On Friday we went to the Brewery Resource Roadshow with Charles Faram in Manchester to learn about everything going on in the world of brewing.
We started with Charles Faram, our hop supplier, who talked us through where hops are grown and how the hop industry is developing. A few interesting points were the steady decline that the UK hop market was experiencing in terms of farmers and acreage, but the past couple of years have seen things begin to change with a slow increase and hopefully that’s something that will continue.
We were also shown a map of where hops can be grown and the affect the climate can have on a hop, most notably Saaz: a typical earthy, lager hop from the Czech Republic which is the same hop as Motueka which is grown in New Zealand. They boast citrus flavours such as lemon and lime. We also sampled a variety of hops, and I’m keen to use Olicana in the near future. It’s a British hop with new world characteristics. Charles Faram also ran us through the current situation of their development programme where 5,000 new seeds (separate varieties) have been planted with 50 of those now in advanced development. New hops soon!
Later on we also had a talk from Axel at Weyermann, a company who have been around since 1600. Axel talked us through their Terroir and Heirloom malts, similar to our Maris Otter that we use passionately. He also explained the influences that malt can impose on a beer including aroma, head, colour, flavour and body. It was particularly interesting having this talk from Weyermann as we continue to develop our German pilsner and undoubtedly look to put our DBC twist on other German styles.
Then there was Fermentis, the company that we use for the yeast in some of our craft beers. Interesting fact – one out of three loaves of bread in the world is made using Fermentis yeast. Here we spoke about their different yeasts, how they work and what could help promote certain flavours. For example, in our pale ales and IPAs I’m on a mission to get all the fruity characteristics out of the hops, so it’s useful to know which yeasts I could use to help promote that. They also have new yeast that could ferment a beer up to 18% ABV!
Murphy’s talked to us about clear beer, a hot topic in the brewing world at the minute. If it’s not clear (pun intended) I personally stand on the unfined side. Some of the Crafted beer is already unfined and there are talks to introduce this into our cask market, but we’re at a very early stage. Another interesting point was there are new finings on the market which make the beer clear and suitable for vegans, something we’re also going to keep an eye on.
Finally we went on a tour of Cloudwater Brewery which was very cool. It was great to get inspiration for new toys for our brewery. It was also their birthday so I got a taste of their Birthday DIPA beer – super fresh!
We’ll be back in touch soon with more exciting news from the DBC brewery.