On the road for Coffee and Hot Dogs
Whats damn good coffee... gnarly motorbikes... cross-fit... Live music..... a stonkingly good pale ale and hot dogs got in common?
It can only be the HR4K Open Day
It must have been over three years ago that I first met Ben, director at HR4K in Norfolk over a cup of coffee... We got chatting about various brands and he talked about some of the brand he was looking into to import from over the pond. I guess the big thing that stuck me was not only his professional attitude to it all, but also his humbleness. Since then I've had the pleasure of watching HR4K go from strength to strength, from online retailer to now operating from "The Shed" from Hereford, United Kingdom.
HR4k if you haven't already come across them is the UK's one stop shop for all things authentically bad-assery. With brands such as Beaver Fit - Black Rifle Coffee - Doc Spartan - Hardcore Hardware Australia - Rogue American Apparel - Sin Eaters Guild - SOFLETE and many more that they have brought in from across the globe. HR4K mantra is simply "Merchants for the Motivated" with their ethos firmly grounded in hardcore, balls out Crossfit "without the toe curling chadness of selfies during training" Old school classic motorbikes and Caffeine hitting coffee to get the metabolism going.
This weekend saw something new... Ground Hammer Beer Company had its soft launch and to get taste buds talking about it, HR4K had some on tap during their ope day for those swinging in from all across the UK to have a sip and see what they thought. I'll talk a little more about it later on...
This was my first actual visit up to "The Shed" and the first time I'd be seeing Ben since our first conversations yeas back.... Arriving fashionably late (Mainly due to the M4/M5 junction traffic jam, I was greeted with the sound of revving MotorBikes, the smell of grilling hot dogs, and dudes wearing Oakley sunglasses than the final stages of the Tour de France... The fantastic buzz of live music being performed in the hall resonated outside, with families and groups grabbing hot dogs, beers in hand and cups of coffee being sipped in the warm afternoon sun. The English summer gods were looking down too as it was a beautiful English summers day..... Trade stand outside were from Sin Eaters Guild, HMG Clothing , Contact Coffee Company, and showing off their recent launch brand of clothing ThruDark.
Ok.... SO going back to the beer..... or should I correctly call it... Pale Ale.
The current website for Ground Hammer is still in development, but they do have a social media presence on both Facebook and Instagram, so do go check them out there. Not too much is said about it apart from that its a traditional beer, but its made from American Hops. Its a beautiful amber colour, with a decent head on it. Served chilled, you can taste the hops in it and also has a very subtle sweetness to it. While I travelled across the US about a decade ago, I came across a beer from a micro brewery that hooked me in called Jeremiah Red. The taste of this sent me straight back to that Western US travels and put a huge smile on my face. Lets just say, the pint didn't last too long and was fully enjoyed.... I even popped back to see if they had any bottle to purchase to take away and share with some of the guys at MOD Lyneham, but alas..... it was that popular, they had all gone already....
Simply put, Ground Hammer Beer is something on the horizon and something I'm fully looking forward to seeing pop up, for order to begin with but a little bit of me on the inside hopes that somehow, this veteran brewed beer can find its way into Army Mess's up and down the country... The quality of it is up there with the best of the beers... If you've tasted and liked Hop House 13, You'll like Ground Hammer.
After having a mooch about, catching up with friends old and putting faces and names to those I've chatted to via social media, it was time to make the push home.... The sun was still very much beating down and a chilled out drive back south seemed a pretty good Saturday afternoon....
A couple of quick social media updates and check ins, I caught up with Ben one last time before setting off, I think the smile on his face said everything on how the day had gone, lots of people finally getting to see what the shed stood for, and bringing together the likeminded to talk and discuss ideas and share each others motivation...
Checking google maps quickly, I should have a good run home... camera packed and smoke popped... I was out of there!
As I pulled away, my stomach rumbled...... I never did get to try one of those hot dogs!!! :(