Our next Brewery Spotlight, between Thursday 13th and Sunday 16th April, will be Siren Brewing Co from across in Finchampstead, near Reading. If you don’t know what our Spotlight Series is, then check out the full blog post here, although in short, it’s where every month we select one of our favourite breweries from around the country, or around the world, and showcase them across the tap lines in all our stores and several shelves within our fridges.
Having bottled their first beers in 2013, they quickly made a huge impact both in the UK and abroad, before being named the 2nd best new brewery in the world in 2014. When they first began life, founder Darron Anley knew he wanted to build an exciting and innovative brewery and, with that in mind, hired Ryan Witter-Merithew as their first head brewer. Although Ryan has since moved on to Hill Farmstead brewery in America, commonly ranked as the best brewery in the world, the foundation was laid for a brewery which has not stopped experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with beer.
As with all of our Spotlight breweries, we have chosen Siren because of the awesome depth and breadth of their beer range. Never content to stick with just brewing the beers that they know will be “easy sellers”, the pale ales and IPAs of the brewing scene, they have an incredible ability to be innovative within the current beer scene which is probably more creative than it has been at any other point in time. That said, they don’t ignore the basics, and their core range is amongst the most consistent and excellent that you can find within the UK beer scene.
Last January Siren posted the photo below onto their Twitter showing their barrel-ageing project which they had to move when they were having work done on their brewery. It’s fair to say that they have A LOT of barrels, and it’s definitely fair to say that they know how to use them. Since we opened back in August 2014 we’ve stocked over 50 different Siren beers, and many of these have been special barrel-aged beers which are amongst some of the most sought after beers that we stock. However, they have two barrel-ageing/blending series which really do demonstrate the extent of their ambition.
Maiden is an American Barley Wine which was the first beer ever brewed at Siren, and continues to be the first beer they brew every new year. This fresh batch is then blended with previous years batches that have spent years ageing in different barrels. However, due to the nature of barrel-ageing beers, each vintage features a different blend. This years was 20% fresh Maiden, with Armagnac, Banyuls, Heaven Hill, Red Wine and Rum barrels all playing a role, whilst last years featured 50% fresh Maiden and no Red Wine in site! Each years it the same beer, but is always different.
The second of Siren’s epic barrel-ageing projects, Odyssey is their beer series which really lets them experiment and get creative with what is possible. There is no defined “style” with this range of beers with each one being a unique blend of their barrel-aged and clean beers. Their first was a huge Russian Imperial Stout aged in 3 different barrels and then blended with their Red IPA, Liquid Mistress, to provide a touch of brightness. Since then this series has offered us Scotch Ales, Flemish Reds and Wild Ales, all blended from a variety of beers to produce one which is more than the sum of its parts.
We’ve got plenty of beer for next week’s Spotlight, with the bottles making an appearance across all three of our stores. Each will also have several of the same and several different kegs. Make sure to check out the list below and come in quickly because we guarantee that some of these beers will not hang around for very long!

Core Range

Calypso • Liquid Mistress • Soundwave • Undercurrent • Yu Lu
Pompelmocello • Ryesing Tides
Proteus Vol 4 • Primal Cut • Amigos Brittanicos • Agua De Sapo • American Oak Brown • Five Alarm • Broken Dream (Bourbon Coffee)
Barrel Aged
Bourbon Milkshake • Acid Jam • Maiden 2016

To Be Announced!

A siren’s song is supposed to lure sailors in and wreck their ships on the islands they inhabit. These beers are definitely tempting, although the worst that will befall you when you give into temptation is a possible hangover the next day if you fall in too deep. Just to whet all of your appetites and get you excited for the upcoming beers, we thought we’d give you a quick run down of some of the beers we’re particularly excited to have in our shops from these guys.

Having spoken about it earlier, we’re champing at the bit to get our hands on Maiden 2016. Below is another photo they posted on their Twitter feed of them inviting down Wild Beer Co and several other people to sample all the different barrels this Barley Wine has been aged in before deciding on the final blending ratio. These beers are incredibly special, so grab some to drink now and some to squirrel away, because this will age wonderfully!

The other two beers that have come out of their barrel-ageing program that we’re looking forward to are their Acid Jam and Bourbon Milkshake. The first is a 7.0% ABV barrel-aged blended sour, whilst the later is a blend of five different barrel-aged Imperial Stouts. There’s no way they won’t be incredible!

We’re also excited to try their latest addition to their core range, Yu Lu, a loose leaf pale ale which is the final evolution of their previous tea pales. From their specials range, Primal Cut is a smoked porter brewed with blackcurrant and coffee where the idea is that it offers flavours reminiscent of a smoked and BBQed hunk of meat. For a beer to put a smile on your face, Agua De Sapo is a lemon and ginger brown ale based on a popular Costa Rican soft-drink. This beer really is bizarre, but it brings all these flavours together brilliantly.

So, we’ve got all this delicious beer – what’s the plan? On Thursday, all the kegs lines will be taken over by Siren and the fridges re-arranged to feature all of their beers. All you need to do is rock up, sample everything that’s on offer and take away your favourites (we promise you, you’ll find plenty to love!).

Siren are a brewery who constantly delight us with their bizarre, inventive and consistent creations. We’ve been huge fans since they opened and we’re delighted to be able to showcase them in our stores.

Brave Work By Voyage.