Siren Craft Brew have been in Finchampstead now for a year, and need to be exposed as a beer lovers best kept secret.
On Saturday Clarrissa and myself along with friends Debbie and Gareth our Partners at Milford Sandford Wines, headed to Siren for a tasting.
The young, charmingly dishevelled Steve gave us a warm welcome, Steve seemed to match the internal furnishings. Rustic tables and benches made from scaffold planks are inside for you to sit and taste these finest of craft beers. At the unassuming industrial unit it was a quiet Saturday and the only activity was the occasional beer connoisseur entering for his weekly beer rack top up.
Steve’s enthusiasm and passion for his chosen trade was bubbling from his every pore, while we tasted the Breakfast Stout (“Broken Dream” 6.7abv….smoky malt, coffee, oats and chocolate notes, we found it elegant, with a long finish and end fizz.), we laughed as he told of his goof, “I dropped chemistry at school even though I wanted to go into the brewing industry. What help would chemistry be??” He continued to tell us he had been taken under the wing of the creative owners and master brewers here after working a period for free, such was his desire to work in the industry. And now he is on the payroll.
The experimentation at the Siren barrel cellar is the alchemy between the beer and wooden barrels which have previously held the likes of Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace. The Barrel aged Broken Dream aged in Jim Beam barrels 7.4abv, is a delight for whisky and stout lovers alike. Strong whisky and chocolate notes on the tongue, hints of ginger and a strong whisky nose. The Broken Dream from the Buffalo Trace barrel again 7.4abv, was sweeter and longer with notes of coffee and Tia Maria.
Liquid Mistress is Sirens femme fatale, a red IPA at 5.8 abv, she was lively with biscuit and raisin followed by sparks of grapefruit and honey which delighted as Steve gave us a tour showing us the fermentation tanks whilst talking in depth about the beer making process. He told us that Siren believe beer drinkers should enjoy craft beer as wine drinkers enjoy their finest wines. Here here!
Siren already suggest food and beer pairing on their website but after tasting Broken Dream i’m not sure I will ever drink red wine with my Beef Bourguignon again. And coming up in Spring 2014 is Liquid Mistress aged in the barrels of Pinot Noir, I’m thinking Coq au Vin? As in the ever inventive world of craft brew, time will tell.
These guys are already winning awards, picking up 2nd at the ratebeer BEST awards 2014 and I’m sure there are many more to come. I can’t wait to go back and try the Caribbean Chocolate Cake 7.4abv a tropical stout with cacao nibs and cypress wood. Yes really!! So come on people of Finchampstead and Wokingham get down to Siren and support our “Local”