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Franklins Brewery Interview: A ‘can’ do attitude

Over the past couple of years BBB has noticed a bit of a change at Franklins Brewery.

The range has exploded, the pump clips have become jazzy & kaliedoscopically colourful, and even the good ol’ cask beers now have wacky and whimsical names such as ‘How to Train Your Drayman’ and ‘What Mama Don’t Know’.

We thought it was about time we found out what was going on down at Franklins, so we sat down with Sales Manager Andrew Cooper for a chinwag.

Read to the end for how you can get an exclusive Brighton Beer Blog discount on a mixed case of cans

Can you give us a little intro into Franklins Brewery and its history?

Franklins is a 10bbl microbrewery based in the Sussex Downs, just outside Ringmer, near Lewes. We have been here since 2016, when we moved from our original home in Bexhill due to expansion. As we’re all Brighton residents, the move suited us because it meant we were closer to home and, more importantly, to all our favourite pubs!

The brewery was started by Steve Medniuk in 2016. Steve had a background in hospitality, mainly in London, as well as a stint running The Victory in Brighton. A love for beer inspired him to learn more about the beer-making process, and he quit the security of his job to undertake training for the Brewlab brewing certificate. After this he landed a job at Purity, and then had the opportunity to move closer to home and started working with Dark Star under the tutelage of Mark Trantor. Steve was given the opportunity to take over a brewery of his own in Bexhill, which has become the Franklins we know today.

 

Who else makes up the Franklins team?

In 2013 I came on board to help with sales and to help the business grow. I had a similar background in pubs and hospitality, as well as a love for quality beer. A year after moving to Ringmer we took on Jaye as head brewer. She had brewed for BrewDog on their Pilot kit up in Ellon, and was responsible for the launch of several of their beers.

Her knowledge and passion has helped us to refine our range as well as moving Franklins more into keg and small-pack beers. Our aim is to brew vegan beers, with great quality and consistency, in a range which offers something for everyone.

 

Keg and small-pack is something we wanted to chat to you about, as we noticed you released a new can and keg range over the summer. Can you give us a little rundown on each beer, their flavour profiles, hops/yeasts used, and why?

We wanted to create a balanced cans range and reflect the best of our keg beers. We have a fruit pale, a pale, an IPA, a sour and a lager, and we just feel this is the right balance – offering something for everyone, and sitting nicely in a mixed case. We will probably rotate the beers in the range, but always making sure those styles are covered.

Little Lights in the Gloaming, 5.0% – An oatshake stout. A creamy and smooth oatmeal stout – our vegan alternative to a milk stout. Expect coffee, cacao and vanilla in the smooth, easy-to-drink dark delight.

Pils To Swallow, 4.7% – Our flagship lager. Crisp, light and refreshing with a touch of floral, grassy aroma on the dry hop, this is our Sussex take on a classic German Pilsner.

Super Soaker, 4.5% – A juicy pale. Oaty smooth, easy drinking and full of body, we have layered in six of our favourite hops for a refreshing, tropical burst.

Technicolour Chainsaw, 5.8% – Tropical IPA. Big, bold and bursting with vibrant hop colouring on an extra pale canvas. Citra, Mosiac and Amarillo come together in this smile-widening IPA to bring you big flavour while still being infinitely drinkable.

Lout, 4.0% – Session Lager. Crisp, clean refreshing lager for everyone. Simple and to the point, this vier style lager is made for drinking, not discussing. Clean, crisp, and presenting a slight grain sweetness with a grassy bitter finish, perfect on any draught line-up in any bar, pub, club or barbers.

Maia, 4.0% – Cheeky session rebel. Clocking in at a quaffable 4.0% Maia is everything you want from a session pale. Light and crisp with a satisfying bitter finish, expect lemongrass and citrus rind flavours with tropical aromas.

We’re also releasing a new dark beer in can called Little Lights in the Gloaming, which will be available from Wednesday of next week (21st October) . It’s our first small-pack dark and is a ramped up, canned version of our cask Eclipse. We wanted to make a beer as creamy as a milk stout, but as we’re a vegan brewery lactose was out of the question so we have achieved the same effect using a shed-load of oats – so it’s an oatshake stout.

 

To what extent you think the market is changing towards modern canned beers, and what does this means for Franklins’ traditional cask range and trad cask in general?

I’m 50:50 on this one really. I think that lockdown has potentially changed people’s drinking habits and since we have been selling to the trade again we’ve noticed a change towards keg beer. We currently can’t turn around Super Soaker, Maia and Pils to Swallow quickly enough (laughter).

