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  • Phil

Hi, how are you? (Part II)

Here’s another bite-size chunk of Simple Things propaganda, this time looking at plans for the immediate future and beyond.

So as discussed in Part I, I’m planning to brew beers that draw primarily on British on European heritage; I’m making quality a top priority, and maintaining an open-minded, innovative approach. While I’m at it, I’ll be looking to explore some of the flavours in beer that are perhaps somewhat overlooked right now.

That’s the brewing philosophy in a nutshell; how does this translate into actual products?

Simple Things will kick off with the Big Ideas series; a run of twenty or so one-off brews, each a different beer style. Some of the styles you can expect to see include familiar faces such as Pale Ales, Lagers, Saisons, Porters and Stouts and well-known-but-not-overdone things like Wee Heavies, ESBs, Brown Ales, Dubbels, Milds and Barley Wines. There’ll also be occasional forays into niche and heritage styles, taking inspiration from materials and processes off the beaten track.

I’m into open-mindedness, but one of the self-imposed limitations of Big Ideas is that the handful of currently very popular US and antipodean hop varieties will be avoided - so no Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, Galaxy, Vic Secret etc. The (big) idea being that this forces a more curious approach and exposes a broader palette of flavours. Similarly, ‘food’ type additions will be avoided, so no pastry stouts or milkshake IPAs. It’s important to note here that I’m not at all averse to beers made like this - like any beer style, I love them, when done well. It’s more that I feel I don’t have a lot to offer in this arena that isn’t already being done very nicely by other brewers.

Hazy juicebombs. Delicious, maybe. But unlikely to be appearing in the STF range anytime soon.

Alongside the Big Ideas series, there’ll be limited runs of 750ml specials and collaborations with other like-minded folks. Customer feedback will be encouraged and eventually we’ll take a look back, do some chin stroking and create a core range.

The plan is to package mostly in bottles, with some keg and occasionally cask. Everything will be conditioned and packaged with live yeast; it’s not always the most straightforward approach but in my humble opinion, this is how to ensure the fullest flavour.

I’m aiming to have the first couple of products available in time for Christmas, fingers crossed. The beer will be available locally to begin with; a few pubs, bars, shops and restaurants in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh have already expressed interest. Over the next few months I’ll be talking to retailers and wholesalers across the UK and beyond. Back home, I’m looking to secure an off-premises licence for the brewery, which will allow for weekly sales/tasting events and occasional brewery tours. A licence will also permit on-line sales direct from the website, and potentially via a monthly subscription service.

So that’s what I’ve been, and am, up to. It’s all incredibly exciting, I know. Thanks again for subscribing and reading this far; I’ll be back in touch with another update soon.



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