Thursday, 24 November 2011
I will always remember the first brew I invented as a commercial product. The very first batch of Daleside's Autumn Leaves was fermented in fermentation vessel 1 (or FV1). The fermentation was worryingly rapid so intermittent cooling was applied to calm her down. I remember my first taste of it in the early hours of a Monday morning before it was transferred to Daleside's holding tank 17 (they love to collect holding tanks).
Since then its been a bit of a rollercoaster ride of big forward orders, cleaning, more cleaning, learning more about process control and the practical side of brewing for a commercial venture (something home brewing experience and a brewing degree doesn't really teach you in the same way). It was always going to be exciting scaling up home-brewed experiments, but maintaining a level of discipline and integrity in what you do will always be more important.
I'm not saying I'm that disciplined, I'm just saying I'm with the Mr Miyagi mentality on this one. If only it was him teaching me how to clean casks on the cask washer all that time ago.
Cask on... Cask off... Cask on... Cask off... Cask on... Cask off... Cask on... Cask off... Cask on... Cask off... Cask on... Cask off...
Anyway I digress.
As I mentioned in a previous post the management has given me the freedom to re-invent long-established Mordue Winter Tyne to however I see fit. The 3.9% abv had to stay the same, and I didn't want to change the amber brown colour too much. But using different malt combinations and getting new, never used before hop varieties ordered in is becoming a habit of mine. God I love Bramling Cross hops.Their woody, spicy notes marry perfectly with the dark winter fruits and subtle spicy notes from the complex grist.
The resultant beer is traditional at its core but packed with floral berry fruit hop notes interplaying in a symphonic harmony with subtle spice and a mellow, fruit cake like malt centre. Being 3.9% it certainly is sessionable.
Just imagine you're in a forest, in winter, surrounded by trees covered in leaves that aren't actually leaves but bines of deliciously fragrant bramling cross hops. There are elves in the forest. Hundreds of little Geordie elves in Newcastle United football strips all drinking delicious Winter Tyne nectar singing and dancing merrily outside the local forest pub. Inside the local boozer the Penguin bar man hands you a brimming pint of Winter Tyne and escorts you to your chair by a roaring fireside. A group of Polar bears, also in Newcastle strips talk football by the bar whilst a badger suddenly starts up with 'Blaydon Races' on the pan pipes in the corner. Ahh the perfect setting.
Note to the Mordue Management: If this doesn't sell the stuff, I don't know what will.