Following on from a fun collaboration brew and event earlier this year with Dugges Bryggeri from Sweden (see photos here), Anspach & Hobday were back at it again, this time with Tanker Brewery from a small village just outside Tallinn in Estonia. Much like A&H, Tanker started with homebrewing – Jaanis Tammela and Ryan Suske brewed beer together in Jaanis’ garage before joining forces with Ants Laidam who had produced gypsy brews under the name Tanker. The brewery was officially established in 2014, and brewing started in April 2015. I couldn’t be there for the brewing during the day unfortunately, but here’s Paul from A&H to talk about the collaboration:
“We first discovered Tanker when we met Jaanis at Le Barboteur Beer Days festival in Brussels, back in June 2016. We we impressed with his beers, and even more so by the fact that he was willing to leave his stand unmanned to come and drink at ours! Over the last year we have have had the opportunity to hang out with him at a few more festivals, and each time we have spoken about brewing together.
“One of the first ideas discussed was to recreate a historical Estonian recipe that didn’t require the wort to be boiled. I was a lot more excited about this idea than Jaanis was, and once the beer had worn off, we both agreed it was probably a stupid idea. Like us, Tanker are a pretty experimental brewery, having brewed over 30 styles of beers in the last year alone. I had noticed that they have worked with Saccharomyces Trois, a yeast that had mistakenly been classified as Brettanomyces due to some shared flavour characteristics. I’ve been keen to try it so we settled on an IPA using this yeast, along with Mosaic and El Dorado hops. Before we dry-hop it, we intend to send a portion of it to barrels, where will add in blackcurrant and age it. Terviseks!”
Once the brewing was out of the way, the space was reset for an informal tasting event featuring four specials from each brewery. I worked may way through Tanker’s interesting line-up from the super juicy Pretty Hard raspberry sour, to the 8.5% Kumale Maale chocolate, mint and coffee stout, via a couple of hoppy Abstraction pale ales. The standout Tanker beer for me was their Sauna Session, a unique, refreshing, and sessionable beer featuring birch leaves.
Meanwhile, A&H put on a fresh lager alongside their wonderful ESB collaboration with Fuller’s, and fittingly the A&H x Dugges Red Wine Stout which was lovely stuff and pretty dangerous at 8.2%. Finally, they cheekily released their annual Christmas beer, The Pfeffernusse Saison, based on the eponymous German biscuits, but I saved that for the rowdy carol event the following night (which is a story for another time).
Anspach & Hobday – www.anspachandhobday.com
Tanker Brewery – tanker.ee