Earlier this week, I filled you in on my experience of Stewart Brewing’s Craft Beer Kitchen. However, this is very much a story to two-part. So here’s part two.
The magic begins!
Although we were as pleased as punch with the “beer” we had produced, it was still simply malty, warm water. The yeast were yet to do their work.
Yeast must be one of the best creatures ever to evolve on planet Earth. Not only do they give bread its rise, they also LOVE eating sugar. And thankfully for us, a bi-product of this process is alcohol. Unfortunately, they like to take their time about it.
The final time we laid eyes on our beer, it was being poured into two massive barrels. From here, it would take the yeast three weeks to turn the sugar into alcohol. (Beware, if you are looking to make a lager, this extends to eight weeks). This time would also allow the flavours from our grains and hops to marry together.
Something I prepared earlier…
Three weeks later and we returned to Stewarts. This time, we did take our car – we sensed getting over a hundred bottles of beer on the bus might be a struggle.
The guys running the Craft Beer Kitchen clearly know what folks are after on their arrival. So, barely minutes after we stepped over the threshold, we were handed a schooner of our very own beer.
And it tasted…FANTASIC! You might expect me to say this, but it was exactly what we were looking for. We felt vindicated in our decision to make a red ale, as we felt it would be palatable even to those wedding guests who weren’t beer drinkers. Our final product had just what we were after – a beer that wasn’t overly hoppy, but still had a good blast of flavour, along with a robust and sticky mouthfeel.
One more step to go – filling our bottles. Stewarts will do this for £50 but we decided to do it ourselves. It took around 90 minutes to bottle all our beer and we were delighted to find our brew had made more beer than expected, so we left with 120 500ml bottles and two 2l plastic bottles filled with our ale.
Finally, we also had to label our bottles. The Craft Beer Kitchen can provide you with pretty standards labels, but you can also design your own and give you beer a name. As our beers were a wedding favour, we chose a similar design to our wedding invites and called it Red Wedding Ale. A slight homage to Games of Thrones…and thankfully, our wedding day turned out much better than Rob Stark’s!
All in all, we had a fantastic time at the Craft Beer Kitchen. Stewarts have put together a great experience for anyone who fancies themselves as an amateur brewer. As I mentioned previously, it isn’t the cheapest experience, but its fantastic value for wedding, birthdays or even corporate away days. And a whole lot of fun too!
You can find out more about Stewart Brewing’s Craft Beer Kitchen over on their website.