... all the news and updates as they happen!
06/07/2013 : First up, apologies for the break in service - Gazza has been mad-busy getting Hopcraft ready (which it now is!) and he's the only one with the keys to the website... ah well, we're back now!
Angel of Death has made its way across the country and has been well received everywhere it’s reached. It’s still to come on at the Shakespeare (this weekend) and the Cask & Welly. It disappeared very quickly in the Rutland, and of course it would have been rude not to load up all the Slayer on the jukebox while drinking it! This Saturday sees Shazz again standing in for Gazza for the latest in the Black Metal series – In The Nightside Eclipse is named after the classic Emperor album, and whether you like the term or not is a Black IPA. Mash profile is Maris Otter and Wheat as usual, supplemented by Carafa Spezial for colour and a few pounds of sugar for strength without body.
Hops include Columbus at first wort and Magnum at boil for well over 100IBU, followed by the new holy trinity of Galaxy, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin for flavour. More Mosaic and Galaxy will go in the fermenter, and yet more Mosaic in the cask. The minikit will be used for a stronger, Mosaic single hop, Black IPA entitled ‘I Am The Black Wizards’ after a track from In The Nightside Eclipse. Expect 7%ish and around 200IBU (or more if we decide to bring out the Botanix goodies!)
13/05/2013 : Shazz once again stepped in at Steel City as Gazza was putting the finishing touches to his Hopcraft brewery (which may even be brewing by the time you read this!). Angel of Death is named in tribute to legendary Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who tragically passed away earlier this month.
The beer itself has Steel City’s ‘standard’ mash of Low Colour Maris Otter and Wheat Malts, in this case followed by Columbus at first wort and Magnum at boil for 144IBU of bitterness. Flavour comes from a blend of Galaxy and Mosaic, in both leaf form in the copper and T90 pellet form in the fermenter, plus a handful of leaves in the cask. Mosaic is a new American hop, a derivation of Simcoe, described by Gazza as tasting of Simcoe and strawberries!
The minikit was used for another Hanneman tribute beer, a 6.66% IPA named The Antichrist and carrying 666IBU and flavoured exclusively with Mosaic.
29/04/2013 : Early April saw Steel City host a collaboration - the first in fact for the brand new Hopcraft brewery!
Pixie Spring Tom joined Dave from Steel City, while Gazza 'Two Hats' Prescott was representing both Steel City and Hopcraft! The beer itself is a Dunkelhopfenweizenbier, named Walpurgis Nacht after both the Pagan (and latterly Satanist!) celebration at the end of April, and the album by German metallers Stormwitch. A traditional 50/50 blend of Pale Maris Otter and Wheat Malt with half a sack of Carafa Spezial for colour was followed by 108.2 IBU of Columbus (first wort) and Warrior (boil) for bitterness and a shedload of Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin for flavour (ok so that last bit isn't very traditional…), and fermented with German WB06 Weissbier yeast. Finally the beer was dry hopped with Galaxy in the fermenter and again in the cask.
Meanwhile, the minikit used first runnings to produce what we believe to be the first ever Kaiserlichdunkelhopfenweizenbier (easy for us to say! As if you hadn't guessed, this translates as Imperial Dark Hoppy Wheat Beer!). No name as yet, but it will be named for the celebration party for the Shakespeare's (our biggest customer!) well-deserved Sheffield Pub of the Year award.
Walpurgis Nacht will be appearing in all the usual suspects, plus Birrasana in Spain. The Shakespeare will have the usual variants on the brew, including A Slight Case of Overhopping 20 and Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug Ist Voller Aalen (dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin). Finally, a very special variant, Metal Fatigue, celebrates the demise of Thatcher (though sadly not Thatcherism), and can be found in the Shakespeare, Reading Beer Festival, Glastonwick Beer Festival and the Rutland. Ding dong the witch is dead!
