Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Ale & Hearty

“Wine is but single broth, ale is meat, drink, and cloth.” - 16th century English proverb.

The Ale & Hearty project, from arts and heritage organisation Strike a Light, aims to encourage participants and visitors to share memories of ale, local brewing, and agricultural and brewery working life in Lewes. It involves collecting oral histories and holding reminiscence workshops, arranging heritage open days with walking tours, creating an exhibition and producing a booklet. A project launch for ninety people was held at the Linklater Pavilion, Lewes on Friday 8th March to promote a year of exciting free events and activities celebrating the heritage of the brewing and related agricultural industries in Lewes.

The busy evening played host to talks from Miles Jenner, of Harveys Brewery, and Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe, Mayor Elect of Lewes. There were Sussex and ale-themed folk songs from the group Emily and the Hares; an exhibition and slide show; ale to drink gifted from Harveys with local cheeses from the High Weald Dairy; the unveiling of a new logo; and a raffle which raised £185 towards a companion education pack to go out free to Lewes primary schools. Photos show (right) Steering Group Members, your Blogger The Quaffer and Miles Jenner. And (below) Project Coordinator Nicola Benge with Cllr Nicholson and his wife (middle pair) and the Mayor Elect.

The event celebrated memories and stories from a time when Lewes laid claim to nine local breweries, unearthing the hidden history of one of the main industries of the town over the last 300 years. Nicola Benge, Ale & Hearty Project Coordinator, said “We really enjoyed meeting new project participants, visitors, volunteers, all interested in Ale & Hearty activities. We had a great deal of enthusiasm for the event, and with the help of generous local Lewes businesses, raised money towards supporting local educational projects too!”

Strike a Light is a non profit arts and heritage organisation which celebrates and profiles the importance of local community and history, utilising people’s life stories and memories to transform public and private spaces. It aims to manage projects which improve cultural heritage, and promote local arts and social development. Ale & Hearty is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), using money raised through the National Lottery. Partners for the project include East Sussex Libraries and Information Service, Harveys Brewery, Lewes History Group, Friends of Lewes, Action in Rural Sussex, and Lewes District Seniors Forum.

For more information on the project, please visit the website: http://strikealight.org/projects/ale-and-hearty/ or contact Nicola Benge, tel. 07727 006538; email: aleandheartylewes@gmail.com  

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Liquid Gold

Ex-biochemist Mark Lehmann, a successful businessman who owns an aquatic fish and reptile shop, is also a long-time CAMRA member and home brewer. Having purchased and upgraded a plant from Conwy Brewery, Mark is now the owner of Goldmark Craft Beers, operating from the same West Sussex industrial estate as Hammerpot Brewery. A 0.5BBL nano brewery is also being used as a pilot plant, bringing total brewing capacity to 11BBL with a potential output of 132 firkins a week. Brewing started week commencing 22nd April and Frank McCabe, formerly of Arundel Brewery, late of Anchor Springs, has been recruited as Head Brewer.

As the Goldmark name suggests, Mark is a fan of golden ales, although he is influenced by the best of English ales plus what the rest of the world has to offer, and his intended range aims to appeal to a broad market. Ready for sale in May will be two 4.0% beers, their recipes successfully developed over many years. Liquid Gold deputed commercially as a contract-brew at the Worthing Beer Festival last October: this golden ale with citrus and wild berries uses English hops and barley with new hops from the US. Best Bitter is a medium-dark refreshing session beer with hints of toffee and caramel ending in a smooth bitter finish.

Available from September will be Amber Ale, a well-balanced 4.0%, session ale using hop varieties from three continents to give a modern twist to an old classic. Also Hercules IPA, a golden hop celebration, very light and refreshing despite its 7.0% strength. Ready for December will be Ebony, a 5.2% cross between a stout and a brown ale. Mark plans to start bottling the beers in July. Watch out for the range initially in pubs around the Arun and Adur area of West Sussex.