Having said that, summer is always a quieter time for cask, so it’s difficult to judge at the moment. Eat Out To Help Out also makes it hard to determine as the outlets doing this tend to offer more keg beer anyway.

We’re not worried about our cask range at all, as we always feel there will be demand for it. We’ve been getting some great feedback, as well as people asking for specific beers in the pubs we supply.

Canning is still ultra important for us though, and our shift in that direction during lockdown has helped us to get a closer connection to the people who drink our beer. This is something we want to maintain and develop. The next stage is to try and develop the brand nationwide.

 

It feels to us like Franklins is a brewery that is now ramping up the transition from trad cask to modern styles. Is that fair a fair summary?

It’s been an ongoing process for a while now. We realised the need to modernise about three years ago, but have always wanted to do it in a way that doesn’t betray our cask heritage. We employed our head brewer, Jaye, in order to do just this. Jaye had experience brewing with BrewDog, and we felt she was just the right person to help us develop new styles and methods, curate a keg and can range, and tweak our cask range to make it a bit more modern.

We see our range as modern takes on traditional styles, and feel that this definitely has a place within the modern beer landscape as we marry old and new and offer something for everyone.

 

Will your cask brewing process remain as traditional as it used to be?
“Franklins use traditional methods for cask and have always done so. We condition all our casks and we do so to enable a small secondary fermentation and give the finished product more life on dispense. The same will be true of the bottled range. We have simply packaged a portion of the beer into bottle rather than cask due to there not being much demand for cask over the next few weeks.”

 

and finally where can we reliably find your brews around Brighton and Hove?

A few pubs featuring us permanently in Brighton at the moment are; The Independent and The Ginger Dog, both with a permanent line of What Mama Don’t Know. The Roundhill who have Eclipse, What Mama Don’t Know and Super Soaker on permanently. The Great Eastern which features several of our beers in rotation, and Patty and Bun, where Pils To Swallow is the pouring lager.
The Watchmaker’s and The Exchange in Hove are a couple of my favourite pubs and whilst not permanent features there we are definitely on regularly.

It’s probably worth mentioning that we also recently released a collab beer with new Brighton brewery Sanctuary Brew Co. It’s 5.5% Pineapple Pale called “Pineapple of My Eye” and has gone into several of the Indigo pubs.

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Franklins Brewery Interview: A ‘can’ do attitude

Over the past couple of years BBB have slowly noticed a change at Franklins Brewery.

The range has exploded, the pump clips have become jazzy & kaliedoscopically colourful, and even the good ol’ cask beers now have wacky and whimsical names such as ‘How to Train Your Drayman’ and ‘What Mama Don’t Know’.

We thought it was about time we found out what was going on down at Franklins, so we sat down with Andrew Cooper, Sales Manager for a chinwag.

Read to the end for how you can get an exclusive Brighton Beer Blog discount on a mixed case of cans

Can you give us a little intro into Franklins Brewery and its history?

Franklins is a 10bbl microbrewery based in the Sussex Downs, just outside Ringmer, near Lewes. We have been here since 2016, when we moved from our original home in Bexhill due to expansion. As we’re all Brighton residents, the move suited us because it meant we were closer to home and, more importantly, to all our favourite pubs!

The brewery was started by Steve Medniuk in 2016. Steve had a background in hospitality, mainly in London, as well as a stint running The Victory in Brighton. A love for beer inspired him to learn more about the beer-making process, and he quit the security of his job to undertake training for the Brewlab brewing certificate. After this he landed a job at Purity, and then had the opportunity to move closer to home and started working with Dark Star under the tutelage of Mark Trantor. Steve was given the opportunity to take over a brewery of his own in Bexhill, which has become the Franklins we know today.

 

Who else makes up the Franklins team?

In 2013 I came on board to help with sales and to help the business grow. I had a similar background in pubs and hospitality, as well as a love for quality beer. A year after moving to Ringmer we took on Jaye as head brewer. She had brewed for BrewDog on their Pilot kit up in Ellon, and was responsible for the launch of several of their beers.

Her knowledge and passion has helped us to refine our range as well as moving Franklins more into keg and small-pack beers. Our aim is to brew vegan beers, with great quality and consistency, in a range which offers something for everyone.

 

Keg and small-pack is something we wanted to chat to you about, as we noticed you released a new can and keg range over the summer. Can you give us a little rundown on each beer, their flavour profiles, hops/yeasts used, and why?

We wanted to create a balanced cans range and reflect the best of our keg beers. We have a fruit pale, a pale, an IPA, a sour and a lager, and we just feel this is the right balance – offering something for everyone, and sitting nicely in a mixed case. We will probably rotate the beers in the range, but always making sure those styles are covered.

