Bedlam…Bedlam…wait. Bedlam! Of course! Awesome.
That was (pretty much) my reaction to seeing the Sussex brewery in the line-up for Craft Beer Rising last month. Bedlam is a name I’ve been aware of for a little while now, and I’ve had the pleasure of drinking the beers on cask locally now and then, but this Bedlam, well it took me a while to recognise; Bedlam has undergone a makeover.
It was great to see a strong Sussex contingent at CBR this year and I spent a little time speaking with the Bedlam crew who were officially launching at the festival. They’re a friendly bunch and passion & enthusiasm were radiating from the stand that day. It was infectious. Being so busy and loud the festival wasn’t the easiest of places to have a conversation, so I sent a few questions over to Dominic at the brewery to find out a bit more:
-What prompted the re-brand?
Having taken over at Bedlam last summer, I felt the existing brand was almost trying too hard to be “cool”. I didn’t think it engaged with our potential customers or indicated what Bedlam stood for. We are all delighted with the “new” branding, which I think clearly indicates what Bedlam is, but does so in a contemporary way
-Will bottled production be expanding alongside the cask range?
We will be launching a 330ml bottled range in late spring/early summer
-Any plans to introduce your core range to keg?
We certainly hope so, we think that 2-3 of the existing brands will transfer really well in to keg, and therefore offer the operator greater flexibility in deciding what suits their operation best.
-Are there any ‘special’ releases lined up for the year?
We will certainly be offering “Pilgrim” again this Autumn, this is produced exclusively using the hops we grow on our own farm, and where the brewery is based. We also hope to be introducing our first lager brew, intended to be a 4% Pilsner, which we trialled to great success at Craft Beer Rising
-Will you return to Craft Beer Rising next year?
Absolutely, my visits to CBR in 2013 and 2014 are directly responsible for inspiring me to enter the brewing business. You might call it an epiphany moment !! Our launch was a great success and we hope to build on that momentum over the forthcoming weeks and months.
I really like the new direction Bedlam are taking. This is a brewery that seems bigger, brighter and bolder than before, helping to rep quality crafted beer in Sussex. Branding plays a massive part in the beer world these days and Bedlam have got it just right in my opinion. It’s contemporary, bold, accessible, inviting and probably appealing to the trad ale fans and the new wave alike. As are the beers.
Of course, there’s more to a brewery than shiny new looks, the brews have to be just as dialled in. Recipes for the existing beers haven’t changed and they didn’t need to. The 5% Porter is a particular favourite of mine, a very easy to drink, balanced, year-round classic porter that’ll have you going back for another. Benchmark too is a very decent classic bitter, perfect for pairing with a nice view of the Downs.
With a new beer, bottles and brewery tours on the horizon I’m looking forward to seeing how Bedlam develop over the next year and build on that successful launch at CBR. In the meantime, keep up to date with news on the website www.bedlambrewery.co.uk