Sightlines [Breaking] — Beavertown Brewery Unveils Tempus Barrel Ageing Project

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
At a ticket only event this week that sold out in minutes, London’s Beavertown Brewery unveiled its new barrel-ageing project, entitled ‘Tempus’. Founder Logan Plant and head brewer Jenn Merrick spoke to the gathered crowd at the launch, which includes a pair of all-Brett fermented IPAs in collaboration with Founders of Grand Rapids, Michigan and a barrel-aged Weizendoppelbock brewed with Oskar Blues of Longmont, Colorado. Founders UK brand ambassador Tim Traynor and Oskar Blues Head Brewer Tim Mathews were also present. 

WHY IT MATTERS
Beavertown are one of the UK’s fastest growing brewers. They’ve expanded capacity by 2000% alone in the last 18 months and are already rumored to be searching for a new site. Their flagship beer Gamma Ray, an American style pale ale, is in such demand that the brewery is having to turn down new accounts as it seeks to expand.

So if demand for a core product can’t be met, why invest a great deal of effort, time and money in launching a project such as this? “Tempus is Logan [Plant’s] vision.” Head brewer Merrick said to me at the launch. “This is part of the bigger Beavertown plan.”

The project, which currently includes around 150 barrels, demonstrates an increasing maturity and ambition in a young British craft beer market. Merrick also tells me that three Foudres are already on order, as well as tanks for a smaller brewing system so that mixed fermentation can be kept separate from core production.

Considering such an advanced program and level of ambition, is this a sign that craft beer ambitions abroad are developing at an even faster rate that their much more mature and diverse U.S.-inspired forbears? Will some level of parity be achieved faster than US exports can exploit the gap? This program may well prove to be the measure. 

— Matthew Curtis