The prologue is mine (Jim) The brewday is not. That is written by a dear friend.
It is a little known* historical fact that this event is in its 6th year.
*I witter about it constantly
But what is less known is that without one particular person, this event would never have happened. His name? Christopher Jazwinski. The man who inspired me to write about beer, without which I'd never have been approached to do a beer festival to raise money.
In short, without him, you don't have ISBF.
So it's his fault.
I've known Jaz (as everyone knows him) for almost 40 years and he knows his beer. And he has some personal favourites - mostly unsung. That's his nature. And he's a big fan of Beer Nouveau. And the culture being cultivated and nurtured at that small brewery and taproom by the owners, Steve and Lesley.
Steve has a playful streak with flavours, but has his beer sensibility rooted in historical beer styles with a dedicated and growing fanbase for his efforts. And he is a big supporter of this event. For which we are hugely grateful.
At the start of all preparations, I (Jim) invite friends of the event to choose a must have brewery. Jaz's response was no surprise.
So, over to the Arch-Nemesis himself….
The day started with a sharpish downpour. But nothing was stopping me from getting to the brewery for a 10am start.
Steve was already working on the recipe for today's beer and today we were being joined by the beers sponsor Paul Boardman (Twitter @paboardman).
Paul is also into homebrew so was looking forward to the day & picking up a few tips.
The day started by weighing out the malt.
Paul doing most of the labouring. (Because Jaz is a lazy git! Ed) Next as the water was up to temperature the malt was added to the mash tun
Now as the wort was getting to work a few light libations were taken. And a good chat.
(And some STRONG retro glassware game! Ed…)
Hops were weighed out and added to the boil. While this brewed a few more beers tasted. And a good laugh. Talks of Oktoberfest in Manchester were discussed.
Prior the transfer to the kettle, a taste of the sweet liquor was tried by all of us, and tasted great.
Again Paul got to do the majority of the labouring. (“Labouring”? Ed 😂😂😂)
Finally the beer was transferred to the conditioning tank and it was time to go.
Leaving the brewery at 7pm straight into another downpour. So a trip to Beatniks for a few beers before going home after a great day out.
So what did we brew? Well, the original idea was a pale mild with thyme. But this was probably rightly abandoned. it's a tradition dark mild with a possible abv of 5 to 6%.
Will be on cask at ISBF6. Tickets on sale now (and only 3 sessions still available + tickets here. Thanks to Steve for agreeing to do this brew and Paul for assisting and more importantly sponsoring this beer.
(Milds are a rarity in winter. And we haven't had one for 3 years. I couldn't be happier! Ed)
Cheers Jaz and huge thanks to Steve and to Paul for sponsoring this beer.
This marks the start of the #ISBF6 “Collab Season”. Next brewday in a little over a week - with a super special update on something even more exciting (to me at any rate) coming soon.
Be kind to one another. Jim x