In our last post we talked about our delicious burgers and where we source our ingredients from. We’re very proud to source all our ingredients from suppliers of the highest quality. We believe this, combined with exceptional service and great dining atmosphere, makes us one of the best restaurants in Cambridge. But it’s not just the ingredients for our burgers that are sourced locally. Most our other products are made right here in the UK, so that are served fresh and tasty at our Cambridge Restaurant. In this post I’d like to tell you more about how and why we’ve taken great care to chose the best of British.
The story begins back in 1983, with an old Victorian-style ice cream barrow, shop bought ice cream and a love of great street food. What started as simple street trading soon became a true passion, and as appetites for a cool, refreshing ice cream on the streets of Norwich continued to grow, so did the dream of offering a truly luxury ice cream, made with real, natural, locally sourced ingredients.
Soon that dream had become a reality, and we were making our own, made with local fruit, milk and cream, from our factory on Lothian Street which still operates today.
Since then we have continued to strive to make the best quality luxury ice cream and sorbet, packed with fresh, local
ingredients and absolutely nothing artificial. Today, our flavour list stands at over 200 recipes and counting, and our ice-cream and sorbet is served at some of the best restaurants and events in the county.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England were kind enough to do a case study on our Natural & Local credentials you can view it here .
Established in 1995, Freedom Brewery is a pioneer of premium craft lager brewing in the UK. Now one of the leading brewery’s in this sector, Freedom’s range of beers have won over 25 International and National awards in the last 4 years alone.
Freedom Brewery was originally founded in Fulham, London, to become the longest established microbrewery of lager to date. In 2004, Freedom Brewery moved to its current home in the heart of rural Staffordshire, near the world famous brewing town of Burton-on-Trent.
All Freedom Beer is bottom fermented in closed, pressurized vessels. Lager is fermented at a lower temperature than ale and therefore takes longer – between 7 to 14 days, in contrast to 4 to 5 days. During fermentation, the beer naturally carbonates itself as a result of the breakdown of sugars to alcohol.
After the fermentation stage, the ‘young’ beer is transferred to maturation or storage tanks, where it’s stored at -1 ̊C. Freedom Brewery has a minimum maturation period of 4 weeks; this improves both the beer’s flavour profiles and naturally increases its stability, removing the need for chemical intervention. The verb ‘Lagerun’ is German for ‘to store’ – ironic as the majority of mass produced ‘lagers’ are brewed within days, with little or no maturation time at all.
Freedom Brewery sterile triple filters its beers to remove any remaining yeast and protein cells. This is instead of pasteurization which, whilst being a cheaper process, carries the risk of ruining the beer’s natural flavours. Freedom’s first sterile filtration uses diatomaceous earth in contrast to isinglass, which is a substance obtained from the swim bladders of fish. As a result, all Freedom Beers are certified by the Vegan Society.
Staffordshire based Freedom Brewery lies in an idyllic country setting, situated directly above its own source of sustainable, pure limestone Spring water. Filtered over millions of years through layers of natural alabaster, it’s this water that originally attracted brewers to the Burton area and has become recognised to be among the best brewing water in the world. Prior to brewing, this water requires no chemical treatment or additives.
Freedom Brewery uses all British barley and the hops are sourced from a variety of countries including United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Czech Republic and USA. The yeast is a bottom fermenting lager yeast, which works best at 10-15 ̊C. No compromises are made when sourcing the best quality of ingredients for every drop of Freedom Beer.
The fifth and final ingredient is time. Freedom Brewery matures (or ‘conditions’) each of its beer for an optimium length of time, during which the beer’s flavour profiles develops and significantly improves. This is often referred to as the ‘lagering’ process and is one of the many reasons that Freedom Beer is so exceptional.
For almost a thousand years, the town of Stone in Staffordshire has been a brewing town. Stone’s first recorded brewers were Augustinian Monks who brewed ales blessed with the sign of the cross.
