Electric Bear Brewing, Howdy Ho
After the sale of his IT company in 2012, Chris Lewis (Founder and Chief Bear) decided that rather than stare at a screen all day, he wanted to make something a little more tangible for a living. He honed his skills as a budding homebrewer before escaping the confines of his garage to launch the Electric Bear Brewing Co in September 2016.
Chris (below) explains what the name is all about… “it comes from the old Bear Brewery that used to stand on the corner of the Wellsway, next to the Bear Inn in the Bear Flat area of Bath. Electric derives from how we power our brewhouse kettle. That original Bear Brewery is now gone – the victim of a WWII Baedeker bombing raid in April 1942. But we are Electric Bear. Brewing here is back – bigger and better than ever”.
Despite still being a keen homebrewer there’s a rumour that Chris isn’t actually any good at it. Whether this is true or not we can’t be sure as he brought in such talented head brewers from the beginning. Ian Morris, formerly of Arbor Ales and Bingham Brewery, currently lays down the law when it comes to recipes and production.
The rest of the team are made up by Matt and Jack (trusty brewery assistants), sales ninjas Ryan and Louise, and Fred ‘the Beast’ Coombs (who delivers their beer around Bath and the South West).
Electric Bear’s range of beer evolves at a pace. In November last year, they launched six different beers in one week alone. Above the Clouds (an outrageously juicy IPA), Mochochocolata Ya Ya (a luxuriant coffee caramel stout) are just some of their most stunning recent inventions. You can grab a mixed case and try them here.
The brewery has its own taproom which can get pretty busy, with crowds four deep of locals at the bar when there’s an event on. It houses the original Braumeister homebrew kit as originally used by Chris, which they now use to create one off ‘nanobrews’ just for the venue.
It was on that very pilot kit that Howdy Ho, this week’s American brown ale was first brewed on. “We've been itching to upscale it and get it into our brew schedule ever since. We've used a less than modest malt bill to underpin all the citrusy American 'C' hops and keep the beer balanced and beyond drinkable. There's smooth malts, caramelised sugar and a healthy helping of grapefruit to finish. There's certainly nothing boring about this brown ale”.
Who’d argue with a bear?