Crumbs Brewing

Month: April 2017

By in Music 0

Beer and Music. Is there a better combination?

Well, we’re quite biased on that one…

On one hand, all of us at Crumbs Beer are ready to pay extortionate amounts (plus booking fees) to see our favourite bands. Some of us even delight (or annoy, depending on who you ask) anybody with enough patience with our (somewhat dubious) musical skills.

And on the bass guitar, trying to look as he knows what he’s doing, our Crumbs Spreader, Adrià Tarrida! *crowd roars*

And on the other hand, we’re starting a brewery, so I guess our credentials as beer lovers are more than covered!

Music and beer, a match made in heaven. In the case of the photo, quite literally!

My intention was to write a blog post about the history of how the harmonious airwaves and the beverage came to be such great bedfellows, but it’s been done before, and quite well by the way, so I’m not going to risk any litigation for plagiarism and will just leave you a link: Beer Wrote This Song: A Brief History of a Match Made in Heaven.

Instead, I’m going to take the opportunity now that I have your attention (hopefully) to talk about the great, local, not-for-profit organisation New Music Nights.  They provide a much needed platform for original music in Reigate. Trust me on this, I have been to a few of their events and the talent is unbelievable! Ironically, the time my band played in one of their monthly events, it was only covers. Ooops.

 

New Music Fest on the 17th and 18th of July in the Reigate Rugby Club. Come on, you know you want to! Click on the image!

Anyway, I digress… The point I want to make is that we have been in talks with them and they’ve been kind enough to let us be their beer sponsor for the upcoming New Music Fest (even before they’ve had the chance to taste it!). The festival is on the 17th and 18th of June. So if you want the opportunity to listen to some of the best local talent while drinking some of our (hopefully) awesome Crumbs Amber Lager, the New Music Fest is your chance to do so (edit 11/06 – it IS awesome). And for being a current (or future) Crumbs drinker, you can get a 5% discount off the early bird tickets by using the code: NMFCB1.

Get your tickets here: http://www.newmusicnights.co.uk/index.cfm?task=newmusicfest

By in Our first brew 0

Crumbs! It’s brew 001

Today was a day of firsts

The first time our resident Spanish Crumbs Spreader, Adria, visited the Isle of Wight.

Crossing the Solent in the sunshine

It may not be as warm as Barcelona just yet, but there are few more beautiful places on earth than the Island when the sun is shining. If you believe my Father, the sun always shines on the Isle of Wight. I can tell you for a fact that’s not true – it almost always rains when I visit. So much so that Elaine and I have been branded the rain doctors by my Island based family. Many a summer has descended from pavement cracking heat to freezing rain and gales on our arrival. So it was a refreshing change to enjoy the short ferry ride from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, laden down with a number of large sacks of bread crumbs, in glorious sunshine…..

The first time in a long time I’ve set my alarm for 4am.

Far too early to be out of bed

I’d definitely rather have avoided this first. The whole reason I wanted to get into brewing and not baking was the unsociable hours bakers have to deal with. So it was a bit of a shock when our partners at Goddards Brewery announced we’d be starting the brew at 5am. Isn’t brewing all about long leisurely lie-ins, a spot of brewing and tinkering during the day and then an afternoon and evening of product sampling? I’m not sure this is what I signed up for?

Anyway – any discomfort of the early hour was soon forgotten as we embarked on the most important first of them all…..

THE FIRST EVER full scale brew of Crumbs Amber Lager! Exciting indeed! Exciting and a little nerve wracking. This was the first time we had ever brewed our rather unconventional beer using full scale kit. If you’ve been following our journey you’ll know we’ve been pretty thorough with our homework and recipe development but this was a true journey into the unknown. Something that quickly came home to Goddards Head Brewer,Nigel, when we realised our lovely cold stored bread crumbs were going to have a significant impact on the overall temperature of the initial mash.  His skill and experience (combined with a little bit of luck) came through though and we successfully settled our first mash at a perfect 65.5 degrees. Phew – any lower and we would have had a very expensive failure on on our hands.

Nigel’s smile (left) once we realised the process was actually working!

