We sat down for a cold one with McColl's Brewery and asked them all of our burning questions. Put your feet up and join us for a pint.
HOW DID MCCOLL'S START OUT?
Ultimately, back in 2004 when founders Danny and Gemma McColl originally met. Gemma bought Danny a homebrew kit for Christmas and brought a more creative way of life, from there Danny took on a full-time job at a large commercial brewery before pining for greater freedom in the brewing process before officially launching McColl’s Brewery back in 2017.
WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL DREAM FOR MCCOLL'S AND HOW HAS THAT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
The dream has always been to produce top quality beer that everyone can enjoy, originally focusing on cask ale. The reality, back in the early days, was considerably harder with standards sometimes dropping below where we desired whilst trying to get a business off the ground. However, now we couldn’t be happier with the quality of the beer leaving the brewery, the establishments it can be found in and the great reviews and feedback its getting. The pandemic definitely shifted our goals a little, but we are now really focused on creating easy going beers, to the highest possible standards, for everyone to tuck in to. It’s as simple as that now.
HOW SATISFYING IS IT WHEN YOU TASTE A NEW BREW FOR THE FIRST TIME AND IT'S A BANGER?
Very, which is becoming a reoccurring theme a bit now, especially since taking on our new head brewer, Si, back in 2021. A notable milestone has to be El Capitan our West Coast IPA, it just ticks all our boxes.
HOW MUCH WORK GOES INTO CREATING ONE OF YOUR BEERS, HOW MANY PEOPLE AND VERSIONS DOES IT TAKE?
The amount of effort is immeasurable, it doesn’t start or stop, we discuss beers that might not be created for 2 years, but the concept starts and develops over time. Equally, beers that are created and brewed in a matter of months are the culmination of years of other brews, failed concepts, tasting beers across the spectrum and discussing the array of variables on a daily basis. It's very much a continual process.
Like many craft breweries we actually don’t conduct trial brews, but have great confidence in our understanding of styles, ingredients and our kit. Couple that with the sector being very open and welcoming, if another brewery is creating something you take a keen interest in, simply dropping them a line and discussing it at length is usually the best way.
ARE THERE ANY PAST BEERS YOU HAVE IN THE PIPELINE FOR A RETURN?
One of our biggest and boldest beers, Beet de Garde – a 7% beetroot Biere de Garde, is due for an Autumn release this year. Due to multiple positive changes at the brewery it’s been delayed a few times, so we can’t wait for its return. It’s a style of beer we love and the addition of beetroot is totally McColl’s, it’ll be in fine form when it returns. The Beet Goes On.
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
Right now I’d say our Pilsner Lager – Crowded. To see it develop over the past year, and to see the hard work and skill produce such a top-quality beer is very rewarding. The beer is very nuanced and clean, but also very easy drinking. It’s by far our best seller.
We can't wait to see what they have in store for us all this year. See our current range of McColl's beers in the GBB shop by clicking here.