I was Head Brewer when the beer was launched but it was really the baby of Will Neame, the man who succeeded me. It didn't seem right for me to have all the fun so I got the other brewers to design some of the beers. As it's made with dark malts and American hops, something I strongly suspect is an abomination unto the lord, it's to a beer I would never have made myself so I guess it's just as well I gave other people a go.
|One of the early bottles of DSOTM|
"Dark Side of the Moo started out as a variation of my original porter recipe. That original porter recipe had a very similar grist, was about 5% abv and was hopped with English Target and Fuggles and was a very pleasing drop of beer. Having tried Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter, I decided to modify my porter recipe in that direction to see what would happen. I didn't make it quite as strong but was almost as liberal with the American Cascade in dry hopping. This first iteration was named Dark Side of the Moon as it seemed pretty 'far out' to me, and a fitting name for a dark beer. When we first brewed it at Old Dairy we did so on the pilot plant and made enough for a cask to go to an Egham United Services Club Beer Festival. The only way to get the large amount of dry hops into the narrow necked home-brew barrel was to stuff in a carefully tied 'hop haggis'. When we eventually tried it on the full 5BBL plant I also added Chinook to the recipe as I thought a touch of the more piney, resiny notes would improve things. Of course the removal of the 'n' from moo perfectly adapted the name for Old Dairy Brewery."
Will's now making botanical drinks for Old Tree but the current Head Brewer, Glenn Whatman, is clearly doing a great job producing the beers, and as he's now won a national CAMRA award and a national SIBA award in the space of a few weeks must surely be a shoo-in for Brewer of the Year.