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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
What do you get when you mix a master brewer with a dozen enthusiastic home brewers?
Tales of coagulated Belgian chocolate, a case of severe hop haze and fresh bananas turning into globules of ‘snot’ in the beer!
We’re at a meeting of the Marston’s Home Brewers Club – a merry band of local brewers who have been invited to share their pleasure, their pain and their beers with Marston’s own master brewer, Patrick McGinty.
“Is brewer’s despair a recognised condition?” asked one brewer plaintively?
“Yes, and there are many symptoms!” replied our been-there, done-that, got the T-shirt head brewer.
Undaunted by criticism (and there can plenty), an intrepid group of home brewers, ranging in experience from less than one year to over twenty, share their home brew triumphs and disasters; their tales of grain, hop, wit and guile.
Loz brewed his beer with fresh rhubarb. “Ah stick your fresh fruit in the freezer first!” offers one.
Morgan offers a ‘cacophony’ of hops in his beer, poetically named ‘Tragedy in Hope’. “Smells like Lilt” said his wife before he left home.
John offered his high alcohol, low sugar brew to be told, “It tastes very odd, I can’t put my finger on it.” Followed by the more succinct, “It’s definitely cabbage mate.”
At the centre all of it all Patrick listens to their problems; their technical queries and worries, dispensing advice and tips with the easy charm of someone with twenty years’ experience and knowledge as a commercial brewer.
At the end, when the group have gone he secretly reveals that some of the beers are “surprisingly good” and smiles the enigmatic smile of someone with a new idea.