We love good food and glug. We also think that ‘big food’ is one of the most destructive and unethical innovations to come out of the 20th century.
The drinks and food we love and want to present to you all have one thing in common: THEY’RE ALIVE!
We believe wine, beer and food shouldn’t be made like fizzy pop with pesticides, colourants, flavourings, thickeners, industrial yeasts and additives to produce a product that is exactly the same year in and year out. Industrialised winemaking of the 20th Century that supplies the supermarkets is a food industry invention with the aim of producing brandable and stable products with no variation in vintages.
Instead, we look for wines that have the lowest possible human or chemical intervention, that speak of the place and the people that made it. Our makers are artisans and artists that all have their own unique methods and techniques that aren’t used in the large “conventional" food and beverage industries. Much of the wine we sell has no additives at all. Some of it does have the addition of additives or preservatives, but at a much, much smaller scale than conventional wines and usually for a very specific reason.
We always look towards sustainability, and have particular respect for those who choose the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. Almost all of the wines and beers we sell are vegan friendly as they forgo industrial fining techniques to make them clear.
We want to support those that champion small batch, traditional methods. Those that forgo large scale agriculture automation or massive factories. Those that are protecting the old methods of making foods and drinks, or those that are creating their own new methods. The makers that care about their product, and combine their knowledge of place, culture and process into creating a product that is unique, sustainable and healthy.
WHAT IS NATURAL WINE?
Natural, low intervention, biodynamic, organic... All somewhat ambiguous terms relating to how much (or more accurately, how little) human and chemical intervention is involved in the making of the wine.
The precise categorisation of these wines depends on who you ask, with no shortage of disagreement between fans, haters and specialists. If you’re coming to us without any context, you might be thinking that surely wines are all natural anyway? If you’re coming from a wine background, you might think that wines that fall within the “natural” category are volatile trendy nonsense.
If you were to ask us, we would say “natural wine” is wine made how it is supposed to be made; grapes, air and the lowest possible intervention. We use the word “natural” as a blanket term to encompass wine made with minimal/zero intervention, which may also fall into the organic or biodynamic category depending on the principles that the growers and producers have chosen to use. Some wines are made with organic or biodynamic principles but aren’t categorised that way due to the laws, regulations and bureaucracy of the countries that they are produced in.
Climate, changes in rain, temperature, air pressure, sunshine and natural yeasts on the skins and in the air all contribute to a unique product that can’t be replicated in a large industrial setting.
JUST GRAPES, NO BS.
WHAT IS CRAFT BEER?
Defining “craft beer” is a bit of a tricky one, right? The general consensus is that craft beer is small-batch and made in small, independently owned breweries - but going off of size alone isn’t a good barometer as some of the most amazing “craft” breweries are pretty large! Here in the UK, where we are based, there is a long, long, loooong tradition of small-batch “real” ale, but… the type of beer this term covers is huge and not all of it is that good!
For us, there is a huge crossover between the types of wines and beers we look to curate. The link between Natural Wine and certain ‘craft’ beers continues to grow as breweries are embracing techniques that large, industrial breweries forgo, such as barrel aging, spontaneous fermentation and wild fermentation. This results in beers that are complex, exciting, ALIVE, and taste damn good - much better than that tinny you got in the supermarket.
Lambics, Gueuze, Berliner Weisse, Flanders Reds and Browns, Oud Bruins and other sour or barrel aged beers are our speciality. However, we also stock beers from breweries that share our values of exploration, pushing boundaries and expectations, experimenting with new ideas or older more traditional techniques.