Beer Events

Loka Polly “Augment Range” Launch via Jolly Good Beer

LAUNCH DATE: Friday 8th March everywhere except Saturday 9th March for Kill The Cat in London.


So… a few weeks ago our Welsh juice-bomb brewer friends Loka Polly got in touch to ask if we could help them get their Augment Range launch around to some awesome bars in our patch of the UK. What else were we going to say but “hell yeah!”  And the timing worked well to start talking about full coldchain in connection with this launch. We were on the cusp of getting our refrigerated Iveco on the road – after 9 months of planning. This being the first step on our road to full coldchain.

The Augment Range beers are a perfect example of the type of beer most in need of a developing UK coldchain distribution standard – massively dry hopped and dependent on punchy hop volatiles. These hop aromas and flavours are unstable and degrade rapidly in ambient conditions – and beer oxidative changes dull all those juicy notes. Time and heat are the enemies of beer – as beer quality god Charlie Bamforth is well known for sciencing like a boss: “any beer will change and deteriorate with time. There are a number of big enemies, but the major ones are oxygen and heat”. (Get his book “Freshness” if you are interested in beer quality, and this podcast interview with Bamforth is always worth a listen – “one of the most significant things that that anybody can do to maximise the shelf-life of their product is to store it cold” @ 15:50.)


Here’s a brief background of Augment in Loka Polly’s own words:


“Last year whilst working with some of our brewing heroes, we had a spark of inspiration. What if we amplified our beers; bringing the hop bills up to the max; drawing direct inspiration from those same brewing heroes?

We’ve been working meticulously behind the scenes since then and are now proud to add the Augment range to our brewing portfolio. Introducing Rosa, Spur, and Patternist – the first of this new permanent range.”


Hops! Hops! Hops! MORE HOPS! 🙂


Here’s a map of all the awesome venues we’re supplying Augment Range beers to – these beers were collected with our refrigerated Iveco on Friday and shipped direct to our coldstore. (The yellow pins are Loka Polly in Wales and Jolly Good Beer in East Anglia. Note that Loka Polly are also supplying venues in their area and north direct.) Note that the Kill the Cat event in London is SATURDAY 9th March.

We’re guaranteeing coldchain to the coldchain-ready blue snowflakes – Hopmaster General, Rushden; Kilder Bar, Birmingham; The Stoneworks, Peterborough – these venues have the sort of 4°C direct-draw coldstorage installs that Jolly Good Beer promotes as the best sort of beer storage and dispense at retail (the Hopmaster General and KIlder Bar are actually Jolly Good Beer installs).


Brewery @ 4°C
⇒ Transport @ 4°C
⇒ Warehouse @ 4°C
⇒ Transport @ 4°C
⇒ Bar @ 4°C
⇒ Consumer (intah mah mouth!!)


And we’re another mile down the road to full coldchain… in 2019 the plan is to move all our vehicles to refrigeration and be ready to connect up all venues for coldchain delivery and connect up as many breweries as possible for coldchain collection – and grow the number of breweries and retailers we can offer full coldchain quality to!

Beer Events Beer Festivals

Willingham Beer & Cider Festival

We’re getting involved in my (Yvan’s) village’s new beer festival. This shall mainly be a fun beer event for Willingham locals – with a great range of drinks available, live music, and a summer BBQ. But we’ll have some special stuff on the draught system too…

Presently looking at, hoping to justify, about 20 different cask ales plus 10 keg beers, and 10 good ciders and one or two keg ciders.

Seems early days yet – but I know 29th June will be upon us in the blink of an eye!

There will be more information on the festival website, so keep an eye on that:

Or on the social medias: @WillinghamBeer or /WillinghamBeer

Bar Beer Events Meet The Brewer

Moor in Norwich & Peterborough

THIS WEEKEND!!! Moor extravaganzas in Norwich & Peterborough!


Do you like Moor beer? You should drink Moor beer. The puns are relentless on a #MoorOnTour

  • Brewery: Moor Beer Company
  • Location: Bristol (formerly middle of pretty much nowhere in Somerset)
  • Owner/Brewer: Justin Hawke … an American showing the UK how to do hops 😉
  • History: Founded in 1996, taken over by Justin & Maryann in 2007: more here
  • Features: One of the first UK micros to leap into being 100% unfinedultra-tasty vegan friendly cask & keg

Moor is one of my own all time favourite brewers and one of the very first I traded with, given they inspired the creation of Jolly Good Beer… people wanted Moor, people couldn’t get Moor… problem solved.

