As I write this column today, we’re working on the Blend for this year’s ‘Maiden’ release. If you’ve not heard of our annual barleywine blend then let us give you a quick history!
Back in 2013, when Siren Craft Brew came into existence, the first-ever brew was an American barleywine, dubbed ‘Maiden’, to signify the first voyage into brewing.
A barleywine is a wine in name only, due to its high alcoholic content; typically between 8 – 12%. However, as it is brewed with grains and not fruit, is in indeed a beer. American barleywines tend to be fairly hoppy, but with a high bitterness and work very well when barrel-aged.
Since that first brew, ‘Maiden’ is always the first new brew of each calendar year. That first batch went straight into a variety of barrels to begin the ageing process. Over the years, we’ve added many more barrels and Maiden is now aged in a variety of different Whiskey and Bourbon, Red, White & Banyuls Wine, Brandy, Rum and even Tequila.
All of those different barrels lead to a wide variety of flavour profiles. Even two barrels from the same vineyard might develop contrastingly different notes. The annual blending day is when the Siren Craft Brew team, some selected guests, and a few of our amazing investors gather to bring it all together.
The result is our annual release, launched around the time of our Anniversary in March. If you’ve never tried it before, get ready for a taste experience like nothing else.
Before then, we have some other exciting releases and events to look forward to.
Recently, we released a brand new 4.2% Session IPA, in keg only. We wanted to gauge the reaction and response – there are big plans for this beer in the future. After some great feedback and a few tiny brewing tweaks, we’re ready to put it into cans!
Refractions is light, juicy and super refreshing. We think it’s one of those beers that you can go back to time and time again. It’s hopped with an all-star lineup of Hallertau Blanc, Mosaic, Chinook, Ekuanot and Azacca hops. This is a combination we’ve worked on carefully to bring aromas of pineapple and mango, with big tropical flavours and citrus in abundance. A delicate bitterness and a smooth mouthfeel round out a beautiful hazy IPA that we’re in love with. The cans will be available soon, and Refractions will be pouring in the Siren Tap Yard. You can check out our Facebook page to see the live beer list: facebook.com/sirencraftbrew
Later in February, we have two big beers set for release. One old and one new.
The new is a collab with Salt Beer Factory – The Abyssal Zone.
This is a Baltic Porter whose name takes inspiration from an almost-freezing depth of the ocean that remains in perpetual darkness. Unlike that unforgiving environment, this pitch-black beer welcomes you in with its rich flavours full of depth and life, a slight sweetness, and heart-warmingly robust finish.
The old came from a collab with J Wakefield Brewery, who hail from Florida, over 2 years ago. Since then it’s been sat in barrels taking on flavours upon flavours. At 12.4% you’d think it would be a slow drinker, but this one is hard to put down. Expect rich aromas of dark sugar and toffee, with a comforting chocolate fudge flavour profile, warming spirit complexity and a slick mouthfeel.
They’re both released in late February and will be readily available at the Siren Tap Yard.
In the meantime, we have a host of events and regular theme days coming up. The 1st Thursday of each month is now a vinyl record appreciation day called ‘Stacks of Wax’. Bring along your favourite records to play and your first half beer will be on us!
The last Wednesday of each month is Quiz Night, with bar tabs and plenty of beer-themed on the spot prizes to be won. It’s teams of 4 and just £2 per person. You can book your place either at the bar or via social media.
Don’t forget that every Wednesday is 15% off growler fills, wine and spirits. Our brand new updated pizza and panini menu is now live too! The Tap Yard is open Wednesday to Sunday with street food offerings every weekend, and extra heated indoor seating in our new Warehouse Garden section.