Fuller's pilot plant to fashion new beers
Added: Wednesday, September 19th 2018
Fuller’s has launched a new pilot brewery, located in the new-look Brewery Shop at its historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick. A first for London’s oldest family brewer, the pilot brewery was installed earlier this year and brewing commenced in August.
This recent addition to the Fuller’s site offers its brewers the opportunity to create some more experimental beers in small quantities. The new plant produces around 10 barrels (40 firkins) of beer per brew which can then be packaged in bottle, cask or keg. The plant has an infusion mash tun, a copper/whirlpool with an external wort boiler, four fermentation tanks and two bright beer tanks – all provided by Gravity Systems.
Hayley Marlor (third left, above), one of Fuller’s shift brewers, has been managing the installation and the first brews in the pilot brewery. The first five beers to be brewed and packaged in the plant are: Beer One (7% ABV), a strong ale based on the Golden Pride recipe; Galaxy Pale (4% ABV), a pale ale made with Galaxy hops; Grapefruit IPA (5.7% ABV), made with real grapefruit peel and juice; Thai Stout (4.8% ABV), made with Thai spices and a New England IPA (5.5% ABV), in which the brewers experimented with Cryo hops.
Hayley says: “This has been a really exciting project to work on. From the moment the guys from Gravity Systems arrived with the first delivery of parts and being involved in the install, to bottling the first brew – Beer One – this has been a fascinating learning curve as a brewer. Fuller’s has been calling out for a pilot brewery for years and with the new shop creating suitable space, we finally have one. I feel so lucky to be able to work on this and I can’t wait to see what my brewing colleagues and I create in this fantastic new plant.”
Head brewer, Georgina Young (right in photo), adds: “This pilot brewery is a fantastic addition to Fuller’s. Prior to this, the smallest batch we could brew was 160 barrels (625 firkins), so we tended always to play safe with flavours. We will be using the new brewery for trial-testing different raw materials such as new malts, hops, herbs, spices and fruits. We can test out new equipment and procedures before scaling up and we can attempt beer styles that have never been brewed here at Chiswick before. It will also play a role in training future brewers.”
Located at the back of the shop, behind glass windows, it’s an added spectacle to the Fuller’s Visitors’ Experience, which is attended to by thousands of guests every year. The Visitors’ Experience, which includes the Brewery Tours and Shop, has had a recent rebrand and now carries the tag line "Experience the Works". It champions all things Fuller’s – beer, brewing, and pubs.
Pictured above are (left to right): Tony Barnett and Martin Smith of Gravity Systems, Hayley Marlor, Patrick Hastings and Georgina Young.
*Fuller's, Chiswick Lane South, London W4. 020 8996 2000, www.fullers.co.uk