Hop Hideout Craft Beer Shop Sheffield

Brewing Up a Birthday Treat with the Mad Hatter

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When we started Hop Hideout in 2013 (known lovingly, now, as the craft cupboard to our regulars), it was a big leap for us to go from office jobs & careers to self-employed independent business owners! In the early months, we met similar souls along the way; individuals who loved beer & decided to make parallel moves. We shared a common goal & a community ethos. One such soul was Gaz from Mad Hatter Brewing, based in Liverpool. In the 'early days' we actually used to meet half way, in Manchester, to pick beer up for the shop. We fell in love with their beer flavours, ideas & names that seemed to endlessly & effortlessly pour from the minds of Gaz and Sue at the brewery. Another soul we met was Kumar from Karkli snacks, after sharing a stall at the Sheffield Food Festival & stocking his spicy lentil goodies at the shop.

Fast forward three years & as we celebrate our birthday mid-November at Hop Hideout, we wanted to share it with those who were there at the beginning of our journey. I wasn't sure if Mad Hatter would say yes, but they did & they made us happy bunnies. I wasn't sure if Kumar would say yes, either, but I was humbled that he did too. It really felt like we were part of this thing, this, Craft Beer Culture & I wanted to celebrate in style with smiling faces all round.

On Friday 14th October I headed over to Liverpool to begin the brew day. We'd thrown various ideas around in advance & landed somewhere not far from the coconut porter tree. Inspiration came from massaman curry & the pairing of dark chocolate, coconut & chilli (& a night out at Indy Man Beer Con where peanut butter was added to the idea mix!).

View from the brewery office...

View from the brewery office...

On arrival we caught up on ideas & decided to focus on a rich porter with toasted coconut, sorachi hops & the addition of Tonka beans, instead of peanut butter - chasing that sweet & savoury umami nature of Southeast Asian cuisine. To pair with this beer Kumar is going to cook up a dark chocolate dipped chilli Karkli version. AND I cannot wait to share this combination at our third birthday weekend at Hop Hideout!!! x 1000. Head over HERE to find out more about our celebrations & I hope to see you all there. I may even try to transform Hop Hideout into an Alice in Wonderland meets the Mad Hatter meets The Mighty Boosh for the weekend. Dig out series two & watch on repeat, it'll then start to make sense....

Sampling a few brews at the brewery...the big juicy fruit Mandarin IPA was a stunner!

Sampling a few brews at the brewery...the big juicy fruit Mandarin IPA was a stunner!

A look back at ALL the Mad Hatter labels......lovingly stuck on one of their downstairs fridges!

A look back at ALL the Mad Hatter labels......lovingly stuck on one of their downstairs fridges!