Early tastings of Metal Fatigue from the fermenter and in the Shakespeare suggest a very complex beer, with the tropical gooseberry/mango/citrus tastes of the Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin working very well with the banana character of the WB06 yeast, while the bitterness subdues the sweetness of the yeast, all backed up with a slight hint of the dark malt.
13/04/2013 : Our latest brew is a collaboration... well, let's just say Gazza collaborated with himself! Steel City hosted Tom from Hopcraft Brewing in Llantrisant (Gazza's new project) to create a Dunkelhopfenweissbier or, as they say in Sheffield, a dark wheat beer. With Warrior, Columbus and Galaxy hops in the kettle this should be anything but Germanic in taste; look out for it very soon.
27/03/2013 : Alestorm is in the cask! Thanks to a slow fermentation (due to a typical British ‘spring’! Grim oop north and all that…) it wasn’t ready for racking in our usual Sunday slot, so Dave had to go after the day job on Tuesday, ably assisted by Shazz and Stephen. Cask washing took a bit longer than usual as we hadn’t used them for a while (and a certain other brewer used all our clean ones!). It was10pm before we finally locked up and went for a well-earned pint and a curry, but 20 firkins of Alestorm were safely in the coldroom, along with a firkin of A Slight Case of Overhopping 19 and a firkin and a pin of Aureol, a special variant with the Galaxy dry-hop supplemented by fresh kiwi fruit! The pin is destined for the Birrasana festival north of Barcelona, while the firkin is off to the slightly less exotic Doncaster for the beer festival there.
Meanwhile, ASCOO19 and Alestorm are already in the cellar at the Shakespeare, the latter also being delivered to the Rutland. Others are destined for the usual suspects, Boggart are taking 4 including one for Reading Beer Festival.
11/03/2013 : After a brief hiatus due to Gazza being a little preoccupied with his new Hopcraft venture and Dave swanning around the Middle East and Subcontinent, Steel City are back in the brick shed! The latest beer was brewed by Dave and Shazz (as Gazza was still putting the finishing touches to Hopcraft), and is named ‘Alestorm’ after the celtic metal band. Alestorm is a return to pale n’ hoppy, having a 4.5%ish base of Pale Maris Otter and a bit of wheat malt, and a hop grist consisting of Columbus at First Wort, Warrior at boil (a total of 128IBU), and Galaxy and Riwaka after flame-off for a massive tropical fruit flavour. Alestorm is dry-hopped with Galaxy in the fermenter, and yet more Galaxy in the cask. A variant for Doncaster beer festival, featuring kiwi fruit in the cask, is named Aureol and so fits in with both the festival theme, and organiser Lee’s attempt to get as many female-brewed beers as possible (though Shazz did have a bit of help!).
18/02/2013 : Apologies for the lack of updates but owing to big changes at Steel City (Gazza off starting his own brewery and Dave away on a trip to India) We've not really been in a position to brew. February's brew was cancelled as neither of us were about, but we are tentatively pencilling in a brew for the beginning of March; watch this space!
05/02/2013 : Our January brew didn't happen due to various reasons, but Dave still found time to visit our principal collaboration buddy and all-round top bloke David Hemstock at Raw Brewing where this happened...
"Corrosion of Conformity brewday, our fifth collaboration with Raw, went well in sub-zero Staveley… the mash tun was full to capacity with pale maris otter, a sack each of wheat malt and melanodin, and just a kilo of carafa for a touch more colour. 10kg of dark muscovado went into the underback. We then added Palisade as first wort hop, followed by summit at boil. In a departure from our usual method, we added 30 and 15 minute hop charges, a mix of summit, palisade, bramling cross and sorachi. The flame-off charge was a further 4kg of the same hops. Rusty in colour, with a colossal 197IBU of bitterness and fruity hops offset by the rummy muscovado and the secret ingredient to be added to the fermenter. Cascade pellets also going in the fermenter for good measure! It may be brown, but it certainly ain’t twiggy!"
