For @SalfordBeerFest Jim,”Beer People Are Good People” has become a bit of a catchphrase. Jim is a great champion of northern brewers and pubs, he extended his boundary to include us in Crewe as he’s enjoyed the beers from Offbeat. Salford Beer Fest is in it’s third and final year and I may be speaking out of turn here and a mass generalisation for the participating brewers but for the support Jim gives the brewers in his tweeting and blogging and drinking we like to pay it back. When he asks us for something new for the beer festival or could we do a collaboration it seems to be a lot of “Yes” all round – the fact that it’s a charity event to support the work of the venue in the community makes it even more valid.
So at 6am yesterday I drove to Peterborough to brew with Steve at Bexar County (that’s where he’s from in Texas, prounced “Bear”). I’m not quite sure how Bexar County got included in the ‘northern’ focus, not that it matters! Steve makes me look like “Offbeat Light” – his beers are way more weird and wonderful but like me he doesn’t regard himself as a ‘production’ brewer, its a love, and a passion, money isn’t the driving force.
On arrival he was all organised to mash straight in so we shimmied up the ladder to the grist case and mashed in with a load of pale malt and some wheat. He already had the copper simmering away with a Kombucha Strawberry tea – when the run off came and the wort from the mash hit the strawberry tea the aroma was amazing! There was dark wort added in to the copper to give some colour and chocolate flavour to this Neapolitan Sour.
Full credit to Steve, he was super organised, had an empty and prepped fermenter so it was a very quiet brew day so we put the brewing world to rights, posted lots of brewing photos on Instagram and had a good old chat.
There was more chocolate added to the copper and some lactose too with a tiny amount of hops to stabilise the beer. At the end of the boil it was run off over more cocoa nibs into the fermenter with vanilla to be added a few days in. First taste was gorgeous – the strawberry and the sweetness really came through – can’t wait to try it at Salford in October. Huge thanks for Steve for hosting and letting me try all his beers.
The website for the beer festival is here; http://salfordbeerfestival.com/ and the dates are 20th – 22nd October at Saint Sebastian’s Community Centre, Salford, M6 6ES. It’s a new beer hunter’s paradise as most of the beers are brand new for the event and a lot of the brewers tend to pop in at some point too.
Beer people are good people and when there’s great people like Jim looking out for brewers we will continue to do as much to support great events like this.