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Thanks,The Beer Hawk Team.
Moor Beer Co are true pioneers. In the ten years since launching, the Bristol-based brewery have made a huge range of beers, and now can-condition their beers. We caught up with founder Justin Hawke to find out the story behind the beers
You've just celebrated 10 years - has it all panned out like you imagined? The celebration was a phenomenal success - definitely the best event that will take place in the UK this year in terms of people, beer, food, music and atmosphere. I wanted to bring my favourites from around the world to Bristol for locals to experience, and local beer for our international visitors to experience. The feedback from everyone was that we more than achieved it. Most of the foreign beers have never been in the UK before. These aren’t overhyped flavours of the month, they are fantastic drinking beers that rarely make it outside their distribution area because they are in such demand. We had amazing beer from Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium (& of course Bristol). Everything from world class traditional sours to Franconian lagers. We also showcased four collabs for the event. Three were brewed at our brewery - a mango tea pale ale called Do It Together for Basque band Berri Txarrak, an IPA called Comrade Games for Italian band X-State Ride, a red rye session IPA called Ryse Against with Pint Shop, and we brewed an Imperial Keller at Lost & Grounded called Uber Keller. All exceeded expectations.
What do you think sets Moor apart from other breweries? We are 100% family owned so can do things that we want to do at our own pace with no external pressure. Not that we are rich or anything - there is still financial pressure! Everything we earn we invest back in the business. But we don’t have to compromise. It’s allowed us to create what we call Modern Real Ale, which is the fusion of my Californian flavour forward brewing background, with the unfined natural beers of Germany and the natural conditioning of British real ale. We have blazed a trail for others to follow and in the process created entirely new segments of the market. We are constantly evolving and striving for even better levels of quality and flavour, the combination of which gives us a unique position in the brewing world, with many of our beers rated top in their class.
Why did you introduce can-conditioned beers? For me, natural conditioning gives a flavour and mouth feel that just can’t be replicated by force carbonation. When we switched to cans it was only right that we carried this approach with us. It took a long time, but getting CAMRA to accept and commend what we were doing was very rewarding, and further validation of our thought leadership in the industry. Most consumers aren’t aware of what can conditioning is, but they certainly notice and love the difference that it brings!
What was the ethos when you first set out with Moor? The same as it is today - build a family business where people want to spend their career and grow with us, whilst making a positive impact on the brewing scene by creating the best beers we can. We train all our brewers from scratch, one of whom has been with me 7 years now and runs the team on a daily basis. As brewers, we strive for perfection, which means we’re never happy, and constantly tweaking things to try to improve!
How do you see the scene developing over the next few years? People constantly want to pontificate about the next big thing, but I couldn’t care less, which is why you don’t see us churning out trendy beers. We brew beer for the long term, which to me means beer that is fantastic to drink more than one of and beer that is of a top standard. The consumer is thankfully getting savvier and less tolerant of poor quality or poorly thought out beers. Over the next few years, I predict a further raising of quality across the board and hopefully a step away from the gimmicky beers that have blighted people’s glasses of late. At the end of the day, beer is for drinking. I also think good beer will become more mainstream and any place you could possibly buy beer will be compelled to stock at least one or more decent beers rather than just the multinational chemical fizz.What is the one Moor beer that everyone should try? One, they should try them all! But our most popular beer is Nor’Hop, a 4.1% golden ale that set the standard across the industry (and still does).
What other breweries are you enjoying at the moment? Our friends at Lost & Grounded brew great beers. Their Keller Pils is, to my taste, the best lager being produced in the UK and should be in every venue as the go to lager. As I mentioned, for me it is all about drinkability and quality, regardless of whether they are on the traditional or modern side, so anytime I see something from Fullers, Thornbridge, Marble, Beavertown, Buxton, Kernel, etc. I’m pretty confident I’ll like it. Internationally there would be too many to name, but if you see the list of beers I brought over from the continent for our celebration you’ll have a great starting point.
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
While some so-called off-flavours can be appropriate in certain styles others are not and may kill a little bit of your soul. Here's a quick guide to the most common off-flavours.
Father’s Day, 20th June 2021, 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.
Another can spins off the line at Stone Brewing’s new brewery in Berlin. The speed of the whole process is astonishing, a matter of seconds from empty can to filled and sealed. Those amazing hop aromas that Stone Brewing’s IPA is known for are locked in, only to escape as you release the swirling lemon, pine, grapefruit aromas in one of the world’s best IPAs. Cans are the perfect container for this beer. And here’s why.
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