Have you ever dreamed of brewing your own beer in a proper brewery as opposed to a bucket in the airing cupboard? I have. Many times. Then last year I met Sara Barton, founder of Brewsters Brewery at the launch of Project Venus’s brewing collaboration – Venus Jade. I confessed my aspiration and Sara responded with an emphatic ‘Do it!’
Turns out that I was not the only DeaLatis member harbouring the brewing fantasy because when I mentioned it to Marverine Cole (@BeerBeauty) and Shea Luke (@RealAleGirlShea) they also had that ambition. We discussed our ideal recipe and decided on a dark spicy winter ale. So on a very auspicious date 21/1/12 (it’s a palindrome) the three of us accepted Sara’s invitation to ‘do it’ and we travelled up to Brewsters Brewery in Grantham and did it!
And as I write this, a wonderful yeast that smells of green apples is bubbling away and turning our 30 barrel brew into delicious beer. What an incredible thought. But who knew what hard physical work it is to brew beer? Hauling the malts around, hoisting buckets up high, pouring the contents into mash tuns and coppers, and then the cleaning afterwards. Oh the cleaning – raking out the mash tun, poking around in the hot copper to extract the thousands of whole hops, washing out vessels and leaving the brewery as we found it. But what satisfaction!And what fun. All three of us virgin brewers felt as though we were in the best toy shop imaginable – and one in which lunch was served with Brewsters Pale Ale, and Brewsters’ brand new Black IPA (called Cruella) decanted straight from the conditioning tanks. Heaven.
In a couple of weeks Brewsters will cask and bottle condition the beer for sale through their ‘Wicked Women’ range. We’re waiting to mention the beer’s name until the launch party in late February or early March – most likely at London’s Tap East with its incredible range of beers (thanks Glyn!) so hopefully you’ll come and taste the difference.
Huge thanks to Sara, Sean, and Richard at Brewsters for making our dream come brew. I’m even more in love with beer than I was before and my maiden voyage on the brew boat has made me even more obsessed with brewing. We’ve done a winter brew, but there are three more seasons in a year. So how’s about it BrewsterSara, Beer Beauty, and RealAleGirlShea?
By Jane Peyton, Principal of the School of Booze