Where does the time go? Just two short years ago I was putting the final touches on the shop’s interior and putting in the first orders for the beers that would launch this little adventure on 16 October 2015. Fast-forward two years and the shop has moved, most beers are in refrigerators and I’m getting emails from people asking me for advice in starting their own bottle shops!
So, as I’ve done in the past with the grand(ish) opening celebration and the one-year anniversary, it’s time to celebrate and give something back to the community – and you’re invited!
On the evening of the 21st of October, we’ll be taking over the arcade and serving up draft beer for the first time ever from 6-10pm! I’ll have at least two kegs to get through and we’re being joined by our friends from New Lion Brewery in Totnes who are going to be pouring their collaboration brew they did with DEYA – Ecstasy of Gold. Once I’ve got the kegs I’m pouring in the shop, I’ll post what they are, but until then I’m not counting my chickens before they’ve been delivered…or something like that.
Tickets for the event are £5 and you are asked to purchase them in advance. (Please call or email if you can’t make it in beforehand!) This will help avoid licensing issues and ensure that I’ve got enough beer! PLUS that £5 entry includes a £2 donation to the Exeter Food Bank AND £3 off your first beer! The shop will be open as well, so if you fancy something from the fridges, all of those beers will be available at the normal takeout prices. It’s the perfect time to pitch in on one of those big, special 750ml bottles you’ve been eyeing!
I’ll be bringing back some of the carnival style games we had way back at the grand opening event, too! And the proceeds from those will go straight to the Food Bank, as well.
But what about food? Good question. There will be some beer-friendly snacks (Karkli!!) for sale and some birthday cake from The Exploding Bakery, but if you’re looking for a more substantial meal, check out The Flat just up Fore Street. They make some amazing pizzas and they’re all available to take away, so you can bring it back to the arcade to enjoy with a beer if you don’t fancy booking a table up there. There’s also Spice Magic that sits on the other side of the wall and makes some of the best takeaway curry in the city. And of course, you can always have something delivered by one of those rogues in turquoise who like to flaunt traffic laws on their bikes.
I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for helping the shop get this far. Whether you are a weekly visitor or a one-time shopper, your patronage is always appreciated! Here’s to the next two years!
Just look at all of these beautiful beers!
Some of these American beers are just a few weeks old, so there’s never been a better time to try them!
Here’s what’s new (or returning after a prolonged absence):
Alpine Hoppy Birthday
Black Market Peach Gose
Black Market The Enemy Within
Brew by Numbers 16|07 Red Ale Chinook Mosaic Simcoe
Brew by Numbers 21|12 Pale Ale Ekuanot Rakau Wai-Iti
Burning Sky Les Amis du Brassage
Burning Sky Pretty Mess
Burning Sky Rainbow Project Burial Vault
Buxton Superluminal with Raspberry
Cloudwater DDH IPA Amarillo
Cloudwater DDH IPA Nelson Sauvin Galaxy
Crooked Stave Trellis Buster
Green Flash Jibe
Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker
Green Flash Soul Style IPA
Kernel Pale Centennial
Kernel Pale Ale Citra
Mikkeller Hallo, Ich Bin Berliner Weisse Pineapple
Mikkeller Hallo, Ich Bin Berliner Weisse Watermelon
Modern Times Blazing World
Modern Times Lomaland Cans
Modern Times Mega Blazing Worlds
Modern Times Roots of Coincidence
New Lion Ryeley Walker
New Lion Thirst Born
Many of you may follow the shop on Facebook and Twitter, so you’ve probably seen someone ask me to save them a beer from time to time. Generally speaking, this isn’t a big deal and I’m happy to do it. But every so often a new beer is delivered (or anticipated) and my inbox is flooded with messages from beer hunters wanting a save. While I’m glad to see so many people excited about any beer, this raises a concern. What about the people who are diehard regulars, but don’t use social media? Are the people who actually set foot in the shop on a weekly basis losing out as beers they may want to try never even make it to the shelf because the Facebook/Twitter crowd snapped them all up? It hasn’t happened much, but with the impending arrival of Verdant’s newest releases and the stir they’re causing, I’ve decided to implement a new tactic for saves. I’ve not decided if this will be a blanket policy or enacted on a case by case basis, but here’s how it’s going to work:
• Only one bottle/can of any given beer can be saved for any one person. You can buy more when you come in (unless there are limits), but I’m only saving one.
• A maximum of half the case will be designated for saves, the rest will be first come, first served.
• Saves must be claimed within two weeks or they go back on the shelf. Not all beers are meant to be aged, and space is limited in here!
• No preorders! In other words, no requests until the beer is in the shop.
• Save requests should come through email to email@example.com
I’m sure someone will find this to be appalling and feel like they’ve been wronged, but this is a brick and mortar retail shop and part of what I like about it is interacting with you, the customers, in person. Saves are great when you can’t make it down midweek to grab something, I totally understand that. But ultimately, when the balance of opportunity shifts to those who are the first to update their Twitter feeds, I feel like I’m doing a disservice to those people who make the effort to come in and visit the shop, regardless of their prowess on social media.
We’ll see how this plays out and I’ll make adjustments where needed, but for now, this is the way it works.
New beer has arrived!
The folks at Siren bring us three new ones in the form of Hop Candy, Bourbon Milkshake and a special edition of Broken Dream – Bourbon Coffee Broken Dream. Tropical Death Party, their collaboration with Northern Monk that’s been making noise up at the Beer Cellar is also here in cans.