The Plasterers ArmsSaturday – Norwich – The Plasterers Arms

If you’re in the Norwich area come to the awesome Plasterers Arms for all things Moor… this is a mega tap-takeover across cask and keg lines offering a huge variety of the Moor lineup, with some special bombers and some of the can range available to boot! Hoppy: got it; Dark: got it; Brown: got it; Pale: got it; Smokey: got it; Barley Wine: got it; Barrel Aged: got it; You… get it?

The official gig is set to run from 8pm, but we’ll be hangin’ about from a bit earlier.

Check out the event page on FaceBook.

Or @ThePlasterers on Twitter.

Stoneworks TapwallSunday – Peterborough – The Stoneworks Bar

Cambridgeshire’s awesomest new new-wave bar brings you Moor in keg spanning the core to the frankly slightly mental. DIPA, BDIPA, even plain old IPA – then how about hoppy wheat, pale ales, old ales, and a barrel aged barley wine?

The bar opens at midday Sunday… and the finger-in-the-air starting time for shenanigans is 1pm. We’ll have a representative from the brewery, and I’ll be there to drink beer. 😉

Stoneworks are less on top of the FaceBook, but they do have a FaceBook page you can visit.

Or @TheStoneworks on Twitter.


Some Moor Badges (no, we don't have ALL these beers:) I wish!
Some Moor Badges (no, we don’t have ALL these beers:) I wish!


And should Moor’s awesome beer sound your sort of thing, we supply to trade accounts across East Anglia and the East Midlands. We keep our Moor here:

Beer Events Beer Festivals

The Adventures of Colin – Leeds International Beer Festival

It’s the second time we’ve been invited to serve the awesomely fresh (az, bro!) beers from the New Zealand beer collective but there’s been an aspect of Jolly Good Beer that’s not really been documented. Until now.

Colin the colossal (shhh) squid has been freeloading at Jolly Good Beer headquarters since before it existed due to instinctively latching on a pair of beery schmucks back at the Te Papa Mueseum. In typical fashion, his natural habitat is NOT aiding with service at the Kiwi bar…

NZ Beer Collective bar
NZ Beer Collective bar
Todd hard at work at the Kiwi bar
Todd hard at work at the Kiwi bar

… instead, he’s we’ve finally got photographic evidence of him shirking off on beery pursuits and accosting hapless brewers at their own bars.

Colin & Weird Beard
Colin & Weird Beard

“I’m just checking out the town hall interior”

Colin & Pressure Drop
Colin & Pressure Drop

“I was asking about their beer ‘Wu Gang Chops the Tree'”

Colin & Thornbridge
Colin & Thornbridge

“I was just singing praises about their lager ‘Lucas'”

Colin & Siren
Colin & Siren

“They had my favourite colour on their bar”

Thanks to the festival organizers, breweries and volunteers that made the Leeds International Beer Festival an awesome – if not exhausting – few days!

Beer Events

Meet Hardknott @ Thirsty


Our friends from Hardknott brewery are hitting Cambridge this weekend and Thirsty will be hosting them for a meet-the-brewer on Sunday from 15.30 in the afternoon.

When: from 15.30 Sunday 22nd May
Where: Thirsty, Cambridge (register your interest on the FaceBook thingy.)
What: BEER!

This is a casual beery get-together, with draught and bottled beers from Hardknott added to the Thirsty line-up and there’ll be food available from Now Now, the “bunny chow” people!

Beers on the Growler-Fill will be:

In addition there will be a comprehensive range of bottled beers.

This is hot on the heels of Hardkott being at the FoodPark Night Market Saturday evening (booked out I’m afraid!) and right before the Cambridge Beer Festival where us beer nerds will get to try the Intergalactic Space Hopper over again but in cask format.

See y’all at Thirsty on Sunday! Right?!

Bar Beer Events Meet The Brewer

Jolly Good Beer & Brewers @ Food Park Night Market

Jolly Good Beer Bar
Jolly Good Beer Bar

I’m a bit late to putting this together, because Food Park Night Market has SOLD OUT! So… there here be a teaser for those didn’t make it to booking in time, and an appetite whetter for those who will be there with us on Saturday.

Food Park has practically become a Cambridge foodie institution – this collective of food vans and related businesses shows up all over town providing the food variety and excitement that Cambridge’s drab corporate office estates fail to deliver. Pints of tasty beer don’t quite fit in for most at lunchtime – but a few times a year Food Park gets together to do a “night market” where proceedings practically require a great drinks offering to go with the great food. We’ll be there with great beer amongst the gin, wine, cocktails and fizz.

For the first Food Park of 2016 the Jolly Good Beer bar will host Atom brewery from Hull and Harknott from Cumbria on the draught – both of which will have folk present on the night.

