January 2019 Meeting (Part 2)

Goddam it’s cold outside…

Even the arctic weather couldn’t deter six hardy souls from coming to our second January Meeting though it has to be said there was a pretty limited representation of our homebrewing talents with only 3 beers on offer! That being said, the quality of the brews was fantastic as always and a good night was had by all!

January’s Beers

  • Guy: Unknown Pale Ale ?.?%
  • Ed: NEIPA (Galaxy & Citra) 6.2%, Imperial Stout 12%

Due to the limited offering this month we didn’t vote for a Brew of the Month!


After taking a break last year, 2019 sees the return of our Recipe Roulette competition! For this year we have been donated some hops by the generous folks at Top Rope Brewing added to which is a randomly picked ingredient from a very varied selection! The draw is as follows:

  • Ben: Topaz & Fresh Herbs
  • Chris: Topaz & Cardamom Pods
  • Ed: Boadicea & Coriander
  • Guy: Topaz & Fruit
  • Matt: Apollo & Ginger
  • John: Fusion & Star Anise
  • Nicki: Bravo & Vanilla
  • Charlie: Boadicea & Tea
  • Mark: Apollo & Coffee
  • Simon: Fusion & Cinnamon
  • Nick W: Bravo & Chilli
  • Graham: Experimental 07270 & Heather Flowers

There are some spare picks so if I have missed anyone from the list please give me a shout and I will add you on!

The competition will be judged at the April meeting on Thursday 25th April and the prize pot up for grabs currently includes donations from Top Rope Brewing, Grainfather, Cloudwater and Cellar Bar with more still to be confirmed!

Happy brewing and Good Luck!!!

Special Report: Recipe Roulette Brewday!

Waaaaay back in March we held our Recipe Roulette competition for 2017 and Chris’s Grains of Paradise Wit was crowned Champion! Part of his prize was that his recipe would be brewed by our friends at Top Rope Brewing and would be available for sale at The Cellar Bar over the summer! Pretty awesome stuff!

Here are a few photo’s from the brewday…

Mash ready for sparging
Sparge underway!







That’s a lot of Coriander…
Boil in progress!







Transferring to the fermenters
All tucked away. Job done!









By all accounts it sounds like Chris’s contribution was more akin to slave labour but good fun was had by all and it way amazing to see (and drink) the end result during our August Meet! Cheers!

Our first collaboration pump clip!

March 2017 Meeting

March sees the culmination of our Recipe Roulette competition we set back in January. Out of the 18 entries picked a grand total of 16 were submitted for judging making this years competition over three times the size of last year!

That is a lot of beer!!!

Over the hours that followed our crack team of six judges tasted and scored each beer giving out a possible maximum of 600 points and gradually whittled them down to a Top 5. The judges then reconvened with fresh samples of these beers and as a group discussed their personal favorites and agreed on their final rankings!

The Judges!

Pioneer & Grains of Paradise Wit (446 points) – Chris W
Runner Up
Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA (416 points) – Ben
3rd Place
Goldings & Chocolate Milk Stout (414 points) – Ed
4th Place
Hallertauer & Chamomile Pale (380 points) – Neil
5th Place
Saaz & Salt Gose (370 points) – Charlie

I think it is fair to say that Chris was pretty surprised when his beer was announced as the Champion for 2017 but with judges comments including “amazing flavours”, “lovely beer” and “Everything a Wit should be!” it was clearly a resounding success and a well justified choice for 1st place!

Champion Chris! (and Ben from Top Rope!)

Chris takes home a £20 voucher from Cellar Bar, a Beer Tasting Masterclass for 4 people from Brewhouse & Kitchen, a Stainless Steel False Bottom from Grainfather, a bottle of Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout from Cloudwater and most importantly Chris’s Wit beer will be brewed commercially by our friends at Top Rope Brewing and will be available on tap at Cellar Bar ready for Summer! Brilliant!

