Lost and Grounded Brewers

Lost and Grounded Brewers

Written by Oliver Coningham on 1 September 2016 in Beer Tasting

Previously, there had been little sign of life, let alone a brewery at the anonymous looking warehouse in Whitby Road, Brislington. Tonight as we arrived in our Uber, driver bemused by the industrial location for a "pub", the shutters were raised and the inviting glow of soft fairy lights and candles on wooden benches beckoned us in.

We were warmly greeted by Annie, co-founder of Lost and Grounded Brewers, remembering my name from our social media interactions. The first beer, Keller Pils, was placed in our hands as we made our way to the seating. The yellow radiance of the beer shimmering through the gaps in our fingers around the glass. On the tables were branded pin badges, postcards, notebooks and stickers along with an information sheet detailing each of the beers we would try; from the base ingredients to tasting notes.

Lost and Grounded Brewers notebook and sticker

As each beer was carefully poured and brought to us, Alex, the other co-founder and former Brewing Director at Camden Town, introduced them with stories of their inception and the meaning behind the artwork. We learned the origins of the flying hippo logo; the quiet hero of the animal kingdom going along achieving his goals. My personal favourite was the explanation of Apophenia, the human tendency to find meaningful patterns in random data. It's also the name of their Tripel, a beer Alex says is designed for late night conversations, self-reflection and deep soul searching. "Getting in touch with your own reality", as Alex succinctly puts is.

Alex introducing each of the Lost and Grounded beers

Part of what sets Lost and Grounded apart from other new breweries is the beer they have chosen to launch with. No pale ales or IPAs to be seen, instead flavourful German-inspired lagers and Belgian-style beers. It's a brave and refreshing approach. There were originally going to be fewer beers in the initial range, however Justin Hawke at Moor Beer exclaimed that 4 was an unlucky number in Chinese culture, so they decided on 5 instead!

Included in this is Hop-Hand Fallacy, their interpretation of a farmhouse ale. It's a captivating hybrid of Belgian Witbier and Saison, thick with flavour from orange to clove and ripe banana. Refreshingly it comes in at 4.4%, a farmhouse beer that can actually be enjoyed in the way it was intended.

Hop-Hand Fallacy beer artwork

Highlight of the evening was Running with Sceptres, a 5.2% Special Lager Beer. Dark copper in colour with an aroma of freshly baled hay. Generously hopped with Chinook, Ella, Mosaic and Magnum, the taste was incredibly fruity with everything from juicy peach to freshly squeezed orange. It was the narrative behind this beer and the label that captured my attention... On the label we see a group of animals, including a polar bear and beaver, ascend a steep green hill, all with sceptres in hand. The sceptre is often only associated with royalty, however this beer represents us all carrying a sceptre and celebrating that special talent or trait that we all have. Whether we're a mother, cook or writer, there is something extraordinary about us all.

Lost and Grounded remind me what I love most about craft beer. That it's not necessarily about just the end product that momentarily rests in your glass. It's greater than that. It's the people behind it and the intimate stories they have to tell. Ultimately this can be tasted in their beer they're creating.

Something Alex mentioned during the evening resonated with me and had a lasting impression: "You can achieve good things with a little inexperience and naivety". With Alex's background and that of the other members of the team, it became clear that this was less to do with the beer and more related to us as individuals. It's time to be that hippo, to dream the impossible, to find your wings and then you'll be able to carry the world. Lost and Grounded are certainly doing just that.

Lost and Grounded Brewers brewhouse equipment

All beers from Lost and Grounded contain no isinglass finings, are vegan friendly and naturally hazy.

There has been some discussion about the 7HL lactic acid tank that sits at the heart of the brewery and whether there's a relationship between lactic acid and lactose. Lost and Grounded confirmed on Twitter that lactose is a sugar in milk, whereas lactic acid is an organic acid which they produce with malt-derived lactic acid bacteria and wort.


Drink less. Drink better.