The brewery’s chief valuation officer, Chris Davies said creating beer can make special moments happen, or even spark a collaboration between a brewery and a hip-hop band.
Based in Camberley, Surrey, Ascot Brewery’s craft team, Disruption, teamed up with British garage and hip-hop band So Solid Crew to create So Solid Brew – a 4.6% ABV premium lager – in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the bands hit single '21 seconds' reaching number one in the UK charts.
So Solid Brew’s journey started in January 2022, after Davies met band member MC Harvey, who has been hands on in the creation of the serve, by chance in a pub and after bonding over a pint and football, the duo started the collaborative journey.
Davies said: “We’re not just growing a brewery business. We’re building a community of like-minded individuals made up of different ages, backgrounds and preferences who all share one thing in common - the thirst to enjoy new experiences and create great memories – each one bounded together by one powerful phenomenon. Beer.
Hand in hand
“We believe when great people and great beer come together, special moments happen.”
For Harvey, it was important to be as involved as possible in creating the new beer to secure So Solid’s more than 30-year legacy.
He said: “So solid is a successful brand that's been known to the public for over 30 years now.
“You can't just associate your name to a drink, and just let someone else brew it [and not know] what it tastes like, because it's representing your brand.
“Anything else we do; we're always hands on.
“We're British artists, beer is a part of the British culture, it goes hand in hand.”
While the taste of So Solid Brew was inspired by the award-winning brewery’s beer 'the Devil Wears Lager', Harvey said as a lager drinker he wanted to create a session style beer akin to something of a cross between Asahi and Moretti.
However, the world of brewing, and the processes involved in creating a new serve, was somewhat new.
He added: “I love my lager, I understand my lager, I know a good lager, but I never knew what it took to make a great lager.
Rewarding and challenging
“I wouldn’t say anything really surprised me because I know lagers and beer quite well, but one thing [that did] surprise me is the amount of hygiene and cleaning that goes into it. I was very impressed by that to be honest.
“When beers travelling through pipes and taps and whatnot, hygiene is very important and the sterilisation and all the work that goes into keeping the beer in the tap is unbelievable.
“The most rewarding is when it's done, [because] of course [it’s] challenging.”
Distribution and inclusion were a big part of the process, both literally and taste wise, Harvey explained, and So Solid Brew was just the beginning.
He added: “When I do something, I don't do it halfway. I want the world and I usually get the world.
“I come from south London, I come from an inner-city area, I want to make sure this is accessible to people within inner city areas, not just the lovely well to do towns, I like to take care of everyone, I don't forget where I come from.
“This isn’t a project just for the moment, it's something that's going to evolve for years. I'm heavily involved in it and would 100% do it again, even if we started making stouts, for example, in the future.
“My advice to anyone is, if you've got a passion about something and you've got a strong brand, just go for it.”