17/01/2013 : Happy new year and all that!
We weren't sure if a January brew would happen but it's now been confirmed that Dave will be brewing at Raw this weekend as the logistics of getting a brew done in Sheffield just weren't going to be worked out in time. Called "Corrosion of Conformity" it should be some kind of Red IPA at about 6% with pale, Melanoidin and wheat malts plus dark Muscovado sugar then hopped with Palisade, Warrior, Sorachi Ace and maybe a few others too!
17/12/2012 : We racked our latest beer, Cluster Bomb, in record time yesterday... so, 24 9's and a pin are ready for consumption! There will be the usual couple of variants plus the Mini-kit beer is hopped on the aroma/flavour side entirely with the test hop CF102! Empress of Yorkshire is the name bestowed upon this unique brew which, owing to the hop being a test, we'll never be able to repeat even if we want to.
10/12/2012 : Cluster Bomb is now in FV2 and the K97 yeast is doing it's work on the sugars within... looks like it'll be around 4.8% and pretty bloody bitter; even though we used Warrior for the first wort charge it seems the Cluster have still imparted their legendary character into the beer! It's our first " Yorkshire Helles " for a while and made with just Low-colour Maris Otter and Wheat Malt, Warrior, Herkules, Chinook and Cluster hops. We'll be dry-hopping with yet more Cluster, obviously, so expect something a little bit mental...
05/12/2012 : After much maybe/maybe not it looks like we're brewing again on Saturday! This time we've decided that we've not made the style of beer for which we're notorious/famous (delete as applicable) in far too long and so we're whipping up a Mid-Atlantic Pale Ale! This one will use a hop variety we've not dabbled with before, the historic Cluster, and there was really only one name we could use for such a beer.... so Cluster Bomb it is!
Around 4.5% - 5%, 5 EBC, 100+ IBU... you know how it goes by now, look out for it at the beginning of 2013!
12/11/2012 : Our latest brew, "Schrödinger's Cat is Alive / Dead", is now in-cask and tasting very nice indeed! 25g of sticky, oily and extremely fruity Galaxy were added to each cask (except the specials, see the "Our Beers" page for more details) which should round it off nicely.
05/11/2012 : The brew happened! After being bumped last month we finally got to brew our Black half-IPA/Mild/unclassifiable "Schrödinger's Cat is Alive / Dead" on Saturday and, although it'll be a touch stronger than we originally planned, it's going to be a whopper with Weyermann Carared, Melanoidin and Carafa Spezial No.1 allied with big doses of Magnum, Citra, Galaxy and Sorachi... yes, we have Sorachi again!
And then, as if that wasn't enough, we went and did our 4th collaboration with Dave at Raw in Staveley on the Sunday! This time we've cooked up what was classified on the day as an "Imperial Pacific Porter" (or something like that!) with 15kg of Dark Muscovado sugar, all manner of German and UK malts and then hopped with loads of Herkules, Galaxy and Pacific Gem... looking like it'll hit 7.4% so, obviously, being under the new "tramp tax" threshold of 7.5% means it's totally OK to drink whereas if it were 0.2% stronger it'd ruin your life should you even touch a drop. Or something. Anyhow, it's called "Responsibly", as a guide to how to drink it, and should be around in a couple of weeks.
Big news is that Gazza is kind of leaving Steel City! He's off to become a partner in a new venture in Pomtyclun, South Wales, where he's joined forces with Pixie Spring to create Hopcraft Brewing... the name kind of gives it away, but Gazza and Tom hope to create some hoppy treats (amongst other stuff) as well as some more "normal-friendly" beers... Follow @HopcraftGazza on Twitter if you want to see how it pans out, or view the blog. Steel City won't be shutting down though, just being run more occasionally, so you'll still see beers from us albeit on a more intermittent basis!
15/10/2012 : We are still planning on brewing again early in November, and there may be some interesting news soon...
