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

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Features

Short Story Competition – Call For Submissions

We are really excited to announce that our short story competition is now open to submissions. The theme behind your short story must simply involve one of My Dog Sighs tin can men pictured at the bottom of the page. There is a word limit for each age group but apart from that, everything else is completely open to your own interpretation.

The entries will be split into three categories for the different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under (150 words)
• 14 years – 18 years (300 words)
• 18 years and above (500 words)

This event is open to everyone to enter and you don’t even have to be from Portsmouth to get involved. For the younger age groups we are looking for teachers who would be willing to lend a hand. This will involve going through some entries and maybe they would like to invite their school or class to get involved, maybe as part of a class project perhaps.

This competition will run until 25th March, with the winner for each category being announced soon after. The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog himself. The winning entries will also be featured in an exhibition in our Strong Island Co shop which you can find at 12 Highland Road, Southsea.

If you or your are interested in getting involved with helping judge the winner you can drop me can email to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. Submissions should be sent to the same email address, please don’t forget to include your contact details and what category this is applicable to.

My Dog Sighs has a great talent for capturing character through the expressions on each piece of art, which should serve as an ideal inspiration for your short story. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

My Dog Sighs TCM 1

My Dog Sighs TCM 2

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

My Dog Sighs TCM 5

16388750482_60b03b4078_k

Short Story Competition – Open To Submissions

We are really excited to announce that our short story competition is now open to submissions. The theme behind your short story must simply involve one of My Dog Sighs tin can men pictured at the bottom of the page. There is a word limit for each age group but apart from that, everything else is completely open to your own interpretation.

The entries will be split into three categories for the different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under (150 words)
• 14 years – 18 years (300 words)
• 18 years and above (500 words)

This event is open to everyone to enter, but for the younger age groups we are looking for teachers who would be willing to lend a hand. This will involve going through some entries and maybe they would like to invite their school or class to get involved, maybe as part of a class project perhaps.

This competition will run until 25th March, with the winner for each category being announced soon after. The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog himself. The winning entries will also be featured in an exhibition in our Strong Island Co shop which you can find at 12 Highland Road, Southsea.

If you or your are interested in getting involved with helping judge the winner you can drop me can email to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. Submissions should be sent to the same email address, please don’t forget to include your contact details and what category this is applicable to.

My Dog Sighs has a great talent for capturing character through the expressions on each piece of art, which should serve as an ideal inspiration for your short story. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

My Dog Sighs TCM 1

My Dog Sighs TCM 2

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

My Dog Sighs TCM 5

16388750482_60b03b4078_k

Strong Island Co. Exhibitions: EQUINOX by Joanna Dawson

Strong Island Co. is proud to announce the first external exhibition our in store gallery space will host. From January 28th to February 18th, local artist Joanna Dawson will be exhibiting EQUINOX, a collection of large format, mixed media abstract landscapes with a focus on coastlines near and far from her travels.

Joanna is no stranger to utilising mixed media and unusual paint substitutes, dabbling in gouache, watercolour, acrylic and even tea and coffee staining to create her works. Working as a professional artist and designer allows her the space to explore her creative direction and conduct these material experiments.

To find out more about Joanna, her work and the exhibition, give her a follow on Instagram to keep up to date with her happenings in the run up to the exhibition.

Strong Island Calendar 2015 – Very Limited Stock Left!

We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the interest in our 2015 Calendar. In the last three years we have raised over £800 for the Alzheimer’s Society’s Portsmouth based services. We have a VERY limited number of calendars available and there is a good chance we will sell out quite soon, so if you haven’t got yourself one then don’t hang around too long!

You can get yourself a copy from our online shop HERE. They are priced at £10 each if you collect from Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea. Postal orders cost £12 each with international postage at £14 each.

Keep an eye out for the launch of the Strong Island 2016 Calendar #SICal2016 in the next few weeks!

Calendar 2015

Portsmouth Tricorn Centre: A Photographic Inspiration – New Strong Island Website Launched

For the 2014 Portsmouth City Museum exhibition, Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete, marking the 10 years since the demolition of the Portsmouth Tricorn Centre we asked the people of Portsmouth to submit their photos of the city’s iconic Brutalist structure. Over 500 images were submitted by more than 30 photographers, of these 100 were put together in to a community photography panel that went in to the exhibition.

From the outset the Tricorn was considered a likely source of creative inspiration for photographers throughout its history and the submitted photography for us proved this opinion. The light and shadow, the lines and corners of the building, all were captured in creative ways by photographers both from Portsmouth and the rest of the UK. Many of the images were shot with 35mm and medium format film.

We wanted to, for the first time, bring all of this beautiful imagery together online with a new website, we’re happy to say that the website is now complete and live. This website is home to an ever growing selection of the best imagery of the much loved & hated building that dominated the city skyline from 1966 to 2004.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed their photography. If you would like to submit your own images please EMAIL us. The website can be found at:

www.portsmouthtricorn.com

Portsmouth Tricorn Centre: A Photographic Inspiration - New Strong Island Website Launched (1)

Portsmouth Tricorn Centre: A Photographic Inspiration - New Strong Island Website Launched (2)

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 Clothing Co.

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