UBrew in London
Goose Island Beer Company, the brewery who brought Bourbon County Stout into the world back in 1992, want to teach you how they brew dark beer. Goose Island Brewer Austin Niestrom is flying in from Chicago to hold an exclusive brew course at Ubrew, where you'll brew a recipe that was inspired by one of the brewery's exclusive Fulton & Wood series. It’s a sweet porter recipe inspired by a beer called Real Nice Surprise which was released in 2015. Once your beer's fermented and bottled, you'll be able to swing by and collect roughly 15 bottles to take home.
In the downtime between boiling, mashing and pitching Austin will be taking you through an in-depth tasting of both rare
This week at Beer Hawk University, we're going to take a closer look at the BeerSmith software. This software is vital in creating a fantastic homebrew recipe.
Now that we know what basic ingredients and kit we need to make a beer, it's now onto the fun stuff! Since most of the brewers we've "met" along this trip probably started as homebrewers, it makes sense that we plan our first homebrewing recipe. It's almost brew day!
Estonia's Sori Brewing crowdfunded in 2014 and 2015 and has since become very well respected in particular for its hoppy IPAs and dark beers. We spoke to CEO and co-founder Pyry Hurula to find out what exactly they are doing right
Your beer is amazing. What are you doing right?Our team has done its homework. Our lead brewer (Heikki Uotila) is super talented and has a good understanding of all properties of the
Why a hot liquor tank will make your brewday go quicker
There are several methods for heating water depending on your set up. Our chosen method is to use a hot liquor tank (HLT). This is an essential part of a large scale brewery, but it is optional when homebrewing. This separate insulated vessel is useful for several reasons.
The HLT is used in the first instance just before mashing. Once the water for the mash is heated to the right temperature, it is then decanted into the HLT. The water from the HLT is then used during the mash. By moving the water from the kettle to the HLT, you can then immediately fill up the kettle and heat it up for the sparge water. Without an HLT you'll find yourself waiting for the sparge water once you've freed it up. We've also found the HLT much easier to physically move around if you need that a scolding hot kettle. It keeps the heat brilliantly.
One of most useful
When we put a shout-out for the best beer sheds on the Perfect Draft Facebook group, we didn't expect this
The History of Beer – Part 2 – Commercial Brewing
The third part in an exclusive series of articles about the history of beer by one of the world's best beer writers
For most of our history, beer has been drunk on the same premises it was made: in homes, monasteries, inns, taverns and alehouses.
But naturally, some people are better at making beer than others, and from the Middle Ages onwards
We speak to Sierra Nevada's beer ambassador Steve Grossman about Sierra Nevada's amazing past and what the future holds for the brewery
It’s hard to overstate the influence Sierra Nevada has made on the world of beer. This brewery, based in Chico, California, was launched in 1979 in the first wave of US craft breweries that would change the world. It was founded by avid homebrewers Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi. They also turned to local ingredients, including hops from the Yakima Valley. The first beers they made are still benchmarks in craft brewing’s most famous beer styles. Steve Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s Beer Ambassador, curates a case of beers that highlight the brewery’s best as well as picking out the beers that are much-loved by Sierra Nevada. We caught up with him on a recent visit to the UK.
People namecheck Sierra
No matter whether you're the head brewer in one of the world's biggest breweries or the head brewer in your kitchen, the basic brewing process remains the same. Welcome back to BHU as we take you on a brewery tour to discuss the basic brewing equipment needed to brew beer!
The very first thing when it comes to brewing is making sure that everything--and we mean everything--is super clean. Nothing will ruin your day, and your brew, quicker than some bacteria or other undesirables getting into your beer. So, we're not even going to start this tour until we talk about sanitation.
The best way to clean everything--right down to your hands--is to use a food-grade cleanser like Star San to get every nook and cranny spotless. There are other powder or bleach-based cleaners available
Williams Bros are one of the most exciting breweries in Britain. Here we speak to co-founder Scott Williams about how the beer scene has changed since 1988 and using traditional ingredients
Williams Bros started in 1988 - was there a feeling that the beer scene in the UK was changing even then? To be honest the opportunity in the beer scene never really occurred to us in a general sense. Prior to brewing heather ale our involvement in brewing was essentially at the homebrew level – through a couple of shops of our own in Glasgow and Aberdeen as well as supplying other homebrew retailers from our wholesale business covering the UK and Ireland. We had contact with a few small brewers at this time by supplying them with malted barley, hops and often yeast but none were doing particularly well and ultimately gave up the ghost.