Goldmark Craft Beers, Unit 23, The Vinery, Poling Near Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9PY.

Tel: 07900 555415
Email: goldmarkcraftbeers@hotmail.co.uk

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Beer & Cider by the Sea: Eastbourne, 24th-26th May

From Friday 24th to Sunday 26th May, real ale and cider lovers can sample around one hundred real ales, ciders and perries on the Western Lawns, Eastbourne seafront, during the three-day event extravaganza ‘Beer & Cider by the Sea’. The list of beers on offer will include half from the Sussex area, such as the Long Man and Beachy Head Breweries, the remainder being regional tipples from St Austell, Adnams and many more. Cider fans can sample some ‘Double Vision’ or a ‘Moody Old Cow’ from the National Cider and Perry Collection, while a range of wines and bottled beers from around the world will also be on offer for an international flavour.

Providing a culinary twist, former Masterchef-winner Peter Bayless will provide the perfect accompaniment with demonstrations of food and drink matched dishes on Saturday and Sunday. Or for real ale fans, discover the secrets behind the perfect brew in a tasted beer talk on Sunday from Jamie Simm, Head Brewer at Long Man Brewery. There will be some great entertainment from live bands on the festival stage throughout the weekend.

The event coincides with the return of the Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival on Saturday 25th May, bringing a festival atmosphere to the bank holiday weekend. Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism & Leisure, Cllr Carolyn Heaps said “Eastbourne has much to celebrate around food and drink, thanks to our enviable location with some of the country’s best producers in our region. This festival is a fantastic addition to the events programme making Eastbourne the Whitsun bank holiday choice for a lively weekend break!”

Click on the poster image to enlarge for times, ticket prices and contact details.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Drink in Brighton - The Laine Brewery

Like many of the new generation of brewers, Nigel Dallas used to work in IT. He became passionate about craft beer several years ago when in Australia and started to homebrew there. After returning to the UK in 2010, Nigel took a three month diploma course at Brewlab. He cut his brewing teeth at Thornbridge and then worked for Dark Star before becoming the brewer for The Laine Brewery at the North Laine, Brighton.

This is a brewpub (pictured below) managed by Penny O’Reilly and owned by the company Drink In Brighton.

The 5-barrel reconditioned kit from ABUK first brewed in October 2012. The first beer launched, Porter (4.6%), was revived this April as the 5.3% Slaughter. A 6.9% Christmas ale was called Silent Night, while Hooker was a 4.0% Six Nations rugby-themed amber ale.
New on the pumps during March was Black Rock, an oatmeal stout at 4.5%; this and the 5.0% IPA (American-style using Columbus hops) are permanent beers. A red ale at 5.0% is to be launched during the Brighton Fringe Festival, followed by a 3.5% pale and hoppy summer ale.

Nigel is currently brewing twice a week and racking once weekly. His beers are presently only available at the brewpub where three third-pint measures can be purchased for the price of a pint.

Note that the 4.0% Laine’s Best is brewed at Horsham-based WJ King. It is a rebadge of their Brighton Best and available at all Drink In Brighton pubs. Nigel says that as production steadily increases, the beers may become available in the company’s other Brighton outlets but as this is their first brewing venture they will wait to see how demand develops.

The Laine Brewery

The North Laine Bar and Brewhouse, 27 Gloucester Place, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4AA

Tel: 01273 683666

Email: northlaine@drinkinbrighton.co.uk

Friday, 5 April 2013

Burgess Hill Town FC, 4th Annual Beer Festival, 25th May 2013

On Saturday 25th May, from 1pm - 12am, Burgess Hill Town Football Club holds its 4th Annual Beer Festival. The club is located at Leylands Park, Maple Drive, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 8DL.

Entrance fee is £5, which includes a free pint. Tickets can be obtained from the Football Club (07969 525397) or Mooch CafĂ© Bar (01444 244888). All other enquiries to Dave Bradbury on 07794799850, or email: thedavebradbury@gmail.com

Click on the poster image for more details.