Cave Direct has unveiled Good Company blendery, which play a major part of its Beer Merchant Tap.
The blendery will be part of a 3,000 sqft site that features a large beer garden and also comprises a taproom and bottleshop.
20 taps will complement fridges that house 700 beers. In addition, the company will be starting a barrel-ageing and blending project that takes spontaneous beer from the UK and abroad to creating Belgian-influenced sour beers.
The company explained: “We’ve been to these breweries hundreds of times, met the people, tried the beers, even done a little blending ourselves, and there is no style that gets us more excited. When the idea of founding a blendery was first floated, we knew we had found the answer.
“It was a chance to revive the history of the original Belgian pubs who bought wort from lambic producers to age and blend themselves before serving direct to their drinkers.
“Of course, loving and understanding a style of beer is very different to producing it and we have a lot to learn.
“Our shelves are now stacked with books on lambic, American wild beers, barrel ageing and technical brewing manuals – we burn the midnight oil as fast as the coopers torch their barrels – and we have a consultant on board who is going to make sure we do everything right.
“We’ve also arranged to spend a few days training with some of Belgium’s best lambic brewers to learn their trade and make sure we champion the traditions they follow.”
Cave Direct added that its blendery is going to be very different, however.
They said: “For a start, we won’t be calling it lambic, or geuze, or oud. The lambic producers of Belgium have made it clear they regard those words as specific to their location, and we want to respect that. We don’t have a name yet, but we will find it, and we’re open to suggestions!
“The second major difference is the wort we will use. Rather than buy it from Belgium, we’ll be using British liquid. Excitingly, several British breweries have recently acquired coolships, and we’ll be buying ours from them.
“Three breweries (to be announced!) have all agreed to supply us both their liquid and some expertise to get us off the ground. Grateful doesn’t cover it. With this beer we’ll be making traditional blends, as well as fruited beers using British produce.”
According to Cave Direct, that accounts for one-third of its range, but they will be have two more projects as part of the blendery.
The second one is is 50/50 series, where they will age 50% British fruits and 50% 1-year-old spontaneous beer in oak barrels for around six months to produce a “tannic, rich and fruity beer not a million miles away from a rioja”.
They said: “Finally, we’ll have a row of barrels with all kinds of different beers imported from our partners overseas – already Lervig are happy to help out – which we’ll age over fruits, blend with other beers or simply age in a unique barrel to produce something wild, exciting and completely of its place in East London.
“As you can see, we are working with a lot of different people to bring this together, so when it came to deciding a name for the brewery there was only one option.
“While enjoying a beer after a tour of 3 Fonteinen’s incredible new site, founder Amand Debelder raised a glass and said something that caught our imagination: “All you need is good beer and good company”.
“To hear a man who produces some of the most hyped, sought-after and indeed traded beers say something so simple and humble about his beer struck a chord.
“In honour of all the people who are going to help us with this adventure, and in reference to all the great friends we’ve made in 40 years of importing and distributing beer, we have decided to call our little project Good Company Blendery and our logo will be based on the historic paint stroke once used to denote the different kinds of beer in Belgian barrels.”