Wanting to create your own beer is all well and good, but little can be done if you don't have a brewery to make the magic happen. This is where Barsham Brewery come in to our 10th Anniversary creation; In an area renowned for its top-quality agricultural soil, sea air and unique micro-climate, the fourth-generation family brewery, Barsham Brewery, is producing some of the best malting barley in the world, used as the base malt for all their Norfolk beer, so they were our top choice when planning this special drink.
We asked Tom, Managing Director of Barsham Brewery, a few questions about their relationship with Chestnut and to spill the beans - or should we say barley - on their brewing.
"We were over the moon to be asked to work with Chestnut on the Anniversary Beer! Being a small batch brewer we have the flexibility to work with people on projects like this but what has made this such a fun beer to be a part of is working with David, from The Eight Bells."
What was it like working with David (Head Chef at The Eight Bells) to replicate his micro-brewed beer?
He’s so laid back and easy to get on with but with a clear passion for beer and brewing, he was given a tough tough task in coming up with a beer completely different to what we currently do but stay true to our ingredients and ethos. It hasn’t taken him long to perfect what I think is an outstanding beer which I cannot wait to taste out of a handpull, hopefully in a sunny beer garden!
What is the Barsham relationship with Chestnut?
A fairly young relationship but a blossoming one, Barsham has been a guest beer and in some sites permanent beer for around a year now. Both companies have ambitious plans so recently a more robust relationship has been forged with investment from Chestnut to help us grow.
How have Barsham teamed up with Chestnut in recent months?
A focus has been on engaging with Chestnut guests to try our beer. For example, a tasting was held at the Feathers in Holt meaning customers could try our range of beers before deciding what beer went on the bar.
At what point did you decide to use the farm's malting barley and produce your Norfolk beer?
I'd like to say it was always the plan but it didn’t quite happen how’d you expect; The barn which houses the brewery was rented to a renowned brewer back in 2012, fast forward to around 2017/18 when the brewer decided to call it a day we decided to buy the kit off of her and start the Barsham Brewery.
What separates/or is the difference between a craft brewer like Barsham and a macrobrewer?
Quality! We're one of only a few breweries that can say we own the fields that grow our Maris Otter barley which is floor malted 5 miles away by Crisp Malt. This is the base malt for all our beers. I don’t know what it is but floor malted barley just tastes better, blended with beautifully pure water from our bore hole and great hops from different parts of the word we are brewing for quality not quantity.
Have you won any awards?
Where we can we make our beers gluten free and vegan. We’ve not entered many award but when we have they the beers always prove popular, Oaks recently picking up the top spot in the Session Bitters category on the 2023 Champion Cask Beers of Norfolk.
Where can people sample and buy Barsham beers?
The 10th Anniversary beer, Eastern Gold, is stocked in all Chestnut pubs! And, we'll soon have availability to buy bottles on our website.
To find out more about Barsham's story and the process of brewing beer, read our Grain to Glass blog post here.