This summer Bristol Beer Factory decided to release something a little bit different - honouring our past brewing traditions and pushing forward into new territories. Now that all four beers in the Artemis Series have been brewed, supped and enjoyed, we wanted to know what brewer Tristan Hembrow and sales jedi Clem Elphick thought of the whole adventure.
What is the Artemis Series all about?
Clem: We wanted to create a new series of beers which really push what we’re trying to do. Going back to the 12 Stouts of Christmas from a few years ago or the Dual Hop range more recently, these series allow us to play, to try new tricks and put out some seriously exciting beer. Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt, it seemed to fit pretty well.
Why did you choose those beers in particular?
Clem: We wanted to focus on four different, individual beer styles and bring something new to the table while making them work as a series – a tropical pale, the Negroni, a white milk stout & a raspberry stout.
Tristan: Hawaii Juice-O was a great beer to start things off, it was the right time of year to bring out a beautiful, summery tropical pale and many other breweries were bringing out fruit based beers at the time. We wanted to give it a go and make our own perfect blend of tropical tastes and aromas in cask, not keg like so many others.
Clem: We really enjoy learning from others, drinking beers from other breweries & working out what BBF can do next. The 3-pint test is important one for us - anyone can make a good pint but can you make a beer people will go back to the bar for? Hawaii Juice-O ticked that box for us, just! Although I think a few of us drank more than that..
So the next one in the series was Negroni, what made you make a beer from a cocktail?
Clem: It was born from a night in the Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road, we had a moment of hazy realisation that the Negroni cocktail has a really smooth, interesting flavour profile. So we went back for very a serious R&D night..
Tristan: It was serious, I brought a piece of paper & a pen! That cocktail has such a big, boozy orange hit, it was a hard thing to emulate in a beer.
Clem: That beer had the most pronounced flavour & was closest to the brief of all the beers in the series. It was a really good conversation starter about cask beer, a genuinely epic pint. It was such a cool thing to do.. but I didn’t have to brew it!
Tristan: Yeah, the weeks of trying to create those flavours was tough - picking out the blood orange, gin & vermouth notes using hops and spices. Some of the spices we tried totally overpowered the beer and we ended up bringing it back to juniper berries, blood orange peel and pink grapefruit, teamed with Mandarina Bavaria & Pacifica to give the right character.
Clem: This beer was the epitome of the Artemis Series, hunting down new territories from research to sales through to brewing & pushing as hard as we could across the board. That led on really well to the one we were all most excited about, the White Milk Stout.
Ah yes, the White Milk Stout, what was the story behind it?
Clem: Stouts keep you guessing, it’s what I love about them, especially Milk Stout. You can pick out different flavour profiles right the way down the pint – coffee, chocolate, the malts in the background and the sweetness from the lactose, it’s a beautiful combination. We wanted to flip it on its head - all of this but pale. It was a difficult brief.
Tristan: The starting point was how to achieve the mouthfeel. We had to replace all the dark roasted malts with malts which give you the same characteristics without any of the colour. Oats are great, they’re really low in colour but give you loads of body & texture and make it quite creamy. Vanilla was also a great fifth ingredient. (Check out BBF’s Geek Out 1 to find out more.)
Tristan goes full geek mode in the first BBF Geek Out video to explain the brains behind the brilliant White Milk Stout..
So then came Baked Goods..
Clem: Baked Goods was inspired by Marks Bread, the bakery next door. We knew we wanted to make a stout & we were eating their amazing chocolate & raspberry brownies. BBF made an amazing Raspberry Stout years ago and we wanted to remember something of our past.
Tristan: These series are like a brewer’s playground! Trialling new things and giving us an opportunity to go a bit further than we normally do. We actually stepped back from our 3-pint rule for this beer, we wanted to pack in as much flavour as possible into one pint.
Which was your favourite out of the four?
Tristan: White Milk Stout - a seriously hard and complex beer to make but it ended up pretty awesome. A pale beer which tastes like a stout! Seeing people’s faces when they tasted it was huge, it was fun.
Clem: I was totally ready for the launch of Hawaii Juice-O – the party at the Arnolfini, the atmosphere we created was awesome. People were bringing pineapples for a free pint, we must have had about 40 pineapples on the bar at the end of the night! I was so excited about the whole series at that point. But I have to say my favourite beer was White Milk Stout, it was so interesting.
Will there be another series?
Clem: Yes, next up is the Vinyl Series in the new year - three beers, three speeds.. that’s all you’re going to get right now! Stay tuned.
The great Bristol public enjoying the delights of the Artemis Series!