Strong Island Co.

Strong Island Ale

So how did this happen I here you ask!

Well. In February of 2011 Strong Island held it’s very first annual Home Brew Competition at Little Johnny Russells on Albert Road. The number of entrants was low, the quality on the other hand was extremely high. If we’re honest when we set up this little competition we didn’t quite know what to expect from it. Would it be a shambles and nobody turn up or even enter? Would it be out of control and way to busy for it’s own good? No, in fact it was an extremely pleasant middle point of the two. With 2 competition winners so far and both having their recipes brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers, Strong Island ales have hit the pumps in a number of local pubs and along the way sold hundreds of barrels. This is an event that we at Strong Island hope is to grow and grow over the next few years and see some more excellent ales and beers being produced. Remember it’s open to anyone and everyone so next time get involved!

In our first competition there were 5 entries in total, 2 from the same team and one entered completely last minute by Jim who had a brew at home and kind of stumbled over the comp by a planned accident, but let us tell you the quality was high. Lining up alongside Malcolm Irving (all round brewing guru and boss of Irving & Co. Brewery) and Stuart Ainsworth (Landlord of the Leoplold Tavern and all round beer expert) was Ben Mills (Little Johnny Russells, The Belle Isle & Strong Island) who felt a little bit of a novice on the panel, however he does have 8 years experience in the industry so he’s not too much of an amateur.

First up was a Porter brewed up by a first timer. Lovely taste, great dark colouring and a most excellently presented bottle and label. Clarity was hard to judge with it being a Porter however a nice chocolate aroma as well as coffee hit you as soon as the lid was removed. This entry finished 3rd however he can feel desperately unlucky as it was a great effort and in my opinion the best presented entry. Next up were the 2 entries from the Bad Manners Brewers from Southsea. First off was BPA, a lovely light golden colour with a potent fruity aroma. This was followed by Island Hopper, a slighty darker colouring than the BPA but again with a very fruity aroma this was a wonderfully smooth ale and for me was the best all round. The only entrant into the Specified Brew category was Cannon Barrel and was also the effort of a first time brewer. Clarity wasn’t all together up to scratch but taste was good and he brought it all in with a fantastic label design. It was a real eye catcher. The last was the Jolly Jaunt Ginger Beer. WOW! What an explosive taste this drop had! A little heavy on the ginger for me personally but let’s not take anything away from it. A nice kick thanks to the green chillis involved in this brew, an impressive and refreshing taste. It was so good I caught Paul on more than one occasion dashing for a refill! In my opinion and also that of the other judges, it was better than other commercially available ginger beers (not naming names). Again desperately unlucky not to have claimed a prize. Well done to the Bad Manners boys who produced 2 top notch ales but equally so to all the other entrants who made the 1st Annual event one to remember.

In the second year we saw three times the amount of entries with the top prize being claimed by Lee Immins with his ‘Dry Dock No.1′ pale ale. He saw off stiff competition from last years winners and runners up to claim the main prize and see his recipe brewed by Irving & Co. The name and concept was designed by Lee and his brother who wanted something famous about Portsmouth that maybe people weren’t aware of and the world’s first modern dry dock seemed to fit. He was exploring American-style IPA’s at the time so he decided to use American hops. He also made it as light as possible in colour for the summer. Lee said “It was great to see it scaled up by Irving and even though some of the hops were different Malcolm got the fruit hop nose of the original matched brilliantly”.

The Milton collective claimed the first prize in the cider category with their Milton selected apples and another notable entry was Chris Bulman who claimed 2nd place in the ‘Other’ category with his ‘Tucker B’s Rosemary Lager’.  A first time brewer and a fantastic entry enjoyed by most.

The third years Strong Island homebrew competition was won by Tyler Griffin from Ohio currently working over here in Hampshire.

Brewer Malcolm Irving said “The beer is a highly complex blend of subtle malt flavours from a combination of Malted Oats, Wheat and rare Special B and Aromatic Belgian Malt. These subtle malt flavours underpin the heady intense fruity hop flavours from American Citra and Amarillo hop varieties. This should prove to be a very exciting beer and well worth seeking out in pubs round the city and beyond”

It sold extremely well and featured as one of the best sellers in most of the top real ale selling pubs around the city.

