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Friendship, camaraderie and beer

In the dim and distant past, when sitting with mates in a comfortable pub over a few pints and a packet of Scampi Fries was a dream, plans were afoot to create a pub concept in the Grade 1 listed Royal Albert Dock.

The concept, dreamt up by the creative brains behind the Maray restaurant group is called the One O’Clock Gun. During lockdown, Mark Jackson, Maray’s Head of Drinks and the Carnival team were deep in talks about how we could work together once the covid restrictions ended and life in hospitality returned back to some sense of normality.

Gun bar

Mark told us confidentially about the Gun and we jumped at the chance to work with the team.

After an intense tasting session behind locked doors of the usually bustling Carnival Tasting Room, we came up with the beer simply titled the One O’Clock Pale; a 5% hazy pale ale, hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Sabro. The idea was to provide a super easy drinking beer that went well with food pub grub, with a wide enough appeal to become a successful house beer.

Fast forward to May 2021, only a month away from the Gun’s grand opening and the Carnival brew team, Ed and Matt commenced the first iteration of the pale. Joined by Mark, co-founder and Gun Director Tom White and a film crew from Natural Selection, we got to work on making a beer we’re still totally in love with. Mark even jumped into the mash tun for some steamy digging out.

Mashing in for the first One o'Clock Pale

Two weeks and a bit later and the team were back to watch the beer being canned on our in-house canning line; Mark even loaded cans on to the machine for us ready to be filled with the delicious, hoppy yellow elixir.

A can of One O'Clock Pale

We split the first batch into some delightful 330ml cans, adorned with Tom’s iconographic lone figure illustration, enjoying a glass of pale sat with his back against a wooden barrel. The rest ended up in keg ready to be poured exclusively at the Gun.

Fresh pint of One O'Clock Pale

As we approach the end of a weird 2021, we reflect on the Gun’s first half year opening and the third rebrew of the pale.

Talking about the Gun, Mark said: 

“This project felt like a really long time in the making for me, which in a way made it even more special when we got it over the line. From the first time I made the trip down to the Carnival Brewery to meet Dom and the guys and sample some of their beers (worked our way through a good few if my memory serves me right) I knew it was the start of an exciting partnership. Such a top bunch of knowledgeable and creative people, who really helped refine the very rough around the edges vision myself and Tom had, and produce a beer that far exceeded my expectations if I’m honest! One O’Clock Pale has carved itself out to be our flagship beer and I’m looking forward to seeing what other delicious bevs we can muster up together in the future. Vive le Gun!"

Tom added: “When plans for The One O’Clock Gun crystallised we knew as a team that having a unique beer on offer that’s brewed locally was an absolute must, and after our initial meeting with Dom and the Carnival team there was no one else we wanted to make it with. Amidst the organised chaos in the three months preceding opening a new venue, the project provided welcome pockets of pure, creative joy - we could forget about till systems and building regs for a couple of hours, and just enjoy the creative process of making something fun and exciting that didn’t exist before, all the while being gently (and patiently!) guided by Dom and the team. Being able to cherry-pick aspects of one beer (I must have said the words 'pineapple’ and ‘hazy’ about a million times, sorry lads) and mix them with your favourite aspect of another is brilliant. One O’Clock Pale has quickly garnered a reputation and people now come in and ask for it by name, there’s something so cool about being able to pour something that no one else has got, that is uniquely yours and really represents the venue in a beautiful way. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Dom concluded: "I love this beer. It’s everything I want from a session pale; we use classic and modern trendy hop combinations, It has a slightly sweet finish and its appearance is very hazy. This project has been the embodiment of why I started Carnival. We wanted to be creative collaborators, to work with our community across different sectors, make friends and really showcase the best of Liverpool. The One O’Clock Gun and the pale project hits all of these markers and I’m hugely proud of our team’s efforts and the relationship we have fostered with Mark, Tom, Jonny (Gun’s manager), and the rest of the brilliant bar team. May it long continue."

Visit the One O'Clock Gun for a drink when visiting the Albert Dock

Video and selection of photos by the wonderful Natural Selection

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