Beavertown Heavy Water (Sour Cherry and Sea Salt) Imperial Stout
Style: Imperial Stout
Size: 330ml (Can)
Why is it called Beavertown?
Thursday 3rd July 2014 was a beautiful sunny day. Being mid-summer 6pm still feels like mid-afternoon. Looking out across the Thames you can’t help but notice the giant white dome held aloft by striking yellow support towers dominating the North Greenwich peninsula. Every time I see it I am reminded me of the opening scene of ‘The World is Not Enough’. I’ve left work and made the short stroll over to The Gun for a ‘meet the brewer’ with Beavertown Brewery, who were introducing some of their beers and extolling the virtues of beer in cans.
If you’ve met Logan Plant, founder of Beavertown Brewery, I’m sure you’ll agree he is a very engaging speaker and storyteller. For about 45 minutes he gave the background to his beer history growing up in the midlands, introduced Beavertown and gave a tutored tasting of 5 of their core beers. He took questions and mingled with the 15-20 people present. That was July 2014.
In March 2015 I made the trip to Beavertown Brewery in Tottenham Hale for a State of Craft Beer even, part of Brooklyn Brewery’s London Mash Tour. There were hundreds of people there. For me the juxtaposition of a small meet the brewer and a large craft event within the matter of months symbolised the growth of Beavertown.
They have been prolific, having brewed over 100 different beers over the past 4 years, the vast majority of which are collaborations with breweries far and wide. Furthermore they have achieved significant recognition in terms of awards for their beers and brewers. This year Beavertown was awarded two prestigious titles; Supreme Champion Brewer and UK Brewer of the Year in the 2015 International Beer Challenge. Beavertown claiming their cans were critical in ensuring their beers were presented with quality and freshness, spurring them to victory in the blind tasting judged competition. Only earlier this month, Head Brewer Jenn Merrick was awarded the prestigious British Guild of Beer Writer’s ‘Brewer of the Year’
So back to my opening question. I did ask this of Logan at that initial meeting. (Lame I know, but it was best question I could think of at the time). It’s inspired by De Beaviour Town, the part of London where Dukes Brew & Que is located. This is where Beavertown began back in 2011, brewing beers in the basement to serve in the pub.
To be honest, I found it difficult to find information about Heavy Water. I wanted to know more about how it was brewed and the inspiration. While Beavertown’s beers are incredible, their website unfortunately isn’t. I did find something on their blog from back in 2013 referencing Heavy Water as their first experimentation into Barrel Aging. They used 20 year old scotch whiskey barrels, putting the beer in for 45 days with an expected output of ~700 bottles. No mention of the infusion of sour cherries and sea salt in that post, so perhaps this new version is an amended recipe that is now canned rather than bottled.
The can is beautifully adorned with artwork from Nick Dwyer, Beavertowns Creative Director. There is a single illustration of a lady wearing glasses with what appears to be the reflection of an atomic bomb explosion. Standard Beavertown.
The beer is dark and thick, like an imperial stout should be. To be honest I can’t detect the sour cherries and sea salt, but perhaps its because I am no impy connoisseur.
With recent events we should focus less on what’s been lost and celebrate what we have and Beavertown is worth celebrating.
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