10th Birthday Beers: 6 Incredible Breweries, 6 Glorious Collaborations
This March we’re celebrating Wiper and True’s tenth birthday. From our home brewing roots in Michael, Cesca and Al’s kitchens, a spell of nomadic brewing across the country, and our first official brewery home in St Werburghs; the last decade has been an absolutely wild ride. Our team has grown from three friends to almost fifty incredibly talented, motivated individuals who excel at their professions, and are guided by our values in day-to-day brewery life. Most importantly, we’ve never been prouder of the beer we’re producing, since moving into our beautiful new brewery and taproom last July, in Old Market, Bristol.
This stunning new home was our tenth birthday present to ourselves, and to celebrate this new chapter at Wiper and True we invited six legendary breweries from the UK beer scene to help us put the brew kit through its paces. We’ve loved testing its limits through working on a variety of styles, techniques and ingredients. Now, as we celebrate our first decade, we proudly present our birthday gift to you: six glorious collaborations.
Find out more about each collaboration below, and track the beers down in a pub, shop, or bar near you from next Monday 13th March. We’ll share a full list of stockists next week so you can plan your adventures. The birthday beers will be available on draught at our two taprooms. Home delivery via our website will also be available, but we'd recommend pre-ordering your beers to guarantee a delivery, as these are going to fly out. You can pre-order a mixed case here. Finally, if you can make it, you’re warmly invited to celebrate our birthday in style at a late night taproom party. More information and tickets available here.
Birthday Beer No. 1: Vault City, Edinburgh
7.0% Cherry Cola Float Sour
Working with Vault City could only mean one thing: a silly sour. We’re huge fans of the joyful approach that the Vault team takes to creating beer, and a birthday collaboration was the perfect chance to really let our collective imaginations run wild. Jeremiah, Vault City’s resident Cellar & Mixed Fermentation Specialist, joined us in January to kickstart the collaboration extravaganza.Ahhh, the nostalgic, childhood bliss of a coke float: that sweet, creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream gently bobbing in a fizzing, ice cold glass of cola, a trickle of condensation crawling down the outside of your glass. For a contemporary twist on this magical affair, we combined Vault City’s sour making expertise and the Wiper and True obsession with beautifully balanced beers. After some fairly excitable discussions, our teams settled on a 7.0% Cherry Cola Float Sour, using 300kg of cherry puree for tartness, 25kg of molasses for caramelised, dark sugars, and 3l of beautifully delicate, creamy vanilla. It’s a sour beer, certainly, but the recipe is all about balance; sour cherry interacting with sweet vanilla, and a strong malt base keeping everything wrapped up with a sturdy, structured mouthfeel. Sweet, sour, cherry, cola, and vanilla, all balanced in one beer.
Birthday Beer No. 2: North Brewing Co, Leeds
7.0% Coconut Stout
Partnering with North Brewing Co meant doubling down on the dark magic of stouts, combining the Leeds powerhouse’s expertise in adjuncts with our house approach to a beautifully nuanced, layered malt base. It was a joy to host Sam, North’s Production Manager, on a frosty brew day in January.
The two founders of North and Wiper and True were both dead-set on brewing a mushroom stout, but the more sensible team members at both breweries swiftly vetoed this. With Christian and Michael deflected, we quickly decided upon a rich, full-bodied stout recipe that’s all about coconut. 30kg of toasted coconut flakes were selected, to add complex caramelised sugars and nuttiness to a rich, dark malt bill. Amping up the coconut further, we also added 10kg of coconut flour to the boil. Produced by processing the flesh of coconut once the milk has been extracted, coconut flour brings further layers of sweet, gentle nuttiness, almost reminiscent of chocolate. Next up: hops. You can’t create a coconut beer without thinking about the famously divisive varietal Sabro. Both the teams at North and Wiper and True are fans of this hop when used carefully, and so we opted for 10kg of T-90 Sabro pellets in the whirlpool, to retain a slight edge of bitterness and avoid cloying sweetness. A litre of vanilla extract rounded everything off, creating a big, rich beer with a really enjoyable mouthfeel and bags of adjunct-fuelled flavour fun.
