Fallen Acorn's Five New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year one and all. Firstly, thank you for your support through 2018 - we’ve throughly enjoyed the ride. Our highlights have been increasing trade further afield, pouring pints at awesome events across the country and in our brewery, a successful first go at Barrel aging, having a 9% Russian Imperial Stout in cask that has sold incredibly quickly, as well as working with some really great new customers who have opened fantastic pubs this year. Let me tell you about 2019, and our Five new year resolutions that will help it be our best year yet…

Pilot Brewing - Do more.

We’ve been conjuring up small batch brews on our pilot kit now since we began, in the early days we piloted every beer we intended to scale up as a tester first. In 2018 we have produced a number of great beers on the pilot which haven’t been refined or scaled up. Some of these have been purposeful one-offs for festivals such as our Dark Lager Schwarz Flut for Oktoberfest. On the refinement side, we will be going back to our New England Sour IPA to tweak it - although it was a really interesting beer, the kettle souring is new to us and needs a bit more oomph. Roobarb & Custard will be tweaked and scaled in the summer, and Mince Pie Ale will be seen again for Chrismtas 2019. Going forward then, we are going to take pilot brewing a bit more seriously. We’re going to aim to produce 2-3 a month - the first will be a new, experimental beer, the 2nd a technical exercise and the 3rd could be anything! Look out in January for our pilot collab with a local Micropub ;)

Diversity - Produce a plethora of Styles.

We’ve produced a range of different beer styles over our first 2 years, now is not the time to sit back. Now more than ever, we will be producing beer styles from the world over. Sure, we’ll still be bringing you repeatable, consistent session beers - but, there will always be a quirky seasonal or pilot, we begin the year with a really cool Brewery collab and with our American Brown Ale, Fake News returning. There’s talk of something a wee bit special for Burn’s Night on the pilot also….

Finings - Go back to Trad finings.

Avid blog readers will remember this time last year we posted about moving over to Vegan Friendly finings. For those not in-the-know, finings cause yeast in beer to floculate and ultimately drop, leaving crystal clear beer for serving. We trialed Brausol P (vegan finings) for a year for two reasons, firstly it was more environmentally friendly than traditional finings made in part from Fish, secondly it was more cost effective. Regrettably the consistency has not been present, the Brausol sometimes doesn’t work, we’ve followed all instructions and carried out numerous in house tests, but the consistency isn’t there - therefore, we’ve gone back to traditional finings as of late December. Please note that we do not add finings to all our beer, we acknowledge that our trad beers should be crystal clear and will continue to use finings in those, but we will not use any finings in modern, I suppose we’d call ‘craft’ styles. On the plus side for publicans, with traditional finings our beers drop bright within a reported 3 hours! So, the Fallen Acorn beers will be quick on the bar from delivery.

Barrel Aging - MORE! MUCH MORE!

For those of you that have had a bottle of our Crimea River over Christmas, you’ll understand why it is imperative we ramp up the barrel aging. Wasn’t it bloody good?! For those of you who haven’t had a bottle, shame on you, get down the brewery and buy one of the remaining few and here’s why: Crimea River was one of the first pilot brews we produced as Fallen Acorn, we didn’t barrel age it in 2017, however, we let it age in cask for the Queens Hotel Annual Beer Festival and sold the remainder in 330ml bottles in the shop. We saw the feedback was good, then deliberated over how we could scale it up and sell 40 casks of a 9% Russian Imperial Stout. Little progress was made until the Great British Beer Festival beer ordering folk requested it for GBBF 2018. We hopped to it (which isn’t a funny brewing joke in this instance, because this beer is not at all heavily hopped) and fired up the pilot brewery to produce the 18 gallons GBBF required. Due to a slight mis-reading of the brew sheet, the Malt Grist got banjo’d and we through caution to the wind and did a full 40 cask brew of it instead the next day. Half of that went into regular cask, and has been flying out to various beer festivals, the other half went into newly acquired ex-Whisky Oak Barrels, for 8 months it aged prior to being put into 1000 x 750ml wine bottles and wax sealed. Arguably the best beer we’ve ever made. Despite your opinion on dark beers or Stouts, it is 100% worth a try - unbelievably smooth, no alcohol burn and lovely complex, warming qualities. Anyway, barrel aging…. So since Crimea River left the oak, we’ve replaced it with Safe As Milk, a 5.3% Milk Stout infused with Dark Roast Coffee & Islay Whisky. We don’t yet know when you will see this beer, and in what format it will be. But our plan is to get more oak barrels, we’re testing an 1800’s IPA recipe at the moment, and mimicking barrel conditions on that until September - should it be a success we will need oak for pale beers. We’re also thinking about Wine Barrels for a special Saison later this year, stay tuned to the Tap Room for that one folks.

Events - Bigger, Better, more toilets.

In 2018, we celebrated 20 years of Hole Hearted, had a brilliant Summer Music & Beer Festival and celebrated Oktoberfest with proper German-style beers (Brewed in Goßpört), we also held a Christmas Market and Quay West Christmas Party - all at the brewery. We’re fast out growing the facilities and space we have at the brewery, so 2019 will be a challenge - but fear not! We have plenty of ideas to ensure alot of fun is had in 2019.

We hope to see all of you out an about in January, don’t forget pubs, bars and tap rooms desperately need support in January - a quiet month traditionally, that sometimes is the final nail in the coffin for the local boozer. There are some awesome things going in in South Hampshire at pubs in Jan, mostly around the concept of Tryanuary. Keep an eye on Social Media - we’ll share our recommendations.

Matt Curd