And returning from Wales is Tiny Rebel’s Stay Puft marshmallow porter!
Scroll down for more details:
I was browsing reviews of the Buxton/Stillwater collaboration Subluminal yesterday when I came across one of the strangest lines I’ve ever heard used to describe a beer.
“Palate – medium to full bodied with a dry crunchy texture and a long dry crunchy finish.” Huh? Crunchy texture and finish? You can see this along with all the other reviews on RateBeer where coincidentally, the beer is sporting an amazing rating of 99! I think it’s such an absurd comment that I’ve decided to have a photo competition to bring the words to life!
If you think you’ve got a creative spin on how to represent this quote in a photo, then you could win TWO bottles of Subluminal and a Buxton glass! Interested? Then read on –
How to Enter:
• Post your photo on one of the following sites and tag Hops and Crafts:
• Deadline for entry is 31 March 2017
• Winner to be announced 3 April 2017
• Must be 18+ to enter and prize can only be collected in person.
Last Thursday’s delivery was not as big as the previous few, but it did bring in some really great beer.
Roll over the images below for a brief description:
After the last big order that came in, I made a vow that I wouldn’t order in that much beer again at once for a while…That vow lasted all of two weeks. And lucky for you, my resolve was weak!
The headliner from this week’s delivery had to be To Øl who added 10 new varieties to the shop! Here’s what I got. (The descriptions are from their website, so don’t hold me responsible if your tasting notes disagree!)
- To Øl Sur Sorachi Ace – Part of the “Sur” series, this beauty is a Dry Hopped Sour Brett IPA, sitting at 6%. It’s hopped over and over with Sorachi Ace hops, Funky, Tart-y and Lemon-y and Out of this world-y.
- To Øl Sur Citra – Continuing our experimental “Sur” series of beers, we present to you a Single Hopped American Pale Ale, using Citra, with a soured mash to bring a tart, refreshing drink to your lips.
- To Øl Sur Galaxy – 7% Sour Mashed Black IPA. A rich roasted malt profile, smooth yet light bodied with a soured/tart finish. Balanced and finished with the citrusy and passion fruit like hop profile of this notorious Australian hop.
- To Øl Mr. Pink – This beer is a 4,5% crisp and velvety Berliner Weisse, brewed with tropical and slightly perfumed fruits Lychee and Pink Guava, then balanced out with Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops. Tart, fruity and massively refreshing.
- To Øl Garden of Eden – There was a time when everyone was walking around naked, in harmony with nature and all its animals. People were just sipping IPAs and on several biblical records, Adam and Eve were putting fruits in their IPA to compliment the fruity mosaic hops. Apricot, Guave, Mango, Passionfruit and Papaya made for a great IPA. Boasting with fruit flavours, this makes an intense IPA, boasting more fruit aromas that you never will come across in any other beer. Cheers!
- To Øl Campale – Feeling bitter? We felt it that way. Brewed with almost no bittering hops, only bitterness deriving from the peel of grapefruits.
- To Øl Don’t Gose Toward the Light – When you’re afraid of the dark, it’s easy to look for the light. Alas, we must say no, “Don’t Gose Towards The Light”, for after all, the dark brings many joys as well! We have taken the classic pale Gose style and thrown in some dark malts, to drive this beer into darkness. The addition of Carafa Special and Cara Aroma gives this salty sour beer a touch of rich bitterness. We then add Blackcurrants to add a touch of balance with sweet and tart fruit flavours
- To Øl By Udder Means – We bring to you an black thick milk stout called By Udder Means. We wanted to do a stout, that had a thick mouth feel and still a low alcohol percentage. We obtained this by adding a solid amount of lactose in the beer. The yeast strain we used is not capable of fermenting lactose, so when the beer stops fermenting all lactose still remains in the beer. At the same time lactose doesn’t leave this sweet touch to the beer, so you can obtain a thick mouth feel without having an overly sweet or overly strong stout. We hope you enjoy.
- To Øl Totem Pale (Gluten Free) – Low Abv, Gluten free APA
- To Øl Totem Passion – Low Abv, Gluten free APA with Passionfruit
The other new arrivals were mostly from Belgium. Highlights include one of my favorite Belgian beers – Poperings Hommelbier and a 750ml dry-hopped special edition. From Brasserie Dupont, the very popular Dry-Hopped Saison is back, along with the highly acclaimed Avec les Bon Voeux. Kriek De Ranke from Brouwerij De Ranke comes in nice paper wrapped 750ml cork and cage bottles. And the ever popular trio of Zinnebir, Taras Boulba and Jambe du Bois are back from Brasserie de la Senne.
Jumping back to Scandinavia, the Norwegian brewery Lervig brings us a fresh batch of Tasty Juice which sold out in just two days last time it was here! It is joined by another fruity IPA, Perler for Svin, and their imperial stout collaboration with Hoppin’ Frog, Sippin’ Into Darkness.
Just so you don’t find yourself on the outside looking in, here are the opening times over the festive period:
The holiday season is in full swing and Christmas beer is here! Whether you want it as a gift or to help you survive the holidays, I’ve got some great Christmas classics and a few from some newer faces on the brewing scene.
Currently in stock:
- Delirium Christmas (same as Noel, in case you were wondering)
- St Bernardus Christmas
- De Dolle Stille Nacht
- Lervig Kringly Kris
- To Øl Santa Gose F**k It All
- Northern Monk Festive Porter
- Weird Beard Black Christmas
- Bristol Beer Factory Bristletoe
- Moor Beer Last Minute