“Once famous as the city with a pub on every corner, Liverpool is one of those places where it’s never been difficult to get a good drink. And in that respect at least, little appears to have changed. Even though the landscape has changed indelibly - tough industrial past softened in the transition to vibrant modern city - the pubs still possess a magnetic attraction. Grand old boozers suck you in with their splendour, and underground drinking holes hold dark, decadent appeal.” Sam Turner, Hop & Barley Volume 8
The imagery here features a nice cross section of the different areas of my work. A mix of travel photography, street photography, interiors, as well as still life and portraiture. Working with the team at Hop & Barley I was commissioned to capture a selection of photography for the Liverpool focused Volume 8.
The project was split into a few different sections. We explored the city creating images of the obvious main sights, as well as digging into the more obscure, and finding different takes to sum up the feel of the city. Later in the day we visited a wide variety of the pubs, bars and breweries that call the city home, capturing the atmosphere and feel of each space. These included the maritime referencing The Ship and Mitre, craft mecca Dead Crafty Beer Co just across the road. Cosy corner pub The Grapes over on Roscoe Street, the semi speakeasy 23 Club underneath the Clove Hitch restaurant (sadly no longer open). Back towards the centre of town we stopped by the Merchant, a vast space, serving pizza and well know for putting on big name DJ’s. Finishing off we wandered over to Black Lodge in the Baltic Triangle area, a new microbrewery and taproom, arriving before the evening rush it was the perfect spot to capture some portraits of Steven Burgess for the In Conversation feature.
To see the full feature get a copy of Hop & Barley Volume 8 here.
“Liverpool’s strength lies in venues of this kind; their quirky charm shaped by the city’s past and the Scouse desire to plough a different furrow. It may not match up to fellow northern powerhouses Manchester and Leeds in terms of the depth and maturity of its beer scene, but it possesses an allure that remains hard to beat. A handsome, compact city centre, a friendly welcome and a respect for heritage will surely see it thrive in the years to come.” Sam Turner, Hop & Barley Volume 8
I’m still not sure when I first heard of Mad Hatter Brewery. It might have been seeing Penny Lane a few years back, or maybe Nightmare on Bold Street. The names reminding me of trips to Liverpool when I was younger. The labels jumped out at me, simple, yet fun, all featuring the Mad Hatter Rabbit up to different escapades. Between the pales and stouts there was the signature experiments, from the (slightly less common at the time) Imperious IPA (11.7% double IPA), to the Rhubarb and Custard (featuring Yorkshire triangle’s forced Rhubarb). The drinks might not have been to everyone’s taste, I remember the reaction of shock and confusion to a Tzatziki Sour from a group in the Wakefield Beer Exchange one weekend.
Growing from a smaller space in the trendy Baltic Triangle in Liverpool, to a newer warehouse on the North Dock’s area things seemed to be going well. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, last year time was called on the Brewery. Gaz, moved onto Gibberish ( https://twitter.com/gibberishpub ), Angus is now Head Brewer over at Glen Affric Brewery down the road in the Wirral (https://glenaffricbrewery.com ).
The imagery featured here, was captured for Vol 8 of Hop & Barley. With Liverpool as the focus location it was only right that Mad Hatter featured as the Brewery story. At the time they were putting the finishing touches to the new facility, there was talk of possible starting to can. (Which they did a little while later). The space was massive and could have hosting such a variety of events, however it wasn’t to be.
To see the full feature on Mad Hatter Brewery, and the Liverpool city tour buy a copy of Hop & Barley volume 8 here. Thank you to Hop & Barley for a little paragraph from the article here written by Sam Turner.
The Mad Hatter story is one in which everything seems to have aligned nicely for the company; limitations were turned into strengths, a restless passion for brewing translated into a journey of bold new tastes, and characters coming into the fold who faithfully represented the brewery’s philosophy. From the name and the distinctive aesthetic, through to the vibrant tastes and direction of the constantly rotating roll call of beers. “I think [the hand-drawn bottle designs and logo] goes really well with the beer and the way the brewery has been set up,” says Sue of artist Stealthy Rabbit’s designs. The crudely-drawn rabbit starring in the eye-catching illustrations perfectly encapsulates the lo-fi ethos of the brewery which, early on, translated into unknowable brewing results. Gaz takes up the narrative: “It was never the same each time, Penny Lane was 6.5% to start off with and it was like that for a while and then it slowly came down. So if we did make the same beer twice, it was probably completely different.”