Lymestone is a small independent or “Micro brewery”. We are situated a small distance from Stone town centre in what was described to us as “a brick built industrial unit”. Actually it turned out to be a former brewery and quite a large one at that. First built in 1889 by Montgomery and Company, a large brewery was built on the edge of the town within easy reach of the canal, and later the railway. The brewery changed hands in 1902 when due to a failed court case over the use of the name Stone Ale; Newcastle under Lyme Brewers Roland and Edward Bent bought the brewery lock stock and barrel! The acquisition of the Brewery included an estate of 23 tied houses. The Brewery was altered and enlarged throughout the early 20th century. Production at the Stone site ran round the clock during the Second World War when Bent’s sister site in Liverpool was heavily damaged by enemy bombing. By the time Bents Brewery Co Ltd was closed by Bass Charrington in the 1970’s, Bents operated 514 pubs.
Some time after the closure of the Brewery bottling continued on site, however it was not long before the brewing industry drew to a final close and any beer related business was relegated to the history books. Well, that’s the history according to various sources so it must be more or less right – however we are always interested to hear about stories from the past so contact us if you wish to share your memories.
In the intervening years, Bass released the site to private ownership. Nothing remained of the former brewery except the buildings which were sub divided and rented to companies eager to capitalise on the ready-made industrial estate.
Handcrafted artisanal beer made with water, barley malt, hops, yeast, honey and sugar. Do not add any other preservative products that change its organic properties.
Process begins with grinding the grain of barley malt which later cooks on water at varying temperatures between 40degrees Celsius and 78degress Celsius. This process results in a liquid containing a sugar called the wort, that is filtered and re-fired at an even higher temperature. During this second firing, hops and honey are added to the wort.
After this phase the doing is complete. We then allow the batch to stand and decant to get rid of the remaining hop precipitation. It is now that we start to ferment with the introduction of yeast which will convert much of the sugars into alcohol and this the batch is converted linto beer.
After the first fermentation, subsequent yeast levels are monitored in the drink for several days during the rest process. It is then, after adding a small amount of caramelised sugar, the beer is bottled and placed in the fermentation room. In this room Rosita will take between 8-10 days to complete the second fermentation phase which is monitored by controlling the pressure of the bottles. This is when the beer gets it’s natural gas. No CO2 added.
Fourpure is a London based family brewery founded in 2013 by brothers Dan & Tom.
Our approach to exceptional brewing is all about attention to detail, not cutting corners and innovating yet staying true to the principles of brewing – respecting the four core ingredients used to make beer: grain, yeast, hops and water. This was the inspiration for the name Fourpure.
We produce a range of year round beers, available in keg and can format. It is not our normal practice to filter, fine or pasturise. They are designed to be accessible examples of their styles, inspired by our adventures. Suitable to be enjoyed with food or on their own.
Since our birth in 2013, we’ve committed ourselves to producing the highest quality beers, and being at the forefront of brewing innovation and efficiency. Early in 2014 we were the very first UK-based craft brewery to start can their core range. Customers expect their beer to be fresh and flavorful and we believe that cans – with their protection from light and superior seal, combined with lower environmental impact – help us to get them the beer in the best possible condition!
It all started on a sunny day on October 5th, 1983. We’d love to say that it was one of the most memorable days of founder, Ken Brooker’s life, but that night he hosted one of his legendary tasting sessions and he can’t remember much about it. In the years that follow, Ken continues to brew beers in his shed and host his friends. Word spreads and his friends begin to bring along their friends and their friends’ friends, until eventually Tuesday nights at Ken’s attracts up to 40 people!
Little by little, the steading becomes a functioning brewhouse. With virtually no money, the small team builds everything from salvage or from scratch. The mash tun was previously used to make jam. In a former life the boiler was a dye tun (for dying wool)! At this stage, Harviestoun only makes one beer: it’s called “Harviestoun Real Ale”. Life was simpler back then!