06/10/2012 : Sadly our planned brewdate last weekend was scuppered by the fermenter being in unexpected use so, unfortunately, there will be no October brew! We are planning to be back in action early next month when our "Black half-IPA" should make an appearance!
17/09/2012 : " Barbed Wire Kisses " is now in cask, no thanks to a faulty steam cleaner, and Dave reports it's tasting pretty mad; if you want to see what we think Best Bitter should taste like then track this one down!
Our next brew, hopefully in 3 weeks or so, will be a half-black-IPA / over-hopped Mild / something in the middle or all these things at once!
07/09/2012 : Hello again! Apologies for the break in service but we've both been busy doing other stuff... fret not though as we're back and about to brew our latest concoction, this time a bitter! Yes, you heard that right, a bitter!
You may, understandably, be asking just what the hell we're doing brewing a beer in a style almost diametrically opposed to everything we stand for - crystal malt, English hops (and not many of 'em, either) - but if we explain that it's our take on the style then you will probably guess what's coming next...
Hops! And plenty of them! We are sticking with tradition and using only English hops (OK, maybe a few Aussie Summer in the FV) in the shape of Admiral for bittering and flavour plus First Gold for citrussy flavour and aroma, and we're going to be hopping it at almost 2kg per Barrel (36 gallons) just to be on the safe side! As for malt, we're employing Fawcetts' superb Low-colour Maris Otter along with Wheat malt and Weyermann's luscious Carared and Melanoidin for colour and body; you don't need crystal malt when you've got quality German malt like this to hand!
We'll then be using US-05 yeast instead of the more normal S04 used in bitters and will probably be lumping some Australian Summer hops into the Fermenter to give the UK hops a helping hand with aroma. After that, it's into cask with more hops, probably First Gold!
Gazza's collab with Pixie Spring has resulted in an absolute whopper of a brew, the 4.4% lupulin-loaded " The Boss " which is a limited run of a mere 9 casks... if you like hops, try and catch it somewhere as it's a monster of a beer! The Wheatsheaf in Llantrisant is a good a place as any...
17/08/2012 : Two collabs in a week! Gazza did the evening shift down at Pixie Spring of Llantrisant where, with brewer Tom, hopes to have created an absolute monster of a Mid-Atlantic pale ale with well over 100 IBUs and stuffed full of Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo, Magnum, Summit and Galaxy hops! Here's looking forwards to this beauty in a few weeks time...
14/08/2012 : Gazza had a superb weekend out in the Czech Republic brewing at the excellent Kocour Pivovar on their 1950's vintage copper brewhouse which was originally the test brewery at the now closed Braník brewery in Prague and is an absolutely beautiful example of brewing design. Along with Max Bahnson, an Argentine now living in Czech who writes a superb beer blog "Beer Philosopher", and Hanz of the scooptastic Zlý Časy bar in Prague's Nusle area. I may even write a short story about the concept and brewing of this beer... but Max already has so maybe I won't bother!
Oh aye, the beer... well it's kind of a Baltic Porter done the craft way! All Bohemian Pilsener malt was used as a base (most Baltic Porters have sugar and caramel in them) with Weyermann Carared and Carafa No.3 for colour along with a touch of Munich for body, it was decoction mashed and then hopped with plenty of Saaz pellets before a final dose of Citra - which Gazza took over with him! - into the whirlpool for aroma. Lager yeast was then pitched into the open fermenter and we're pretty confident after tasting the wort that " Gypsy Porter " (not my choice of name, but there you go!) will be an absolute cracker; I doubt any will come to the UK but you never know; if you really want to try it go visit Zlý Časy in November when it should be on sale.
In yet more collab news, Gazza is (99% certainly) off to Pixie Spring in the cellar of the Wheatsheaf in Llantrisant this week to cook up a pale, hoppy beastie; Gazza got on well with Tom the brewer and landlord during a recent visit and, as is natural, a collaboration was soon on the cards! More news as it happens....
