A Swarm of Bees Unbarred – That Friday Feeling

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After featuring Unbarred (Jordan) and Blind Side’s (Matt & Ben) Granola beer last week we decided to pay a visit to the scene of the brew. We also (naturally) concocted a collab of our own, featuring honey actually made in Hove. Together with the Blind Side boys and local beer legend, Brett Preston, who brought some honeycomb he’d made earlier, A Swarm of Bees was born and ready to get stuck in. 

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But first, beer. And plenty of it – the first thing that hits you is the sheer amount of beers that are being brewed here. 15 in the tanks at any given time with plans to expand. The concept here is simple: collaborate and listen. Inviting like-minded individuals to a space that literally oozes opportunities is exciting to see here in Sussex and we’re sure this place will be a success.

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Back to our brew; we dreamt up recipe to champion local and bee ready to drink by the time we actually open in Hove. The Honeycomb Milkshake Pale contains honey, honeycomb and an unconfirmed Crunchie bar. By bringing along the boys from Blind Side and Brett & Beer we hope to serve up an example of the sweet creativity buzzing about in our fair city…

UNBARRED x BLIND SIDE GRANOLA IPA – Meet the Brewer(s)

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Jordan (Unbarred) has always been extremely helpful and supportive to Matt and Ben (Blind Side) since they first met up to share a few homebrews, so when he invited them to create and brew a collab recipe together it was a no-brainer. Unbarred make exceptional hop-forward brews and Blind Side like to add something different to each of theirs, so it made sense to play to each of their strengths and go down the IPA route, but come at it from a slightly different angle. They played around with a few ideas before settling on granola as the “twist“, and this one made the most sense from a production perspective. Crafting the key elements of a bowl of granola into the recipe was challenging, and they settled on using the flavour profiles of Amarillo and El Dorado hops along with apricot puree and peaches to achieve those stone/tropical fruit flavours. It was never going to be easy to fully produce that crunch and toastiness you get from a granola cluster, but with the malt grist along with toasted almonds and honey both parties are very happy they’ve captured the essence of granola rather than the exact flavour, which would have been extremely difficult without the use of extracts and flavourings. Certainly there are smiles all round with the end product – a proclaimed full-bodied, juicy IPA with a toasted, malty backbone. It’s a beer for breakfast, what could possibly go wrong…?

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BISON & HOVE – BAR? BOTTLESHOP?

A BIT OF BOTH ACTUALLY FOR THE GOOD PEOPLE OF HOVE…

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We’re planning on opening a second store sometime in September and, whilst it’ll still be a crafthouse of sorts, 57 Church Road will be a hybrid. Think what Ten Green Bottles has done for wine in town or take a trip across the pond to Chuck’s in Seattle. Soon in Hove, you’ll be able to buy some beer to drink in as well as being able to take away like you can from 7 East Street.

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The premises is split over two levels with a bar housing draught beer and food offerings on the upper part, plus fridges and seating down on the lower level. There’s also the small matter of a stunning south-facing terrace at the front of the building that we’re hoping to get some use out of before the summer ends. With a very versatile space in design, we’re hoping to host some of the best breweries in the business and help in showing Hove what great beer is all about. Whilst we’ll certainly continue to support the Sussex scene, we’re excited to be joining the Cold Chain. Fresh beer is the best beer and, in addition to our own brews, we’ll be able to guarantee the quality of some select breweries from Brighton and beyond by completing the chain of events between the brewery and end user (that’s you!) through refrigeration. Expect the likes of Kernel, Cloudwater and Brew By Numbers to fill an ultra fresh fridge at 57 Church Road in the not too distant future…