Beer jargon buster
There’s a lot of jargon, buzzwords and terminology floating around the beery world. Beer Hawk is here to help make sense of it all
BEERAdmittedly, not jargon, but we know it is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world. Brewed using cereal grains and fermented.
MALTThink of malt as the base of beer. It provides the sugar for alcohol, but also impacts on the colour and flavour.
HOPSHops are responsible for preservative qualities, imparting bitterness and giving flavour and aroma.
YEASTA group of organisms that ferment sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide. It also can add flavours to a beer.
BOTTLE-CONDITIONEDNaturally carbonated in the the bottle because of an additional fermentation from sugar added in packaging.
ABVThis is the measurement of alcohol in a solution described as ‘alcohol by volume’, in percentage terms.
The popularity of sour beers shows no sign of abating, and it is well within the scope of a homebrewer
Sour beers have been part of the fabric of Belgian beer culture for centuries. Only recently gaining popularity in the States and then the international beer market. So-called ‘sour’ or ‘wild’ beers include some styles that are one way or another sour, tart, funky, barnyard-like or acidic thanks to the introduction of wild yeasts and bacteria during fermentation.
LACTOBACILLUSCalled ‘lacto’ in beery circles, lactobacillus is a bacteria which eats the sugars in wort and, instead of converting them to alcohol, converts them to lactic acid. The result is a clean yet sour taste and is what gives Goses and Berliner Weisses their distinctive flavours.
PEDIOCOCCUSAKA ‘pedio’, this is another bacteria which converts sugars to lactic acid. The result is
Delve into the dark side
If it is a dark, winter ale that you’re pining for...
Ohh those dark beers: Deep, bold, luxurious and opulent. We can see why you like them! Naturally ‘dark’ doesn’t explain how something tastes, but if you’re reaching for something dark, it’s probably because you love something a bit fuller-bodied, rich in flavour and possibly not too bitter. It’s a wildly diverse category of course, from 3.5% milds to 11% imperial stouts. It includes Bocks from Germany and tripels from Belgium, milk stouts from American and, of course, the porter from Britain and much else besides. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite dark beers of the moment to showcase the variety on offer. There’s even a marshmallow beer!
Big Drop / Stout / 0.05%
Big Drop Brewing Co is a brewery that is dedicated to producing exceptional beers that are less than 0.5% ABV beer. There’s
The History of Beer – Part 2 – From ale to beer
The second part in an exclusive series of articles by one of the world's best beer writers
Wherever humans settle, they have always managed to ferment the local vegetation into booze. Depending where on Earth they are, some plants grow better than others. And while the climate has changed quite a bit over the centuries, grapes have always grown well in southern Europe, while grain has fared better in the north.
So when the wine-loving Romans arrived in northern Europe, they were distinctly sniffy about the local beverage. The Emperor Julian is reputed to have written an ode to ‘wine made from barley’:
Who made you and from what?By the true Bacchus I know you not.He smells of nectarBut you smell of goat.
Given the early recorded origins of beer in the Middle East, many have speculated how it made its way from there to northern Europe,
Co-Director John Gyngell on a remarkable success story
It’s a simple enough question to pose: Do you want to a) die or, b) retire without starting a brewery? It was two years ago when John Gyngell asked a question to his fellow director at North, the group behind the small collection of pubs around Leeds that includes the famous craft beer mecca North Bar. That question ‘do you want to die or retire without having started a brewery?’ was met with a resounding ‘no’ from Christian Townsley. Within months, a site was found and a head brewer in place in the form of Seb Brink. In November 2015, the brewery officially opened.
In two short years since it has become one of the leading breweries in the country. We caught up with co-founder and director John to find out more of the amazing story that started with one of the best beer bars in the country.
