Baron on Tour: Old School Brewery 'Meet The Brewer'

We rarely get 'meet the brewer' nights in Ormskirk, most of the previous ones I've helped arrange... This time I found out about it from my mate @Judging_Jester who spotted that the Cricketers pub in town was hosting one with Old School Brewery.

I've heard of OSB before but never tasted their beers and with the added incentive of £2/pint a few of us headed down on a Tuesday evening to see what they were like. I arrived at 7pm to find a 'new bar' constructed within the pub, three OSB handpulls on offer and glasses full of malt and hops. No one from the brewery appeared to be around and the extra bar had no bar staff yet so I opted for an OSB beer from the normal bar - Detention - a 4.1% golden bitter, mild sulphurous smell with a lovely creamy zesty taste with a touch of spice at the end. The finish was a long-lasting bitter finish, spicy with a touch of herbalness, very drinkable and quite a 'hop forward' bitter.

This was the first 'Meet The Brewer' event for the pub and it seemed to pull a decent crowd, it was pretty busy in there considering it was a Tuesday night in October. The brewery didn't really do much in the way of 'meeting' the drinkers, the mic was switched on and basically said "come to the bar, get some beer and talk to us if you want" - that was it, no discussion about the history of the brewery, nothing about the beers or brewing process, etc. As I know a bit about my beers I was comfortable speaking to the owner and brewers there about different topics, but I wonder how many 'normal' people actually went up and asked questions or engaged with the brewery. I think these MTB events are a perfect way to get customer loyalty based on showing that it's run on a down-to-earth, making-an-honest-living type way but none of this came across as there was little or no forced interaction from the brewery.

To be fair, maybe the brewery was nervous about such an event with it being such a 'spotlight' on their beers and brewery but I felt let down that it wasn't more engaging. The other guys I was with that night also expressed the same sentiments.

That aside it was very nice to be able to try most of their range for a great price as well at talk to the owner Ren about where the brewery came from (14th century old school) and to find out that they are brewing with Lancaster Brewery's old kit (12bbl). So onto the beers...

Textbook - 3.9% gold ale, no aroma off this one at all, has a 'delicate' mild spicy weak orange squash taste and a creamy wheaty finish - not really my cup of tea at all.

Playtime - 4.2% pale gold ale, had a mild citrus smell and a nice fruity spicy taste, a nice taste pale ale but the Detention had more going for it and was only 0.1% stronger.

Absent IPA - 5.5% amber ale, now this is more like it, fruity chewy malt-lead IPA but with a great bitterness to balance it out. Burnt toast, caramel and big malty flavours were there and a good bitter finish to round it off.

OSB owner & brewer
I had a great night at The Cricketers and I hope they continue to host 'Meet The Brewer' nights, I only hope that the brewery engage with the audience more, most people will feel intimidated by the brewery and so need more forced interaction to be able to get more out of the evening.

I wish every success to Old School Brewery, they have a fairly stable lineup and sound like they know what they want to brew - there was talk about an imperial stout and double IPAs (I think!).

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