When Richard Conway suggested a collab beer for #ISBF5 (actually, he’s doing two!), I jumped at the offer. Because – ever so quietly – he’s established himself (as Thirst Class) as one of the “go to” breweries in Greater Manchester. With minimal fuss, he makes some of the best beer in the region, consistent, tasty with a playful eye for flavour. He’s good.
He’s also the “victim” of one of my proudest flavour achievements. He had to clean out the FV that had 18kg of blitzed raspberries chucked into a big Stout “War of the Raspberries” that we made for #ISBF3 with Stuart Neilson of North Riding. And that was one beautiful beer.
And his thoughts for this one sounded delicious too...
Coming off the back of consecutive 4:45 starts, an 8:30 mash in sounded delightful.....
Mash in was straightforward. Blissfully so. Which meant time for a little breakfast, chat a visual overview of the brewery. Things have changed here since my last visit, with 4 fermenters bearing testament to gradual expansion built on demand for tasty beers. He’s certainly come a long way since brewing Elephant Hawk IPA on the Quantum kit!
Whilst the mostly pale malt bill steeping, hops were weighed out for early (bittering) addition and late flavour more to enhance the addition of the “adjuncts”. Which are the purpose of this beer. Dandelion and Burdock roots. 3kg of each. With a little enhancing ginger seasoning.
Yesterday was a day to watch. And learn. And dig. And I learned loads. Richard is a very talented and knowledgeable fella and talked me through lots of process stuff, in amongst the general shooting of breeze.
The whole brewday was smooth as silk with everything going precisely as it should (a bloody rare thing!) and it was an absolute pleasure to help clean and dig out 305kg (dry) of wet grains. Something my shoulder now regrets!
Feeling – ever so slightly – exhausted after 3 consecutive brewdays and distinctly flagging, it was soon time to depart. It’s always a pleasure to work with talented people (something that the self – depreciating Richard would never claim for himself) and Mr Conway is certainly one of those. And with equally talented people like Pete & Duncan working with him, I can only see more bright things on the horizon for Thirst Class.
And I’m REALLY looking forward to this Dandelion & Burdock Pale!
Fancy one? You know where it will be first..... Few remaining tickets here (and Saturday evening nearly sold out now)