For all the stories there are to be told about the building, the people, and the process, there is perhaps one aspect that will interest people more than others. I am of course, referring to the beer.
The first brew on the new kit took place on the 27th January 2015. It was a Centential Pale Ale, and will appear on the bar over opening weekend as First Dance. I was at The Wool House on the day, taking many photos, and being shown round the still relatively empty building.
Whilst there were some issues, these were soon fixed, and much to Aidan’s joy, the original gravity of the beer going into the fermenter was spot on. There was very much an element of erring on the side of caution as Aidan and Ned started to learn their new kit.
During my talk with Aidan back in September 2014, I asked him about the beer plans for the new location, and also the plans for the old brewing kit.
The Wool House will open with six core beers in the Dancing Man Brewery range. These will be complimented by seasonal beers, and the Snake Oil series, a range of one off brews.
The six core beers are:
- Pilgrims Pale Ale, a 3.9% pale ale
- Congo Driftwood, a 4.2% pale ale, with mango and passionfruit
- Jack O Diamonds, a 4.5% red ale
- Fiddlers Jig, a 4.8% brown ale
- Big Casino, a 5% IPA
- Last Waltz, a 5.3% black IPA
Among the seasonal beers will be beers such as Cloud Cuckoo, Pole Axed, DNA, Organ Grinder, and Smoke Rye Sin.
The larger brew kit in The Wool House will give the Dancing Man brewing team a much better efficiency compared to the brew kit in the Platform Tavern. That old brew kit will be put to good use, with plans to use it to start a sour beer process, and for small bottle run processes.
The brew kit in The Wool House is very much the focal point of the building (if you ignore the spiral staircase, and the building itself of course). As Stewart said to Aidan during the first brew, “You’ll have to get used to brewing with an audience”.
The Wool House opens to the public on Friday 27th February. The same weekend sees The Butchers Hook in Bitterne Triangle celebrate their first anniversary with a Magic Rock tap takeover. If you don’t have anything planned for next weekend, come on down to Southampton.
The fifth part of this series should appear at some point on the 27th. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this video of the first hop addition on the new kit…