Mere is our collaboration beer with McColl’s Brewery and the cold water swim group Blue Mind Men. Scott was the lead on this brew and describes how the collaboration came about. 

The first time Danny McColl and I met, we very quickly got to chatting about being broken. Incidents of burnout, depression, isolation, etc. can happen at alarming rates in this industry (and yes, the vast amounts of alcohol don’t help), so it was a relief to chat to someone who had gone through the same experiences. So, when he struck up a relationship with the Men’s pie club, hosting gatherings before his taproom days, it immediately felt very pertinent, genuine, admirable, and obvious.  

Men’s Pie Club is exactly how it sounds, a space to make pies whilst having the opportunity to chat. Blue Mind Men isn’t dissimilar in that it’s a space to have a conversation, be part of a community and help general wellbeing.  

I have loved McColl’s beers for years, and as excited as I was to get together and collaborate with a brewery I have so long admired, what was even more important to me was the opportunity to expand the awareness (and network) of people looking out for others when we need it.  
 
We had a great brew day with Danny and Si from McColl’s as well as a lovely group from Blue Mind Men, including Ian Wood who’s usually behind the camera on one of these days.  

It was a brilliant experience for BMM members and a very hands on experience, learning the science, more so the thinking behind how a brewer creates the concept for each beer, each component and how it will effect the final pint. From hop varieties, bitterness, sweetness, ABV, colour, how it will can, how it will pour – none of us had any idea how complex the process was, it really is fascinating. We talked about industry trends, alcohol duty and the lowering generally of ABVs, alcohol free beers and many other things. 

This is a beer designed to bring people together and let them sit and chat a while. A deliberately low ABV so you can get together and socialize for a spell. So much of this beer has been designed with continental lager-esque elements at the bones of it (the cooler fermentation, long cold maturation time, and the general terroir of predominantly German Hops) but also manages to deliver the spiky punch of bright fruit tones you’d expect from an IPA. Expect a lovely crisp beer with notes of pineapple, citrus, red fruits, and strawberry.  

Most of all, it’s a welcoming chance to get together. Eat pies, go for a dip, chat with friends, take time to do the little things, because in the end they do matter.  

You can buy Mere on the webshop now.

Blue Mind Men meet every Sunday morning at 9am at Rayrigg Meadow in Windermere for a peer supported swim or dip.

Men’s Pie Club have various locations across the north of England. McColl’s hold one on alternate Saturdays at their brewery.