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  1. Roux Brew 2014

    March 15, 2014 by Dave Seymour

    Back in December 2013 BBNo. received a brief from the London Brewer’s Alliance, to brew a unique bottle-conditioned beer.  The limited edition BBNo. beer was to run alongside 11 others in the Roux Brew Competition, where Michel Roux himself would judge the entries.
    The ultimate prize?  To be brew a house beer that will be served at the Michelin-starred restaurants of chef Michel Roux.  The ale needed to be as refreshing as an aperitif and robust enough to be paired with the restaurants’ seasonal offerings.

    What beer would stand out from the crowd, but be subtle enough to match an array of fabulous foods?  99|01 – Experimental – Saison was born.
    Brewed with aromatic Seville orange for it’s sunny freshness, hints of hibiscus and chamomile flowers were introduced for their gentle complexity.  Elegant and tranquil but able to throw a few punches.

    After submitting our summer ale, we were notified that we’d made the top five cut and were invited to the final tasting to battle it out with the best at Roux on Parliament Square on Friday, March 7th.  An evening full of delicious canapes and a nail-biting wait brought us to the end of this exciting saga: Michel announced his winner.

    The happy ending here would be for us to tell you that our 99|01 Experimental Saison won by a mile, but we’d be lying.  We didn’t win, but were beaten by the narrowest of narrow margins – a split decision no less – by our Bermondsey neighbours, FourPure, who took the prize with their grapefruit, Sicilian Navelina and coriander seed Saison.

    Although beaten, we’re not discouraged; there are many positives to be taken from the result.  Not least the fact that three of the judges (including the one and only Gregg Wallace) loved our beer.  We’ve said before that Saisons pair wonderfully with food, are easy-drinking and lend themselves to creative recipes, and hearing Michel Roux compare the importance of beer-and-food tasting to wine-and-food tasting made us all the more proud to have been a part of this experience.

    Congratulations to FourPure Brewery; it was a great win for them.  It was also a win for Bermondsey, a win for Saisons and a win for craft beer.  It may not have been a win for BBNo., but hey, we have a damn good beer to enjoy come those long summer nights!

    Since the competition we have renumbered 99|01 as 01|09 – Saison – Hibiscus & Chamomile.  Watch out for future releases.

    Photo Credit: Lauren May, The Drinks Business


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