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Lambiek Fabriek Close Up

When opening a craft brewery you can reasonably expect cash to start flowing inwards within a few weeks of the kit being commissioned and the first mash being dug out. Not quite so straightforward when opening a new lambic brewery. It could be years before you make anything decent, and everyone else in the game has been at it for decades or even centuries. Being subject to the whims of nature is a risky investment strategy, but Jo and Jozef at Lambiek Fabriek have found nature’s favour and made it work to great success. We spoke to Jo to find out more about what it’s like to be a new producer working in this fascinating style.

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Lost and Grounded Closeup

Quality is always our primary interest when evaluating breweries to work with. When Lost & Grounded came on to the scene in 2016, we already felt a measure of confidence in their standards; even before sampling any of the beer. Co-founder Alex Troncoso comes with a serious pedigree of brewing excellence, having spent many years overseeing production and quality at Little Creatures in Australia, and more recently Camden Town. We had a chat with Alex to learn more about the story of Lost and Grounded, and their approach to making some of the best beer in the UK.

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Hogan's Cider

At James Clay and Sons we’ve been privileged to curate a range of exceptional beers for over 40 years, and in 2018 we were proud to round out our selection with the addition of Hogan’s Cider. Cidermaking in the UK is undergoing a triumphant revival, and we thought this was the ideal time to chat to Allen and Jane Hogan to learn more.

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De Halve Maan Close Up

Bruges has two incredibly important arterial routes running through it. Bisecting the city from the North is ‘the Golden Inlet’, a channel that runs all the way out to the North Sea. This waterway was essential in developing Bruges as the epicenter of early European mercantilism, eventually developing the Bourse in 1309 as the world’s first stock exchange. The other, a subterranean pipeline running 3.2km out to the North East. This too, is a golden inlet, insofar as it carries beer. The beating heart at the middle of it all, is the De Halve Maan brewery. We spoke with owner Xavier Vanneste for the full story.

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Westmalle Extra Release

Over the years it’s been our privilege to be entrusted with a handful of cases of Westmalle Extra to serve at special events. When the time has felt right we’ve even made requests to complete the trinity of Westmalle beers in our range and be allowed to import it officially. After decades of consideration the Brethren at Westmalle have decided to release Westmalle Extra commercially for the first time.

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Barrel Aging

Since we have had a nice big haul of some of the best Barrel Aged and Fermented beers arrive, we thought it’d be a fantastic time to take a closer look at the technique, and speak to some of the people continuing to pioneer in the field today.

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Augustiner Close Up

Consider a brewery that spends nothing on marketing in their domestic market, has no export department, and a tiny sales team consisting of a few people. Most likely you’re picturing a fresh faced local craft brewery; it would be completely inconceivable that such an approach could result in sales of over 1.5 million hectolitres per year and global recognition. However, this is exactly the description of the Bavarian classic Augustiner-Bräu, now a household name in the UK.

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