Friday, 26 July 2013

In all labour there is profit



My post today is a nice positive post about lovely people and good times. I like balance so I’ll start it with a rant. I was on line buying beer and came upon a brewery I had not heard of. I checked out their website to find more out about this new brewery. I am not going to name names because I’m sure the people in question mean well. When I got to the brewery web site I found they were not calling themselves brewers but Brewing Scientists. Images of white coated boffins in a state of the art lab pushing the envelope of brewing technology to delight and beguile the great drinking public instantly sprang to mind. Further perusing the web site which portrayed a Brewdog tribute band (so a tribute band to a Stone tribute band) revealed three plump young men brewing in what looks like their mum’s kitchen

I was starting to doubt their credentials as true scientists until I found that these brilliant men have found a way of brewing a beer containing no chemicals. “There are no chemicals in our beer……. None at all!” is the proud boast of these Albert Einstein’s of the beverage world. Now this really is an achievement. Making a beer without carbon, nitrogen, sulphur etc. which malt, hops and yeast are made of is an immense feat of scientific ground breaking. Making beer without the hydrogen and oxygen in water is, I have to say, worthy of a Nobel Prize. I predict great things for these guys and their world-changing beers.

And now back to the main thread of my post.

The brewing industry is lovely thing if you’re a brewer. You get paid for doing something you love and you get to socialise with other brewers who the best people on the planet. As with all groups of people you do meet the occasional bad apple (or cock as I like to call them) but they are few and far between. August is the time that brewers converge on London to attend the GBBF.

I have always got excited about the GBBF. The first few years because it was only place in the UK where you could sample all week and still not try all the beers available you intended to. Then because it was a big day out with team Brakspear. These days it’s because 100s of the people I love are assembled and in the mood for some beverages and craic. Another highlight of GBBF time which makes it even more wonderful is the brewer’s technical dinner. Hosted by Simpsons Malt the night before the GBBF trade day, the technical dinner has masonic feel to it. Head Brewers from the larger regional craft breweries down to more significant micro craft breweries assemble in the upstairs room of a Mayfair watering hole to gain insider knowledge of the progress of this year’s barley crop. The oak-clad room with huge Edwardian boardroom-style table and décor is filled with more brewing knowledge than any text book, virtually no ego and a real sense of gentile inclusiveness. The evening helps guide malt buying policy, recipe formulation and improves bread roll throwing accuracy.

I am extending my GBBF trip this year to take part in the Urban Sessions and will be brewing live in front of an audience with Honest Brew on 14th August. Brewing a normal beer live didn’t feel enough. So I am going to do something which I think (everything has been done before in brewing so I’m probably wrong) has never been done before. I am brewing a beer with woodlice (as an ingredient not a collaborator). More details to follow.    

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