 

Nursing the rather unusual mash

Sampling the wort

From then on it all went remarkably smoothly. The separation of the sweet wort that contains the sugars that will eventually ferment into our Amber Lager was excruciatingly slow (the bread crumbs create a far denser mash for the liquid to drain through versus a normal grain only brew) but the resulting gravity (a test to ultimately determine how much alcohol will be in the final fermented beer) was spot on.  Cue picture of me looking at a glass of the wort like I have any idea what I’m actually doing…!

 

The intoxicating Progress hops were next into the mix as the wort boiled in the copper. Opening up the lid to pour in the hops into the steaming liquid was an interesting experience – a warning from Nigel not to be tempted to have a sniff of the mix was well heeded. As he put it, “it’ll be the last thing you ever smell if you do!”

Eventually it was time for the brew to make its final journey of the day into the fermentation vessel where the yeast will do its job to create our fabulous beer.  Time to hang up our overalls and sample a few of the excellent beers Goddards already make (well we wouldn’t let any old team brew our first ever batch of Crumbs would we)!

Not long to wait now….. please form an orderly queue…!

By in Food waste 0

44% of bread produced in the UK goes to waste. Oh Crumbs!

Taking over the blog today, it’s the Crumb Spreader, Adrià Tarrida.

I’ve always thought that companies should do, first of all, good. Making money is just the way they can ensure they’ll be doing good for longer! That’s why, when my mate and Chief Crumber Morgan told me about his idea of doing beer out of bread that otherwise would go to waste, I didn’t think twice before asking him to (please, please!) let me be on board.

It was one of those incredibly serendipitous moments: I had just joined Loveworks, a local charity in Reigate that, amongst many other things, runs food banks in the area, both from donations and recovered food from local supermarkets. We are also trying to secure the lease of the café space in the new Community Hub in Merstham to run a, erm, Community Café from there, partnering up with another great charity, MCFT, and some local friends. If you’re curious about this, you can find out more on the website (and while you’re at it, like the Facebook page and follow us on Twitter).

The recipe for a food recovery café!

And it was only doing my homework for the Community Cafe project, that I realised of the scale of the food waste issue. 15 million tonnes of food every year just in the UK! And bread is the worst offender, with nearly half (44%) of the bread produced in the UK going to waste at some point of the supply chain. Horrendous!

That’s why I feel so good about making beer out of bread. We can turn some of that lovely crafted product (ours is from the amazing Chalk Hills Bakery in Reigate) into one of my favourite beverages while helping reduce food waste. Win!

Some gorgeous bread from Chalk Hills Bakery. Quick, let’s drink it before it goes to waste!

So, as soon as our first Amber Lager batch has fermented (not long to go!) you’ll be able to do your bit to help with food waste. Isn’t that awesome?

PS: and wouldn’t also be awesome to support Loveworks and the Community Café project as well? Come on, you know you want to!

By in How it all began 0

Designer Beer

Excited by the fact we seem to have a great beer on our hands it was time to turn our attention to a bit of marketing. Most importantly what is Crumbs actually going to look like? In a sea of wild and wonderful craft beers that seem to be growing in number by the day we need Crumbs to make some noise.

We’re confident the people of Reigate will love our story and the journey we’ve been on – but if we’re not wearing the right clothes you might not even give us a second look!

Step in yet more new local friends – the wonderful team at Four Leaf design in Reigate.

Kate, Mark and Matt couldn’t wait to get their teeth into the challenge as well as getting their mouths round a few samples of Crumbs Amber.  Their passion for beer was quickly evident (or maybe they only recruit raging alcoholics?!?) It was only 10am but the team reassured us they’d all had big breakfasts and weren’t driving home that day.

No bullshit here please

The meeting was refreshingly low on what we officially term as “marketing bullshit”. Having spent a lot of my career working with brand and advertising development its amazing how quickly you can slip into some terrible parody of an East London hipster advertising agency type who is high on confusing jargon but probably quite low on intelligence and dress sense.  With our own brand we have instilled an immediate system of fines for anyone saying bizarre things like “what is the emotional essence of the brand?”, “does the curve of the letter C resonate with the warmth and personality at the heart of your mission?”, “what subconcious response do we want the brand to inspire in potential consumers?”….. I dunno – that they actually want to bloody well drink it!?!

Luckily we warmed to the Four Leaf team as they are distinctly free from bullshit but very high on skill, creativity and good old fashioned common sense. Thank heavens for that!

Really looking forward to seeing their ideas.