Way out Yonder
Meet the minds behind one the exciting beers in our 2021 advent calendar.
WORDS: Siobhan Buchanan
PHOTOS: Yonder Brewing & Blending
Saturday 18 December 2021
This article is from
Brewing the Future
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Yonder, a modern farmhouse brewery in Somerset, has been making beers inspired by its surroundings and by the brewers’ love of the great outdoors since 2018. Using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible (both farmed and foraged) and brewing using a mix of traditional, historic and modern practices, Yonder’s beer roster showcases an ideal mix of styles to suit even the most discerning beer drinker, from mixed-fermentation and barrel-aged ales, to lagers and IPAs.
Us folk at Beer52 are really excited that we will be featuring one of Yonder’s most popular beers, its Raspberry Gose, in our 2021 advent calendar. This special bev was originally brewed as a summer special in 2019, and it was so popular that it was immediately re-brewed, and has been a regular output ever since - Stuart Winstone, creative director at Yonder, explains how important this beer has been for the brewery: “We decided to make it one of our core beers in 2020, and it’s now always available in can and keg. It was so popular that once the pandemic hit in 2020 it made nearly half of our sales and kept our doors open. The popularity of this style of beer also inspired our strategy for 2021, since at our brewery tap it was just as popular as our crowd pleasers such as the pale ale and lager. We now release two new beers (specials, seasonals or one-offs) per month, with an emphasis on heavily fruited sours.”
The popularity of Yonder’s raspberry gose isn’t just down to the fact that it’s an exciting style - it’s also down to the brewery’s skill at brewing fruited beers. Some of its stand-out releases this past year include: Mrs Patterson, a pear & ginger crumble sour; its Fool series - three imperial fruit pastry sours - rhubarb, gooseberry and raspberry; its pie-inspired series - a blueberry pie and a cherry pie; Hedge Space, a foraged berry sour with rosehip, elderberry, blackberry & sloes; and Avalanche, a toasted coconut and cherry imperial pastry sour. And, plans for 2022 include an expansion to the brewery which will increase its production capacity by 300% (yes, you read that right), so you know Yonder is doing something right.
Stuart and co-founder Jasper Tupman met while working at Wild Beer Co, one of the original purveyors of mixed-fermentation brews, and have borne witness to the evolution of the sour beer style over the last decade. This evolution inspired them to start Yonder, where their focus is on beers brewed naturally with mixed cultures - a slower process and one that some other breweries might view as risky, but they pride themselves on always getting the best results, including rounder, more natural flavours in their sour beers. However, looking to 2022, Stuart tells me that they’re going to concentrate a bit more on keg output this coming year, as on-trade goes from strength to strength post-Covid, and also on more traditional styles such as IPAs, pale ales, and stouts, plus possibly a foray into cask beer.
In terms of the rest of 2021, Yonder will be releasing a couple of extra-special beers just in time for Christmas: First up is Timelines, a three-year barrel-aged and blended wild/sour ale which is available to buy in 750ml bottles (perfect for bringing to Christmas dinner). Stuart comments: “for this one, the whole team got involved in tasting and blending from our archive of barrel aged sours. We chose the very best of the bunch to create Timelines 2021, and it’s a little bit of Yonder history preserved in glass, with barrels from one of our very first brews included in the mix.” Delicious.
December will also see the release of Plum Fool, an imperial fruit pastry sour brewed on the back of the success of this year’s Fool series, which will be an excellent tipple to drink while cosied up indoors on a cold day. The final new beer of the year is Mr Tibbles, a double dry hopped IPA with Nelson Sauvin, Ekaunot and Mosaic hops; Stuart comments that the brew team has “been chipping away at this recipe throughout the year, working on the perfect blend of hops to treat ourselves for Christmas,” and I for one can’t wait to try it. Even though it’s only been trading for less than four years, Yonder has been one of the most exciting breweries in the UK craft beer scene, and 2022 looks like it’s going to be its best year yet.
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