Beavertown's Tempus Project @ The Axe
On Saturday 21st April, The Axe will play host to a celebration of British wild fermentation and barrel-ageing innovations, including the Tempus Project from Beavertown.
The Axe will have on the following Beavertown beers:
ON KEG -
Cowboy Lightning (last keg ever)
Moonshiner (last keg ever)
Be Excellent to Each Other collaboration with Land & Labour
IN BOTTLE -
Ajna - Collab with Dogfish head from 2015. The Brettanomyces yeast will have been working away at this since then so will be pretty funky.
Barrel Aged Applelation
We also asked Tempus Project Barrel Programme Manager, Jonny Hamilton a few questions about Beavertown and their relationship with fermented beers!
To those not in the know can you tell us a bit about the Beavertown Tempus project and your overall relationship with wildly fermented beers - why did you decide to launch this?
"At Beavertown, we have always tried to experiment with barrel-ageing and wild yeasts, with the first barrel aged and sour beers being brewed as early as 2013/14 at our Hackney Wick site. When we moved to our current site at Tottenham Hale, and gained a new warehouse soon after, we were able to expand our barrel ageing capacity, along with space for our old brew-kit, some stainless-steel tanks for packaging, and by the end of 2015 we had around 100 barrels, releasing our first mixed fermentation beers Sour Power, and Ajna. Mid-way through 2016, we were finally able to dedicate some more time, and our first full time member of staff to take control of the project, giving it the name Tempus. Since then, the number of barrels has grown to over 300, as well as the purchase of two 55HL Foudres in late 2016, and two 900L Terracotta amphorae at the end of 2017. This year sees the stepping up of the project once again, with the acquisition of a dedicated bottling line, the creation of a core range of mixed fermentation beer, and the opening of a taproom in the barrel store. The Tempus Project will focus on it’s core elements of wild yeast, bacteria, barrels, and of course time, producing a wide range of beers from low-ABV unpasteurised sour beers, and mixed-fermentation saisons, to big imperial stouts aged in spirit barrels. Our focus will be on the development of our own house culture which we will use for many of our releases, seasonal brewing, and more barrel-aged fruited sour beers."
How has the rise of spontaneously fermented food/drink grown in London over the last few years?
"I think there has definitely been an increase in attention in the UK, and in London specifically, on natural and low-intervention production methods, from the rise in popularity of natural wines, to the wide-spread acceptance of sourdough bread as a supermarket product, Kombucha being sold at train stations, to breweries trying their hands at sour beer, or mixed fermentation beers. This has led to great discussions, and ideas sharing between producers of many different products, leading to amazing collaborations, events and experimentation, and progression within each of our own fields. We would never had bought two terracotta amphorae to age sour beer in, had it not been for the growth in the natural wine movement in London, exposing us to wines from countries like Georgia, and production methods such as “orange wine” which are now becoming more accepted, and stocked not just in the most-specialist shops."
Are you guys excited to be involved with Sponfest 2018 and what do importance do you think it holds?
"We are very excited and honoured to be involved in Sponfest along side some of our favourite UK and European breweries. Events like this not only give fans of sour and mixed fermentation beers the opportunity to try a wide range of local examples, alongside well-respected classic producers such as Cantillon, but will also hopefully introduce a whole new group of people to these styles. Often these styles of beer can sound challenging at first, but I’ve found that people are much more receptive to the flavours in a sour beer, or saison than they would think, finding commonalities between cider, and wine."