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
It was the number of barrels in the warehouse that seemed surprising. Hundreds of them. And then I remembered where I
was: at Siren Craft Brew, one of the most endlessly interesting and experimental breweries in the country. A new
taproom and barrel room are up and running, the new brewery is bedding down nicely. Things are running well for the
brewery. Very well.
hits 93 on RateBeer, Old
Fashioned (that really does taste of an Old Fashioned) has reached 96 on RateBeer, while Sheltered Spirt, a 14% imperial porter a whopping 98. These
are very good beers
Long-time Head Brewer Ryan Witter-Merithew has moved on and American Kyle Larsen is now a year into the role at the
helm. Yet, as I walked away, bottles of brand new Siren beer chinking in my bag, I get the impression that nothing
stays still. Ever.Over the day with Siren, I had the opportunity to chat with founder Darron Anley and
Kyle Larsen, to try and discover what makes Siren, well, Siren.
Kyle, the head brewer, I tell Darron, said he has unprecedented freedom. How important is that? “Hugely so, says
“When I started up and before I made the final plunge, I went to San Diego to the Craft Brewers Conference in 2012
and met loads of cool people. It was like walking into an Evangelical church, and I learnt a lot. I got a great bit
of advice from Kelly Ryan who used to be at Thornbridge. I talked about the inspiration. One of the things he said
was just getting a professional brewer and someone who has experience of playing around and give them complete
creative freedom. And I did that for Ryan [Witter-Merithew] straight from day one.Never did he look at
thecost of anything and it will be the same for Kyle. For example, we’ve a Turkish coffee imperial stout coming out
and there’s £2,500 worth of figs in it! I’d rather take the view we make the beer we want to make than pull back and
appease the accountant.”Along with the number of different beers Siren makes, was this freedom exciting
or daunting for Kyle? “Both!” Kyle says. “It was something I was looking for. I wanted more creative freedom and I
wanted to push my limits. Anyone who wants to get better at what they do they want to push their limits. I had a lot
of creative freedom at Double Mountain [in Oregon] as Head Brewer, but it’s nothing to what I have here. I can do
anything here, which it turns out is very daunting!”Darron started Siren in 2011 after selling his IT
company and becoming very interested in what BrewDog and Thornbridge were starting to achieve, as well as, of
course, what was going on in the States.“When I started, one of the things that was really important was
to have a solid core range that piqued people’s interest at varying different levels at where they are on the
journey through beer.”
And it’s quite some core range: , an oatmeal pale ale, Soundwave, a West
alongside Broken Dream – of which Darron says “even now as a core beer it is different: a 6.5% stout with
oats and lactose”.
“We then want to layer on that stuff that really excites us and pushes us,” Darron adds. In particular there’s a lot
of talk about a Coffee Series of four different beers including an imperial stout with more figs than my car costs,
to a sour coffee beer. Talking to Kyle, it’s the 240 plus barrels that he has his eye on. “Here’s one of my
favourite things about Siren: we made a full batch of beer, 5,500 litres of beer, all to experiment with. They’re
letting me put them in barrels with no end in sight just to see how we make the mixed culture programme work for
Father’s Day, 19th June 2022, is the special date in the calendar when we celebrate and give a nod to the Dads in our lives. It’s an excuse to spoil them with a little something to say thank you for being awesome. If you’re looking for inspiration for a craft beer-loving Dad, then check out our top 7 Father’s Day beer gifts.
Every year, Beer Hawk releases a lineup of limited edition craft beer mixed cases for the holiday season. This year's lineup of festive Christmas beer gifts is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Remember the childhood excitement of opening a new door on your advent calendar every day in the run up to Christmas? It gave each day a little sparkle of festive magic, even though those tiny chocolates behind the doors were always a bit rubbish. How would you like to recapture that childhood magic, but with bottles of delicious beer instead of powdery chocolate? Sounds amazing, right? In that case, you need to get your hands on our Craft Beer Advent Calendar.
Pairing beer and food together isn’t all rules and science. That would make for a terribly boring dinner party! Instead, it’s the art of taking a good beer, some good food and partnering them together to make something even better. It’s the adventure of discovering what works, what doesn’t and what you like. It’s you taking a bite, taking a sip and then declaring your undying love for that imperial stout and chocolate cake.
Barrel-ageing beers is not a new thing, but it is getting more and more popular, and has probably never been as inventive. Adrian Tierney-Jones explores the new wave of ageing beer in wood
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