Monday, 16 May 2011

Proud to be British

I've thought a lot about the types of beers we need to brew at Welbeck. Some kind publican friends, and many of the new bunch from the estate have given me some advice, but it's a bit tricky. Well, it's not tricky, but there are two different types of beer drinkers which I need to think about.

Think of the M1 running through South Yorkshire and North Notts - the brewery is just to the south of Worksop. The road is oddly placed and acts like a divide between the beer buffs in the West, and your good ol' bitter drinkers in the East. It means that I need to brew to both satisfy the wests insatiable appetite for new and quirky beers, and produce a regular beer which can out sell John Smiths extra smooth and all the other cream-flow, kegged beers in the club houses.

Whilst that may be a challenge, I have decided that it's a brilliant opportunity to revive a passion for good, old fashioned beers. There are so many pale ale producers in the micro brewery industry, which is great, but I don't want to be too focused on the North American and NZ hops and be lost as a little fish in big pond. A very small fish in a very small pond.

Hops are great, but so it malt. I've decided that the first brew is going to be of the pale ale ilk, really getting a huge hit of zesty hop aroma with Willamette and Cascade. I've decided this because it's a) what I'm used to brewing at Kelham, b) should be quite saleable in the real ale areas, and c) it's seasonal. Although it's blinkin' chilly at the minute. After this I want to brew a cracking beer using lots of lovely caramely, biscuity crystal malt for a sweeter base. To this I'll add some traditional British Fuggles and Goldings hops to match it with a smooth bitterness and earthy aroma. It'll probably be about 4%. It's going to be all British, fitting in with the locally produced. high quality ethos of Welbeck. Brilliant.

Any thoughts, let me know please.


  1. Knowing that you want to brew something that appeals to women, my vote is for something along the lines of Double Maxim, but not as strong. Double Maxim is sweet and dark and old-fashioned and totally glorious and I've been drinking it for the last three days. Urrrrp.

  2. Ben, is there such a thing as a beer that appeals to women? In my experiance different women love very different beers.

  3. I think there are many reasons why a woman may, or may not, want to drink a beer. The recipe is certainly a big factor - many of my girl friends tell me they don't like bitterness, but then again some women do. I think it's often the image of beer which puts women off drinking a beer. It comes in a cumbersome and unfeminine pint glass - perhaps the introduction of the 2/3 pint will help, and I'd love to try using the continental goblet style glasses. I also think that marketing is, unintentionally, rather masculine (broad generalisation I know). So, I think it's much more than just recipe, although that will go some way to helping women enjoy the wonders of real ale.

  4. Very interesting that divide you talk of. It may just be that the 2nd beer you talk of will appeal across the divide though as it will almost be a novelty in itself. Sounds a good plan.

  5. I ran a tasting at a Pinot Noir conference a couple of years back. The biggest hit with many of the women there was an American Pale Ale with a hefty bitterness but also a huge American hop aroma. Then again my partner definitly falls into the dislike of bitterness and would be much happyer with a classic English ode to crystal malt bitter.