Moor Beer Company, Union'Hop
A highly sessionable, ultra modern pale ale, using all British ingredients.
The Moor Beer Company began life in 1996 on an old dairy farm in the Somerset Levels and Moors where, for a little over a decade they turned out some great quality beers, a good while before craft beer was a glint in BrewDog’s eye.
By 2007 the brewery could no longer keep up with demand and times were changing. So enter stage Justin and Maryann Hawke, two ex-US Army officers and former San Franciscans who had been party to the craft beer revolution in the States.
The last time we featured Moor in our beer club was back in March 2016. So what’s been happening since then? It turns out quite a lot.
Justin with his dog Baz
Owner and head brewer, Justin Hawke, received the prestigious Brewer of the Year award from the British Guild of Beer Writers in 2017. Last year Moor celebrated their 10th birthday (since Justin and Maryann took over) with a big party and this year they’ve turned it up to 11 with Franken Fest which took place in August to launch their new Lager programme with their first core lager, Pils, officially released this week. They’ve dedicated more time to quality control in their brew lab and have recently invested in a Hopinator (a fancy device to add additional flavours to beer.) The really big news is the opening up of the Moor Vaults & Tap Room on the Bermondsey Beer Mile. It’s a long way from home for the Bristol-based outfit but right at the heart of the London scene. It’ll focus on getting super fresh beers to London drinkers but it’ll also be home to their new barrel projects, which will be released from the Vault later this year.
George from Moor explains how the Bermondsey Vaults came about.
“We were looking for the most expensive way of storing barrels for our barrel ageing programme and Bermondsey was the obvious choice! No, we are really excited to have joined the Mile amongst some of the best breweries in the UK. We had been looking for space away from the brewery which would allow us to start some interesting projects and when the arch came up we thought we should take it. It also gives our London friends access to the freshest Moor beer! That is one of the many advantages of being a small independent business - when an opportunity presents itself we can move on it quickly.”
This week’s beer is Union’Hop. An all singing, all dancing British Pale Ale. It uses exclusively British ingredients. George explains how important that is to Moor;
“We are incredibly proud of the suppliers that we work with and this beer really showcases some of the best suppliers in the UK. The base malt is from Tuckers Maltings who are one of the last floor maltings in the UK and are sadly shutting after over a century of tremendous work. We will miss them terribly. Simpsons do a brilliant job with the speciality malts. But the real joy in this beer is the hops which are from Charles Faram. They are masters of hops and have managed to breed British hops that have both new world characteristics and the incredible earthy spicy notes normally associated with British hops. We try as much as possible to work with local suppliers but our focus is foremost on getting the right ingredients for our beers, so in a number of cases malt and hops from outside the UK feature in our beers. Britain is a historic trading nation after all, so it only makes sense that we continue that tradition.”
There seems to be a Star Wars theme emerging at the brewery...
Union’Hop joins its sibling beers Nor’Hop, So’Hop, and Italia’Hop, all of which have the same malt and yeast, with each sibling of the family showcasing the best hops from different parts of the world. Union’Hop sums up modern Britain in a beer. It has traditional British hop notes coming through, (the main one being Jester) of earthiness and spice and over the top of that a wave of citrus with a hint of melon.
Moor is a great British brewery that has no plans to slow down. Next year they have some exciting plans to showcase some lesser-known hop growers from around the world as well as other projects at the Vaults.
Drink Moor Beer!