We’ll also have Magic Rock and Moor cans for folk in the mood for a quick tinnie of great beer. The beer list will include:

    • Atom – “For Science!” – will be at the event!
      • Schrödinger’s Cat, 3.5% – full bodied, yet low ABV, hop-bomb
      • Pale Ale, 4.5% – UK Olicana & Admiral hopped cirtusy pale ale
      • Ocean of Storms, 5.0% – saison aged on blueberries
      • Dark Matter, 4.5% – sea salt, cocoa and black lime infused oatmeal stout
    • Hardknott – “Serious About Beer” – will be at the event!
      • Cumbrian Lager, 4.8% – lager! lager! lager!
      • Intergalactic Space Hopper, 5.2% – IPA
  • CANS
    • Magic Rock
      • Salty Kiss, 4.1% – gooseberry gose
      • High Wire, 5.5% – pale ale
      • Rapture, 4.6% – red ale
    • Moor
      • Revival, 3.7% – session pale ale
      • Illusion, 4.5% – black IPA
      • Return of the Empire, 5.7% – English IPA
  • SODA
    • Square Root – “Handmade in Hackney”
      • A range of non-alcoholic sodas from the awesome Square Root. It’s what keeps me going when I am doing these events! So we figured we should add them to the lineup.

Food Park beers

Beer Events Beer Festivals Beer News

Putting the KEG into CAMRA

Slimline 30L KeyKegWow… what a difference a few years makes. I joined CAMRA about 8 years ago – becoming an active member in the North Hertfordshire branch, and eventually branch cellarman for our beer festivals. Despite moving away to Cambridge I have still filled this technical role for the branch over the last few years. I was a software engineer back then, now I run my little beer distribution business – and most of my volume is kegged beer. I’m surprised I didn’t get barred from CAMRA already – spreading the keg love as I do!

But what is really changing is CAMRA – stepping forward into the future. The CAMRA Technical Advisory Group (TAG) passed “KeyKeg” as being “real ale”-compatible some years ago, and in fact I had KeyKegs hooked up to handpumps at the Letchworth Garden City CAMRA beer festival in 2011. Last year support for KeyKeg was further reinforced by a CAMRA AGM motion being passed stating that CAMRA should support KeyKeg as a real ale format. (Much like supporting “real ale in a bottle” for example.)

Coming out of this the Manchester winter beer festival in January may well have been the first CAMRA beer festival to feature a dedicated British kegged beer bar. And KeyKegs have been seen at CAMRA fests here and there since the original TAG decision.

Now in my role supporting North Hertfordshire CAMRA beer festivals combined with my role promoting great beers (that I sell, obviously) I am being allowed to sponsor and run a “real ale in a keg” bar at the inaugural Stevenage Winter Beer & Cider Festival which kicks off this Thursday 4th of February. Easy to get to from Cambridge and London – if you’re into beer, and interested in this historic time in the history of CAMRA you should come along and marvel at there being a KEG bar at a CAMRA beer festival! And, of course, enjoy the awesome beers.

Stevenage Fest AdKeyKeg allows breweries to produce well carbonated, pressure-dispensed beer that falls within the definition of “real ale” when unfiltered, unpasteurised, and “live” – because pressurised CO2 does not need to come into contact with the beer for dispense so it doesn’t suffer from the “extraneous CO2” problem. It isn’t quite so simple however – as filtered beer can be put in KeyKegs too. At the end of the day I judge a beer by how it tastes and don’t worry much about how “real” it is. But within the CAMRA context one must be a little more sensitive to the technicalities. So I have selected beers for the festival that I know to be “live” – and equivalent to the same beers as they would/could be packaged in cask. (There is a grey area around “tank conditioning” in this… but this grey area affects cask as well as keg so we base our judgement on the “live yeast” factor more than anything.) The beers I have selected to showcase KeyKeg are below – featuring mainly styles I think only, or at least best, work with the higher carbonation and cooler serve temperature of keg dispense. What do you think – a good intro to the concept of keg beers for the uninitiated I hope. If it is popular I may have some specials in reserve to sneak on too 😉

