An evening and a day in Scarborough. At my favourite pub. And brewing with - and I will argue the case with anyone - the best specialist cask brewery in the UK, along with one of the most respected brewers “darn sarf” and all the winners of Beer of the Festival at ISBF.
I couldn’t be objective….Well, I could, but I’m lazy. So, over to #EvilKegFilth Overlord Chris!
“Jim asked if I wanted to write this up. So I did.
‘Went to brew beer. Brewed beer. Job Done.’
Jim said that was a little succinct, so I had another bash.
He also asked me if I wanted to go to North Riding to brew some beer. Well, I haven’t been to Scarborough since I was about 25, and therefore to North Riding.... exactly never, so I jumped at this opportunity. Reason number 1. I’ve had Stuart’s beers before (most recently at an MTB at Stalybridge Buffet bar) and they’re bloody delicious. Reason number 2. Then Jim casually mentioned that the Dave Grohl of Brewing was going to be there too, doing a collab for the festival. Like everyone else, I love Andy, and his Elusive beers. So, that was reason number 3. Sorted.
What I didn’t know was how long it would take to get to Scarborough on the train. Having to go via Manchester and then the Transpennine Express to Scarborough meant a nigh on 4 hour journey. A great idea was formed. Lunch at the Marble Arch? Yup. I’m obviously up for that too. Sunday lunch, a couple of pints and then we were finally at Victoria Station. Which was rammed. Trains cancelled left right and centre made for a stand up journey for me until Leeds. The OAP took a seat.....
Finally, we got to Scarborough and, taxis not forthcoming, walked the mile or so to the North Riding Brewpub. Greetings were exchanged, and beer was drank. Quite a bit of beer in a short space of time. Stuart announced that we would need to be up and ready for 07:15 the next morning. Great, a lie-in! So we had another beer and then we retired.
Of course, it being Monday, I had my work alarm set. So Black Sabbath duly chimed out at 05:30. Oops, sorry Jim! Off to the brewery on time, ready for the first mash in of the day. That’s right.... the plan was to brew 2 beers today. The “official” ISBF/North Riding/Elusive collab, and the North Riding Brew Pub / Elusive collab. Which meant two locations. Obviously this was going to be fun.....
Mash in, and therefore beer number one was at the “Factory”, which is North Riding’s brewery just outside Scarborough on a little craft industrial estate.
An India Porter, to be around 7% ABV, so that meant a bill comprising pale, brown, black and chocolate malts. Pretty soon, the brewery was smelling delicious, Jim had stirred some porridge and we got some breakfast. Oh yes, you need a good breakfast. And this was a BIG sandwich. Bacon and sausage. With the emphasis on BIG and SAUSAGE. It was tremendous. And we didn’t take a photo. How rude of us!
Whilst the first mash was cooking, we then set off back to the Brew Pub to mash in for the second beer. Are you keeping up? This is the one that’s the collab between North Riding Brew Pub and Elusive. This would be an American Red, designed mostly by Andy, so that meant lots of hops would be used. Pale and caramalts were used here, so that we got a good red hue on the beer. We were introduced to John, who would be looking after the brew at the Brew Pub. In went all the malt, another stir by Jim, then back over to the Factory to see how brew number one was getting on.
We won’t bore you with how the brewing process. Suffice it to say, that there were the usual fabulous smells, for this one it was chocolate, coffee and toast. Pretty much a good breakfast right there, I’d say. The wort was run off into the copper, it was a good deep black, exactly as planned. Then it was time to stand around while that came to the boil.
Except for Andy and I.
We had to get back to the Brew Pub to repeat for the collab there. Lots of fun and games, with a very different smell attached. This being a red, hoppy beer, it was like chalk and cheese to the India Porter. Run off done, Andy happy with the colour, and off we went back to the Factory, while John looked after this brew.
At the Factory, Jim was well into the digging out the mash tun phase, which he’s particularly good at, so I left him to it :) Emptied, cleaned and tidied, the copper up to temperature, in went some hops. One whole kilogram of magnum. I know, it’s not a lot, but this is a dark beer, not a hop bomb! Time for another batch of waiting. Good time to catch up with gossip, news, and good friends.
Time for the end of boil hop addition. This time it was 5kg of centennial. This honour was Jim’s, quite rightly. In they went, another quick stir, and time to run off into the fermenting vessel, adding the yeast of course. Andy had to leave at this point, it’s a fair drive back to Berkshire, so we said our goodbyes and off he went. Jim and I having booked a stupidly late train out from Scarborough, after cleaning up the copper, off we went back to the Brew Pub for a couple of well earned points. (Or “pints” - Ed)
A big thanks to all involved today. Stuart & Karen from North Riding / North Riding Brew Pub. John for looking after Brew 2. Graham for clambering into the copper to clean it out. Malcolm from Five Towns for fetching the breakfast sandwiches. Andy for coming a long way to make this collab happen. We are really looking forward to these beers at ISBF. You should be too......
Chris (AKA #ISBF5 #EvilKegFilth Overlord)”