Fuller’s has officially launched its new pilot brewery, which was installed earlier this year. The first beers were brewed in August and are now available.
The new kit offers Fuller’s brewers the opportunity to create small-batch 40-firkin brews, which can be packaged in cask, bottle or keg.
The plant has an infusion mash tun, a copper / whirlpool with an external wort boiler, four fermentation tanks, and two bright beer tanks, all provided by Gravity Systems Ltd.
Hayley Marlor, one of Fuller’s shift brewers, has been managing the installation and the first brews in the pilot brewery.
Fuller’s Pilot Brewery team
The first five beers to be brewed and packaged in the plant are: Beer One (7% ABV), a strong ale based on the Golden Pride recipe; Galaxy Pale (4%ABV), a pale ale made with Galaxy hops; Grapefruit IPA (5.7% ABV), made with real grapefruit peel and juice; Thai Stout(4.8% ABV), made with Thai spices; and a New England IPA (5.5% ABV), in which the brewers experimented with Cryo hops.
Hayley said: “This has been a really exciting project to work on. From the moment the guys from Gravity Systems arrived with the first delivery of parts and being involved in the install, to bottling the first brew — Beer One — this has been a fascinating learning curve as a brewer.
“Fuller’s has been calling out for a pilot brewery for years, and with the new shop creating suitable space, we finally have one. I feel so lucky to be able to work on this and I can’t wait to see what my brewing colleagues and I create in this fantastic new plant.”
New beer styles
Fuller’s head brewer, Georgina Young, added: “This pilot brewery is a fantastic addition to Fuller’s. Prior to this, the smallest batch we could brew was 160 barrels (625 firkins), so we tended always to play safe with flavours.
“We will be using the new brewery for trial testing different raw materials, such as new malts, hops, herbs, spices and fruits. We can test out new equipment and procedures before scaling up, and we can attempt beer styles that have never been brewed here at Chiswick before. It will also play a role in training future brewers.”
Located at the back of the brewery’s shop, behind glass windows, it’s an added spectacle to the Fuller’s Visitors’ Experience, which is attended to by thousands of guests every year.
The Visitors’ Experience, which includes the brewery tours and shop, has had a recent rebrand and now carries the tag line Experience the Works. It champions all things Fuller’s — beer, brewing, and pubs.