Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Venus Gold

Venus: Second planet from the sun; The goddess of beauty and love
Project Venus: Lots of fantabulous lady brewers, or brewsters.

I think it's quite fitting.

Project Venus has been going for about a year or so now, and after watching it grow, I've become one of the Project Venus gals. So what exactly do we do? We all meet up once every few months at one of our breweries and make a one-off, unique, collaborative brew. Simples.

For the Winter beer, Venus Gold, we met at Patsy's place in Standish - Prospect Brewery. It was an incredibly frost morning and after having missed the grand mashing-in and bacon butties, I rocked up in time for a round of teas and the photographer. I think there were about 14 of us girlies there which was quite an astonishing turnout considering there are so few of us, so unfortunately there wasn't quite eough work to keep us all busy. Inevitably, we stood around sharing beer-related gossip and recounting our individual brewing tradgedies whilst supping hot tea until about 11am when Patsy cracked out the beer (essential for photographs, you see?).

After such an inordinate amount of exited brewster chin-wagging, posing for pictures, and removing our one shovel-full of mash each, we needed sustinance. Patsy and John (her lovely hubby) had made some scrummy spiced butternut squash soup, which went down a treat. And of course, once the brew was in, we went for our evening 'debrief' at the pub up the road.

Dinner with the girls (plus the odd honorary husband or two, and a token male engineer) was lovely. It was good to chat more whilst drinking Patsy's wonderful beer, and plan the next few brew days - we're off to Zero Degrees in spring, and coming to me at Welbeck in the summer (hooray!)

So, we've established that the day was brill fun, but what was the result?

We went to the official launch of Venus Gold at the Port Street Beer House in Manchester, where we sampled the very first few pints. This is a 3.8%ABV pale ale, brewed using a variety of hops along an astronomy theme - Galaxy and Stella (and a bit of Cascade for good measure) . It's a gorgeous, super hoppy, citrussy, fresh and zingy pale ale which is incredibly moreish. Good work girlies.

So Patsy has dished out the beer to the various brewsters and I have 2 casks of it which will ONLY be available at the Mallard in Worksop tomorrow night from 7pm. You'll not get it anwhere else close - the brewsters are from all over the UK so the beer has been spread far and wide.

See you there then :0)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sorry for being away so long, I've been drinking coffee...

The Brew Girl is back. I promise this time!

I have missed blogging and have been badgered by many people to start up again, particularly with my oh-so-amusing disaster stories, and uber geek stuff. So here goes, blog 1 of 2012.

I'm going to start today with an easy one, and tell you about my January special at Welbeck Abbey brewery. This month I've brewed a 4.0% English Pale Ale called St. Simon. The recipe is simple using all English ingredients, as I like to do.

Challenger hops and a touch of roasted barley give soft but robust bitterness which mellows, and bucket loads of gorgeous Kentish Goldings hops are used for aroma after the boil which gives a classically British fresh, subtle, yet slightly spiced floral aroma.

Now, I'm very lucky and run a brewery on an estate with more history and stories than you can shake a proverbial stick at, so I am naming all my beers after Welbeck-y stuff. Racehorses were a huge doo for the 6th Duke of Portland in particular, and many of the buildings on the estate were built for the equestrian world; stables, a riding school etc. St. Simon was one of the most famous racehorses that ever there was, and it was owned by the Duke. I will be brewing a years series of special ales based on the racehorses at Welbeck which will lead up to the new exhibition at the Harley Gallery. If you follow Welbeck on Twitter and Facebook you'll learn about them as they pop up but I'll try and blog too.

Also, I was on the telly this Christmas! On ITV's Countrywise Kitchen, (yes, like actual channel 3) doing a spot of brewing. You'll also see some bits of Welbeck. You've got 18 days to watch it before it vanishes from ITV Player.... if you watch this you'll get the coffee bit...