Saturday 19 March 2011

Hardknott tapping it out.

A year and a half ago I was shown, along with other members of the British Guild of Beer Writers, a room off Sheffield Station. It was a bit of mess to be honest; dusty, full of scaffolding and generally giving the impression of a building site.

Nearly exactly a year ago Sheffield Tap opened it's doors to the public, a world beer freehouse and the brainchild of James Hawksworth. After having significant problems restoring the building to it's early 20th centuary glory, the ceiling itself cost £27,000. Thankfully he had the guts to trust his judgement and agreed to fund the restoration, else we would be without this great place.

Not being particularly superstitious I should not let myself find significance with the fact that we have been running Hardknott as a stand alone brewery for just about the same time. Never the less, striving to be different is something I've always cherished and in this I can find synergy with Sheffield Tap.

Last Tuesday night we ran a meet the brewer night in this rather excellent platform refreshment room. On the bar was Light Cascade, Atomic Narcissus, Cool Fusion and Infra Red on cask and project Queboid on prototype keg. This is an unfiltered, isinglass free keg beer and as such a little on the hazy side, which was a worry to me. I worry about filtering changing the flavour of beer and isinglass is of course a concern for people regarding the fact that it is made from fish. It seemed to go down well despite its murky appearance.

More importantly this was the first time we had our new release Æther Blæc 20101 and Granite 2010. There are two versions of Æther Blæc determined by the containers they were matured in. For various reasons I'm not commenting on the exact containers but despite them both being from exactly the same gyle, the only differences being the maturation, there is very distinct differences. Details are in small print on the bottle so to find out you'll just have to buy one of each.

All in all it was a fantastic evening and I'd like to extend a very grateful thanks to Jamie and all his staff for their hospitality.

If you would like to buy my new release beers in bottle you can do so via

We will be distributing to as many good beer shops in the next few weeks, please let us know if there is a shop near you that you'd like to see stock my beers.

And now, some pictures.

These pictures were all taken by Ben Steel and can be found on facebook.

And because he is upset that he hasn't got a picture of himself with the lovely Rosie, here is one Ann took.


1I define the vintage of my limited edition beers based on the year in which they are originally brewed. Both of these have been maturing for around 3-4 months and were originally brewed last autumn.


Brewers Union Local 180 said...

You look good standing behind the pumps.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Hardknott beers stocked in the bottle selection at the MicroBar in Manchester Arndale Market. It's run by the folks at the Boggart Hole Clough brewery (