The 4BBL brewery is situated on show in the main bar area, with the fermentation and serving vessels tucked away safely in the basement.
We believe in keeping things exciting and ever evolving, so we brew small batches of new recipes regularly throughout the year using delicious ingredients from far and wide. We have a minimal core range (currently consisting of one beer) and occasionally rebrew an old favourite, or a variation of a previous beer if we feel it is deserved.
We serve all our beers direct from the tank in our taproom bar for ultimate freshness, and offer the remainder of the brew in 440ml cans for takeaway and home delivery. Each can is lovingly filled and labelled by hand on site at the brewery.
Brewing may seem like a dark art to some, so we thought we would share a little insight into some of our beers with you, as every brew has it’s own story to tell.
Kentish Kölsch – 4.5%
We realised very quickly into our brewing adventure that summer sunshine and sandy beaches call for a crisp refreshing lager, so we set about making something to fit the bill. We wanted to stick to our guns and create something not only to quench your thirst, but to appeal to everyone, hop lovers and all, and decided that a kölsch style beer would be perfect.
A kölsch may look and taste like a lager, but technically it’s an ale as it’s fermented with top fermenting yeast, but conditioned (or lagered) at cold temperatures for extended periods like a lager. It is sometimes referred to as a hybrid beer.
Kentish Kölsch has become a firm favourite all year round, and something we are very proud of. (Yes this is currently our one and only core beer)
sabro pale- 4.8%
Now and again you hear about an amazing hop variety that has a distinct aroma and flavour profile and it’s taking the brewing world by storm, but it’s impossible to find a beer that has this variety and isn’t paired with other bold flavours or masked by another hop.
So we brewed Sabro Pale with pilsner and pale malts for a light base, with a tiny charge of warrior hops to provide the bitterness to showcase what Sabro can do!
It’s lychee, it’s coconut, and sweet pineapple on a deliciously light and hazy base!
The response has been amazing, you love it, we love it, it might just be here to stay!
surplus ipa- 5.8%
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and ok Surplus IPA may sound like something unwanted, but the goal was to use up anything in the stores that was left over due to the pandemic and minimise waste!
We had a pile of hops in half empty bags, and a mish mash of grains to use up, so we concocted a heavy base from oats, wheat, carapils, crystal and pale malt to hold up the bitterness and lend a platform for the masses of hops to blend and shine.
Galaxy came out on top and comes through the bitterness of Belma, topped up with smaller doses of Citra and Amarillo, followed by a hefty chunk of Styrian Dragon.
This one is all about being kind to the environment! It happens to taste lovely too!
BELGIAN PALE COLLAB – 4.7%
We are all a bit tired of following strict rules, so we decided to break a few with our good friends at Northdown Brewery and add some fruit forward hops to a Belgian style Pale Ale and we’re chuffed with the result!
A delicate balance of oats and European malts create a vibrant amber colour and gentle haze with a full and compact head, the combination of UK grown and New Zealand hops add a hint of stone fruit flavours to compliment the esters and subtle spice from the Belgian yeast.
Spring is coming soon enough, and this is the perfect beer for the new season.
PEACH PORTER – 5%
Part II of our Porter trilogy was another experiment that turned out great!
We like to be resourceful, and are also wise enough to know that experiments can sometimes go wrong, so we brewed a base porter to work with, then split that into three tanks, and created three very different beers.
We love a fruity twist and it was a close call between apricot and peach on this one, but we felt that the sweetness of the peach over the roasted barley was a match made in heaven.
Galaxy NEIPA – 6.2%
Galaxy hops are world renowned and are said to impart intense citrus, peach and passion fruit flavours, making it a firm favourite for New England IPAs.
We wanted to go bold so topped those heavy hops up with Amarillo and Mosaic late in the boil, and then fermented with Verdant yeast from the guys over at Verdant Brewery.
The result is an explosion of fruity notes on a nice chunky base of malts and oats to give a full body with enough bite to hold the brew together. Dry hopped with 8g/l of Galaxy and Amarillo it’s one for the hop heads!
MOktoberfest – 5.5%
Fast approaching Oktoberfest season, we realised we had missed a trick and forgotten to brew a beer for the occasion. A Märzen style beer is a German lager brewed in March (März) and left to condition over the long summer months ready for the festivalgoers to enjoy in late September. That’s right Oktoberfest starts in September!
Obviously that boat had long sailed……….so…….. we cheated, hence the name!
We used all the same ingredients you might find in a traditional oktoberfest beer, but fermented with ale yeast and conditioned for just a few weeks as cold as we could get it, and used auxiliary finings in the brite tank to remove any remaining haze. This was another experimental beer, and we hope you agree it was a risk worth taking!
