Turtles are slow, wise and dependable.
That’s Bates our brewer, in a nutshell. Betting the farm is adventurous, risky and exhilarating – which is more our founder Miranda’s ride.
This piece discusses Duration’s very first two beers, what’s behind their names and why we chose to brew in Norway after a year of only collaboration releases.
Bates and Miranda are opposites who tackle life with very different approaches. They have highly complementary skill sets making them the perfect family combination to deliver Duration’s ambitious plan, bringing something new to UK beer with a focus on fresh and sour beers with a Belgian and American influence.
The pair each named one opening beer to reflect their individual personalities while giving a taster of what is in store when we finally open Duration’s barn doors.
TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN – 5.5%
Bates named our American Pale with an analogy to Beers current hop obsession.
“If the beer world is balanced on the back of a giant hop, what supports that hop?”
“Why it’s hops all the way down of course.”
TATWD has pronounced hop aroma and a rounded body with soft bitterness. The Turtles (read Hops) on the can are doing a deep dive. Steadily and slowly swimming out of the frame – leading us on journey if we choose to follow to somewhere a little deeper?
Is Bates opening with a popular style while alluding to something more over the horizon for the favoured American Pale? The name comes from one of his favourite Sturgill Simpson songs, while also being a clear expression of the problem of infinite regress.
BET THE FARM 4.5%
Miranda’s name for our Hoppy Continental Pale BET THE FARM plays on Duration’s offer of an adventure into the wild. Wild relates to the ‘farmhouse’ aspect of mixed culture and spontaneously fermented ales. Farm also alludes to the rural setting where we hope you will come and enjoy our beers.
The label reads:
‘A pale that is crisp, dry and elegantly balanced. Light and floral, it ends with refreshing hop bitterness’.
Pretty approachable for a Belgian beer. It continues:
‘Once taken in-house this will evolve into our farmhouse pale, because you ain’t living unless you’ve Bet The Farm.’
Can a walk into the wild be a pleasant and gradual evolution for your palate?
Together TURTLES and BET THE FARM kick off Duration’s next step with our own brand and sole recipe design – after an adventurous year of collaborations. We hope you enjoy these approachable openers with the promise of more complex farmhouse ales down the line.
Ending collabs. Starting building.
Over the past year making beers in collaboration has been a brilliant way for us to come to life and establish market presence. A welcomed distraction from the complex hurdles we faced in planning to place a high-end brewery in a remote and derelict site.
Our scheme needed to have minimal impact on the area of special scientific interest (ASSI) we sit within, to be respectful to our grade II* listing and scheduled monument sanction, and harmonious enough for bats ensuring their hibernation and mating times go undisturbed.
It took a lot of specialist people months and months of work to fully design and approve our scheme. Every regulatory body needed to be happy and we needed to bend the budget a few times – without compromising the brewhouse against the growing build cost. We did it – just, and now we only have to build the thing!
The project has been tendered and contracted in to a 44 week build with the kit going in at the very end. We can’t afford take our eyes off this development for a second, so roaming the length of the country for collabs was always out the question when the build finally went ‘on site’.
Beast from the east
Back in February, we began to look at some possibilities of brewing our own beers on leased equipment. We knew our facility would be a long time coming and we wanted to present our own recipes designed and brewed by Bates. We 100% wanted to make them ourselves (not a contract brew) at a brewery we knew and trusted working with great established SOPs (standard operating practises). We also wanted high calibre equipment that matches our kit so we could ensure product consistency and have minimal variation when production comes in-house.
Bates and Matt one of the brewers at Amundsen Bryggeri have been friends since their Brew By Numbers days. During our collab visit to make a hybrid DDH Fruited Sour called Head Rush we hatched a plan. With a fully automated BrauKon brewhouse, great procedures and a well kept ship, the trust, the kit and the relationship was there.
Geoff the CEO at Amundsen offered us an ‘open door’ approach to the brewery. A few weeks ago Bates went over brewed our first two beers there, staying with Matt who has been in continual contact during cellaring. We also have the added benefit of working with Cask International who already cold chain import from Amundsen to a refrigerated warehouse in the UK.
It’s not big volume and importing isn’t the simplest or most cost effective way to go, but we feel the quality of our beer matters. We can start establishing relationships with the supply chain to find our routes to market.
Norway also seemed serendipitous being so strongly connected to Norfolk. Centuries of assimilation to the Norman and Saxon way of life is still present in Norfolk. The geography, architecture and culture in Norfolk still lends itself in some part to Norwegian history.
Around the time our very site was established all those centuries ago Scandinavian tribes and Vikings were invading and conquering and settling all across East Anglia. Perhaps we’ll make a beer about that down the line, for now we have our Roots Range.
We hope you enjoy these two beers, Turtles and Bet The Farm. They will be available across reputable independent bars and retail outlets from mid October.
Cans will also be available via Duration’s online shop, along with a limited merchandise run of caps, T Shirts and beanies.