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THE JOURNAL

03rd Jan 2018 | Breweries

Brewery profile: Fourpure Brewing Co

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 whereby every member of Fourpure has been trained to taste beers. Not only does it increase knowledge for all the staff, it’s also a great way to get feedback on the product. Alongside, is a new tap room at the Bermondsey base too. We caught up with Head Brewer John Dribergen to talk about Fourpure’s heady rise and the beers that have inspired him.

Founder Tom Lowe with Head Brewer John Dribergen

You were at Fourpure from the beginning, has the company grown in a way you expected? 
I’ve been with Fourpure from the beginning. We started brewing in October 2013. We first brewed an American Pale Ale and we ended up dumping that beer, because we weren’t happy with it. It was a good learning point for us, and it reflects our commitment to quality from the outset. Our top priority is making sure that our core beers are highly drinkable and clean with a big emphasis on quality and consistency, and that they also provide an interesting and enjoyable drinking experience. We’re also always excited to brew one-off and experimental beers, and next year there’ll be a push in that direction.

What was the breakthrough beer? The beer you made and thought: I’ve nailed it, this sums up what we’re all about? 
I don’t think that can ever happen, but I do think that Juicebox Citrus IPA is a beer that immediately hit the nail on the head in terms of being both a great representation of what we wanted to drink and also what the market wanted to drink. It also showcases our ability to execute to the high level of quality we aspire to.

What was your personal breakthrough beer? The one that got you interested? 
I realise it’s a cliché – but Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Sierra Nevada Celebration. The pale ale is the one I used to drink casually for a while before one day I suddenly appreciated just how good it was. At around that same time, they released Celebration, and I compared the two. That’s when I began to really notice and pay attention to what I was drinking.  

How do you see Fourpure developing in the future? What benefits will the new brewhouse bring? 
I think that we’ll see all of our beers improve pretty significantly. The new brewhouse is much more than a step forward, it’s genuinely a quantum leap forward in terms of brewing technology. The beers will right away also have a better shelf life, which will improve the customer experience. That extra degree of control and ability to record data, analyse and feed it back through, will lead to continuous improvement. The beer will instantly get better, but will also continue to improve. It will also bring more flexibility. We’ll be able to brew at a higher gravity, do decoction and multi-step mashes, as well as having kettle souring capabilities.

How important is it to do collaborations and one-off beers?   
We’re a brewery that employs a lot of people who love beer. It’s fun for everybody to do and its great for everybody who works here.

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THREE TO TRY

Fourpure / Beartooth / 5%

NOTES: Easily one of our favourite Fourpure brews is this American brown ale. Brewers use four different malts to deliver a complex beer that has chewy flavours of caramel, chocolate and coffee. However, two different hop varieties bring bright, citrus notes to the beer. Although a bit of a paradox, it works brilliantly well as a winter tipple when you are still hankering after a hop hit.

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Fourpure / Flatiron American Red / 4.7%

This is one from Fourpure’s Adventure Series and is inspired by the awe inspiring landscape of Colorado. Pouring a rich mahogany shade there is a strong base of caramel and toasted malt. Lots of tropical and citrus flavours are layered on top of this, making for a complex yet smooth drinking beer. We love the designed on the Adventure Series from Fourpure, keep your eye out for more cans from this collection!

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Fourpure / Juicebox / 5.9%

The term ‘juicy banger’ gets thrown around a fair bit these days, but it’s completely warranted here. Pouring a bright gold with a fluffy white head, there are aromas of mango, papaya and orange, imagine the best tropical candle you’ve ever sniffed, then multiply by three. Plenty of pithy orange on the taste, malt is present but by no means forward. There is a moderate bitterness, all we can say is it’s a good thing they canned these in tall boys, because you won’t want to stop sipping! To be enjoyed in the presence of a retro boombox playing some Chaka Demus & Pliers.

 

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