Toby – Umlaut is amazing. Lager is brewed less often here in Norfolk due to the hardness of the water. It’s great as it lends itself to some cracking porters and stouts. What’s the secret?
Andy – So Umlaut is a Köln style beer (basically a Kölsch but we are not allowed to call it one) that uses a traditional German Kölsch yeast. These beers sit somewhere between an ale and a lager (cool fermenting ale yeast with a lager malt bill) but they are the closest thing to a lager that we currently make and they definitely require soft water. To get the water right for this beer (and all our beers) we have installed a reverse osmosis filter at the brewery that allows us to blend pure filtered water with our untreated (very hard) water in different ratios. Due to how hard our water is this is the best way we can keep any minerally tastes out of our beers whilst providing the flexibility to allow us to adjust our water for each style of beer we make.
Toby – How about the name, is it relevant to the growth of specific large breweries – in particular S&P? Or is that a happy coincidence?
Andy – Naming the brewery was one of the hardest jobs when we started up as there are not a lot of names left and we were looking for a particular style. Ampersand comes from the & character which is shorthand for and. Being called Andy a lot of close friends and family are lazy and call me And. Hence cleverer people than me came up with the idea and name and we loved that it was a little different and provided a great opportunity for a bold simple logo.
Toby – Who is Bad Ass Bob?
Andy – Bob is a very good friend and someone whom I brewed a variation of B.A.B for their surprise birthday back when I only had a pot and a kitchen stove. The name was a bit of a joke that was never intended to stick, but it gained a cult status with all the different people who drank my home brew and I was always getting asked to re-brew it. When we brewed the commercial version as a little nod to its beginnings we decided we had to call it B.A.B.
Shop for Ampersand Beer at Sir Toby’s Beers:
Free delivery in Norfolk on 1st Tuesday of every month. UK delivery £4.99.
We also stock a range of Ampersand Beer at Stall 182, Norwich Market, NR2 1NE.