We normally start the ball rolling around October each year so keep posted for news on our next Strong Island Annual Home Brew Competition!

Photos: Matt Saxey

 

Photos: Tristan Savage

Poster Design: Tristan Savage

1906-FINAL-ARTWORK-500

 

Features

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition

Between the 1st and 12th December I have been asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring two of my favourite creatives currently plying their trade in our city, Katie Barrett and Laura Bennett from Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery.

Raw & Auburn began life early in 2013, the Southsea based company specialises in hand crafted accessories using raw and unique materials. Each item bears it’s own individuality and is different than the last. Using traditional techniques every product is finished to a high standard and comes with it’s own Mill Cloth bag and they are all finished with the Raw & Auburn signature cross stitch.

Raw & Auburn have kindly donated one of their leather envelope wallets for you to win. You can find Raw & Auburn on Etsy and Facebook.

Raw & Auburn

Laura specialises in hand made contemporary jewellery inspired by nature, sympathetically composing pieces made from found objects combined with precious metals while exploring the natural qualities of the materials. She has recently created a set of jewellery inspired by Portsmouth and its nautical images.

If you would like to contact Laura about a private commission or to generally find out more about on Laura’s work on her website www.laurabennettjewellery.co.uk and her Facebook page.

Laura Bennett Jewellery

If you would like to win all of the prizes on offer then all you need to do is email your answers to the following questions to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. The deadline for entries is midnight on 19th December. We will announce the winner on 20th December. Good luck!

Day One – Made By Burbs Print
Q1) The map shows Hilsea Lido but when did the Lido first open?

Day Two – x2 No 6 Cinema Prints
Q2) What Disney movie are they showing over he Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?

Day Three – Angela Chick gift cards
Q3) In metres how long is the HMS Warrior over all?

Day Four – Magpie’s Lust Jewellery
Q4) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?

Day Five – Caleigh Ill coasters
Q5) The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin but were a designed by who?

Day Six – Bread Addiction Bag
Q6) What year was the first bread slicer sold?

Day Seven – Meal at the Wave Maiden
Q7) In Norse mythology The Wave Maidens were the nine daughters of Aegir, the undersea brewer to the Gods. Name any one of the nine daughters?

Day Eight – Mia Mai framed Print and Christmas cards
Q8) Which of our local theatres has Mia Mai most recently used for a photo shoot to showcase her latest range of lingerie?

Day Nine – Meal and drinks voucher for the Marmion Pub
Q9) The Marmion has been nominated for one of the annual Guide Awards, but under what category? (Please note we are looking for the full title of the award for a correct answer).

Day Ten – Strong Island Calendar
Q10) On what date did Portsmouth win their first FA Cup trophy?

Day Eleven – Custom made animal toy by Ooh La Lapin
Q11) Lapin is the French translation for what animal?

Day Twelve – Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery
Q12) Raw and Auburn has recently collaborated with Illustrator and artist Megamunden. What form of art inspired Megamunden to create his recent colouring book?

Photo by Josh Knill.

Under the Spotlight Coming Soon at Coastguard Studio

Under the Spotlight is an upcoming exhibition that will feature 40 spotlights on artwork & photography by 40+ local creatives, all homed in the beautiful new Coastguard Studio in Southsea. More details on the exhibition will be announced in the coming weeks by the Coastguard Studio so keep an eye on their website at coastguardstudio.com and the date of 13th February firmly written in to your new diaries.

Under the Spotlight Coming Soon at Coastguard Studio

Strong Island Calendar 2015

You should all be well aware that over the last year we have been compiling a calendar using photographs submitted to us by you, the Strong Island readers. We are really excited by our 2015 edition, I didn’t think it was possible but the bar has been raised yet again!

The calendar again features photography submitted throughout 2014 from local photographers. The calendar is full colour printed A4 and folds out and hangs so that one side of A4 contains the month’s photos and the other side has a large format calendar perfect for keeping your important dates through the year.

