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Brewers recreate Porter from the wood

Added: Friday, May 20th 2022


Two South London brewers, Anspach & Hobday and Orbit Beers, have combined forces to produce a special Porter that will be the high spot of the annual Woodfest organised by the SPBW, the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood.

Paul Spraget and Greg Stork, head brewer and lead brewer at Orbit joined Paul Anspach and his lead brewer Dan Gambino to brew 1861 Running Porter (5.3 per cent) at Orbit’s plant in Walworth in April. They were inspired by the tradition of storing and serving beer from wooden casks to create a special brew for Woodfest.

The beer is based on the “running beers” of the 18th and 19th centuries, which indicated fresh, young beers served as soon as brewing was completed. They were different to the “keeping beers” of the time, which meant ales that were stored in wood for weeks and months to develop maturity and flavours imparted by oak and wild yeasts trapped in the wood.

1861 Running Porter is based on a recipe for Truman’s Running Stout: the strongest version of Porter was known as Stout Porter, later reduced simply to Stout. The beer is brewed with pale, brown and black malts with English-grown Bullion and Chinook hops and fermented with Lallemand London ESB yeast.

The beer is walnut brown in colour with aromas of malted milk biscuits, chocolate and hazelnut and a hint of freshly-cut grass from the hops. There’s velvety malts, milk chocolate and caramel sweetness on the palate with a soft, bitter finish and light carbonation.

The beer will be served on draught from wooden cask at Woodfest 2022 to be held from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 May at the Turk’s Head pub, 28 Winchester Road, Twickenham, London TW1 1LF. Information and tickets from www.spbw/woodfest-2022.

•The breweries have held back the final batch of the beer that will be aged in wood and served at a later stage as 1861 Keeping Porter.

The bottled version of the beer can be bought from Orbit, £28.50 for a box of 12, £54 for a box of 24.