Florence Brewery

A Head in a Hat Ales

Beekeeper ABV 4.0%

An experimental brew with a high fermentable sugar content derived from honey from London beers. Pale in colour and very lightly hopped the first batch found special favour with the regulars of the Kings Arms, Roupell St, SE1. The fist batch was 5.3%. A second batch was brewed using a slightly different method, involving krausening with honey in maturation. This resulted in a beer with much more pronounced honey flavours and aromas, but which was also not overly sweet. It has an ABV of 4.0%. No further brews are planned at the present time.

Capper ABV 3.8%

Brewed in collaboration with Herefordshire hop grower, Alison Capper, this pale, easy-drinking session bitter is designed to show the best of British. The hops were selected by Ali, who chose First Gold and Pilgrim, grown by her and her husband Richard, and Admiral, a hop she admires, but does not grow due to its lack of wilt resistance. The theme running through all three hops is one of orange, citrus, with spicy marmalade notes. Richard’s ancestors were once cap makers, making the name entirely suitable to be A Head In A Hat beer. It is brewed exclusively for the Cubitt House group, and is only to be found in their excellent pubs.

D-Day Juno ABV 3.0%

An XX ale mashed in at 6am on 6th June 1944. Outside the brewery an XX ale would have been called a Mild and would have been the most widely consumed beer drunk in London at the time. Brewed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

D-Day Sword ABV 3.7%

As the 6th June 1944 was drawing to a close this Pale Ale was being mashed in. It has brewed once more to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

D-Day Gold ABV 3.2%

A rather low ABV IPA – not surprising given the privations of the time – brewed at Midday on June 6th 1944 for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Prima Donna ABV 4.3%

Brew No.2 of this collaboration beer is on the way. The 2012 beer was brewed with the Brixton Beer Company using Prima Donna (First Gold) hops grown and picked by people living in and near Brixton, South London. Brewed on the evening of September 11th 2012 Brixton Beer Company members brought, weighed and added their hops to this pale ale style beer. Giving a total green hop addition weight of one kilo per barrel. The 2013 brew is already in the planning stage. Check out the progress of our hops at the Brixton Beer Co.

Titfer ABV 3.5%

You may well have never heard of a Dinner Ale. They are, after all, extinct. So what were they? Well the clue is in the name. They were lowish gravity beers designed to be drunk around the domestic table during the family meal. This recipe comes from the original Camden Brewery, and dates from 1923.

With a dash of brown malt in the grist there is a hint of astringency on the finish of this quaffable ale that helps it drink heavier than it’s modest 3.5%. It’s perfectly suited to washing down hearty English nosh.

Tommy ABV

It is a popular myth that India Pale Ales were made stronger than regular beers in order to assist them to survive the ardours of long sea travel. Export beers were more heavily hopped, but not necessarily stronger. If you want proof, here it is, an IPA from 1914 at only 4.2%. This predates the imposition of wartime restrictions on drink supply and strength, so was a commercially available beer of the day.

Tommy has a bitterness of 60 IBUs, but this is softened by a high final gravity that gives a full-bodied sweetness to the beer that accentuates the orangey notes lent to the beer by large quantities of Kentish WGV hops, making it a big beer in terms of flavour and character rather than merely alcoholic strength or raw bitterness alone. In other words, what an authentic IPA was once really like.

Topee ABV 3.9%

My original brew for the Cubitt House group. We sat round the table sampling malt and hops and their managers and chefs decided what flavours and aromas they liked and I turned that brief into a recipe. Pale, Crystal and a touch of Brown malt provide the platform for UK grown Cascade to strut its stuff in this single varietal brew. Only available in the Cubitt House estate.


Topper ABV

Contrary to popular myth English export beers were not necessarily made any strong than regular beers in order to ensure they survived the rigours of sea travel. They were made with more hops and this beer from a Barclay Perkins recipe from 1805 is a fascinating example. At only 4.8% this was a weak beer for the period, but, boy is it hoppy, 3.6 pounds of hops per barrel to be precise. This beer needs a degree of maturation to soften the bitterness. A sea journey to India should just about do it.

Trilby ABV 4.0%

No one drinks mild ales anymore (not outside the Black Country anyway), but not so long ago London’s biggest breweries churned them out in phenominal quantities and mild was very much of the London drinking scene. An X ale would be the most basic mild, so an XX is the next step up, hence the 4.0% ABV.

Crystal and amber malts, plus a dash of molasses, balance a blend of Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops to make a beer that, hopefully, will transport you back to the London of 1935.

Gin ABV 4.1%

This is a beer that has been fermenting in my mind for several years. It took the opening of the City of London Distillery to give me the chance to turn a dream into a reality. Made with botanicals taken directly from the still, this is a fruity, golden ale where the various gin fruits and spices make a distinct but subtle impression. Citrus and juniper dominate the nose. The slightly sweetish body of the beer is supported by a light-blackcurrant hopping with Bramling Cross, while the gin flavours reassert themselves in the finish. Ideal for those who would like their favourite short drink a little longer. Hold the tonic!