Shindigger Brewing Co, Pils
In Autumn 2013, armed with a small business loan from the government, Paul and George started Shindigger Brewing Co. delivering kegs to bars around Manchester out the back of Paul’s old hatchback.
In their first year they launched five beers, one of which found its way to Stirchley Wines in Birmingham. This is how we heard about them.
Earlier we had a chat with George on our Instagram feed. Here’s what we chatted about...
BeerBods: So tell us a bit about Shindigger. Who are you and where are you based?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: We are a gypsy brewing company based in Manchester. Our roots go back to me and my now business partner Paul making homebrew in our student flat in Fallowfield, Manchester. Today we brew our beer at different breweries across the North of England
BeerBods: Is that where you guys met, at uni? And started brewing? I bet that made you popular?!
ShindiggerBrewingCo: Yep! We met at Manchester Uni in freshers week and lived together for the following 3 years. We still live together to this day actually! It's good because we were friends before business partners so there is an unconditional level of trust.
BeerBods: You started in 2013. What beer inspired you to start making your own?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: We started brewing together in third year when we bought a homebrew kit on a whim. And yeah, we used to trial out are creations on our mates. And then soon after, we started taking it down to houseparties and selling it.
There used to be a bar where we lived called Wahlbar. They had both Punk IPA and Jaipur on keg. This was actually in the homebrew days so more like 2011/12. At this time the American style hop-forward beers on keg were relatively fresh on the scene. We were captivated by their hybrid style, taking the chilled refreshing flavour of lager and combining it with the variety and depth of flavours of cask ale
BeerBods: Selling it and not giving it away? Did one of you study business studies?! Are you still gypsy / hobo / cuckoo brewing*? [* delete as applicable]
ShindiggerBrewingCo: We both studied business. And yep we still gypsy brew today. When we started up we went the gypsy root as fresh out of uni we had no money - so it was the only option. However we have stuck with this model as there are some benefits. 1) We can brew on really nice kits with hi-tech equipment and 2) we learn loads from the brewers we brew with
BeerBods: Are there any plans to become a domiciled brewer or are you going to be the next Mikkeller?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: No plans as the status quo with our current partners is working well! We are also focusing on growing ShinDigger in other ways. We have taken inspiration from the likes of Mikkeller, Omnipollo and To-Ol as to how far the gypsy model can go!
BeerBods: What can you tell us about this week's beer, the Pils?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: Pils is our interpretation of a lager! It's refreshing, crisp and easy drinking at 4.1%. It's been conditioned for 3 weeks. The malt and yeast are traditional, but for the hops we've thrown in Simcoe (American) and Vic Secret (Australian) to give it a bit of ziiiiiing!
BeerBods: Lager gets a pretty bad rap, sometimes unfairly we reckon, what would you say in its defense?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: One of the great thing about beer to me is how everything is in a constant flux. At different times, my taste buds desire different things - often influenced by my mood and the situation. And lager definitely has it's place in the beer landscape. For those long summer day drinking sessions it fits the bill perfectly. A well made lager is a good way to transition someone into drinking good beer! Because they are so clean and there is nothing to hide behind they are actually a lot more difficult to brew than people think.
BeerBods: A gateway craft beer? Love it! If you could drink this week's beer anywhere and with anyone, where and who would it be with?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: Gateway beer exactly, you said it better than me. I would like to sup the Pils on a sunbed in the caribbean pondering the meaning of life with David Attenborough.
BeerBods: Nice. Are there any future plans you'd like to tell us about?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: We've got loads going on at ShinDigger HQ right now: 1) we are releasing our Session peach edition later this month. 2) our debut event for the new branch ShinDigger Sessions is next month. www.shindiggersessions.co.uk 3) we are currently piloting a new delivery service where people can get get fresh draft beer if flagons delviered to their door in 45 minutes. www.shindiggerswift.co.uk 4) and like every man and his dog, cans are coming soon too!
BeerBods: Wow. You guys are busy! Thanks for taking the time to do this. Is there anything you'd like to say to our lovely subscribers?
ShindiggerBrewingCo: Drink beer, get wisdom.
BeerBods: Beautiful. Cheers George!