Soon we will be releasing a very special collab with Browar Rockmill. A rum & champagne barrel aged black barley wine! Have fun reading this interview with Marcin from Rockmill, while sipping on a glass of Possession!

Let’s go back to where it all started… How did you guys start brewing?

Well, primarly we were avid consumers of higher quality beers from the beginnings of the craft beer revolution in Poland and shortly after the passion to taste and try out different styles (of course there weren’t as many as there are right now) turned into something more. Hence in 2017 our first beers hit the market, immediately causing a lot of commotion in the local market as well as getting international recogniton from the get-go being rated the best new Polish brewery by Ratebeer in 2017.

What does the brand Rockmill stand for? What would you like to achieve with your beers?

We’re always trying to push the limits and borders a bit further by experimenting a lot with many different styles, while at the same time, trying to keep it real and stay within the roots of the style, no matter how wild our experiments get. We love to wow people with our attitude towards what we’re making, putting a lot of pressure both on the quality of beer and the design of label. We’re working with many local artists giving them a chance to highlight their work on our kegs, bottles and cans. I wouldn’t say we are perfectionists, but we like to be proud of what we’re doing as with every beer we’re striving to make it even better than the last one, not stopping in attempting to overdo ourselves.

Which beer are you most proud of?

I’d say that’s a no-brainer. The one and only – Friend or Foe? – collab with our dear friends from Didko – Ukrainian craft brewery from Kiev. It’s a multi-dimensional, heavily peated Imperial Stout – 12%abv. 30blg, which from the start had been recognized both in Poland and all over the world, gaining over 20 medals within the last 3,5years on the most prestigious international competitions on multiple continents, including Best of Show at Brussels Beer Challenge 2020 along a few others. Moreover, we equally take care of the quality of our beers as well as the design of the label. This one in particular is special due to the fact, it’s been created by a renowned Polish street art/graffiti artist, whose work have been showcased internationally as well. In 2020, Friend or Foe? won Art of Design for the best label in Poland, beating big liquor corporations. Right now we’ve already released 3rd barrel-aged version of FoF, this time after successful experiments with Rum and Armagnac barrels, we put our bet on peatheads, aging it in Lagavulin 16yo whisky barrels with plenty more to come.

When did you meet Erwin and how did you end up brewing a beer together?

We met at one of the festivals over the years, just before Covid hit, and shortly after all the lockdowns ended in 2022, I was invited over to Bier&Big Festival in Eindhoven, so I thought it would be a good idea to reach out and throw an idea of brewing something together while being in The Netherlands. All stars aligned and so the barley wine was born:)

Why do you think champagne and rum barrels are a great addition to the barley wine?

Both barrels are very disctintive, carrying sweet and savory flavour profiles, which in addition the barley wine, will create an amazing aroma and flavour combination, with champagne barrel enhancing more dry and rum barrel more sweet profiles. Blending those two together will take your tastebuds on the path that’s never been explored before, suprising you with richness and complexity in both aroma and taste

Finally, what does the future have in store for Rockmill?

Unfortunately my crystal ball was broken some time ago, hence our predictions won’t be as accurate as always… but on the serious note: nobody know what’s going to happen in those unsteady times. We’ve already gone through several lockdowns, a war in the Ukraine and many other events that dampened the economy, so I wouldn’t go that far in planning the future, cause we’ve already been taught that you can only expect the unexpected, so we’ll keep pushing forward no matter what happens and try to make the best out of the situation we’ll find ourselves in. We’re taking it step by step, not assuming too much and adjusting to the current of events.

Thanks Marcin!