Brewing with Cheshire Brewhouse & Howard Town
Guest blog by Beers Manchester
Tryanuary. An idea. To help breweries, pubs, bars, bottle shops. To encourage people to try something new. An antidote to that other – puritanical – nonsense. You know, Dry Wotsitsface… I mean, January is miserable enough without denying yourself one of life’s pleasures, right?
So where did this idea start?
Here. In Congleton. And in Glossop. And in Manchester. On Twitter. And all in a twitter exchange involving three of the people here today. Shane from Cheshire Brewhouse, Stuart from Howard Town Brewery and last, but by no means least, Andy Heggs, the man, the legend, that makes this all happen.
So it is that early one January morning, that we’re in an industrial unit on the edge of Congleton. To brew a beer inspired by Tryanuary with the people who birthed this movement. And it IS a movement.
So. Take over a 1/3rd ton of Malted Barley, a whole MASS of fragrant UK hops, a lot of water and yeast. And make a beer. Job done!
Well… no. It takes skill. Attention to detail. Knowhow and passion. Which is what the likes of Shane & Stuart display every day they go to work. These are two of the many brewers in this region that don’t get a fraction of the headlines that others get. Yet they produce some astonishingly good beer. Beer that flies under the radar of most. And that’s their loss. It truly is.
So, Shane, Stuart, Andy, Carl from Crisp Maltings and yours truly. 300kg of Pale Malt, 50kg of Munich Malt, and 25kg of Wheat Malt went into this mash tun and all but filled both it. And filled the air with that most appetizing of smells. It’s kind of like an early morning bakery, porridge too.
The aim of this beer was for an English hopped IPA with an eventual abv of 6.4%. Fruity and bitter. But anyone who starts thinking “brown and twiggy” should take my advice and…
Get. In. The. Sea.
These hops are massively, fruitily, fragrant.
5kgs of Admiral. One of the greatest of English hops. Massively aromatic and fruity.
5kgs of Experimental hop CF159. SO fresh and fruity.
I could go on with the rest of the hop charge, but I won’t.
This is to be a big beer. Loaded with vibrant fruity citrus flavours. And a big malt backbone to support those lively hops.
Mashing in done and transfer to the copper for the boil completed, it was time for laughter, fun and great tales. And with the likes of Shane, Stuart and Carl, there was no lack. These are good beer people who both know their onions (and their malts & hops etc…) and can spin entertaining yarns. I laughed so much I nearly bought a round.
60 minutes before the end of boil, in went a big old lump of those fruity Admiral hops for bitterness with Admiral, EKG and CF159 in for flavour later on, CF159 & Admiral being added later as aroma hops.
This is an obviously condensed account of what happened. You have to be a home brewer or an utter beer nerd to want to know (what my dear old Mum would have called) the ins and outs of a cat’s arse of the details of a brew day.
What you NEED to know is that January is sponsored by TRYANUARY. And this beer is both inspired by and to celebrate this movement
It will be big. It will be fruity. It will be hoppy. It has been made (let’s be honest here…) by two brewers who are amongst the best out there. And, with the big sugar extraction from the Crisp malt, it has ended up at 6.6% abv.
And the beer is called TRYPA (see what we did there?)
You ALSO need to know that it is out there in the wild RIGHT NOW! And that Shane, Stuart, Andy, Carl and myself will be at The Junction in Castleford (on the very day you are reading this) where this beer will be served from a wooden cask.
I can’t wait.
It’s Tryanuary. So……
Try a new beer.
Try a new brewery.
Try a new Bar or Pub.
Shop in an Independent Bottle Beer Shop.
Because if we don’t use them, we could lose them. January is a hard month in all aspects of the beer business. I’m doing my bit…