I’m always fascinated to learn how breweries got their names. It could be based on the founder’s personal experiences or the values that they want their brewery to stand for. There could be a historic story behind the name or it could simply be down to the brewery’s geographical location. Attic Brew Co.’s name is very simply and naturally named after where it all started, a home-brew kit in the attic of a university student’s shared house.
Sam was tired of drinking the same old macro lagers that were readily available whilst he was at university in Cardiff and decided he could make better tasting beer himself. With the help of his friend Oli they did a bit of home brewing together and it was here that Attic Brew Co.’s journey began.
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After graduating from university in 2013 Sam and Oli went their separate ways. Oli moved to London to pursue his career in advertising whilst Sam went home to Birmingham where he began building his first small scale pilot kit, but he had big ideas to open up his own commercial brewery and in 2018 that dream became a reality. After securing an industrial unit in Stirchley, Birmingham, picking up a commercial brew kit and Oli making the move from London, Attic Brew Co. was born with it’s mission to create “new world beers that embody old school pub culture”. For Sam and Oli community has been at the heart of everything they do and they have been blown away by the huge positive response from local beer drinkers who were ready to try Attic’s modern takes on traditional styles.
When ordering my box for this month I found that the beer styles Attic produce are very accessible and easy to drink. I ordered a few of their different pale ales, including their flagship Intuition, and I really felt that they had a ‘house’ flavour that gives them that unmistakeable taste of an Attic Brew Co. beer. Bursting with fruity flavours from tropical papaya or pineapple to stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines. These pale ales are juicy and, as I began writing this blog in the garden feeling very thirsty, I could imagine myself drinking quite a few of these at Attic’s taproom in the glorious sunshine!
After just 2 months of Attic Brew Co. being operational the tap room was opened up in November 2018 and the year that followed saw continual changes as a new brew kit was installed taking them up to a 10BBL plant in 2019. Attic also embarked on some new barrel aging projects which I was very interested to try so I had also included the Ol’ Russ Barrel Aged Vienna Lager and the Super Deluxe No.1 Sparkling Barley Wine in with my order. I was very intrigued about what would happen if you barrel aged a Vienna lager and how this process would effect the crisp, clean characteristics of this style. I was pleasantly surprised by the woody aroma and flavours imparted by the American oak barrel used for aging as well as some sour tang from natural microorganisms being transferred out of the material. This made the style taste more complex whilst still feeling very crisp on the finish, which kept me going back for more. The barrel aging process for the Super Deluxe No.1 Sparkling Barley Wine did exactly as I would expect. More dark fruit character with a touch of vanilla sweetness from the barrel whilst the char of the American oak added a hint smokiness – overall this was deliciously boozy!
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London may have the Bermondsey Beer Mile but Birmingham has it’s own Stirchley Beer Mile showcasing some of the best from Brum, including the Attic Brew Co. tap room. If you get a chance to visit Attic’s tap room you can still see their original brew kit on display behind the bar, as a tribute and reminder of how far the brewery has come since it began in 2018. This is a very forward progressing brewery that isn’t afraid to look back and appreciate where they started from, which I feel is also reflected in the types of beers they brew from modern American Pale Ales to traditional styles such as the Dark Mild. Just writing about this beer made me go to the fridge for a can of this refreshingly nutty, malty ale. The exciting beer scene in the Midlands is rapidly developing and Attic Brew Co. have certainly put their name on the map. This is definitely one beery destination on my list of places I have to visit as soon as we can.