Of course there’s no such thing as free beer. But somehow, I’ve ended up getting involved with a local craft brewery and it’s a whole heap of fun.
Last year I started making “Turbo Cider” – it was a weekend project with the kids as G said my recycling bin was filling up too fast, and maybe I could make my own beer. We settled on cider as it seemed easier.
Anyhow. That, and the proximity of the wonderful Old Gate Hebden Bridge, a bar manager called Ollie who seemed determine to school me in the what’s and wherefores of beer. Moving to drinking halves from pints. And having a bunch of free time… I ended up somehow forcing my way into the largely family run Bridestones Brewery a few months ago.
Dan Tasker who runs the brewery is an interesting chap. He’s a marketing and business background, and grew up at the farm he still lives at above the valley in Blackshaw Head.
As a side project last year, he launched the Hebden Bridge Brewing Company brand, to make less mainstream, more edgy beers. The sort of beers that quite interested me.
I thought I could help with his marketing, brands, that sort of thing, and we’ve had a fun few weeks bouncing ideas around.
Our first new brew was a Green Hopped Bitter – which came about as the Incredible Farm in Walsden, near Todmorden, just up the road, called to say they had a crop of Northdown Hops, and did we want any?
We did! And to add to the “green” aspect, I decided to collect the hops by bike. So, to keep true to the ethos and echoes in the valley, I followed the ancient drovers roads and packhorse tracks of Calderdale to get from Hebden Bridge, to the farm, then up to Bridestones Brewery in Blackshaw Head above Hebden Bridge.
And recorded it all on Strava of course – http://www.strava.com/activities/202666208
The beer was brewed. Hops added. And then it was left to ferment.
Today, I’ve just collected one of the barrels, and delivered it to OldGate for their beer festival this weekend. It’ll be OK by Friday when it’s settled a bit.
That’s on Strava too - http://www.strava.com/activities/207183370
The beer is called Vertical. It’s great.
Oh yeah – and the other day I started a new bike company - http://pactbikes.com/