by Bedford Clanger drinks correspondent Zoe Stafford @3oetrope
Brewing beer is a man’s game, isn’t it? Perhaps now the industry is largely testosterone-fuelled, but it wasn’t always the way. Until the 1960s beer brewing was done by women, known as ‘Brewsters’, and on International Women’s Day (8th March), Bedford did its part to get women back to those big copper kettles as part of International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWDCBD).
8th March saw Brewhouse and Kitchen, on Bedford’s High Street, host a female brewery experience day in collaboration with Charles Wells’ Wandering Brewer Project. Eight of us were invited to learn more about the process and have a good try of the beers brewed on site (it’s a hard life), led by Head Brewer, Peter.
We had a real hands-on day starting with ‘mashing in’, where we added the grains and water together (I’m thinking Fitness First should start a class using a mash tun, guns of steel needed!), to five hours later sending it all the way back to the fermentation tank where the yeast was added for it to do its thing for a couple of weeks.
Brewing beer is a real art of calculations, chemical equations and elbow grease, and definitely not just for the boys! (A little birdie told me Beverley, from The Three Cups, is a lady brewer to keep an eye out for! Yes, girl!)
The beer that was started on this fateful day as part of IWCBD will be available from Brewhouse and Kitchen, Bedford, from today (22nd March) and will be called ‘Unite Exotic’. A portion of the sale of each pint will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
You too can brew your own beer under the expert guidance of Brewhouse & Kitchen’s Head Brewer. Find out more info about their Beer Academy here. For more information about the Wandering Brewer Project here.