August 2017 Meeting

With the sun beating down and cracking the flags outside, our August meeting kicked off in the basement of Cellar Bar with an almighty selection of beers to keep us suitably refreshed!

August’s Beers

Guy: Raspberry Wit (4.6%), Belgian Wit (5.6%)
Charlie, Evergreen Wheat (5.5%), Gooseberry Crumble Wheat (5.5%)
Ben: Rye Saison (7.3%), Goze (4.1%)
Chris: Black IPA (unknown!)
Mark: Cloudwater Double IPA Clone (8.6%)
Ed: NEIPA (7.5%)

Both Mark and Ed were vying for this months ‘Brew of the Month’ award but in a very close vote off Ed’s NEIPA just pipped Mark’s Cloudwater DIPA clone to the post! Both were absolutely fantastic big IPA’s and worthy of the title! Ed’s recipe will follow shortly for those wanting to have a go at it but brace yourselves… it’s got 620g of hops in it!

We’ll be back in September, normal place, normal time… See you there!

 

 

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July 2017 Meeting

A combination of illness, terrible weather and the start of holiday season swiftly put an end to the June meeting but we were back in force for July!

July’s Beers:

  • Ed: Citra & Simcoe Pale, Blueberry Stout
  • Guy: Strawberry English Pale, Traditional English Bitter
  • Charlie: Redcurrant Wheat, Blueberry Wheat, Margarita Pizza Beer
  • Ben: Maibock, Rye Saison, Gose
  • Chris: Belgian Brune, Cider Kit
  • Neil: Cocoa Bourbon Stout

Fruit beers were clearly on our minds with this months selection, other than Charlie that is… He clearly had something else entirely in mind with his Margarita Pizza Beer! Mozzarella cheese, fresh Basil and homegrown Tomatoes all went into this creation… it was pretty unique to say the least and covered at least 2 of your 5-a-day!

All in all it was a cracking meet with another impressive selection of beers to be drunk! So many that we forgot to pick a Brew of the Month this time around but it’ll make a return in August!

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!
Cheers!

May 2017 Meeting

Normality is resumed!

The sunshine of May clearly had a positive effect on the Brew Crew and we had a bumper turnout and some amazing beers being showcased.

May’s Beers

  • Ben: Cwtch Kit, Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA
  • Chris: Belgian Brune, Cider Kit
  • Ed: Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Charlie: Banana Leaf & Tree Honey Wheat, “Feminist Paramilitary Death Squad” (a Fresh Tea and Coconut Treacle Beer), Redcurrant Oak Sour
  • Guy: Citra and Roast Barley Bitter

It goes without saying nowadays that Charlie’s incredible selection of ingredients resulted in some amazing beers but this months winner of Brew of the Month was my Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA. This is the beer I brewed for the Recipe Roulette competition back in March and the extra 2 months bottle aging has provided the final polishing touches. The recipe writeup will be on the website soon!

April 2017 Meeting

Once the dust settled…

Following the roaring success of our Recipe Roulette competition in March was always going to be a big ask and April’s meet was a distinctly quieter affair! So much so that I completely forgot about getting the blog write-ups done until now 3 months later… cough cough!

April’s Beers

  • Guy: Dunkel, Columbus Smash
  • Chris: English Bitter, American Brown
  • Ben: Simcoe & Chilli Double IPA

With such a small selection of beers on offer we decided that there wouldn’t be a Beer of the Month award this time around!

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!

Champion
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!!!

Cheers!

 

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!

November 2016 Meeting

Clearly there is no better way to spend a cold November evening than getting together with a bunch of like-minded people and sink a few good beers! That certainly seemed to be the case this month as we had 10 people down for the November meeting bringing with them an amazing selection of beers.

November’s Beers:

  • Ben (S): Russian Imperial Stout
  • Mark: Rye Saison, Tropical Saison
  • Guy: Toffee Apple Pale Ale
  • Simon: Fig/Date Stout, Belgian Punk
  • Ed: Simcoe & Citra Pale Ale
  • Charlie: Zadar Croatian Honey & Maraschino Imperial Stout, Smoked Raspberry, Quince & Chilli Ale
  • Top Rope Brewing: ‘Born to Lose’- New England Session IPA

Amongst all the beers above, Charlie pushed the boat out again with an amazing Zadar Croatian Honey & Maraschino Imperial Stout – where does he get these ideas from?? I brought along my 2015 Russian Imperial Stout that was now 18 months in the bottle (and significantly better behaved than the gushers we tried to sample last November!) and Mark supplied two Saisons – the first was a Rye Saison full of spicy peppery notes and the latter was a tropical New Zealand Saison crammed with fruity hoppy amazingness! It was a tough call to pick an overall beer of the night, but I think the Tropical Saison just about got the most plaudits in the end!

December’s meeting falls in the week between Christmas and New Year so the exact dates will be confirmed nearer to the time!

October 2016 Meeting

Like all good brewing magpies the lure of the shiny copper brewery we saw last month at Brewhouse & Kitchen meant that instead of holding our own normal evening, we postponed for a week and attended the B&K Homebrewers session instead.

The evening was hosted by Matt, the Head Brewer of the Chester site, who gave us a full run down of the setup there and their plans for the future before joining us for a good ol’ beer tasting session!

October’s Beers:

  • Ben (S): Smoked Chipotle Porter
  • Nick: Hoppy Leffe Accident, Jaipoor
  • Ed: Pale Ale, Blood Orange IPA, Black IPA
  • Charlie: Lime & Lychee Wheat, Hibiscus & Bee Pollen Wheat, Cherry Wheat

Welcome to newcomer Ed who brought along 3 beers which he had brewed for his wedding earlier in the year! All three were excellent beers and the general consensus was that the Blood Orange IPA was the beer of the night.

Back to normal for Novembers meet. Cellar Bar, 24th November, see you there!