Sam Turner, Hop & Barley Vol 8
Its coming up to Leeds Beer week 2018 so I have put together a blog of some of 2017’s events. I pulled together a team of photographers for the week and between us we covered over 50 events in Leeds and the surrounding areas, aiming to create some nice imagery focussed on capturing the atmosphere and people having a great time and enjoying what the Leeds beer scene has on offer at this great annual event.
A few of my shots are below and highlight some of the best breweries in the UK at the moment, to name a few, Wild Beer Co, Thornbridge, Deya, Kirkstall Brewery, Redchurch, Affinity Brew Co and Wild Childe.
Can’t wait for this weeks events to start, if you see us out and about shooting pop and say hi.
Thornbridge is a brewery who when I see the beers on the bar I pretty much always have to go for. Jaipur on cask was one of the earlier drinks that got me interested in the Beer industry without even realising it. I remember seeing it pop up not just around Leeds, but also when I went back to Derby and Nottingham to see friends and family. So when Hop and Barley asked me to document a visit to Thornbridge to celebrate the brewery’s 10th birthday I was looking forward to it.
I headed down to the brewery with Nick (Hop & Barley) and Scott (from Little Less Known, who made a video to accompany the visit which is available here). We were welcomed into the main site, and given a full tour of the brewery, popping into the lab, as well as the impressive barrel store. After exploring the main site to really tell the story of where everything started we jumped in the car to visit Thornbridge Hall. Less than 10 minutes drive we pulled up at the original home of Thornbridge the 10bbl kit housed just behind the Hall. As expected it’s a cosy space but has a lovely contrast to the newer and sleeker production facility.
To read the feature in Hop & Barley Vol 5 grab a copy from their site here
Hong Kong has been on my must visit list for a while, and when I finally made it over it certainly didn’t disappoint. With Hong Kong Island being way more compact than I realised it was perfect for exploring the different areas on foot. Taking in the hidden backstreets and areas between each area for the less seen sights. Meanwhile Kowloon felt like a different place all together, on a rainy day it was like being in Manchester, grey, wet yet beautiful. It’s a place I’d like to explore again, and such a good location for travel photography.
The Grub & Grog shop are a Leeds based cafe/shop. Focusing on fresh and local produce they have a menu that changes depending on the season. For Volume 6 of Hop & Barley magazine they showcased a recipe that had developed season by season, taking it's, then, current form as the Celeriac Savoury Porridge. At the time the Grub & Grog shop were based in the Northern Monk Refectory so made use of various ingredients from the brewing process, and in this case, Beer Vinegar and Hop Syrup.
Making the most of the refectory space, I shot a selection of images capturing the different stages of the recipe. Which were then included alongside the magazine feature. The Grub & Grog shop now have made themselves at home in Sheaf St Cafeteria, while the Northern Monk Refectory has a quarterly changing pop-up kitchen. There's still chance to get a copy of the recipe in Vol 6 of Hop and Barley in their online store.
As part of Leeds Beer Week, North Bar & The Brunswick will be hosting my photography exhibition celebrating the Yorkshire Beer Scene, the exhibitions will be up from Monday the 29th of August So pop on over and help us to celebrate what we have around Leeds while enjoying some cracking beers.
I have been working with a wide range of people and businesses involved in the industry, the project focuses on the people that make the local beer scene so interesting such as writers, designers, bloggers, maltsters, & farmers amongst others. I have also been documenting what a wide range of locations and kits are used to create artisan products, and the locations in which these are being produced. The exhibition is just the first stage, I’ll be continuing to shoot and document the Yorkshire beer scene so if you want get involved get in touch for a chat.
Indy Man Beer Con is alway a special event and in it’s 4th year it’s constantly evolving and meeting the changing appetites of the attendees. Held at the Victoria Baths in Manchester it is a beer festival featuring a wide range of local, national and international breweries. This year has seen tweaks to the format adding extra capacity using all the available space to the maximum, and allowing the different sponsor partners to really put a stamp on the spaces. Cloudwater Brew Co recreated the relaxed and airy feel of their brewery tap in the pineapple room which previously held the food matching events. With the extended outdoor street food options instead it made sure there was loads of great stuff to pick from, and gave Cloudwater the space to really showcased the wide range they are producing right now. The Turkish Baths was split into an international room featuring Vertical Brands in the front section pouring Mikkeller, and Galway Bay amongst others, while Northern Monk created a dark abbey feel with their space. Keeping with the tradition of having the brewers and brewery teams serve the beers is perfect for those who needed a little extra help in deciding what to drink, and for the beer geeks an opportunity to have a quick chat and find out more about the stories behind the brews available. It also worked really well pulling all the collaboration beers together on a single bar. This meant it was quick and easy to give all the one off’s created for the IMBC 15 a try or even pick up a 6 pack of them in the take home cans. A extra unique and special feature was the Indy Can Beer Container. Working with We Can Solutions the organisers created the option taking any beer available home. At each bar were empty cans that could be filled and then taken to the canning station for sealing, a great way of using up the remaining tokens or just taking a favourite drink home.
