by Adam Coghlan
Two men in two countries on a serious mission to create a beer for the connoisseur, Ger'onimo by Beavertown + Jameson is a collaboration between a microbrewery in East London founded three years ago and an Irish whiskey distillery founded in 1780.
Microbreweries—like whisky distilleries—have an inherent charm: sites whose goings-on comprise part alchemy, part rock‘n’roll, part myth. Like most artisan and small-batch produced goodies, there’s a purity and honesty about their commitment to the craft. Arguably nowhere more than the Beavertown Brewery in Hackney epitomizes this culture. Logan Plant (the son of Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant) founded and now runs the brewery and BBQ restaurant, Dukes Brew & Que. Having outgrown the initial brewing site in the kitchen of the restaurant, last year Beavertown relocated to bigger premises further west in Hackney Wick. Logan, who has a Black Country lilt, talks infectiously about his childhood acquaintance with beer, a passion for brewing differently and the chance encounter with Jameson at his bar last year that led to this latest project.
For St Patrick’s Day, Beavertown has collaborated with Irish whiskey producer Jameson to create a limited edition Imperial Stout called "Ger’onimo!" The stout, which has been aged in the rare casks used to finish the 18-year-old whiskey, packs a serious punch at 9% ABV but is designed for savoring. At a tasting in London on Wednesday night to mark the launch (paired with a Flintstone-scale rib of beef), we were instructed to allow it to open up and drink like wine. This is not a session beer; it has deep notes of dark chocolate, burnt salted caramel and coffee that are balanced by a smooth warmth imparted by the charred oak inside whiskey barrels.
The stout is named after Ger Buckley—a fifth generation master cooper (barrel maker) at Jameson—with whom Plant personally collaborated. It was Buckley's intimate knowledge of the barrels that led to Logan’s eventual selection and journey back from Midleton, Cork to London. In Plant, craft beer in London has recruited a new pioneer; a new type of creator. Ger’onimo! is a symbol of Beavertown’s ethos and the product of a rare and romantic Anglo-Irish union.
Just 3,000 bottles have been made available and will be retailed in specialist outlets in London, including Craft Beer Co. (Farringdon), Harney and Sons, The Well and Bucket, The Slaughtered Lamb, Euston Tap, Draft House and Dukes. Set to be a collectors’ item that will age in bottle over the next ten years, it will also be available to buy from Beavertown and Bottle Shop for £10.
Images and screenshots courtesy of Beavertown + Jameson