COFFEE PORTER – 5%
Coffee has long been a substantial part of brew day, and without it the 6am starts would not be anywhere near as productive! Margate is blessed with some fabulous coffee shops and roasteries and for this ‘brew’ we teamed up with Curve Roasters and had loads of fun experimenting with different coffee:beer ratios and bean:hop combos!
This beer was born from a previous brew, our popular Oatmeal Stout that we felt needed some special treatment to boost the aroma and flavour profile. Coffee was the obvious choice for Part I of our Porter Trilogy, so we used Ethiopian coffee beans expertly prepared specifically to match the beer, and wow did it work well!?
We love this beer, proper Margate!
OLICANA IPA – 6.3%
A total crowd pleaser of a beer! We were blown away by the response to this brew and often get requests to bring it back……… watch this space!
Crammed full of UK grown Olicana hops, and a sprinkling of Styrian Dragon, a Slovenian variety with characteristics of grapefruit, lemon and rose.
Soft and creamy, deep golden in colour, and a full body with stone fruit and citrus at the forefront, and a subtle floral tone to finish.
This beer went down an absolute storm!
STU’s ipa – 6.5%
New world hops took the stage in this one. We managed to get our hands on a recent crop of Moutere and Rakau from New Zealand, and threw in some Azacca from the US for good measure. The hops were chosen (albeit unknowingly by picking numbers at random) by our very own bar manager Stu. Little did we know at the time, but he really should have played the lottery that day as he hit the jackpot with his chosen numbers!
Oodles of passionfruit, mango and guava on the nose, and plenty more on the palette, another cracking experiment!
Tangerine Pale – 4.7%
Before we launched back in July 2019, we were brewing regularly on a small pilot kit in a Kitchen in Battersea, experimenting with hops we knew we would be able to source on a large scale. One such hop was Mandarina Bavaria, famous for its striking resemblance to mandarine and tangerine flavours on the palette.
Our first attempt came out something akin to liquid marmalade, and as nice as it was, we didn’t think the unsuspecting people of Margate were ready for that just yet!
One or two brews later with tweaks here and there, we knew we had a beer worthy of scaling up. It did not disappoint. To this day Tangerine Pale is one of our best sellers and is one of the only beers we have rebrewed on numerous occasions. Will we see it again? Who knows….
OPUS PALE – 4.4%
At Xylo we are big fans of juicy pale ales and decided to brew this beer with copious amounts of torrefied oats to increase body and haze whilst allowing the UK grown Opus hops to shine through, accompanied by some Citra and Wai-iti for an extra burst of flavour.
As an additional kick, we harvested some Voss Kveik yeast from a previous brew and let it loose in the tank. The result was a delicious tropical fruit forward beer with subtle sweetness to back it up. It’s definitely on the rebrew list and may find its way back on tap in the near future.
Centennial Pale – 4.2%
After brewing numerous hazy pale ales, we decided to try something on the other end of the scale, without losing the punchy fruitiness and bite of the hazy fuller bodied beers we love. Centennial has long been a favourite hop of ours, so when it became available to us we thought it would be great to brew a single hop beer to showcase the depth of flavour it possesses.
We chose a neutral yeast strain and kept it really simple, and the result was beautiful. Crisp and clean, with just enough bitterness to hold up the piney resinous flavours from this dual purpose hop. This created the perfect template for future single hop brews, and we are excited about the things we have in store for you!
HEFEWEIZEN – 5.2%
We had never brewed with wheat before, so this was a bit of a stab in the dark!
That brought about all sorts of problems on brew day. A standard brew might take 6hrs or so, but this was a 10hr slog due to a stuck mash (it pretty much tuned to porridge at one point and took hours to resolve) but it was well worth the effort!
Tangy, sharp, and cloudy. A German style beer, full of summer vibes! This is an absolute dead cert to be back on tap in 2021, so we had better book in a double length brew day just in case!
Belma Pale – 4.7%
We decided it was time to let co-owner Ben loose in the brewery, and with a little helping hand he set about making his dream beer.
Hops hops and more hops went into this hazy pale ale, fermented with yeast flown in from Canada overnight for an extravagant brew!
Belma hops are said to have a mix of orange, melon, strawberry and pineapple flavours with a slight hint of grapefruit. Paired with Citra, Mosaic, and Chinook for an all out hopfest, this was a belter of a beer!
Our most expensive brew to date. Money well spent!
BRUT IPA- 5.6%
A Brut IPA is a style of beer developed in San Francisco taking its name from the champagne industry. The enzyme amyloglucosidase is added to further break down the sugar chains, allowing the yeast to convert more of the sugars into alcohol, leaving the beer extremely dry.
We fermented with the infamous Voss Kveik yeast strain originating from a small Norwegian farmhouse brewery, at over 30*C (almost twice the temperature a standard strain can survive in) A brew that would usually take 7-12 days to ferment was done in 48 hrs, leaving nothing but a tart, tangy, slightly hazy and fruity, incredibly dry Brut IPA.