Brewery Beer Name ABV Notes
Cloudwater AUS Hopfen Weisse (Winter 2015/16) 6.5% Rich NZ/Aus Hopped Wheat Beer
Cloudwater Dark Lager (Winter 2015/16) 5.5% Dark Yet Curiously Light & Hoppy
Cloudwater IPA (Winter 2015/16) 8.0% Best Cloudwater IPA Yet
Hammerton Islington Lager 4.7% Steam Lager
Pig & Porter Elusive Pig II 5.7% Black IPA (Comet dry-hopped)
Pig & Porter Honey Hill Wit 5.0% Honey Witbier
Siren Calypso – Citra/Centennial/Equinox 4.0% Dry-Hopped Berlinerweisse
Siren Pompelmocello 6.0% Sour Grapefruit IPA
Weird Beard MAC Spreadsheet Ninja 5.5% Mosaic/Amarillo/Centennial Dry-Hop Pilsner
Weird Beard Saison 14 6.0% Dry Hopped Saison
Wild Weather Khareef 2.4% Small Beer, Big Hops
Wild Weather Message in a Potel 7.5% “Oversized Stout”
Wild Weather Peach of a Weekend 5.6% Peachy Hoppy Sour

I was also asked to write some text for the festival guide to explain KeyKeg, so I reproduce that here:

Real Ale in KeyKeg

Keg?! Why is this dirty word seen at a CAMRA beer festival? The history of CAMRA begins with keg – when breweries decided that cask was too expensive and difficult and keg was the future. But if expense is all that matters then a lot of other corners get cut – lower quality ingredients, cheap adjuncts used instead of malt – and the product is then filtered and pasteurised to give it a long shelf-life. This is the horror of insipid kegged beer that was taking over in the 70s and necessitated the founding of CAMRA to campaign for the survival of good beer. The big brewers gave keg a bad rap!

BUT – keg need not be this way. Many microbreweries today are experimenting with keg – especially for beers more suited to higher carbonation levels and cooler serve temperatures. This new wave of microbrewery kegged beer is unpasteurised and unfiltered, full flavoured live beer – much of it keg-conditioned and produced the same way as cask. There is still a problem however – by CAMRA definition CO2 top-pressure is not compatible with “real ale”. Even cask conditioned beer doesn’t qualify when CO2 aspirators are used – so a standard top-pressure keg certainly cannot.

Which is where the KeyKeg comes in. In a KeyKeg beer is contained within a “bag” inside the keg. And the gas pressure squeezes the bag to push the beer out. The gas can be CO2 – or simply compressed air – but has no contact with the beer inside the bag. We now have a type of kegged beer that meets the CAMRA definition of “real ale” – unpasteurised, unfiltered, live, and unsullied by “extraneous CO2”. Think of it being very much like “real ale in a bottle” – “real ale in a keg”! Approved by the CAMRA Technical Advisory Group (some years ago in fact) & there was a vote in favour of CAMRA supporting this form of real ale at the 2015 AGM – so this is all above board! KeyKegs have already been seen at various CAMRA festivals in the last few years, we had two at the last Letchworth Garden City festival – in that case vented to lower carbonation and served via handpump.

Do not worry about the future of proper cask ale however! Many beers work best in cask – you won’t find many breweries kegging bitters and best bitters for starters. The KeyKeg format suits zesty hop-forward pales, sours, wheats, saisons, lagers, and some stronger beers. However 1-way recyclable KeyKegs add to costs and a 30 litre KeyKeg has similar (if not greater) overheads to fill as a 41 litre cask. Which is one of the factors behind the higher pricing of these kegged beers. Cask ale is quite safe.



Beer Events Beer News

Kiwi Beer At Birmingham Beer Bash


Birmingham Beer Bash (logo)
Birmingham Beer Bash

Gidday folks… so, we’re helping out the awesome people up at Birmingham Beer Bash get some Kiwi action happening.

We will be hosting 2 Kiwi beer tastings as part of the Bash “fringe” – one Friday evening at 7pm and the second Saturday evening at 7.45pm.

Given the plethora of beers available to us we couldn’t decide on a single line-up for the tasting so they’re going to be different (with an overlap of 2 beers).


Friday Tasting – We sorta explore styles of beer – pils, Black IPA, saison, wheat, brown ale, interesting flavour additions.

Brewery Beer Style ABV Bottle / Can
8 Wired C4 Double Coffee Brown Coffee-infused Brown Ale 8 Bottle
8 Wired Saison Sauvin Saison 7 Bottle
Renaissance Black the RIPA Black Rye IPA 6.5 Bottle
Renaissance Clipper Session IPA 4 Bottle
Three Boys IPA NZ India Pale Ale 5.2 CAN
Three Boys Pils NZ Pilsner 5 CAN
Three Boys Wheat Belgian Wheat Beer 5 CAN
Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Earl Grey IPA 6.5 Bottle
Friday Beers
Friday Beers

Saturday Tasting – We’re more about hops – two “fresh hop” beers fresh off the boat, a couple of Black IPAs, some session pales, and a single-hop saison.