“There is a slight myth that has
The story of Founder's remarkable CBS
CBS is here! This is the 'Canadian' version of KBS, one of the most sought after beers in the world. Watch the Founder's film about it's world-beating barrel ageing programme
Some beers come and go, some beers however develop their own life, their own history, their own future. When brewers at Founders Brewing Co, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, released KBS, they probably thought it would be good, but probably didn’t imagine the fuss it would cause. And when we mean fuss, we mean a queueing-at-dawn, inflated-price-on-internet, blog-post-filling, RateBeer-loved, 100%-scoring beer. It became one of the world’s most sought-after beers. If it sounds like hype, it is, but this was a beer that deserved every superlative adjective. KBS, a bourbon barrel-aged chocolate coffee stout, weighing in at 11.8%, is the best imperial stout in the world.
Making a yeast starter can improve your beer and make sure your beer ferments efficiently. Here's more reasons it's worth doing, and how to do it
1. Increase cell count. Having a high pitching rate makes better beer.2. Increase cell viability. Healthy yeast cells ferment quickly, produce minimal fermentation by-products, attenuate sufficiently (ferment to a proper final gravity), can ferment high-gravity worts, and have more tolerance for high concentrations of alcohol.3. Reach full attenuation. An insufficient amount of cells may ferment sluggishly or incompletely, especially in a high-gravity or lager wort.4. Shorten growth. Reducing the duration of the lag and growth phases minimises the opportunity for wort contamination and the formation of fermentation by-products.5. Improve beer flavour and aroma. Underpitching
The best alcohol-free beers
Dry January? Alcohol-free beers are no longer tasteless as these amazing examples demonstrate
Low alcohol and alcohol-free beer has a long reputation for not having much flavour, but times have changed, and these days you can get your hands on a variety of enjoyable alcohol-free beers (less than 0.05% alcohol). Our pick includes a German classic, a pale ale from a cutting-edge new brewery and Nanny State from BrewDog.
Big Drop Brewing Co is a brewery that is dedicated to producing exceptional beers that are less than 0.5% ABV beer. There’s a definite market for it (low alcohol beers are some of our best selling ones at Beer Hawk), and they are getting better all the time. This stout, however, marks a new stage in complex, interesting and characterful low alcohol
Read the first in a remarkable series by author Pete Brown about the history of beer
There’s a lovely story about the origin of beer that’s repeated in many books and magazines, including my own first book.
Brewing is such a complex and wonderful thing, it argues, that it was probably first discovered by accident. Somewhere in the Middle East, some farmer gathered grain in one of the earliest clay pots and left it outside. Soon after, it rained and the grain got wet, and softened. Natural airborne yeasts swooped in, and fermented the warm mush into beer. The hapless farmer tasted the result, and realised they had somehow invented one of the cornerstones of civilization.
The problem, as with so many great stories, is that it’s almost certainly wrong.
There’s a big difference between grain and fruit when it comes to natural fermentation. Fruit is generally
We headed down to Bermondsey to catch up with Fourpure's Head Brewer John Dribergen
Head Brewer John Dribergen
Fourpure was founded in 2013 by brothers Dan and Tom Lowe. It has since emerged as one of the shining lights of the new London brewing scene, growing into one of the biggest breweries in the capital. It is widely respected for the quality and consistency of the core range, as well as an exciting range of one-off beers and a highly-rated Adventure Series, several of which are in this month’s beer case. Things never really stand still at this brewery.
At a recent collaboration brew Beer Hawk did with Fourpure and North Brewing Co, we learnt about a new brewhouse that should be installed and brewing by the time you read this. It should also be said that their canning line is one of the most modern anywhere, and guarantees a super fresh product. Also new is a sensory panel
Our Beer Sommelier Maggie Cubbler shows how even the most mundane meals can be lifted by beer
It’s hard to be inspired by the everyday meal. Sometimes we eat something out of habit, routine or just because we’re rushing from one thing to the next and need something to keep us going. But what if we were to take the humble, down-to-earth dinner and do just one thing to make it out of this world? We’re probably already doing it anyway—pair it with beer!
Finding unexpected delights in the ordinary doesn’t require molecular gastronomy or a special occasion beer that had been aged in a gypsum cave. Indeed, exploring fantastic pairings with things that we eat all the time brings a certain beauty to that which is common and, dare we say, life. There’s a reason why certain beer and food pairings are considered classic.
There’s no secret to these