Birthday Beer No. 3: Donzoko, Edinburgh
Wiper and True have a German Head Brewer, Marvin, who is deeply obsessed with German beer making, and particularly the tradition, precision and rigour of lager making. Up in Leith, Edinburgh, Donzoko is led by owner and brewer Reece, who studied chemistry in Germany before setting up his brewery in the UK. Over the last few years, Donzoko have built up a sterling reputation thanks to a relentless commitment to the beauty of lager in all its forms. And so, really, this collaboration could only ever take one form: a lager, taken very seriously.Brewed using a traditional German step mash AND a decoction mash to extract maximum flavour from the malt base, we really doubled down on technique and historic methods for this beer. But what on earth are step and decoction mashes?
A step mash is a traditional German method of brewing a Helles, where the temperature of the mash (the mixture of water and malt) is slowly increased, to allow for the extraction of different sugars. The slow, elaborate process brings out additional characteristics from a malt bill, but due to its fiddliness, is not a process typically used in modern brewing - a travesty!
The next stage in the process is the decoction mash. Here, we take a section of the mash and boil it to initiate the Maillard Reaction: the chemical reaction which - in very simple turns - makes caramelised and browned foods taste sweet or ‘baked’. We then re-combine this extra-caramelised, extra-delicious portion of malt, and continue the brew.
Overall, you can expect beautifully complex notes of lightly caramelised bread crust, showcasing a touch of sweetness. For a distinctly non-traditional twist, we added 150kg of buckwheat (25% of the total malt base), which creates a totally unique, nutty flavour that sits really prominently in this beer. Finally, a gentle 10kg of Hallertauer Tradition hops help keep things balanced, with a touch of grassy bitterness.
Birthday Beer No. 4: Beak, Lewes
Teaming up with the Beak team was a welcome chance to dig deep into the fine detail of heavy hopping, sharing knowledge and techniques designed to extract the very best flavours from the seasons’s freshest hop crops. Working with Robin, Danny and Tom was a real pleasure, and we’re thrilled with the results.
Using Beak’s house yeast and the season’s finest crop of Cashmere, El Dorado and Sabro hops, we brewed a beautifully expressive IPA that’s as fluffy, smooth and full-flavoured as you like. Expect heady aromas and dank flavours of white wine, melon, pineapple and grape. The malt base is high in oats and wheat, and we also incorporated chit malt, a grain which introduces a protein to increase head retention and mouthfeel, enabling that big, satisfying, mouth-coating sensation that we love in Beak’s beers.
Birthday Beer No. 05: Verdant, Cornwall
When we think of Verdant we think of uncompromisingly flavourful hazy beers, and so, naturally, we opted for a juicy ol’ IPA for this collaboration. We were delighted to welcome Adam and Sam over from Penryn for a day of fun, before a joint tap takeover and a LOT of table tennis.
First up, we designed a sweet backbone of malts, rich with Golden Promise, wheats, oats, and a touch of Caramalt, to create a strong base that could easily carry the hops. About those hops… Hefty whirlpool additions of Motueka and Sabro hops bring notes of lime, coconut and pineapple. Then, inspired by the maestros from Falmouth we dry hopped twice at carefully selected lower temperatures; a technique the Verdant team have worked hard at perfecting. Citra, El Dorado and Motueka added at 13 degrees bring hints of zesty citrus, white wine, pineapple and lemon freshness, whilst Galaxy added at 4 degrees brings floral notes of passionfruit. Soft, full and deliciously satisfying, this is an IPA with serious clout.
Birthday Beer No. 06: DEYA, Cheltenham
3.5% Pale Ale
For a Pale Ale focussing on the infinite potential of the freshest, finest hops, it had to be our South West pals at DEYA. On a chilly January morning, we were joined by Theo, Gareth, Nicci and John from DEYA to close out our birthday brews. Some of the very enthusiastic DEYA team even made the trip on two wheels, cycling from Croc HQ to meet us in Old Market, bringing a whole new dimension to sustainable brewing.
YC301 is a magical technique developed by grower-owned hop suppliers Yakima Chief, where fresh hops are frozen and pelletized straight from the field, then shipped directly to brewers to use during fermentation, still frozen. In combination with the DEYA approach to dry hopping, this super-fresh treatment of our beloved Citra and Mosaic packs an astonishing amount of aroma and flavour into our sessionable, smooth little 3.5% beer.
The Wiper and True team have loved creating these beers, drawing in team members from different departments across our business to devise creative recipes with some of our favourite breweries from across the country. A huge thank you to the teams from Vault City, North Brewing, Donzoko, Beak, Verdant and DEYA for helping us make our birthday dreams come true. Here’s to many more decades of brewing beautiful beer.