“‘I know where every ingredient in my kitchen comes from, because I need to know that everything I use is the best it can be. I wanted to work with a local brewer to make a beer with Story for that reason. I paired A&H’s Smoked Brown Ale with one of my favourite dishes on the menu, so I was really excited that we could work together to make something unique and seasonal.’”
For a few years now, we have been supplying Restaurant Story with bottles of our Smoked Brown. Story is a Michelin starred restaurant on Tooley street fronted by the young and boldly innovative Tom Sellers. The Smoked Brown was chosen by their then sommelier to be paired with one of the starters on their tasting menu, a lit candle formed out of beef drippings served with fresh bread for dipping. I can assure you that this really does taste as good as it sounds!
Towards the end of last year, we were asked if we would brew a collaborative beer with the restaurant, showcasing seasonal ingredients used in their kitchen. We have brewed a vast number of beers in the last few years and have always felt that Saisons make fantastic carriers for additional ingredients, be it fruit, hops or spices. Also, given the the fact that ‘Saison’ literally translates to ‘season’, a seasonal Saison seemed to be the perfect beer.
For the first winter brewed Saison, Story suggested clementine as the seasonal ingredient. The kitchen produced 25 kg of fresh clementine preserve which we added to the beer once primary fermentation had died down. The base beer was already showing aromas of spice and citrus fruit driven in a large part by the yeast, and the addition of clementine really elevated these, adding a huge amount of juiciness to the palate. At 5.5%, and with a smooth, dry finish, the beer is both complex, but refreshing and balanced.
Needless to say, we view our involvement in this project as a great honour, and look forward to working with Story to develop a whole range of innovative, seasonal Saisons.
The Story Saison will be available at Restaurant Story and our brewery tap from February.
( Photos by Matt Hickman @MattTheList )