It's been the first weekend of this year's Heritage week so we took advantage of the opportunity to do a free tour of the Dorking Brewery...I can only stay at home doing jobs for so long before I start champing at the bit to get out!
Originally this brewery was sited just across the county border in Dorking, but seven years ago it was sold and the new owner moved the setup across to the nearby village of Capel [in Surrey, but close to Horsham]. It takes up one half of a large barn and on a good week sells 20000 pints of beer in varying forms. If you're wondering why there's a cockerel on the sign then your answer's to be found here😁 https://gnatbottomedtowers.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-dorking-cockerel.html
It turns out people have been trying to brew beer in its various forms for thousands of years and in times past women were the chief brewers. Everyone drank it and frankly it was a darn sight safer than imbibing the water! The children would have been given small beer which was only 0.2% strength. Below is the mash tun where the wheat is combined with the hot water to make the wort. The flavour depends on whether the wheat has been burnt or not [hence the bitter flavour]. The process sounded very complicated to me but I did take on board that once it's been finished porridge type leftover sludge has to be completely emptied out. It's not wasted though as it ends up in feed for the farm cows. Other places make it into dog biscuits.
The final stage is the fermentation tanks. This is when the hops pellets are added. I was amazed to hear that a pillowcase sized bag of them costs between 600 and 800 pounds! The brewers insist that it's the wort that gives the beer its flavour and the hops its aroma. When asked how the brewers make the decision about what new beers they want to try making the fellow giving the tour explained that some of it has to be down to cost.....however, the junior brewer has his own brewing kit in his bedroom with which he keenly tries out all sorts. He's always full of ideas of what they could try next too!💙
When it comes down to it ultimately my main area of interest is what the contents of the barrel taste like and they very generously supplied us with three goodly sized samples to try [I wasn't driving and Mr GBT isn't that big on beer unlike his Morris dancing, beer swilling spouse]. Their most popular one is called Pilcrow. If you're wondering what a pilcrow is then it's one of those weird backwards looking P symbols you get in a Word document appparently.
I was surprised as you might be to see the former WWII gun and the tank parked next to the tractor. However, Capel holds an annual military show so I am surmising that they are linked with that.
With all the events of the last few days it's been good to go and do something completely different.
Your Heritage Open Day trip sounds like a really good tour.ReplyDelete
Yes I now feel I know just a little bit about what goes into the brewing of my beer. Friends of ours went yesterday and equally enjoyed it. ArilxDelete
I'd love that trip having discovered a liking for 'sour beer'.The mango one is absolutely gorgeous.ReplyDelete
I love a dark stout type of beer in the winter. ArilxDelete
I'm not a beer fan, but I think the whole idea of how it is made is fascinating. My son brews at home.ReplyDelete
Mr GBT only likes a light beer. Last time I was in the States it was very much Bud etc, but I gather that the craft beer scene is now huge. ArilxDelete