It’s fair to say that our team are pretty obsessed with beer. Since opening in August we have sold over 500 different beers from over 100 brewers across more than 17 countries and we constantly have a range of over 350 beers in stock at any one time. The team have worked tirelessly and selflessly to try each and every one, all in the name of our lovely customers.

Hops, malt & yeast run through our veins but we still wanted something more. Something was missing from our craft beer emporium.  That something was a beer crafted by our own fair hands, a beer made with our own blood, sweat and tears (metaphorically speaking don’t worry!). So on a very cold November day the four of us headed down to local favourites Belleville Brewery to brew up something very special.

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We’ve all brewed at home before, but most only on a kitchen stove using one of the excellent Brooklyn Brewshop beer making kits that we sell in store. What we had in front of us was a somewhat larger version but the processes remain the same. We mashed in early and steeped the malted barley  in the mash tun until the sugars from the grains had been released and we were left with our wort, an orange coloured sweet liquid.

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After sparging the grains it was time to transfer the wort into the kettle, a process that takes a hell of a lot longer when dealing with 500 odd litres as opposed to 5 litres! We passed the time by measuring out the seven different hops that we would be putting into the brew to give it aroma, bitterness and flavour. We chose to use all American hops, opting for the 7 C’s – Cascade, Citra, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus, Cluster and Crystal. With the wort now reaching a fine rolling boil it was time for us to ceremoniously add the bucket load of hops. Our beer was well and truly in the making.

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A couple of hours later and the beer was sitting pretty in its fermenter with the yeast setting to work on turning sugary wort into the finished beer. In the weeks that followed we’ve been back in the brewery to get it bottled, kegged and labelled and I can tell you that we now have a new found respect for the amount of time and care that goes into making small batch beers.

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We opted for a light, zesty hop forward pale ale, the style we all love the most (as do most of our customers). Sessionable but bitter and flavoursome due to the seven American hops used, it’s a perfect beer to accompany your Christmas turkey, and a nice alternative to the dark and heavy beers usually associated with the season. We’ve called it The Bear of Hildreth, a nod to our logo mascot and the street on which we sit.

Available now in 500ml bottles and on draft for you to take home in your growler.