New breweries are popping up left, right and centre so it can be hard to keep up. Let me introduce you to one of the hidden gems of Bristol in another brewery spotlight. Say hello to Lost & Grounded.
I regularly travel down to Devon for holidays and these days everywhere I go is an opportunity to pop in to a brewery or a craft beer-centric pub/bar I’ve not been to before.
There’s not much near Croyde where we go, but I realised that Bristol is an up and coming city for craft beer and is a nice half way point on the journey from Luton.
Top of my list of places to visit was Lost & Grounded and the guys were more than happy to oblige.
Many craft breweries are young, with the UK Still catching up with our transatlantic cousins, and Lost & Grounded is one of the newest on the scene.
In July of 2018, L&G will celebrate its second birthday. After years of travelling, couple Annie and Alex co-founded the brewery in 2015 and were up and brewing in 2016.
Alex hails from Australia and has plenty of experience in the industry. This isn’t a story of ‘home brewer decides to take the plunge’. Instead, he’s worked at some well-known breweries including Little Creatures in Australia and, most recently, London’s Camden Town.
Situated a short drive from the M4, Lost & Grounded sits on the edge of an industrial estate. We arrived at a seemingly deserted brewery, almost a little eerie when they’re so often a hive of activity.
It turns out it was a sort of day off after a busy weekend hosting a taproom event. Luckily we quickly found Alex and his welcoming smile.
Like most modern craft breweries, it’s a utilitarian warehouse rather than something like an old brick building full of character. For the vast majority of breweries, that kind of more traditional location is simply too expensive and often comes with additional problems.
Instead, Alex and Annie have invested in an impressive set of equipment, custom-made and all the way from Germany. Alex lead us up the gleaming metal steps to look at the Steinecker equipment up close. The setup is state-of-the-art and a sight to behold if you’re into big shiny things and you get a great view across the brewery from the modest summit.
Much of the operation is done by computer but the idea was to build something like Ayinger – highly efficient so a small well looked after team can concentrate on quality.
The brewery is a lot bigger than I expected, compared to many others I’ve seen, and there’s definitely room to grow which is certainly the plan.
Despite being such a large, industrial-feeling space, the guys have managed to bring some charm to the building thanks to some bunting, a nice wooden bar, poster style banners and more.
Last summer, L&G ran a series of Saturday taproom events each in collaboration with a different brewery. The beers have also been on show at some of the biggest festivals including Beavertown’s Extravaganza and the Bristol Craft Beer Festival.
For 2018 the Summer Brewhouse Sessions are back, starting on 19 May with Cloudwater and Jopen. Other guests will include Wylam, Burning Sky and Verdant. You can also book a tour for £15.
A German-made brewery doesn’t necessarily mean German style beer but Lost & Grounded does largely focus on European styles. Alex says the aim is to produce high quality beers like Pilsners, among others.
Going around saying “I’m not really a lager drinker” is quickly becoming false for me and it’s due to beers like Keller Pils (and a shout out to Five Points Pils too). This is the flagship beer and it’s quickly becoming one of the UK’s favourite lagers.
The 4.8% unfiltered beer is crisp and clean while being packed with flavour. It’s so quaffable that it’s an achievement to only drink one.
The core range consists of various styles including two saisons, a tripel and my personal favourite: No Rest For Dancers, a hoppy red ale.
As well as the perfected and consistent core range, L&G is not afraid to do one-off specials and there have been plenty to tempt the taste buds.
In 2017 they were keg only, so I was lucky to try Ciel Rouge at the Extravaganza. This year, though, they are being bottled so it’s somewhat easier to get hold of them. Examples include Cool Bananas, an NZ hopped weissbier and This Is Nowhere, an unfiltered Kolsch.
So if you haven’t already, get your Keller Pils on and I’m sure won’t regret it.
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