Weird Beard Brewing Co.
Here at The Evening Brews there aren’t many things that sets our beer soaked hearts more aflame than the discovery of new and exciting breweries. So when we came across Weird Beard Brewing Co, at what would easily be categorised as a fairly mundane beer festival back in 2012, we were most definitely intrigued.
A lot of the new breweries that has cropped up in London over the past year or so seems to be dedicated to making boring bitters and other so called Real Ales. Weird Beard is luckily miles away from this rather stale approach. Their focus is on crafting a range of diverse and exciting beers, and it’s our duties, as beer geeks and borderline alcoholics, to support them in this endeavour.
Being a graphic designer by trade, and having pimped my skills to some really awful conglomerate beer companies in the past, I was keen to get actively involved in the ‘good beer cause’. After a few emails and some drunken meetings with the Weird Beard boys, I got on board, along with my illustrator friend Chris, to help them make some nice labels. One of the excellent things about getting involved like this is that I get to ride shotgun and witness the trials of starting a brewery, both good and bad. It sure has helped me appreciate the process behind brewing the good shit.
Weird Beard is a classic story of brewing. They started out as homebrewers who wanted to make their passion their livelihood. Gregg and Bryan, the hairy faced pioneers behind Weird Beard, live and breathe brewing. A passion they’ve been duly rewarded for, having won major awards at various home brewing competitions. Today they’re making good use of their experience, incorporating many of their home recipes into what is sailing up as their core range, of course tweaking and re-tweaking in their pursuit of perfection.
Six months after their initial start up, last Saturday to be precise, they’d arranged for an official opening of Weird Beard. Invited for a rundown of beers and business ideas were investors and collaborators, me being one of those lucky few.I won’t go through every single beer they are about to unleash. But I will tell you what made me quite excited. The first notable beer for me was their ‘Black Perle’. This milk stout has been aged on coffee beans and it has a great balance of with a lactose tang and a subtle hint of coffee that makes it a cut above the normal milk stouts I have tried in the past.
Now onto a subject close to my heart, the almighty IPAs. Lucky for me the Weird Beard boys are fans too and they’ve got an ace up their sleeve with the awesomely named ‘Five O’Clock Shadow’ – a love letter to citrusy and fruity hops. They’ve got the english IPA covered with their ‘Hit The Lights’, and a spanking black IPA called ‘Fade To Black’ (not available on the day, but I’ve tried it… it’s banging). And in case you were wondering, yes, they’ve got the double IPA covered too, don’t you worry.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to Weird Beard I am a biased fanboy. So in the name of balance I want to just highlight a few things that isn’t great, yet. Some of their prototypes are still not bang on. There’s the ‘Decadence Stout’, which is by Gregg’s own admission, still a work in progress. They’ve also left with the monumental task of taking these recipes and recreating them on their new shiny, and significantly larger, kit.
It has definitely been a worthwhile experience getting involved with these guys, even just to see what it takes to get from serious home brewers to commercial brewers. It’s an epic journey. We all know things taste better when you know the story behind the product. And when you know that there are dedicated people like Gregg and Bryan behind it, it makes the beer just that wee bit more special. At least for me.