Barrel Ageing and Mixed Fermentation

with London Beer Factory

Season 1


Episode 84

Barrel ageing and mixed fermentation. Are there any two phrases that evoke curiosity and create excitement for brewers and beer lovers more than these? You’d be hard pressed to find a brewer who is not fascinated with the art of blending beers stored in wood or the mixed cultures of Brettanomyces and lactic acid, which spawn bacterias such as lactobacillus and pediococcus.

Sour, mixed fermentation and barrel aged beers do hold a certain level of reverence amongst beer fans on parr with even the finest vintage wines and fine ciders, retailing with higher prices, presented in slender elegant glass bottles, and evoke feelings of opulence.

By virtue of these beers spending prolonged periods stored in wood, you just instinctively know that these have been crafted with care by people who are passionate about making them, not to turn huge profits, but as a labour of brewery love.

One such brewery, known for their excellent barrel project, is London Beer Factory.

Established in 2013 by brothers Ed and Simm Cotton, London Beer Factory found success as part of the South East London beer scene.

Since then, they’ve grown to an output of 50HL per day from their 25HL brewhouse, with a team of 6 brewers producing 500,000 litre of beer per annum across a wide range of styles, including hazy IPAs, imperial stouts, lagers and more.

Their Bermondsey based Barrel Project serves house barrel aged & craft beers across 24 taps and contains 200 oak barrels, all nestled under a Victorian rail arch, blending the traditional & modern. Each release is a unique expression of time, place, provenance, and attention.

As you’ll hear in our discussion on all things barrel aging and mixed-ferm with brewers Brayden and Brett, they even have a mobile coolship – the UK’s first purpose built vehicular coolship – that travels the UK capturing wild yeast and bacteria that naturally occur all around us.

Every beer they make is a living record of the areas they visit and captures some of the essence of the friendships made along the way.


Brewery Shoutout

Iron Pier Brewery & Taproom

Iron Pier Brewery & Taproom are based in Gravesend, Kent.

They are locally focussed, providing refrigerated deliveries of our cask & keg beers throughout Kent and South London.

This year they are just starting to see the fruits of our barrel aged programme, and have a range of bottle releases coming up, including plenty of imperial stouts and their first mixed fermentation beers. They also can some of our regular keg range, all of which are available on their web shop.

Hop Forward listeners can enjoy a 10% DISCOUNT by using the discount HOPFORWARD at the checkout.

Check out our friends over at to find out how you can apply for this week’s spotlighted brewing job.

This episode is sponsored by...


Brupaks have been providing microbrewery supplies in small and manageable sizes for over 25 years, acting as agents and resellers for some of the world’s best producers of ingredients, sundries and equipment.

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We’ve recently also ventured into canning, with our partners Oasthouse Engineering, releasing our smallest can seamer at a cost effective price, while providing cans in the smallest minimums as possible,  seeking to make the introduction to canning as easy.

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