Our 7 barrel (1,000 litre) brewery lives in a barn on a hillside in rural North Wales. The brewhouse itself was manufactured outside Munich and comes to us by way of a defunct brewpub in Nagano, Japan. The traditional copper cladding not only looks great, but also provides nutrients for our yeast.
- Fire our kettle with steam. Steam creates a gentle heat and avoids caramelisation which is unsuitable for many lagers.
- Use traditional brewing methods such as decoction mashing which preserve the delicate flavours in lager.
- Carbonate naturally. Injecting it is simpler, but carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation process creates fine bubbles that enhance flavour and drinkability.
- Condition for at least one month at near-freezing temperatures. This expensive "lagering" stage is what gave the style it's name and must not be cut short.
- Use "bittering" hops - industrial strength hops bred to cut costs. They lack the subtlety of aromatic varieties.
- Filter, centrifuge, or "fine". Flavour will not be sacrificed for the sake of appearance or shelf-life.
- Pasteurise. Ditto.
- Use city water. Our water comes direct from our own borehole in the Welsh countryside. No need to add or remove chemicals; it's lovely as it is.
All this means our beers may not keep as long as your common supermarket lager. But like fresh baked bread, you can really taste the difference.