This is the third beer I’ve made using homegrown hops. My Saaz harvest was the best of the bunch last year, with me netting about 90 odd grams dried from my two plants. I air-dried them and once dried, put them in a ziplock bag with all the air squeezed out and then in a clip-lock, tupperware-type container in my freezer, where they’ve been ever since whilst I found time to brew with them. Well, the time finally arrived last weekend, when I made a Bohemian Pilsner with them. Continue reading
As some of you may know, I grow my own hops. I do it for a few reasons, none of which have anything to do with saving money. I love plants and gardening in general and like to think I have something of a green thumb. Also, as a brewer, it’s nice to have hop plants about the place. Continue reading
I picked this up at Noel Cuvelier’s. I’d never seen it before, but at a mellow 6.6% ABV, I thought I’d give it a try.
‘Lente’ is the Dutch word for spring (in Afrikaans too, fwiw), so I was half-expecting a Belgian take on a Maibock. After tasting it, I’d like to call it a Belgian Blonde ale despite it being fairly dark in colour, although not nearly as much as the picture would suggest (the flash makes it look much darker – apologies for poor photography skills). Continue reading
I stumbled upon this place online somewhere while doing research for my first trip to Belgium, three years ago. An old mate of mine and I decided to take a long weekend and drive across to the Abbey of St Sixtus in Westvleteren to get some of the famous beer that the monks there brew. I was looking for a good beer shop with a wide selection that we could stop at on our way back, before crossing back to England. Continue reading
I consider myself extremely lucky to be in the somewhat envious position of having an old friend who actually lives in Holland, so I was able to pop over to Den Haag (The Hague) for a few days to visit him and enjoy the local fare whilst there. Even better, my other half, K, has a good friend who is currently studying in Leiden, so she was able to visit her old friend whilst I did the same.
If you didn’t know, Leiden and The Hague are only about 15 minutes apart, and are both about one tank of petrol away from Maldon, where we live together in England. That in mind, we decided to take the car and Europe for the long weekend (in the UK, Good Friday and Easter Monday are public / bank holidays).
Maldon, Folkestone, Calais, Gent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, The Hague.
ROAD TRIP!! Continue reading
Those of you into craft beer will know that America is now undoubtedly the forerunner, quite ironic when you think that a few years back all they had was BMC (Budweiser / Millers / Coors). All that has changed over the last decade or two, and now America boasts hundreds of craft breweries, some of them making truly excellent beers. One of the most well-known of these modern-day craft breweries is Dogfish Head. If you’re familiar with the Discovery channel’s Brew Masters show, then you will already know of them. Continue reading
I’ve been meaning to sort my brewery out with QD’s for ages, but for one reason or another I’ve only just managed it. Polysulfone QD’s seem to be the most commonly available option to the UK homebrewery, but I just don’t like using plastic in my brewery any more than I can help it – inert or not. Continue reading
The clocks went back (forward) last weekend, so I can finally come home in the evening and still have enough daylight to braai (barbecue) on a work night if the urge takes me. I knew the weather would be half-decent today, so I prepared some chicken kebabs, or as they’re called in Saffa Land, “sosaties”. Continue reading
My beer is finally available! For those who don’t know, I was lucky enough to have a beer I entered into the CBA National Homebrew Competition last year take first place out of a total of 216 entries. My beer, Angry Yank Pale Ale, originally a 5.2% American Pale Ale featuring Cascade and Amarillo hops, won 1st place in the ‘Specialty’ class of the competition (a kind of ‘catch-all’ category for those beers that don’t fit into the usual categories of Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Bitter, IPA, etc, commonly found in British beer competitions) and went on to take the Judge’s Choice award for the Beer of the Festival. Continue reading
I love pilsner. I especially love Czech (Bohemian) pilsner, although I do enjoy a good German pilsner too. Day to day, it’s my ‘go-to beer’. For a long time, my favourite all-round beer was Stropramen, the pilsner from Prague (although nowadays I often find myself preferring Pilsner Urquell). It’s got a rich, full-bodied toasted malt flavour and golden brown colour, with a firm bitterness and hoppy Saaz finish. This is a great beer. If you haven’t tried it before, do yourself a favour.