It’s official, Leeds loves Beer.
From stunning real ale trails, , ‘Leeds Beer Week’( Yes…a whole week dedicated to beer!!) and the frequent popping up of micro-breweries in the city, to Leeds-born purveyors of fine craft beer, ‘North Bar’, making it into the Guardian’s ‘Top 50’ pubs in the UK, you can sense that we’re kind of serious about that delicious, winning combination of yeast, hops and grain.
Get Cooking, in Leeds, takes our love of enjoying a good home brew, a step further and partners with ‘Learn to Brew’, who come in the craft-ale-brewing shape of Steve and Andy.
Both are extremely enthusiastic about brewing craft ale and sharing their knowledge with others, and you can get a taste for yourself by booking onto our ‘Learn to Brew Craft Ale’ workshop on Saturday 17th November. This is a unique, hands on Craft Ale making course where you are provided with the fermenting equipment as well as the bottles to make your own craft ale. On this course Steve and Andy take you through the whole theory of brewing; the malt, different types of hops, the water and different techniques that can be used. Not only do you go away with a clear understanding of the process but 12 bottles of your own beer, and the kit to keep on brewing at home! So perhaps, book a Taxi.
Steve met Andy, (who had been brewing for a year already,) when their sons were one year old. Both being first time Dads seemingly enhanced their curiosity in all things beer. As any new parent comes to realise, you don’t get to go out as much as you used to, and Steve soon came to appreciate the interesting dynamic of having a beer in the house. When the pair realised that the beer they made themselves was as good as any they could buy- it became even more interesting. Steve notes ‘Creating something you enjoy is rewarding, creating something other people can enjoy is extremely rewarding.’
For those of you that want to give this a try for yourself, Steve suggests you can spend as much or as little as you like on the equipment needed, however it’s the tried and tested principles of brewing that will shine through and make your ale taste lip-smacking. The good news is, you can just use what you have lying around the house if you want to and you don’t need any special skills.
Steve says; ‘Lots of people know about brewing and are happy to share, recipes are widely available on line, and you can find out everything you need to know. My advice would be to jump in at the deep end ingredients wise- forget the home brew kits, go straight to all grain, you won’t regret it.’
And, for a truly immersive experience with the experts close at hand to give you the tips you need for success, you’d be hard pressed to beat the workshop. There are some obvious parallels with brewing your own and home cooking – taking the time and patience to perfect a skill, whilst giving enjoyment to others through creating something special. Steve adds;
‘It’s a real luxury to use the facilities at Get Cooking, the place lends itself perfectly to people doing their own creative thing together- we can demonstrate what to do and people have the space to brew themselves. It also has decent ventilation, which you only realise you need when you have ten people all brewing at once!!’
As if you needed more convincing, the session costs just £125 and includes the take home kit, 20 pints of homebrew and the confidence to try it for yourself. You too could soon be thinking up inventive names for your own special brew.
We asked Steve to tell us about the home brew names that didn’t quite make the final cut …
‘Well, I was going to call a beer – ‘love grows where my rosemary gose’ – it would have been a rosemary gose- geddit?’
Erm we’ll leave that one with you Steve, until next time 😉
Editor note: Gose is a top-fermented beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. It is brewed with at least 50% of the grain bill being malted wheat. Dominant flavours in gose include a lemon sourness, a herbal characteristic, and a strong saltiness (the result of either local water sources or added salt).