Here’s a top tip for you … Wander Beyond. No, it’s not running in the 2.30 tomorrow afternoon, it’s a brewery. I dropped into their tap takeover event at Turks Head the other night (23-08-18) and their beers were very, very nice.
I managed to get a quick word with Mat Breslin, head brewer of the Manchester, underneath Piccadilly Station, based brewery. What a lovely young man, as my Mum would say. He would be though because he comes from York originally.
I asked him how come I’d never really heard of the brewery before? Only opened in December, that’s why.
I was keen to learn a bit more about the breweries ethos? No core beers and a big focus on quality. A sort of a core idea which can be developed by using new ingredients as they come onto the market or by season, exploring new flavours. For example they started off with Peak Pale Ale (3.8%), which morphed into Twin Peaks DDH Pale which is the same beer but heavily dry hopped.
Coincidentally, as we chatted I had a glass of Twin Peaks, a pale amber, clear/bright beer in my hand, same ABV but more hops, boat loads of hops and it punched well above it’s 3.8% ABV weight. Mat explained he might experiment with different things the next time round, like changing the ABV, different water, adding fruit, whatever, saying, We’re not sticking to style guidelines. We’re not frightened to mix and match, to experiment.
On the bar they were showcasing Peak Pale Ale and Twin Peaks DDH Pale on cask and Mini Milkshake IPA (3%), Azure DIPA (8%), Curios Creek (3.2%), Keeper of the Lychees (6.6%) and Coconut Crater Imperial Stout (12%) on keg.
Myself and Mrs C also tried: Mini Milkshake IPA , Azure DIPA and Curios Creek, which had about a quarter of a ton of fruit in the brew. No wonder the Berliner Weisse was so pink, and tasty. In fact a feature of Wander Beyond would seem to be the ability to input so much taste and flavour into relatively low ABV beers. The DIPA was similarly tasty, yet well balanced for an 8% beer, and I wish I’d had the time to try a third of the Impy Stout. Sadly I had to be a) elsewhere and b) it was a bit early for one of them at 7pm, ahead of a long evening.
At the minute Wander Beyond are producing around 40hl of beer from two brews a week. Most of their cask production, currently about 70% of output, is going to a handful of pubs in central Manchester. Although demand is exceeding production at the minute, as they grow they are looking for a distributor to get their beers out there.
It shouldn’t be difficult to find someone because Mat said their cans are ordered and sold out before they actually brew the beer. Which sort of said something to me about the followers of this type of brewery/style of brewing. And I guess the fact they’ve already done a collaboration brew with Cloudwater, Runaway and Track for Manchester Beer Week speaks volumes.
Wander Beyond comprises three people; Mat, who has a Masters degree in brewing and has previously brewed at Hop Studio in York. Tina, Mat’s sister, who’s worked as a brewer at Magic Rock, but is currently concentrating on the artwork side of things and Dan, who’s Mum heads up Marble, where he’s worked and brewed. Incidentally, Dan’s brewery were previously listed at the same 98 North Western Street address as Wander Beyond.
It’s worth having a look at the ‘under construction’ web site for a preview of what to expect from the artwork which is also on the Wander Beyond beermats and features strange beatle like, hop cone formed alienistic creatures in a fantasy landscape.
Like I said at the beginning, Wander Beyond are a top tip and definitely a brewery to watch. Okay, you may be picking up elements of other brewers in aspects of what they are doing but what comes around goes around, and in this way the brewing game is no different to the art world.
If they start a Crowdfunding venture then I’ll definitely be investing.