Purity Brewing Co. of Evesham, Warwickshire, along with BrewDog were one of the first breweries I really got into when I started getting interested in beer.
At that point you could find them in one or two supermarkets and I was struck firstly by the name of their flagship beer as it corresponded with my musical tastes and background.
Once I set off into the world of the beer geek I left Purity behind as I started to be constantly looking for something new to try, but recently I began thinking about them again and decided to go back and see what it was I liked so much, and indeed if I still liked them at all.
I also decided to have a chat with the brewery about who they are and what they do, so I made contact with Jill who’s in charge of Marketing and was particularly interested in how the brewery tries to be as environmentally sustainable as possible,
“Sustainability is at the heart of our business approach: we take our responsibility to the environment and local community seriously. We found some redundant barns in which to house the brewery and brought them back to life using local trades’ people and good quality, sustainable building materials. To reduce energy consumption we invested in heat exchange technology, which captures waste heat between the brewing and fermentation processes and redirects it back to the kettle at the beginning of the process. This redistribution of waste heat reduces the amount of energy required to start the brewing process again.
Something very special happens to the effluent water. We installed a wetland treatment system that not only recycles effluent water; it also provides an ecological habitat that has developed into a sanctuary for a multitude of wildlife. Liquid waste goes through nine stages in the wetland before being discharged as pure water.
All of our barley is grown in the UK and a large proportion of the hops are grown on a local hop farm. We choose spring barley rather than winter barley, which helps protect the fading skylark population.
Once the raw grains, hops and yeast have been used in the production process the spent waste is collected by local farmers for reuse. Spent grains are used as cattle feed, spent hops are used as crop fertiliser and waste yeast is fed to pigs.
Keen to recover and reuse firkins, we use a bar code system to record the location of each cask and a programme is in place to monitor the repatriation of these for future use. This not only ensures casks fulfil their intended lifespan; it also offers a significant financial benefit.
We proactively recycle where possible throughout the business. From paper in the office to plastic milk cartons, soup tins and loo rolls.
We also like to build relationships in the community and to support the local arts by providing sponsorship and support (e.g. fundraising prizes) for arts events and charitable causes.
Our Visitor Centre, which is normally used for Brewery Tours, is also available for use by local community groups for meetings and events.”
“Paul Halsey (our MD and one of the Purity founders) is a fan of the band Pere Ubu, but the beer Pure UBU is in fact named after the late brewery dog. UBU stands for Useless Bloody Urchin.”
And as for future plans,
“We are in the process of agreeing the finer details of a new brew house, which we will start building this year. The new facility will be built with sustainability in mind and will enable us to treble our capacity in the future. Once we have additional capacity there may even be a new beer, so watch this space!”
My least favourite Purity beer though it’s still very good indeed, Pure Gold is a light and golden straw coloured ale that fizzes with fun in your glass.
To start with you get a a subtle elderflower and hedgerow berry thing going on in your nose along with a light and dry malty aroma.
Whether or not this is intentional, the use of a small amount of wheat helps develop a slightly creamy feel to this super light summery beer, and this beer is very summery.
A delicious wash of amber coloured caramel and honey spread on fresh French bread provides the body and then a good smack of lemony goodness takes you off into fizzy bitterness and dry leafy sun bleached walks down your favourite country lane.
And by the way, Pure Gold is dangerously easy to drink.
Mad Goose (4.2%)
I’ve not had a glass of this for ages and I am immediately reminded of why I used to love it.
Big crunchy flavours that are bold and exciting and fun, you get a wholemeal biscuit with a touch of spice and baked with a toffee coating that’s burned beautifully around the edges and has stayed rich and deep in the middle.
The dry bushy raspberry leaf pithiness that jumps out at you and gives you a big kiss is just a forerunner to the lemon and lime beasty that is waiting to send you into a fit of giggles as it tickles and pinches like a citrusy big brother who likes to bully you in the most enjoyable way.
When I first drank this it was right at the beginning of my love affair with beer and it tasted like nothing else on the supermarket shelves, it was so big and punchy and fun.
It’s a shame you don’t see it so often anymore.
Pure Ubu (4.5%)
When I was first learning to love beer and moving away from red wine this was a firm favourite.
It’s been several years since I last had a bottle and I’m not disappointed at all.
Purity called this their amber ale but I see it more like their best bitter.
It has a full and rounded sweet caramel toffee which is kept from becoming sickly by a good biscuit crunch.
The aromas are light woodland leaves, red berries and a a cracking peppery edge.
Ubu also gives you some really decent lemon zest zing and a dose of white rum and sultanas before it all ends nice and dry with a lingering floral tinged bitterness.