£1 of each calendar sale goes to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

The calendars are still only available as a pre-order from our online shop HERE. We are expecting to have them in hand by next Thursday. They are priced at £10 each if you collect from Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea. Postal orders cost £12 each and international postal orders cost £14 each.

I guess it’s about time we share with you some more of the amazing photographs which have been included this year.

Danielle Gridley
Danielle Gridley
Nick Weall
Nick Weall
Megan Barnes
Megan Barnes
Jay Hansford
Jay Hansford
Sam Brooks
Sam Brooks
Melanie Easthope
Melanie Easthope

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

Strong Island invites all our friends old and new to our new home in Southsea, opening this Saturday (15th November) from 10am. Strong Island at 12 Highland Road is a new shop and exhibition space, stocking all of the Strong Island Clothing Co range, a selection of high quality art prints, releases from Strong Island Recordings plus a collection of fine leather accessories from Raw & Auburn. We will also have monthly guest artists and designers selling their work too.

Our first exhibition in the space is a retrospective of some of the designs, projects and events we have worked on in our 6 year history. We’ll be having regular exhibitions throughout the year with shows by local and visiting artists, designers & photographers.

Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9AH.

We will be open every week on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

The Strong Island Calendar 2015 Pre Orders Now Available

We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks collecting together the incredible submissions from the many local photographers who have been capturing Portsmouth and Southsea over the last twelve months. The calendar is soon to be sent off to the local printers and we are now taking pre-orders for the calendar in our Shop Ahoy online store. As per our previous years, the calendar is £10 with £1 of each calendar sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

We’re offering a few pre-order options with UK and International postage plus the option to pick up the calendar in person from our new studio/store once the calendars have arrived (due early December). All postage pre-orders will be sent out with lots of time for Christmas.

We’ve sold out of calendars before Christmas for the last two years, to pre-order yours please visit HERE.

The Strong Island Calendar 2015

Strong Island Recordings Cash Free Christmas Party For Charity At The Eastney Cellars

On the 13th December Strong Island Recordings takes over one of Portsmouth’s finest establishments being the cosy little Eastney Cellars for an all day charity party in association with The Park Studio who will be kindly supplying us with much needed gear. The event hosts 11 bands as well as Champagne Justice deejays and we’ve decided to do away with cash entry for the event and instead entry for the event is a donation of non-perishable food which will be donated to local food banks.  From a tin of beans or packet of pasta to a bag full of groceries it all helps and we can all help those in need whilst having a blast.

Now for the line up. Once again we believe we’ve curated a heavyweight eclectic line-up that features some of the most exciting and up and coming acts from across the south. Headlining the day and representing the label family will be thrashy-grunge twosome Rickyfitts, quite possibly one of the finest and also loudest bands in the U.K at the moment. Also finely representing our little label is shoegaze/psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits and garage pop duo The Boy I Used to Be. We’ve also dragged back a few of our friends who have graced our parties before. London dreampop trio Wyldest fresh from main-staging Green Man Festival and blowing up the blogosphere play later in the evening as well as everyone’s favourite blitz-pop duo Curxes. Along with both of them we’ve brought back indie rock/post-punk outfit Fever and also Death of the Author who killed it at our Southsea Fest stage back in September when they filled in last minute. New to any of ours shows is London’s shoegaze/grunge quintet Nevermind Me playing their first ever show, drone-stoner rock outfit Verletzt, doom grungers Bittertown Mary’s and also the incredible dark twisted psychedelia outfit from Southampton, ELEPHANTANTRUM who remind us of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches. Get ready to be dragged into their nightmare realm.

Doors on the day open at 13.oopm so get down early as you don’t want to miss any of the acts as they’re all splendid. In the event you’re coming down please do rummage through your cupboards and ask any friends or family if they have any bits they don’t mind donating too and hopefully all of us together can help those in need whilst also having a marvellous time watching some of the best bands in the country. Check out the Facebook event here as well as below with a playlist of some of the acts playing the all day Christmas party. You can also keep up to date over on our website. See you there on the 13th December for the Christmas party in Portsmouth.

xmas party

Strong Island Clothing Co.

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