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

Victorious Festival 2016

Victorious Festival have announced the first wave of acts to perform at this August’s festival. Portsmouth has always been very much an ‘indie city’ and the news that Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be taking stage on Southsea Common is likely to excite most of Portsmouth. Joining Noel will be Manic Street Preachers and Mark Ronson.

Saturday night will see The Manic Street Preachers performance will coincide with the 20th anniversary of their triple platinum selling album Everything Must Go.

“We’re so excited to be announcing this line up. It’s taken a lot of hard work but we couldn’t be more pleased to be bringing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and The Manics to Portsmouth. It’s going to be an incredible year for both Victorious and Portsmouth.” – Andy Marsh, Festival Director.

Also announced for the festival will be The Levellers, Ash, The Coral, Jack Savoretti, Space, Echo & the Bunnymen, Will Young, Selector and Emmy the Great. Of course you can expect a host of the best local acts performing at the festival.

If you need reminding of what you missed last year then check out the highlights from Strong Island Media.

The organisers are always looking to evolve and develop and have also announced that this year there will be a giant circus tent up in the kids’ arena as well as a whole host of free entertainment and activities for children and their families. It goes without saying that you will see Strong Island and many other local traders offering some of the finest food, booze, craft and clothing.

The festival will take place on Saturday 27th (my birthday!) and Sunday 28th of August. Don’t be surprised if they managed to beat last years figures which saw 100,000 spectators on Southsea Common over the weekend. If you would like to be there this year then you can get your hands on tickets from their website www.victoriousfestival.co.uk.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2016 Initial Line-Up

Victorious Festival by Todd Lawton
Photo by Todd Lawton
Victorious Festival 2015 by Jack Daly
Photo by by Jack Daly
Victorious Festival by Gavin Withey
Photo by Gavin Withey

Strong Island, Dumpster Design and Community Fusion Collab

We recently joined forces with Portsmouth-based Dumpster Design and Community Fusion to bring together local young creatives and volunteers to construct a stunning bespoke dress made entirely from out of date promotional materials. Community Fusion volunteers along with students from Havant College and Portsmouth Academy For Girls took part in the project.

Dumpster Design dresses are a powerful concept of wearable art created from unusable and surplus materials. The dress offers a positive way to support sustainability and repurpose materials in an eye catching and utterly unique way.

Dumpster Design’s founder and designer Daisy Harris-Burland described how “This has been a fantastic opportunity to work with Strong Island and Community Fusion to design, create and work with such a wonderful group of young volunteers.” The end result as modelled by our shop manager Lara is not only striking but also encompasses iconic aspects of the nautical Strong Island brand with over 300 origami boats and 200 anchor medallions intertwined in the design of the dress.

You can find the dress currently on display in store now so pop in and check it out yourself.

You can find out more about Dumpster Design over on their website www.dumpsterdesign.co.uk.

Lara

Lara 1

Photos by Aduroe Photography

Created Local – Instagram @JonathanPink

Welcome to the first of a new Strong Island feature where we are looking to celebrate some of our favourite Instagram photographers who have links with our city. The first of which is Jonathan Pink who you can follow yourself on Instagram as @JonathanPink.

Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?

I haven’t always been local to Portsmouth, but always visited and taken a keen interest in the city, it’s history and connection to the sea. I moved to Southsea two years ago after regularly visiting the city, getting to know it’s quirks and scratching the surface of what it’s about. I’m a graphic designer and commute to my job out of the city, I live with my partner and Miniature Dachshund name Hugo.

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?

I always use my iPhone6 for my Instagram photography. For me, Instagram is that instant capture of a moment in my life and the things I see. The phone makes it quick, easy and accessible.

Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?

Being a graphic designer, I consider myself a creative thinker and have always enjoyed different expressions of this. Photography being one. I own a Canon digital SLR which I use occasionally or for specific shoots, events or days out. I’ve never been trained in photography, but have naturally picked up the functionality and use of a camera on my way, capturing a great shot is something which come s little more naturally being a designer.

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@JonathanPink 4

@jonathanpink

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?

I take photographs for myself primarily, the instant enjoyment of finding, capturing and posting a photo of my everyday life. That said, my Instagram account is public, so there is a nature of enjoying other photography and them enjoying what I have taken.

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?

Not coming from a city on the sea, I genuinely appreciate the shoreline, sea and walking our dog. The constant change in weather, seasons and activity makes this space an interesting one to live beside and take photographs of. From the summer sunsets, eerie fog, busy shipping lanes to the stormy solent. This space gives so much to me.

Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?

Instagram photographers include the Isle of Wight based photographer Chad Powell (@isleofwightmilkyway), from New York Cubby Graham (@CubbyGraham) and locally based tattoo artist Louise Bush (@Lapin_Lou).

I generally enjoy a mixture of photographers, especially on Instagram. Those who inspire me, through their subject matter, style and general approach to life/photography and content different to my own.

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@jonathanpink 1

@JonathanPink 5

@jonathanpink

Of course you can also find Strong Island on Instagram under @StrongIslandUK and @StrongIslandClothingCo.