Overall 2017’s competition worked really well and I hope everyone who came along had a brilliant night! It would have been totally impossible to have held this event without all the people involved from both Cheshire Brew Crew and the Liverpool Homebrew club, our judges who selflessly gave up their time to battle through all the weird and wonderful creations the entrants had come up with, and of course the unbelievable generosity from Cellar Bar, Top Rope Brewing, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Malt Miller, Brew UK, Grainfather and Cloudwater for their donations to the prize pots! Thank you to everybody!!!



February 2017 Meeting

Storm Doris 1:0 Homebrewers!

Unfortunately the February meeting was a bit weather affected and after Storm Doris had finishing lashing the Northwest with 70mph winds only three hardy homebrewers ventured outside in the evening! Special thanks to Neil and Ed for braving the elements too!

As there is very little beer to talk about this month I’ll take the opportunity to update you all on the Recipe Roulette competition set last month. We have 18 confirmed recipe picks and thanks to the amazing generosity of Cellar Bar, Top Rope Brewing, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Grainfather, BrewUK and Malt Miller those homebrewers are competing for a prize pot which is pretty darn amazing! So, here we go!

1st place
Your beer commercially brewed by our friends at Top Rope Brewing!
A Brewhouse & Kitchen Beer Masterclass for four people
£20 Cellar Bar Voucher
A Grainfather Growler & Yeast selection

2nd place
£25 BrewUK Voucher
£10 Cellar Bar Voucher
A Brewhouse & Kitchen Growler & TShirt

3rd Place
£25 MaltMiller Voucher
£10 Cellar Bar Voucher
A Brewhouse & Kitchen Glass & Keyring

Now I think you’ll agree, that is something a bit special!

I hope you’re competition beers are all going to plan and we’ll see you all on Thursday 30th March at Cellar Bar, Chester!


January 2017 Meeting

Happy Anniversary us!

This time last year we were mourning the demise of the Brewdoo Homebrew club and Chester Brew Crew, and celebrating the creation of the Cheshire Brew Crew! A year! Doesn’t time fly when you are drinking having fun?

After the success of last years competition this January we decided to set it up again and Recipe Roulette II was born! The same rules and randomly picked ingredients as last time but this year, thanks to the interest of the Black Lodge Brew Club (@liv_homebrew ), we have increased the participants for 2017 to 20 entries!

  • Ben: Simcoe & Chilli
  • Neil: Hallertauer & Chamomile
  • Guy: Citra & Oak Chips
  • Charlie: Saaz & Salt
  • Chris W: Pioneer & Grains of Paradise
  • Nick W: Centennial & Peppercorns
  • Mark: Galena & Fruit
  • Dave: Amarillo & Star Anise
  • Ed: Goldings & Chocolate
  • Simon: First Gold & Coriander Seeds
  • Lol (Liv): Northern Brewer & Cinnamon
  • Ken (Liv): Fuggles & Cardamom
  • Andy (Liv): Galaxy & Orange Peel
  • Ron (Liv): Cascade & Tea
  • Pete (Liv): Chinook & Coffee
  • Damian (Liv): Ahtanum & Juniper Berries
  • Steve (Liv): Motueka & Heather Flowers
  • Andrew (Liv): Sorachi Ace & Vanilla

The competition will be judged at the March meeting on Thursday 30th March and the prize pot up for grabs currently includes donations from Malt Miller, BrewUK, Cellar Bar and a goodie bag from the guys at Grainfather!


January’s Beers

Once all the messing about with the competition entries was out of the way we could crack on with the main event! Beers! Another brilliant selection was brought in this month with Charlie yet again making a strong push for the unofficial ‘longest beer name’ award with his Imperial Salted Vanilla Smoked Milk Stout! We also welcomed Dave who was joining us for the first time this month and brought along a lovely citrusy IPA hopped with Olicana – not a hop I or many of the group had used before, and a Robust smoked Porter he had brewed on his Grainfather system. Both were very nice beers – he can come back next month!

  • Ben: Cwtch Kit, Brewers Gold 3
  • Guy: English IPA
  • Mark: Schwarzbier, Plum Porter
  • Charlie: Imperial Salted Vanilla Smoked Milk Stout, Sorachi Ace Barrel Aged Saison, Liquorice Coconut Stout
  • Ed: Black Double IPA
  • Dave: Olicana IPA, Robust Smoked Porter

It was an extremely close run thing voting for the Brew of the Month as the quality of this months selection was so high. Ed’s Black Double IPA just pipped everyone to the post (by 1 vote)! Congratulations to Ed on another quality offering!