Find more info on Indy Man Beer Con over at www.indymanbeercon.co.uk
If you have a craft beer festival you need photography for and want to chat feel free to drop me a line using the contact form here.
Little Leeds Beer House is a cosy little store tucked away upstairs in the Corn Exchange. Ran by Richard, Bryony and James they focus on selling a wide range of craft beers, with a smaller but equally fine range of wine's and spirits. Making use of the space in the evening as a great spot for a meet the brewer, home brew club and other special one off's.
It’s always good to look back at the images I’ve shot at the start of a new year and use them as a jumping off point to push me further with the new projects and shoots. So I’ve pulled together below a selection of my favourite images, taking in Editorial, commercial projects as well as personal work. My best of 2015 wedding photography can be found over here.
If you want to chat about working together to create images that tell a story or showcase your brand, or just want to talk more about producing some fresh imagery please get in touch here via social media or here.
What better way to launch my new editorial and commercial photography site than with a bit of an epic post and the start of a personal project i'm working on. Earlier in the year the guys at brewers design society (link) put together an exhibition over at Tall Boys in Leeds, exploring "an artist view of brewing". I had been planning a few personal projects in my head that i'd like to work on and this just slotted in with some ideas coming together, so for my submission I wanted to capture an image which summed up the brewing process. Initially when I had the idea I knew I wanted to focus on a new brewery, Cloudwater Brewery had fairly recently launched so they came straight to mind. Having been following the instragram updates on the build and fit out I knew it would be perfect and after chatting to Paul about dates and timings they managed to find a suitable time where i could head over and document a brew. One of the images featured in the show, and the rest are part of a bigger personal project I'm working on, (more of which at a later date)
Arriving at the brewery bright and early I was welcomed in and promptly given a freshly brewed coffee which I certainly needed to battle the remains of my honeymoon jetlag, by now the whole team were hard at work covering various tasks. Brewing on the day was a Session IPA that was to be part of the summer range. Right from the start of the day it was great to document the passion and energy of the very small team, although a relatively automated system compared to some of the tiny breweries I have visited in the past at least, James was fine tuning every detail and tweaking along the way to ensure the best quality brew possible. The warehouse as it currently stands allows plenty of daylight in, casting a warm and fresh feel to the space throughout the day changing as it needed to allow the team to be flexible.
The hand bottle machine is hidden to the side and whilst Will cracked on with filling casks Emma was finishing up packing the orders that were flying out of the door. Paul explained capacity was an issue with demand for the range, leaving them having to step up the brewing schedule earlier than expected. There were glimpses of the future of the brewery aswell, a selection of Bordeaux wine barrels were sat sharing their flavours with a special edition of old garde.
Each day the team test and assess the beers currently fermenting, this day was no different, setting out all the different glasses its easy to see what a wide range of styles are already coming forward. It was great to get a teaser for what was coming up in the range and everyones excitement at getting a taster, especially a couple in the very early stages of fermentation. The IPA was gaining feedback as the best yet, but there were still discussions on how to improve it, judging by what i've tasted since it's getting better with each batch from an already great starting point.
As the day progressed, the space constantly changed, with orders flying out all over the country, casks getting filled and the space adapting as needed It was great watching James in action. A rare sunny and warm day in manchester, the light was pouring in through the skylights and the shutter doors, leaving the stainless steel shimmering throughout. Just before I left Paul shared some much needed ice cream and I was given a few bottles and an ace cloudwater branded glass, not a style i've seen often but certainly a favourite for me now. The bottles from the spring range were Bergamot Hopfen Weisse, session ipa, and the ipa, all tasting great but the bergamot Hopfen Weisse was certainly a stand out for me. Being focused on using only seasonal ingredients it’s a shame we’ll have to wait until next spring for more fresh Bergamot for a new batch. As well as the beer range changing each season Cloudwater are also working with different creatives to produce individual artworks for the labels per season, which is great for keeping the designs and branding constantly evolving.