An experimental pilot brew Card’Oranges produced for a London-based festival is being used as the base for the ‘Paddington Beer’ that will be available across the Draft House estate in keg format.
Sam Squire, brewer at Siren, made it clear the intention was absolutely not to produce another “milkshake IPA or a murk bomb”. Instead, he says the plan has been to brew a semi-classic IPA (at around 35 IBUs) with a zesty, fruity flavour.
“We’ve taken advice from Other Half and Modern Times breweries about producing juicy IPA’s but not the New England versions with low bitterness. More like Bloody ‘Ell from Beavertown, which is certainly one of my favourite beers,” he says.
Like the Beavertown brew, there has been orange zest added into the whirlpool and during the dry hop – along with some Mandarina Bavaria, Citra and Amarillo. The core hops used in the kettle are Citra, Amarillo and Ekuanot.
A modest amount of Cardamon has also found its way into the brew as did some honey – although I thought this was an ingredient more related to Pooh Bear than Paddington. But I suspect neither man nor bear can survive on marmalade alone.
The experimentation of this particular brew is typical of Siren and was an attraction to Kyle Larsen, head brewer at Siren Craft Brew, who had previously been brewing in Oregon in the US before joining the UK brewery. He points out that Siren produces 40 new beers per year along with the core range that includes Soundwave IPA, Liquid Mistress Red IPA, Undercurrent Oatmeal Pale Ale, and Yu Lu Pale Ale.
This is a serious amount of variation and has helped the brewery to gain a following and push its total annual production to 13,000 hectolitres. Larsen says there is plenty of room for expansion as the existing site, which could be used to push up annual output to 20,000 hectolitres if external fermenting vessel are utilised.
He also points out that a centrifuge is about to be brought in that will “allow force clearing to get our hoppy beers out quicker while maintaining consistency and enable us to plan ahead more effectively”.
The brewery is finding a gradual shift away from the use of key kegs towards using the services of Kegstar for domestic sales. While for export – to China and Russia among other countries – the key keg will remain the preferred vessel. Keg overall accounts for 60% of total sales while 20% is bottled and the remaining 20% is cask.
As with any other craft brewer of note Siren is going big on wooden barrels and presently has 300 on-site located in a new unit on the same industrial estate as the brewery, which effectively doubles the square footage of the operation.
Also within this additional unit is a cold house containing the beers ready for distribution, office space, and a Tap Room, which is currently under construction and is expected to serve its first beers to customers by the end of the year – among them maybe they’ll see Paddington Beer.
Glynn Davis, editor of Beer Insider