You’d have to have been living in a remote Siberian cave not to notice how popular craft beer has become over the last five years. But what exactly is craft beer – is it a style, is it about the intensity of flavour, or is it simply any beer with an eye-catching label that isn’t brewed by one of the mega brewing corporations?
The style emerged in the US in the late 70’s as a response to the banal lager-beers dominating the market. Micro-brewers were searching for an intensity of flavour, which they found by using fruity American hops. American hops can bring grapefruit, resin, fresh lemon peel, orange and tangerine notes to beers. In Europe, similar to natural wine, there isn’t an official definition for craft beer. Maybe that’s part of the excitement as it leaves the brewers – around 1,700 in the UK – free to constantly evolve and come up with myriad tempting options.
All this choice can be a bit confusing though. This is why Indigo formed a partnership with Nick Trower, founder of Biercraft. Nick has gathered together a collection of the most exciting small craft breweries from the railway arches of Hackney, to Brighton, Bavaria and Barcelona, via Adelaide Hills and a few other places in-between. Biercraft focuses on quality, searching out exhilarating brews to complement your drinks list.
“Biercraft now works with 20 of the best London breweries. From the originators the Kernel in Bermondsey, through to the exciting new brews coming out of Redchurch’s Urban Farmhouse brewery in Bethnal Green, there has never been such a diverse array of well made, delicious beers being made just a few miles from the capital’s best restaurants.”
At the back of our portfolio you’ll find a concise, curated list of these breweries, and if you order through us we’ll put your wines and beers together for one convenient delivery.
Not sure what the difference is between a Pale Ale and an IPA, skeptical about Saison…? Don’t panic, Nick has put together a concise list of options to get you started…
Every beer list needs… Mahrs Bräu – Pils : 4.9% : 330ml
This Pilsner has a golden hue and seems to glow warmly in the glass. A distinctive aroma of hops, lightly carbonated and dry with a dash of bitterness. It is the perfect thirst quencher, but also pairs with fish dishes and grilled meats.
Founded in 1670 Mahrs Bräu vies for the coveted award of best brewery in Bamberg, arguably Germany’s greatest beer town. All the beers are batch brewed and unpasteurised, using hops, barley and wheat from local farmers, and of course conform to the German Reinheitsgebot (purity laws).
Refreshing as a rainstorm on the South Downs… Burning Sky – Saison Provision : 6.5% abv : 330ml
Saisons were traditionally summer ales made by farmers for their seasonal workers (saisonniers). Provision has a primary fermentation with a saison yeast, then undergoes a long slow secondary fermentation in large oak foudres. The result is tart, crisp, slightly sour and incredibly refreshing.
Burning Sky HQ is nestled at the base of the South Downs in an old Sussex Barn, where they let their imaginations run wild. The crux of the brewery is to brew without compromise in terms of ingredients and time – slow-working yeasts bring complexities and depths of flavour to their beers.
An agile match for hearty dishes… Lost & Grounded – No Rest for Dancers : 6.2% : 330ml
Probably the world’s oldest drink, mead is essentially fermented honey and water, and is referenced in the ancient cultures of China, Greece and Egypt. Like traditional meads, Gosnells is made from honey and water, but is much lighter, drier, and bubblier to the tongue. This is a refreshing, thirst-quenching mead with delicate floral and citrus notes and a slight spritz: lovely as an aperitif or matched with summer fruit tarts and desserts.
Gosnells was founded by Tom Gosnell in 2013, with the aim of bringing mead back to the masses. They employ traditional brewing methods and blend carefully sourced citrus blossom honey with water to create new styles that are very different from typical meads.
If you would like to see our beer list, chat through the range, or would like some samples with your next wine order drop us a line.