Strong Island Recordings – Treacherous Tides Vol 2 Feat Kassassin Street, Wyldest, Violet Swells & More

On the 19th February Strong Island Recordings release the follow up to the first Treacherous Tides Compilation from 2013. The latest compilation features a collection of our favourite acts from Portsmouth to Turkey, Glasgow, Australia and New Zealand. The album includes tracks featuring all things from psychedelia to stunning dream-pop gems and will be available via digital and a limited run of cassettes.

Kicking off the compilation is Southsea favourites, Kassassin Street, with their immense wall of sound, festival ready, psych-pop meets new-wave anthem ‘Radio Silence’. It’s great to get the guys on a release of ours being from our hometown.

From the opposite side of the world, ‘Gravity Wins Again’ from Tasmanian outfit Violet Swells who draw comparisons with Tame Impala’s sunshine tinted, psychedelic-pop.

Wyldest have recorded an exclusive track for the compilation with their own take on A-Ha’s ‘Sun Always Shines On TV’ giving it a fine coat of their signature shimmering dream-pop sound which will available as a Bandcamp & cassette exclusive.

Love LUV’s ‘Sold My Love’ is infectious, joyous, garage-pop mirroring the 60’s revival. New Zealanders MOSES ‘Opium’ is perfectly titled. It’s a beautiful, sedate, stone jam delving between the kaleidoscope rainbow like realms of psychedelia and shoegaze.

Until recently Love Hippies & Gangsters was a one man project but now the four piece consisting of Yiğit Bülbül, Dan Hale, Mikel Acosta and Sam Enthoven. Their track ‘Through Your Mind’ is a shower of guitars and a throwback to 60’s and 70’s psychedelia.

Tin Foil Astronaut’s ‘Without A Sound’ is a nod to the current Australian psychedelic movement sounding like it’s came straight out of Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth. It’s a true sun-soaked, psych-pop banger.

Closing out the compilation is Life Model’s ‘Enough (To Know) finally getting a full release. Channeling Slowdive, MBV and Cocteau Twins, it’s a visceral yet euphoric and beautiful sonic journey.

You can pre-order and listen to the the compilation on Bandcamp and also pre-order the cassette over on our Music Glue pages (as well as find exclusive bundle deals on both) and the compilation will also be available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital and streaming outlets.

SIR Digi Square

I WAS THERE – FIVE SENSES Performance at Portsmouth Guildhall

As part of Portsmouth Guildhall’s 125th birthday in 2015 Strong Island ran the I WAS THERE! project, collecting memories from Portsmouth people of their favourite live music moments throughout Portsmouth Guildhall’s history. Following on from the memory collection part of the project and the film that was produced and recently screened at the Guildhall, FIVE SENSES is the final stage of the project.

Strong Island Media and Old Salt Theatre have worked together with a group of young actors and performers from Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth to take many of these collected memories and bring them to life in a brand new stage performance. I WAS THERE – FIVE SENSES will be premiered on stage at Portsmouth Guildhall at 7:30pm on Thursday 21st January, with free tickets available from Portsmouth Guildhall box office in advance. This intimate performance brings to life many of the submitted memories we collected for the I WAS THERE! project, with scenes taking inspiration from events that occurred on the very same stage. The I WAS THERE film will also be screen just before the performance begins.

We’re very excited to have worked with Portsmouth Guildhall and Old Salt Theatre, with this beingStrong Island’s first project involving theatre and live performance, we hope everyone can come along!

This event is FREE however you will need a ticket, to reserve a ticket please contact the Portsmouth Guildhall Box Office 02393 870200 or email: enquiries@portsmouthguildhall.org.uk

I WAS THERE - FIVE SENSES

Vote for Your Strong Island Photo of the Year 2015

Through much of 2015 we asked photographers from all over to send in their images of Southsea and Portsmouth each week for the Strong Island Photo of the Year 2015 competition, with us picking out our favourite image for weekly winners.

Now it is YOUR chance to pick the overall Photo of the Year for 2015, with voting now open over on our Facebook page! Simply click on the link below and pick your favourite image from the 20 weekly winners, you can pick more than one if you are struggling…which is understandable as we had some awesome submissions.

You can vote all the way through until the end of January and we’ll be launching Strong Island Photo of the Year 2016 very soon!

VOTE HERE

Vote for Strong Island Photo of the Year 2015

All the winning photos are also shown below too, in the order that they won.


Photp by Alessandro Salvatore.


Photo by Tony Benham.


Photo by Rich Perrin.


Photo by Billie Cawte.


Photo by Johnny Black.


Port Solent Marina by Grzegorz Kopacz.


Photo by Tony Benham.


South Parade Pier by by Norbert Mintoff.


Photo by Jon Neil.


Photo by Pete Blackman.


Photo by Sheila Mackie.


Photo by Kebe Iwara.


Photo by Howard Hurd.


Old Portsmouth by David Ellis.


Old Portsmouth by David Ellis.


South Parade Pier by Howard Hurd.


South Parade Pier by Michael Mackenzie.


Photo by Howard Hurd.


Photo by Owen Davies.


Photo by Paul Watt.

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