Q: Why the name Torrside Brewing
A: New Mills is built on top of a gorge running under the town, called the Torrs. We’re just to the side of that. Nothing very exciting I’m afraid! Completely unbeknownst to us when we named the brewery, there is actually a reservoir called Torside (one “r”) in the Peak District, but that’s just a coincidence.
Q: How long have you/the brewery been making beer for?
We’ve recently celebrated our third birthday, at the end of August 2018. We’ve been brewing longer than that though, as all of us were home brewing for several years before we started commercially.
Q: What got you into brewing?
Chris: I’d been thinking about giving it a go for a while, but I distinctly remember the beer that made me take the plunge and start brewing. We were staying up in Alnmouth, Northumberland, and the local pub had a couple of beers on from Tempest, who I think had only just launched at the time. I tried their Citra and was blown away by how much flavour they’d managed to pack in. That made me determined to brew something similar at the earliest possible opportunity!
Nick: I’d just discovered beers with American hops and loved the fruity, floral flavours you got, much more intense than a lot of other beers I’d had. I went to a meet the brewer, for Red Willow I think it was, and they talked about the brewing process and I thought that it sounded interesting. I wanted to give it a go and see what flavours I could get in a beer. It all blossomed from there!
Peter: I have no idea… I remember the first foray was a St Peter’s homebrew kit (middling result, since you ask) but escalated to all-grain within weeks – and once I found you could get smoked malt, well, that was that. Obviously you start by deluding yourself that brewing your own will be cheaper than buying it – but I was always doing too much brewing (usually playing with strong and/or silly stuff) to fit in enough drinking.
Q: When you’re not brewing what are your hobbies?
Chris: Hobbies…? The brewery is pretty much all-consuming, so not a huge amount of time for anything else! Spend plenty of time walking/entertaining the brewery dog Kami. Apart from that, I’m a big heavy metal fan, and try to get to gigs whenever I can.
Nick: When I get any spare time it is usually spent gaming, drinking, reading, watching films, catching up on sleep and actually spending time with my wife!
Peter: Drinking beer is good… gaming, reading, stuff that fits into the odd spare hour. And the brewing is a pretty nice way of passing the time anyway 🙂
Q: What’s your favourite style of beer?
Chris: I don’t particularly have a favourite style. I prefer to drink a steady stream of different stuff. Probably lean more towards European than American though, particularly anything dark and smoked!
Nick: I’ll drink most things, but my favourite style has to be pale and hoppy, with American or New Zealand hops usually.
Peter: A smoked West Coast Rye Imperial BIPA is hard to beat… but yes, happy with any beer that’s doing its thing well.
Q: If you could only have one of your brews for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? (I know it’s like picking a favourite child!)
Chris: Probably Sto Lat, our 2.8% oak-smoked wheat beer (grodziskie). That’s the one beer that’s nearly always in my fridge at home. Always refreshing, at any time of year!
Nick: If I had to choose, it’d be I’m Spartacus. I love a hoppy IPA, and Spartacus has plenty.
Peter: One of the smoked ones, definitely – maybe Fire Damage, the smoked stout. Or the Barrel-Aged Rauchwine, a very civilised sipping beer.
Q: You are in a supermarket, in the Beer aisle of course, what would you buy? (your wonderful beer isn’t on sale unfortunately!)
Chris: Does one of the supermarkets still stock Orval…? If so, then definitely that. Otherwise, Boon from Waitrose!
Nick: Good question, I’m not too sure! Probably something German or Belgian unless they had something that looked interesting from a newer brewer.
Peter: Something Belgian, I’d expect!
Q: What new flavour combination would you love to try/what new hops would you like to work with?
A: We’re toying with the idea of a blackcurrant rye IPA at the moment. And looking forward to brewing more of our bergamot & raspberry imperial blonde “No More Tuesdays” when bergamots are back in season next year!
Q: What brewery you would like to collaborate with and why?
A: Jopen! They make proper bitter IPAs and have a huge range of insane strong/smoked beers. I reckon we’d get along rather well!
*I absolutely love Jopen’s brews. Here’s a review of one of their beers*
Q: Anything interesting coming up in the near future?
On 3rd November, we’re holding what we believe to be the UK’s first ever 100% smoked beer festival. We’re going to have 10 of our own smoked beers on draught, hopefully 5 guest beers – consisting of our favourite smoked beers from around the UK and overseas – and even more imperial smoked stuff in bottle. Various smoked snacks, cheeses, etc. too. Tickets are available now!
Thanks to Torrside Brewing for taking part – I’ve got some of their beers on order from eeBria, so looking forward for them coming in – particularly “No More Tuesdays”.
For more information on Torrside check out the following