Hello and welcome to May. This month we have two big announcements that we are very excited about so let us get straight into it.
Hop Stop Bar at the Oxted Beer Festival 2017
Yes, you read that correctly, do not adjust your set, the rumours and some customers dreams are true, Hop Stop Bar is coming to Oxted Beer Festival 2017! Don’t worry, we are still organising and managing the cask ale and lager in the main tent but when the opportunity arose to do our own bar as well we thought it was a great opportunity to refuse and a way to bring some different beers to the festival. So our bar is going to be all about the keg and the can. There will be four keg lines pouring with pales ales, an IPA and of course a lager. Then can wise we will have a roll call of our biggest sellers so think Moor, Camden, Tiny Rebel, oh and a little brewery called Beavertown, cold cans of Neck Oil in the beer festival sunshine anybody? Ruth will be managing the beer flow in the main bar so you will be stuck with me behind the Hop Stop bar all weekend, don’t let that put you off coming down and saying hello though. The Hop Stop Bar will be in the festival village next to the silent disco so have a look what is pouring and grab a cold can or two to slip into your pocket for when you don’t want to leave the dance floor.
Hop Stop Online
The news just keeps coming this month, many of you have commented on our new website and shortly we will be adding an online shop to take the next step in our beer selling adventure. While we love the customer interaction and having a chat while you enjoy a sample we realise there are a lot of people who want to buy good beer but can’t always get to the shop so enter Hop Stop Online. Rather than selling lots of individual bottles which you have to scroll through to find what you want we have taken a bit a time to put together style packs so that you can order a box suitable for you or the person you are buying for. IPA lover? Devotee of Dark beer? Prefer pales? There are options to suit or perhaps you want to mix it up and go with a Hop Stop favourites pack? We will have a variety of sizes as well starting with 3 bottle gift packs right up to the mighty 24 beer selection boxes. Click and collect will be available and if you are an Oxted local contact us for reduced delivery rates. You never know you might get one of our smiling faces delivering it to you! We aim to launch early June with the assistance of the IT team at WATB Nutfield so watch this space!
One of the other great features of our new website is you can now sign up online to our weekly Beermail. With beer news always happening and new beers arriving all the time we thought a short and to the point email each week can give you all the latest direct to your inbox. We will let you know what is new on the shelves, what draught is going to be pouring and any other news that just can’t wait! We will save the blog for longer features so we can look more in depth at developments, trends and stories from the world of beer. Sign up on our website and not only will you great all the latest news but also special subscriber offers and deals.
Food and Beer at Restaurant James Cochran EC3
Between our OBF Bar and getting our online shop and weekly newsletter going you would think we have enough on our plate, right? Well one of the challenges and joys of running your own business is that you have to grab every suitable opportunity as you never know where it might lead. Through the photographer we use for all our images (Jessica Jill Photography) we got a chance to select beers to match up with a five-course menu for a special food and beer matching night at restaurant James Cochran EC3. James has had lots of great press including a 4/5 review from Fay Maschler in the Evening Standard so we were stoked and slightly daunted to be asked to select the beers. The food sounds amazing, treacle glazed shin of beef being and raw sea bass with curry yoghurt and broccoli being just two of the courses being served. Go back a few years and I was a little sceptical about beer and food pairing but now I love to explore all the possibilities and when you get it right the combinations can just sing and equal more than the sum of the parts. Come try it for yourself on Thursday 25th May, contact www.jcochran.restaurant for bookings. If you want to have ago yourself chat to us next time you are in about some winning combinations and look out for a couple of blog posts soon about matching food and pair. One of my favourite combinations? A light hoppy bitter with homemade pork scratchings, not so good for my waistline but so hard to resist.
Draught and Packaged Beer
Ok so just in the interim before our Beermail is fully up and running I better give you an idea of what to expect this month. Cask wise there will be more Marble, Great Heck, Gadds’ and Pig and Porter just to get started. On keg Abbeydale make a first appearance with a hoppy pale and 360 is returning with an American Pale Ale. Bottle and can wise you will just have to come and check for yourself as I can hardly keep up myself with all the new arrivals. One I do want to mention though is Marble Pint which is now available in cans. One of our all-time favourite cask beers Pint has made a great transition to can and is tasting amazing. The only downside? Shame it is in a 500ml can and not a pint sized one(568ml), a pint of Pint from a can would be rather cool.
Right, time to go and do some more work now, with everything going on currently Ruth and I are going to have to come up with a way to duplicate ourselves, anyone got any suggestions? I seem to remember from my student days if I drink enough beer I start to see double, pity we can’t get double the work done.