February 2019 Meeting

Oof!!! What an evening…

The decision to write this blog post so early the morning after may turn out to be a mistake!

February’s meet was a busy one; 9 people, 19 beers, 1 great evening and 1 even greater hangover!

February’s Beers

  • Nicki: Double Grapefruit IPA (5.8%), Not a Christmas Beer (?.?%)
  • Ivor: Barley Wine (9%), Citra Pale (4.5%), Raspberry Pale (4.5%
  • Chris: Amber Willy (4.9%), Best Bitter (4.2%), Blackberry Stout (5%), Chilli Stout (5%)
  • Charlie: Ginger & Sorachi Ace IPA (?.?%), Three Bean Stout (12%)
  • Guy: Saison (4.6%), Chilli Porter (5.3%), Braggott (12%)
  • Graham: Porter (5.7%)
  • Ed: Bourbon Aged Stout (15%), Coffee Stout (15%), Coconut Stout (15%)
  • Ben: Imperial Stout 2015 (9%)

The quality of beers on offer this month was truly exceptional! Nicki’s Double Grapefruit IPA, Chris’s Chilli Stout, Charlie’s Three Bean Stout, Guy’s Braggot, and Ed’s selection of Stout’s are all worthy of mention and each of them could have won Brew of the Month on any other occasion!
The victor though, with 4 votes, was Charlie’s Three Bean Stout. Cacao, Tonka Bean and Coffee, all blended into a barrel aged, 12% Stout. Absolutely fantastic. Well done Charlie!

Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe coming soon!

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!!!

January 2019 Meet (Part 1)

Off to a freezing cold start in 2019 with our belated Christmas Meet, kindly hosted this week by Beer Heroes Chester! From those that braved the cold we had quite a varied selection of beers being showcased this month.

January’s Beers (Part 1)

Charlie: Birch Sap Pale, Mulberry Pale, Raspberry Ripple Pale
Ben: Jaipur Clone, Simcoe & Chilli DIPA, Epic Pale Ale
Ivor: Northdown IPA v1, Northdown IPA v2, Strawberry Northdown IPA, Barley Wine

Ivor brought a selection of beers made on his new brew kit. Three variations of a Northdown, Challenger & Fuggles IPA and also a new Barley Wine.

I delved deep into the bottle stores and brought along a selection of old beers brewed in 2017/2018. Some had lasted better than others and it was clear that glass bottles were far better for long term storage than plastic. The two beers stored plastic bottles had not aged successfully to say the least!

Charlie brought along three variations of his green hopped Pale Ale. The first flavoured with Birch sap, the second with Mulberries and the third he named as a Raspberry Ripple Pale. Loaded with nearly 1.5kg of fruit per litre and sweetened with custard powder this was a real crowd pleaser and rightly the winner for the first ‘Brew of the Month’ award of 2019!


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!



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!

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!

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!