RedWillow | Brewery and Bar in Macclesfield


The Faithless Range

15th June 2011

I was going to write some pretentious blog title to introduce the Faithless Range, but clearly decided against it. One of the things that drove (inspired?) me into starting a microbrewery was a genuine passion and enjoyment for brewing beers and a desire to experiment with different malts, hops and anything else that I think could make for interesting and more importantly, enjoyable beers.

However, the reality of owning a brewery is that you don’t get much time to experiment as most of your time (and the brewery capacity) is spent brewing and delivering the core beers, catching up with paper work etc. Also, you’ve got to come up with a new name and produced all the associated point of sales merchandise (pump clips etc).

Now that we have additions capacity in the brewery (fermenters), one of the constraints is removed so I’ve decided it’s time to start the Faithless range. Each beer will be a short production run and will probably mainly go to our regular pubs that trust me not to produce anything too esoteric.

Reasons for calling them Faithless:

  1. I will eventually run out names ending in less
  2. I like the name
  3. I have no idea if they will ever get ‘promoted’ to core or seasonal
  4. It minimizes the number of pump clip designs

The first of the beers (unsurprisingly called Faithless I), is not a big-hopped beer, but a restrained 3.8% bitter with a combination of Magnum, Challenger and Cascade hops. Next one, Faithless II, is going to be a single-hopped Columbos pale, followed by a series on New Zealand hopped ales.

28th June 2011

Had time and capacity to brew Faithless II today; a 4.3% Pale Ale singled-hopped with Columbus. Very happy with the way it was tasting as it went into the FV! Also, our delivery van finally arrived today so just need to get it liveried up.

Faithless I: Seemed to be well received! Looking forward to getting to play with the NZ Hops which have arrived, but at least another 2 weeks before we’ve got a slot in the brew schedule.

20th July 2011

Brewed Faithless III today (admittedly a week later than anticipated): single-hopped with Moteuka. Wort tasted nice going into the FV so hopefully will be good.

Somewhere in May/June things stepped up a gear and the beer sales have increased a lot which is good. The help at the brewery is proving to be a life saver. Just started implementing a proper system for tracking casks and inventory rather than using the white board in the study which is helping a lot.

Dropping the van off tomorrow to get logo’d up, brewing Wreckless, then racking and deliveries on Friday. Each time I think I’ll write up lessons learnt and then realise I’ve still got a lot more to learn!

29th August 2011

Faithless IV was brewed today; single-hopped with Nelson Sauvin… tasted very nice going into the FV but going to back brewing the core range tomorrow.

6th September 2011

Just drinking a very young Faithless IV; without a doubt my favourite of the Faithless series so far and might well end up as seasonal.

Meeting with the accountant tomorrow to go through year end which will be fun! Deliveries Thursday then Meet the Brewer at Milson Rhodes Thursday night, brew Friday then a brewery tour on Saturday, sleep at some point!

10th January 2012

Yesterday a group of us (Quantum, PSBH and Magic Rock) headed down to Summer Wine Brewery to brew a Saison. With that many brewers it was not long before the beer started getting passed around and a merry day of chatting, brewing and drinking ensued and then carried on in The Grove and the train on the way home! Needless to say this morning’s brew day was rather slow and painful, especially as it was Faithless X (Ozzie Summer Pale Ale).

26th February 2012

Two saisons being brewed this week, both of which will go out under the Faithless range as XIII and XIV (13 and 14) respectively. Ageless, Wreckless, Smokeless and Headless to bottle all before Tuesday which will be brutal. Trying to figure out how to cost effectively expand our production capacity. Currently considering getting a 12-14 BRL HLT and converting the current HLT into a second copper and getting a couple of 12 BRL FVs plus a few conditioning tanks, all of which we should just about be able to fit in the current brew house. Additional outside storage has been ordered which will hopefully be with us before too long, but ideally we need to fit some decent office space into the brewery rather than have the split site. Casks as ever an issue; we are going to have to get more soon which is always a fun drain on cash flow. Our merchant ID is almost through, so hopefully the online shop will be up and running in a week or two and then the only issue is going to be keeping it stocked!

20th January 2013

This year I am going to try and keep the Faithless Range a little more esoteric. As much fun as it is to play with the usual American/New Zealand hops, this year I want to focus more on adjuncts (think the oysters, lemon grass etc of previous beers) and yeast all the while trying to keep the beers seasonsal. So esoteric seasonal beers; there is a challenge and a good reason why the beers are called Faithless.

The first Faithless this year (17) is a beetroot stout. I love the flavour of beetroot, it works very well with chocolate so we’ve produced a fairly straightforward stout base and added the beetroot at different stages (so far the boil and fermentation), I’m pretty sure I’m not going to add any in cask. The beetroot has given the beer an interesting hint of purple and a lovely earthy depth of flavour.

11th August 2013

This is more of a memory jogger for myself than anything else:

Faithless 23: Destroyed! Had to happen sooner or later. A decision to try and use up a large amount of Summer, Stella and Summit I had lying around but did not use in any of our core beers, went very badly wrong and was way too bitter. 3 casks and 24 bottles remain as an experiment in mellowing.

Faithless 24: The first of our beers to be run through the hop rocket for several days and really happy with the way this one turned out.

Faithless 25: Gooseberry saison… worked for me!

Faithless 26: Pilsner; currently in the FV.

Faithless 27: Gooseberry sour; currently coming to the boil, but high hopes.