With the steading now a fully operational brewery, it would be tempting to think that the hard work was over, and that the team could settle into a gentle routine of brewing beer, selling beer and delivering beer. But that’s not how brewing works! Word had got around about Harviestoun Real Ale, it was selling like hotcakes and pubs were demanding to know what was next. So we add two more recipes to our repertoire, creating our first range of core beers: Original 80/-, Waverly 70/- and Old Manor (a strong ale).
With demand for Harviestoun beers skyrocketing, Ken decides to invest a significant amount of money into the brewhouse. Although the W. Heath Robinson approach of ‘make do and mend’ is a mentality we have never fully abandoned, there comes a point when a jam vat, a dye vat and a thing you found in the cowshed are simply no longer appropriate vessels in which to brew! In 1989, the steading has a refit and some professional kit is installed. A project that has been a lifestyle for the past 6 years starts to become something altogether more serious.
Schiehallion Lager (pronounced ‘she-hal-yun’) is brewed for the first time. Nobody could have envisaged the success of this beer. It goes on to win Champion Beer of Britain Gold in the ‘Speciality Beer Class’ of CAMRA’s annual awards in 1996, 1997 and 1999. It it continues to be one of our proudest creations.
Stuart brews Bitter & Twisted for the first time. Although in today’s world a light, hoppy beer might not sound very ‘out there’, at the time it was a truly pioneering pint. It remains our flagship beer; an ever-present reminder that we’re never frightened to buck the trend in search of flavoursome, balanced and drinkable brews.
A new English beer made by a Kent winemaker has been named as one of the world’s best lagers in the industry’s equivalent to the Oscars.
The annual International Beer Challenge – which has been judging the world’s best beers for the past 16 years – has awarded the ultimate accolade of a gold medal to Chapel Down vineyard for its Curious Brew premium lager.
The prestigious annual competition attract entries from the world’s largest breweries through to the burgeoning band of pioneering microbrewers.
This year (2012) judges tasted over 400 beers before declaring the Kent winemaker’s lager to be the best of its class. The competition deemed only 30 beers, from countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the USA, to be of gold-medal standard. Curious Brew was one of only three international lagers awarded a golden gong.
Beer expert and author Pete Brown added: “I was intrigued when I first heard from Frazer that he was creating beers and I loved the results when I first tasted them. Brewing with champagne yeast is something you’d expect the Belgians to do, and so is brewing a lager for that matter. The result is a lovely beer which has a sparkling zing that makes it refreshing, satisfying and a lovely halfway house between beer and a sparkling wine. This is a lager for people who love beer.”
We’ve been making award winning craft ciders since 1920 when William Churchill acquired the family farm and started making cider as a side line to his blacksmiths business. The company was later taken over by Henry and Bert Perry his nephews who pushed the company forward and continued to experiment with craft ciders.
Much of the techniques and our current ethos came from these experimentations. In fact we still ferment our ciders in exactly the same way and each year will continue to use the two hydraulic presses installed by them in the 50’s. These presses have squeezed over 7 million pints of cider each.
The company passed onto Henry’s wife Marguerite and two sons John and Andrew after Henry’s and Bert’s deaths.
Fast forward to today and the company is still run by the Perry family with George, John’s son taking over the day to day running of the company and cider production. John and Marguerite are still very actively involved in the company and cider industry as a whole with John over seeing the company.
is still the same as it has been for the last 90 years – to produce the very best Somerset Ciders with 100% apple juice, and with as little intervention from ourselves and nasty ingredients as possible.
We also strive to push the boundaries of craft cider – producing free thinking ciders with depth of flavour using only the simplest and purest of means.
Music…funk and soul makes up the majority of Butch Annie’s soundtrack. Butch is a bit of a mover that’s why. You can follow us on Spotify to get our day and night playlists if you like. Or if you know some more funk and soul and old rock n roll that you think we should know about then please let us know.