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Brewing in 2017

How much brewing will there be in 2017? To be honest, I am not sure. If you read my blog for 26 October 2016 you will see that I am suffering a few disadvantages and uncertainties at the moment. We are awaiting the outcome of some scans with baited breath. As to the future, I know that there are two books coming out that feature beers from Poppyland, so I don't want to disappear from the scene just yet. I'll stick around for a while but you never know, nature might take its course. I back-pedalled on the brewing this winter and put my effort elsewhere but I have brewed a couple of times in 2017 - a favourite IPA and Smokehouse Porter for the National Winter Ales Festival in Norwich (21-25 February) but at the moment the rest of the year is still a bit blank. There will certainly be another iteration of The Lost World of Doggerland; people said it was weird but liked it and Adrian Tierney-Jones liked it so much he's putting it into his new book The Seven Moods of Craft Beer: 350 Classic Modern Beers You Must Try (Paperback) - out on 26 May 2017. I have the samphire in the freezer that I gathered from Stiffkey last summer.

Martin Warren, The Poppyland Brewer: 22.2.2017

Update on the previous paragraph. It is now April and the outlook, my outlook, is a lot more positive. Early in the year I planned the Geology Walks 2017 programme and the bookings are coming in; the third walk is on Wednesday. See the link: www.northfolk.org.uk/geology.html. Amongst the programme are two Beery Walks, on Sunday 9 July and Bank Holiday Monday 28 August. These consist of a fairly long walk inland through the countryside of the Cromer Ridge and Felbrigg Woods. Along the way I talk about the inspiration I draw from the North Norfolk landscape and also some of the ingredients I forage from the hedgerows. There will be samples of half a dozen beers to be enjoyed too and everyone goes home with a bottle of beer of their choice. Non-drinkers are welcome. Fees are £15 (and £6 for non-drinkers).

I am pleased to say that my prognosis isn't so gloomy now. The scans showed no particular cause for alarm; I am getting used to only having one eye, general health has improved and Stef has stopped nagging me about moving. Son Mark has been helping out a little in the brewery. More than that, he is taking some work experience at Beeston Brewery (he has already brewed with Golden Triangle), so I am hoping he will gradually be able to integrate his life with the Poppyland Brewery. We will see how things work out but it is encouraging.

By coincidence, a fellow brewer at the Norfolk Brewhouse (David Holliday) suggested a collaboration using a couple of ingredients that have been resurrected: Chevallier malt and Ernest hops. I readily agreed and concocted a recipe. I have ironically called it "Back from the Dead"; a literal truth for the ingredients and a tongue-in-cheek reflection on the way I feel. As David remarked after the brew day went well: "looks like you have your brewing mojo well and truly back!"

A modest expansion

Just to prove that Poppyland is still here I have upgraded some of the assets: an extra two small (c. 180 litre) fermenters and 10 new stainless steel casks. This will allow me to brew for a few pubs and beer festivals (some won't accept plastic casks) whilst also maintaining a good variety of adventurous bottled beers.

Martin Warren, The Poppyland Brewer: 1.12.2017

Catalogue of brews in 2017

East Beach IPA
Smokehouse Porter
Tragic Empress
Back from the Dead
Walkers Are Welcome
Sepoy IPA
Double Sepoy
Hawkey Frolic
Crab Saison and Quince Saison

Coming up next

Ideas for the future: