HAPPY ST DAVID’S DAY 2016!

It’s the 1st of March and for those of us in Wales that means one thing – St. David’s Day!

We love all things Welsh and we’ll be celebrating today with a Welsh cake and a Wild Horse craft brew! Although… we’re not sure St. David would have approved of our brewer Dave to be honest – the saint taught his followers to refrain from drinking beer!

We’re pretty excited that our beers will be at a Welsh beer festival in London this week – if you’re in the area pop into The Rake pub at Borough Market to enjoy a vast selection of Welsh beers (3rd-6th March). We’re heading down this weekend to enjoy a few of them ourselves!

So, whether you’re celebrating by wearing a daffodil or leek, dressing up in traditional Welsh costume, taking part in a St. David’s Day parade, singing Welsh folk songs, eating some yummy Welsh food or enjoying a few delicious Welsh beers, we hope you all have a very happy St. David’s Day 2016!  Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

A bit about St. David and what he did:

  • A Welsh bishop during the 6th century
  • The patron saint of our brilliant country since the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans
  • The patron saint of doves!
  • He founded 12 monasteries known for their extreme self-denial – unlike modern day Trappist monks 6th century Welsh monks didn’t get to drink any beer – they lived only on bread, vegetables, water and milk
  • He performed many miracles – the most famous at Synod of Brefi when he made the ground he stood on rise into a hill so the crowds could see him as he preached
  • He’s thought to have died on 1st March 589 AD

BREWERY SHOP BEER AVAILABILITY & CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS 2015

It’s been a busy few weeks at Wild Horse and our beer has been flying out… the bad news is that we’re a bit low on bottles stock at the brewery shop but the good news is that we now have beer on tap to take home in 1.89L growlers!

330ml bottles availability:
Chocolate Orange Milk Stout 6.5% – £2.60 – available now
Buckskin Blonde 4.5% – £1.95 – back in stock 22 December
Dark Bay Porter 5.0% – £2.10 – back in stock 24 December (after 11am)
Palomino Pale Ale 5.4% – £2.25 – out of stock until the new year

Currently on tap to take home in 1.89L growlers:
Palomino Pale Ale 5.4% – new £17, refill £10.00
Dark Bay Porter 5.0% – new £16.50, refill £9.50
Fleabitten Wheat 4.0% – new £15.75, refill £8.75
Dülmen Dunkelweizen 4.6% – new £16.25, refill £9.25

OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD NEW GROWLERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR £15 FILLED WITH ANY WILD HORSE BEER!

Also remember to check out our stockists page to find other places to get Wild Horse beer.

We wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and and a Happy New Year!

Christmas 2015 opening hours:
Monday 21 December 10am to 6pm
Tuesday 22 December 12pm to 5pm
Wednesday 23 December 9am to 7pm
Thursday 24 December 9am to 1pm
Friday 25 December CLOSED
Saturday 26 December CLOSED
Sunday 27 December CLOSED
Monday 28 December CLOSED
Tuesday 29 December 9am to 7pm
Wednesday 30 December TBC
Thursday 31 December 9am to 1pm
Friday 1 January CLOSED
Saturday 2 January 9am to 7pm
Sunday 3 January CLOSED

LLANDUDNO CHRISTMAS FAYRE 2015

Oh what fun it is to ride in a wild horse open sleigh!  Well we don’t have a sleigh (yet!) but we are at the Llandudno Christmas Fayre from Thursday 19 November to Sunday 22 November 2015.

Come along, say hello, try our beers and check out our Christmassy stall and gift packs.  We’re also excited to be launching Chocolate Orange Milk Stout today at the fayre – a milk stout brewed with fresh orange peel and cocoa nibs roasted freshly by Baravelli’s of Conwy – it’s fantastic!

We’ll also be taking pre-orders for Christmas cases and growlers which can be picked up any time before Christmas.  Look forward to seeing you there!

2016 EXPANSION PLANS – NANOBREWERY TO MICROBREWERY

If you’ve already been down to our brewery, you know we’re pretty small!  But how small?  Well, very small… we’re nano sized at the moment and one of the smallest commercial breweries in Wales and the UK!

Our brew house has a tiny half-barrel working capacity… that’s only 18 gallons, 82 litres or 144 pints per batch, so not much bigger than most home breweries!  Despite our size, we’re making as much top quality craft beer as we can –  Dave is doing double brew days, twice a week, to fill one of four 1-barrel uni-tanks.  The uni-tanks are insulated, cooled and heated (with temperature control) and are used for both fermenting and conditioning the beer.  The brew day takes about 10-11 hours and fermentation and conditioning takes about two weeks to complete with our current range of ales.  After production losses, our weekly output is about 60 gallons, 273 litres, or 480 pints… a lot to drink yourself, but not a lot for a commercial brewery!

Our beer is nowhere near as readily available as we want it to be and we want to increase our range too… so we’re excited to be expanding in early 2016…

Our brand new 10-barrel brew house is being manufactured on Prince Edward Island in Canada and is due to arrive in Llandudno in late January.  Our fermentation uni-tanks are coming from Belgium – we have 2 x 10-barrel tanks 2 x 20-barrel tanks on order.  We also have milling equipment being manufactured in the UK so we can continue to mill our malts freshly onsite at the brewery.  The new brewery is a state of the art brewing system and will be a stainless steel master piece.  It will increase our brewery capacity more than 15-fold – that’s over 900 gallons, 4091 litres or 7200 pints of beer a week!  As well as increasing capacity, we’ll also be able to brew more styles of beer – we’re not able to brew full batches of lager or kettle soured beers are the moment and have been limited to 1-keg batches of these beers on our even tinier 20-litre system.  2016 should see the release of Halflinger lager, a Tudno Weisse (Llandudno’s very own Berliner Weisse!) and more Experimental Series beers too!

We can’t wait… 2016 is going to be a big year for Wild Horse!

 

 

LEARN TO HOMEBREW DAY 2015

Learn to Homebrew Day 2015 was on Saturday 7 November and we welcomed 20+ people interested in home brewing to Wild Horse brewery in Llandudno.  We had a blast!  Emma served Wild Horse beer (Fleabitten Wheat and Milk Stout were on tap) and Dave went through an all-grain brew from start to finish as well as demoing a kit beer.  The all-grain beer (recipe below) was a Cascade SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer and the kit brew was an Red India Ale from Youngs.

82 litres of Cascade SMaSH was brewed – 20 litres was fermented here at the brewery and 3 x 20 litres were taken away by three lucky home brewers – Dan Watkins from Llandudno, Michael Graham from Llandudno and Steve Green from Llangollen.  Dan chose not to dry hop it, Michael has dry hopped with 50g of Cascade leaf hops and Steve fermented with a saison yeast and dry hopped with 50g of Pacific Jade and 50g of Admiral from his freezer.  The batch fermented here at the brewery will be dry hopped in the keg with 50g of Cascade pellet hops.  It’ll be really interesting to taste the finished beers and see the differences!

For those interested, Dave will be kegging and bottling the two beers at 10am on Saturday 21 November – you are welcome to come and join him to learn how to bottle and keg your own craft beer at home.

We can’t wait to taste the results!

Iechyd Da!

Cascade SMaSH Recipe
Batch size: 82 litres (half barrel)
Pre-boil volume: 99 litres
Post-boil volume: 93 litres
Mash temp: 67°C
Boil length: 60 mins
Pre-boil SG: 1047
OG: 1050
FG: 1010
ABV: 5.2%

Mash schedule:
17.22kg of Maris Otter Pale
47 litres of Llandudno water @ 75⁰C
15.4g of CaSO4
7.9g of CaCl2 77%
0.7ml of Phosphoric Acid 75%

Sparge:
95 litres of Llandudno water @ 77⁰C
2.0ml of Phosphoric Acid 75%

Boil schedule:
60g of Cascade Leaf 9.0% @ 60 mins
100g of Cascade Leaf 9.0% @ 10 mins
3g of CCG311 Kettle Finings @ 10 mins
5g of Yeast Vit TCB @ 10 mins
150g of Cascade Leaf 9.0% @ 5 mins
200g of Cascade Leaf 9.0% @ 0 mins

Split batch into 4 x 20 litres batches

Fermentation:
American ale yeast (about 100ml of slurry per 20 litre batch)
Start at 19°C rising to 21°C after 2-3 days

Optional dry hop:
50g Cascade Pellet (per 20 litres)

WILD HORSE TAP TAKEOVER @ THE BANK OF CONWY

We had a great night at the Wild Horse Tap Takeover and Tapas event at the Bank of Conwy on 7 October 2015.  In addition to Buckskin Blonde, Palomino Pale Ale and Dark Bay Porter, three one-off kegs of Wild Horse Experimental Series beers were brewed for the event:

Haflinger Lager 5.1% – a malty Vienna-style amber lager
Appaloosa Amber Ale 6.8% – a hoppy West Coast American-style amber ale
Blackberry Tudno Weisse 2.9% – a sour German-style wheat beer made with Little Orme blackberries

The beer, food and pairings were all fantastic.  The Experimental Series brews went down a treat with the overall favourite being Haflinger Lager.  We plan to start brewing full scale batches of Halflinger in 2016 following our expansion.  Appaloosa and a Tudno Weisse brew are also likely to be brewed again.

Iechyd Da!

tap-takeover-flyer

 

WILD HORSE… LICENCED TO SELL BEER!

We’re now officially and permanently licensed to sell beer and our brewery shop is open tomorrow (Saturday 11th July, 10am to 5pm).  Pop down to our Llandudno brewery – we’ll be doing free tastings and we’ve got beer by the bottle, gift packs, glasses, t-shirts and hoodies.  We’ll be announcing regular opening times soon but if  you’re ever passing and we’re here… feel free to pop in!

HAPPY CANADA DAY 2015!

We’d like to wish everyone a happy Canada Day 2015… grab a craft beer and a bowl of poutine and celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday!

At Wild Horse we love all things Canadian because this is really where our journey started back in 2010. We lived in Canada from 2010 to 2014 and arrived in Calgary, Alberta at the start of the 2010 Calgary Stampede – we instantly fell in love with the city. What a time to arrive… if you don’t know, the Calgary Stampede is a rodeo and city-wide party. Nothing quite prepares you for craziness that is Calgary during this 10 day event! You feel like you have arrived in the old west with bales of straw lining the streets and both locals and tourists alike dressed in jeans, buckles, plaid shirts, boots and cowboy hats! The Calgary Stampede claims to be (and quite rightly so in our opinion) “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”.

Soon after arriving in Calgary, an American couple, Ben and Jenn (co-workers of Emma) invited us to join them and a group of friends for a tour of the Wild Rose Brewery. The brewery and taproom was housed in an old military building called AF 23 and was just a fantastic place to be. Both the beer and brewery tour were amazing… an incredibly passionate guide and such flavourful craft ales, served cold from kegs, which we love. We think this was the moment that our craft beer journey began and Emma will never forget that first taste of Wild Rose IPA, having never tasted anything like it before!

In July 2011, Dave’s family descended on Calgary for his 30th birthday and a gift from Andy, Rob and Rachel (Dave’s brothers and sister) began the next stage of our craft beer journey… a home brew kit! The first brew was an American IPA and it was ready to drink by about September. We weren’t sure how it was going to taste and were pleasantly surprised when it was pretty good! The next two kit batches were quite ropey but Dave then decided to start getting more advanced and by 2012 was brewing from scratch on our 24th floor balcony. The brews got better so Dave starting setting himself some brewing goals…

2013: join the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers homebrew club and enter some competitions
2014: medal in a competition
And later… 2015: open a craft brewery back in North Wales!

The feedback from the 2013 competitions helped with recipe and brewing process improvements and in 2014 Dave won Gold in Calgary, Regina and Vancouver and Bronze in Lethbridge for his Blonde Ale (the recipe for Buckskin Blonde is based on this). We left Canada in June 2014 and Dave finished 2014 being ranked in the top 40 homebrewers in Canada – not bad as we were only there for half of the competition year!

Cheers Canada and happy birthday, we’ll be raising our glasses to you tonight!

Dave & Emma

WE’RE OPEN – 3 DAYS ONLY!

Our brewery shop is open to the public for 3 days only from Thursday 18 June to Saturday 20 June (11am to 7pm).  Pop down to our Llandudno brewery to get that last minute Father’s day gift, or just buy beer for yourself!  We’ve got beer by the bottle, gift packs, glasses, t-shirts and hoodies.

AMERICAN PALE ALE EXPLAINED

Pale ales started life in early 18th century England (Burton-on-Trent) following innovations in malting technology which allowed maltsters to produce consistent pale malts, using coke-fired kilns. Previously malt was darker, and porters and stouts were the most common brews. At first pale malt was expensive and so pale ales were limited to wealthy drinkers. Eventually pale malts became more affordable and paler beers became far more popular.

American Pale Ale (APA) came much later in the mid-1970s and the style probably started the American craft beer revolution. Anchor Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing Company was first brewed in 1975 and then New Albion Brewing Company made New Albion Ale in 1976. New Albion Brewing are said to be the first modern American craft brewery but unfortunately they failed to survive. They did however inspire the US craft beer movement which began in the 1980s and continues to this day! Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is probably the most classic example of an American Pale Ale and was first brewed in the 1980s.

APAs are brewed with American hops, such as Cascade and other ‘C’ hops – they are also usually less malty than their British or European cousins and are fermented with a clean American ale yeast strain. APAs are similar to American IPAs and boundaries between the two styles can be blurred, though IPAs are generally stronger and more heavily hopped. Our Palomino Pale Ale is certainly approaching an American IPA in style!

Palomino is inspired by West-coast APAs and we hop it heavily with several late hop additions as well as dry hopping it in the fermenter. We wanted our pale ale to be hoppy, citrusy and piney, but with a restrained bitterness and clean refreshing finish. We use Chinook and Cascade hops as well as a small quantity of German Magnum hops for the bittering addition. To keep things balanced, Munich and Biscuit malts are added to the grist to add some restrained malty, bready, biscuity flavours.

There are some fantastic APAs brewed in the US and right here in the UK. We’re pretty happy with our spin on the style and love brewing a taste of West-coast America on the North Wales coast.

Dave & Emma