Little Lights in the Gloaming, 5.0% – An oatshake stout. A creamy and smooth oatmeal stout – our vegan alternative to a milk stout. Expect coffee, cacao and vanilla in the smooth, easy-to-drink dark delight.

Pils To Swallow, 4.7% – Our flagship lager. Crisp, light and refreshing with a touch of floral, grassy aroma on the dry hop, this is our Sussex take on a classic German Pilsner.

Super Soaker, 4.5% – A juicy pale. Oaty smooth, easy drinking and full of body, we have layered in six of our favourite hops for a refreshing, tropical burst.

Technicolour Chainsaw, 5.8% – Tropical IPA. Big, bold and bursting with vibrant hop colouring on an extra pale canvas. Citra, Mosiac and Amarillo come together in this smile-widening IPA to bring you big flavour while still being infinitely drinkable.

Lout, 4.0% – Session Lager. Crisp, clean refreshing lager for everyone. Simple and to the point, this vier style lager is made for drinking, not discussing. Clean, crisp, and presenting a slight grain sweetness with a grassy bitter finish, perfect on any draught line-up in any bar, pub, club or barbers.

Maia, 4.0% – Cheeky session rebel. Clocking in at a quaffable 4.0% Maia is everything you want from a session pale. Light and crisp with a satisfying bitter finish, expect lemongrass and citrus rind flavours with tropical aromas.

We’re also releasing a new dark beer in can called Little Lights in the Gloaming, which will be available from Wednesday of next week (21st October) . It’s our first small-pack dark and is a ramped up, canned version of our cask Eclipse. We wanted to make a beer as creamy as a milk stout, but as we’re a vegan brewery lactose was out of the question so we have achieved the same effect using a shed-load of oats – so it’s an oatshake stout.

 

To what extent you think the market is changing towards modern canned beers, and what does this means for Franklins’ traditional cask range and trad cask in general?

I’m 50:50 on this one really. I think that lockdown has potentially changed people’s drinking habits and since we have been selling to the trade again we’ve noticed a change towards keg beer. We currently can’t turn around Super Soaker, Maia and Pils to Swallow quickly enough (laughter).

Having said that, summer is always a quieter time for cask, so it’s difficult to judge at the moment. Eat Out To Help Out also makes it hard to determine as the outlets doing this tend to offer more keg beer anyway.

We’re not worried about our cask range at all, as we always feel there will be demand for it. We’ve been getting some great feedback, as well as people asking for specific beers in the pubs we supply.

Canning is still ultra important for us though, and our shift in that direction during lockdown has helped us to get a closer connection to the people who drink our beer. This is something we want to maintain and develop. The next stage is to try and develop the brand nationwide.

 

It feels to us like Franklins is a brewery that is now ramping up the transition from trad cask to modern styles. Is that fair a fair summary?

It’s been an ongoing process for a while now. We realised the need to modernise about three years ago, but have always wanted to do it in a way that doesn’t betray our cask heritage. We employed our head brewer, Jaye, in order to do just this. Jaye had experience brewing with BrewDog, and we felt she was just the right person to help us develop new styles and methods, curate a keg and can range, and tweak our cask range to make it a bit more modern.

We see our range as modern takes on traditional styles, and feel that this definitely has a place within the modern beer landscape as we marry old and new and offer something for everyone.

 

Will your cask brewing process remain as traditional as it used to be?
“Franklins use traditional methods for cask and have always done so. We condition all our casks and we do so to enable a small secondary fermentation and give the finished product more life on dispense. The same will be true of the bottled range. We have simply packaged a portion of the beer into bottle rather than cask due to there not being much demand for cask over the next few weeks.”

 

and finally where can we reliably find your brews around Brighton and Hove?

A few pubs featuring us permanently in Brighton at the moment are; The Independent and The Ginger Dog, both with a permanent line of What Mama Don’t Know. The Roundhill who have Eclipse, What Mama Don’t Know and Super Soaker on permanently. The Great Eastern which features several of our beers in rotation, and Patty and Bun, where Pils To Swallow is the pouring lager.
The Watchmaker’s and The Exchange in Hove are a couple of my favourite pubs and whilst not permanent features there we are definitely on regularly.

It’s probably worth mentioning that we also recently released a collab beer with new Brighton brewery Sanctuary Brew Co. It’s 5.5% Pineapple Pale called “Pineapple of My Eye” and has gone into several of the Indigo pubs.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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Franklins Brewing Co

Franklins Brewing Co

Roots in the traditional, but beginning to come out of their cask in exciting modern ways