And that was January done! We’re back at Cellar Bar on February 23rd to see how everybody is getting on with their competition brews! See you there!

May 2016 Meeting

Road Trip!!

May saw us cancel our normal Thursday evening session and embark on a road trip to Brewdog Liverpool to enter their homebrew competition. Three hardened drinkers selfless volunteers (Chris, Guy and myself) made the trip and transported a total of five Cheshire Brew Crew beers to be entered!

Competition Beers

Ben S: Black Jai-P-A and Orange & Amarillo Saison
Charlie: Barrel-aged Smoked Cherry Imperial Stout
Guy: Russian Imperial Stout and Pale Ale

The lone (due to the other judge not turning up!!) judge Terry (of Liverpool Craft Brewery) took on the daunting task of sampling all 49 entries singlehandedly! It would have been amazing to have been able to get score sheets and detailed tasting notes for our entries, but under the circumstances just tasting all the beers was going to be a mammoth task for one judge! Good effort sir!

The winners of the categories are as follows:

SESSION Cascova Mild, Ben Jackson
WHEAT Honey & Chamomile Wit, Alex Monks
IPA Mild Rat Brown IPA, Andrew Jardine
PORTER/STOUT Barrel-aged Smoked Cherry Imperial Stout, Charlie Houlbrook
STRONG English Barley Wine, Ben Jackson
OPEN Brown Ale, Neil Rothwell

And the overall Champion Beer was….

Barrel-aged Smoked Cherry Imperial Stout, Charlie Houlbrook

Boom! Congratulations Charlie!

We tasted this beer for the first time back in the January Meeting when it was by far the best beer of the night. It was amazing back then and now four months on it deservedly gets some ‘official’ recognition! We told you it was good Charlie!

Overall it was a fantastic day out. Thanks needs to go to Brewdog for organising and hosting the event and also to Ben (and family), Neil and the other Liverpool homebrewers for making us feel so welcome! Cheers!

And for now, we’re back to normal for June’s meeting on the 30th. (Probably)

March 2016 Meeting

Competition Time!

March saw the judging of our Recipe Roulette competition set back in January. Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances and a couple of last minute drop outs only five beers made it to the judges table. A crack panel of independent judges was then recruited to provide feedback on the entries and after 2 hours of scrutinising each beer the scores were counted and the results announced…

  • Champion: Amarillo & Orange Saison – 387 points – Ben (S)
  • Runner Up: Chinook & (Orange) Tea Pale Ale – 356 points – Neil
  • 3rd place: Northern Brewer & Vanilla Cream Ale – 341 – Ben (J)
  • 4th place: Sorachi Ace & Ginger Saison – 328 points – Charlie
  • 5th place: Cascade & Chocolate Stout – 250 points – Chris W

1st place prize consisted of £20 Cellar Bar vouchers, £25 Malt Miller voucher, a Grainfather T-Shirt and 15 packs of Mangrove Jacks yeast!


And the Runner Up took away £10 Cellar bar voucher, a Grainfather keyring and a £25 BrewUK voucher.

Runner Up!

Not bad at all! Plus all the brewers got to spend the evening drinking each others competition entries and it’s fair to say that all of the beers submitted were great and the brewers didn’t have a bad word to say about any of them! There were also a selection of other beers brought along by Guy and Mark.

March’s Other Beers:

  • Guy: Russian Imperial Stout
  • Mark: American Pale Ale kit, Centennial & Nelson Extract and an AG Best Bitter


Overall our first club competition was a success and went off pretty much without a hitch! Thank you very much to Cellar Bar, Malt Miller, Brew UK and iMake for their very generous donations to the prize pots! We’ll definitely be planning another competition for the Autumn/Winter season… watch this space for details!

Though for now it is back to normal for April, see you on the 28th for a nice simple bottle swap! Cheers!