There are many challenges in running a micro-brewery, but there are also many plus points, not least the wonderful people you meet along the way.

One such person was Martin Warren the founder and original owner of Poppyland Brewery, in Cromer.

We came from very different backgrounds and had very different interests – but we shared a passion for brewing – Martin particularly so for researching and brewing amazing beer styles as he swapped his career in geology and the museum service for brewing.

This shared passion lead to a friendship and also to a series of collaboration brews where we would both seek to pull each other out of their comfort zone – in particular we would collaborate each year for 5 years on a brew for the City of Ale festival.

Now, the difference between many collaborations was we would always come up with one idea and create the recipe together but then we would craft a Poppyland version at Cromer and then one at Moon Gazer – with each reflecting its own style but heavily influenced by the others.

On hearing of Martin’s sad passing this month we wanted to revisit one of those brews and brew it in his memory – again for the City of Ale.

We chose South Island IPA a New Zealand hopped IPA.  From memory Martin’s was a touch over 6% abv and ours weighed in at 5%.   It was first brewed in 2018 for the City of Ale festival and we had a ‘taste-off’ hosted by beer writer Roger Protz at The King’s Head, in Magdelen Street.  Both beers were well received but I think the winner was a clever chap who create a glass with half Martin’s and half ours.

The joining of minds and let’s face it brewing egos always saw us add twists to the beers.

As to the recipe, the South Island IPA uses hops used from that part of New Zealand

Think of a nice malty background from the Maris Otter then pile in heaps of Motueka, Ko Hato and WaiTai  hops to give lemon, lime and tropical fruit flavours and aromas.

Speaking of fruit, I said at the beginning we like to ‘do different’ for City of Ale, so into the fermenter will be going a hint of kiwi fruit to further enhance the fruit character and give the beer a nice clean finish.

Enjoy and remember one of the nicest, most genuine and talented gents ever to grace the Norfolk brewing scene.

Cheers Martin !