Brewery Beer Style ABV Bottle / Can
8 Wired Saison Sauvin Saison 7 Bottle
8 Wired Semiconductor Session IPA 4.4 Bottle
Renaissance Fresh Hop Black the RIPA Black Rye IPA 6.5 Bottle
Renaissance Clipper Session IPA 4 Bottle
Renaissance Grandmaster Fresh Hop Fresh Hop Double IPA 9 Bottle
Three Boys IPA NZ India Pale Ale 5.2 CAN
Tuatara Conehead Green Hop IPA 6 Bottle
Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black South Pacific Porter 6 Bottle
Saturday Beers
Saturday Beers

Each tasting will feature 8 different beers sampled in 80ml serves.

See you there! 🙂

Bar Beer Events Meet The Brewer

Meet the Brewer: Pig & Porter at Burwash Manor – May 17th

Pig & Porter LogoOur next meet-the-brewer event will be at Burwash Manor’s “Sizzling Sunday” on March 17th. The “Sizzling Sunday” is a celebration of Burwash Manor Farm’s own delicious Rare Breed Pork. As well as the farm Burwash Manor is home to a collection of interesting shops located on a farm in Barton, just a hop skip and a jump from Cambridge town centre.

We will have three Pig & Porter  (@PigAndPorter) beers on draught, and Cozzi & Boffa (@CozziBoffaWines) will have three in bottle to enjoy on the day or take-away. Not only that but we’ll have Sean Ayling, the Pig & Porter founder-brewer, in attendance to chat about beer and how this relatively-new brewery got up and running. Pig & Porter is an up-and-coming new brewery in the UK scene, which has already made a good impression in craft beer venues across the country – with their first splash into the scene that we noticed being at IndyManBeerCon last year . IMBC is a young yet already prestigious craft beer event where they take their beer selection very seriously.

Keg Badges for BurwashThe three Pig & Porter beers have been chosen with tasty pork products in mind*, although we think Pig & Porter fit the theme of the day quite well in name alone. Additionally we’ll have three other beers on draught that also feature in Cozzi & Boffa’s bottle/can range.

  1. Pig & Porter, Honey Hill Wit – 5.0% – a flavoursome hazy wheat beer loaded up with honey. Perfect complement to a honey glazed ham, or any slab of pig for that matter.
  2. Pig & Porter, Neither Nor – 5.0% – British pale malts fermented with a lager yeast. Quaffing beer, great for washing down a pork feast.
  3. Pig & Porter, Red Spider Rye – 5.5% – a robust rye-driven beer, full of berry fruits and woody spiciness. I reckon you could cure a very tasty bacon with it.
  4. Beavertown, Gamma Ray – 5.4% – A hop-driven American Pale Ale – much loved, Beavertown just can’t brew enough of this stuff!
  5. Hammerton, Pentonville – 5.3% – An unctuous Oyster Stout – yes, with real Colchester oysters in the brew.
  6. Moor, Nor’Hop – 4.1% – Moor’s classic hoppy quaffer featuring the freshest of new-season Northern American hops.

That should be enough to keep most beer lovers happy! However… the bar shall be located just outside the Cozzi & Boffa shop, where they will additionally have a range of beers in bottle and can chilled and ready to drink. As well as their usual shelves full of awesome British craft beers which you can buy and take away to enjoy at home.

See you there!


* Now, if you’re vegetarian then don’t fret – all beers selected except the oyster stout are veggie-friendly, and aside from the Honey Hill vegan-friendly too. That said I’m not sure the overall celebration of rare breed pork will be quite up your alley.

Beer Events Meet The Brewer

Meet The Brewer: Weird Beard @ The Blue Moon

WeirdBeardLogoWeird Beard is a London microbrewery founded by two beer lovers in 2013. In a short time they’ve taken the British craft beer scene by storm – brewing a range of fun beers spanning a multitude of styles. Co-founder, brewer, and faceless-spreadsheet-ninja Gregg Irwin will lead a tasting of a set of the brewery’s beers, including some core beers plus also some special stuff.

This is a ticketed beer tasting. However if you’d like to just pop along and meet Gregg from Weird Beard that is perfectly OK! Gregg will hang around to chat with folk interested beers, brewing, and breweries!

The exact set of beers is TBC – we’ll publish some highlights as they’re confirmed over the next few days.



Final beer details are still being confirmed. There’ll be 1 cask beer, 3 keg, and a selection of bottles/cans.

Find Weird Beard on Twitter:

This event is kindly hosted by The Blue Moon pub on Norfolk Street. Sister-pub to the Cambridge Blue, the Blue Moon’s focus is on interesting keg beers – with 10 taps, many of which feature great beers from British micros. But they also have cask lines, bottled beers, and a variety of interesting spirits.