Hello and welcome to October, a special month for Hop Stop as we will turn one on the 15th. More on the celebrations below but first Ruth and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued support over the last year. We hope you have enjoyed the beers as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you.
First Year Highlights
It was a nervous time opening and none of us knew what to expect, all the talking, planning and prep work was about to be put to the test. Luckily it went smoothly enough and we got a lot of confidence out of the first week.
Having served over 200 different draught beers and 650 canned and bottled beers. That is a lot of different beer! And yes between Ruth and I we tried them all.
Meeting all of you and sharing our enjoyment of great beer.
Introducing people to new flavours and styles of beer. We get a real buzz when someone tells us how much they enjoyed the beers we recommended to them.
Going to the pub Christmas Eve after a couple of weeks of madness in the shop. The firkin we set up at home for enjoying over the Christmas break sure helped the recovery.
Great meeting all the local brewers and having a chat about beer. Thanks for sharing your new beers with us, we have enjoyed selling your ever popular beers.
Oxted Beer Festival was a little daunting when we realised the scale of what we had gotten involved in but all the hard work before and during was more than worth it as it was one of our favourite weekends of the year.
First Birthday Celebration
Come and join us on Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th while we celebrate our first birthday. There will be lots of great beers on tap, a few special bottles open for sampling, a great competition to enter plus on the Saturday there is 10% off everything as a way for us to say ‘thank you’. So pop in and join us for an extra-large sample as we toast our first birthday.
Are you looking to break out of your beer comfort zone and try new styles? Or perhaps you want to get your hands on new beers before they hit the shop shelves? If the answer is yes our new beer club is perfect for you. Each month we will put together a selection of 6 beers complete with tasting notes all for one great price. The styles will all be different so expect some taste bud challenges! No need to subscribe for a set period of time just pick up the selection next time you are in the shop. As a special launch offer buy a pack in the first month and we will include a Hop Stop tasting glass free, perfect to use when sampling the beers. We will be launching our club at the end of the month, pre-register your interest now. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come into the shop and sign up.
We know from last month that beer is, if the situation allows, best drunk from a glass rather than straight from a bottle or can. But which glass is best? Certain beer styles suit certain glasses so here is the Hop Stop rough guide.
Pilsners / lagers: A tall flute that helps develop and retain a layer of foam
Belgian / Strong ales: A glass with a wide bowl that allows the beer to be warmed by the holder, think of a brandy snifter.
Bitters / Pale Ale: If they are not too strong then it has to be a pint glass, why? Because it just feels right.
IPA’s / Strong Pales: I like a glass with a smallish opening so all those aromas are concentrated.
If you are only going to have one glass then go for one like our Hop Stop sample glass, a good all rounder that works for all beers. Finally just remember that these are guidelines only, a great beer is still going to taste great if served in a plastic cup.
To be a successful brewery it is not necessary to have a physical brewery. Seems rather counter intuitive doesn’t it? Don’t you need the kit to brew on? Well yes, but the kit doesn’t necessarily have to be your own. Gipsy brewing is the term used for brewers who use other breweries spare capacity to brew their own beers. One of the most renowned Gipsy brewers is Evil Twin who originated in Denmark and now brew in various countries. Over the next couple of weeks as space permits we will be getting a range of their beers out onto the shelves. Here is a little taste of what to expect:
Bikini Beer Session IPA
It might be only 2.7% but don’t dismiss it, one sip and you will want a session on it.
Imperial Almond Biscotti
We have had coffee stouts, chocolate stouts and even salted caramel stouts but this is our first Biscotti stout.
13% ABV of intense Hop Bomb. It will be the strongest beer it the shop. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Roosters brew some of my favourite everyday drinking beer and so I am pleased to say that we have a couple of their pale ales coming up on cask. The lighter of the two is Buckeye, a blend of US and NZ hops that weighs in at 3.5% ABV. Yankee is a bit stronger at 4.3% and is slightly fruity with a gentle bitterness. Both are great session beers.
Since they are always so popular we have gotten our hands on one more keg of Beavertown. The question is thought what is it going to be? Neck Oil? Gamma Ray? Or perhaps we have gone a bit mad and gotten something that is a bit more off the wall? Only time will tell!
What we are drinking?
A pint of Harvey’s Sussex Best is one of my favourite session beers. That distinct hop bite and slight whiff on the nose always puts a smile on my face. So imagine my happiness when as part of their recent rebrand Harvey’s started to can Sussex Best. It tastes like it should but is nicely portable and I sure have been sinking a few of these lately.
My beer pick this month has to be Magic Rock Common Grounds, a triple coffee porter 5.4%. When I first tried this beer it took me back to sipping ice coffee in a town square somewhere in Europe. This beer is a collaboration with roaster Dark Woods. There are 7 different malts with 7 different coffees added at 3 different points during the brew to create this delicious beer. Tastes of sweet toffee, rich fruit, chocolate, vanilla, and hazelnut and of course a ridiculous amount of coffee. Best not drunk just before bedtime!
After having spent time in Cardiff studying Paul is a fan of Tiny Rebel’s beers and one of his favourites is their smoked oat stout Dirty Stop Out. Featuring a complex malt bill of 9 different malts there is a touch of smoke coupled with the smoothness that an oat stout normally has. Definitely one to savour, it drinks a lot stronger then its 5% ABV.
That’s all for this month, thanks once again for supporting us through our first year, we look forward to the next!