07/08/2012 : After a successful racking " New Dawn Fades " is in cask and tasting absolutely sublime; believe us when we say that if you love new-world hops you've got to try this one!
In a marked departure from normality our next brew might be a bitter... but not like many bitters you've tasted before! Provisionally titled " Barbed Wire kisses ", this will be a 4.2% or so brew with ALL ENGLISH HOPS... yes, you read that right, but there's going to be 10kg of the things and only the best we can get, probably Admiral and First Gold; Gazza is busy sourcing hops (and malt) for this brew so keep your eyes open!
03/08/2012 : " New Dawn Fades " is hopefully - correct attenuation depending - going into cask on Sunday and promises to be a bit of a hoppy little number with 5kg of one of our favourite hops, Citra, plus our remaining stocks of the new (and very melon-y) Calypso in there too, and then it'll be dry-hopped with some more Citra for extra aroma! Our second Joy Division beer and hopefully as memorable as the track itself.
30/07/2012 : Well, we did brew at the weekend and it's normal service resumed with a Mid-Atlantic Pale Ale in the fermenter! It was brewed with our usual mix of Low-colour Maris Otter (Muntons and Fawcetts) plus some Wheat Malt, then US Magnum, Citra and Calypso in the copper and it's looking like it'll finish up around 4.8%. We also created a mini-kit with 100% Citra which should be 7% or so... more news next weekend when it all goes into cask.
25/07/2012 : Looking like we may be brewing again this weekend... maybe! Well, we have malt and are just waiting for the OK to carry on; the perils of not having your own place, I suppose. If we do brew it'll be pale and hoppy which, surprisingly, we haven't done for a while!
15/07/2012 : Hopfenstraße is now in-cask and tasting pretty damn mad for a wheat beer! At 4.5% and with a big dose of tasty US hops it should change some preconceptions of what wheat beer should taste like; let us know what you think!
08/07/2012 : Our latest brew, "Hopfenstraße", is now in White Rose FV2 and bubbling away furiously to itself. In keeping with Bavarian tradition (although not intentionally, we only found this out after we'd brewed!) we used 50% malted wheat and 50% barley malt - although we used low-colour Maris Otter instead of the traditional pilsner malt (albeit it has the same EBC colour rating) - but then went and messed it up by adding over 5kg of Columbus and Chinook hops! Returning to tradition we pitched WB-06 German weißbier yeast so it should be interesting...
Annoyingly, Dave has been planning this brew ever since we began but, owing to Gazza's hatred of Wheat beer, it's taken until now to actually come to fruition by which time there have been a rash of the things appearing all over the place! Believe us when we say we thought of it first... well, maybe not first, but first-ish.
The mini-kit... ah yes, the mini-kit. "Brew'm 101" is basically the brew with (almost - we couldn't get any Crystal malt!) everything we hate in a beer; read this list and weep! Ginger, Fuggles, Goldings, twigs (well, hop bines, but twigs nevertheless), Saison yeast, wheat, weißbier yeast and Smoked malt! We both dislike different things on this list but thought we'd cram them all into a beer and see what comes out... should be lovely!
24/06/2012 : Apologies for the lack of updates, but we've been away (and some of us are still away!) during June, notably on the amazing Mare di Birra beer cruise from Rome to Barcelona and back where a keg (yes, KEG!) of "All at Sea 2", the non-dry hopped version of Bolshevik Solution, went in an hour up on the 35°c sundeck bar...
Anyhow, we're planning to brew our next beer in a week's time and this one is yet another mould-breaker. Not content with just brewing hoppy beers we've decided to brew a hoppy wheat beer! I know the latest fad style (which isn't really a style as it's simply hoppy wheat beer) White IPA would have been a better choice for 2 hopheads who purport to be "ahead of the curve" or some such nonsense, but we think that a German-style hefe-Weiß done with German hefe yeast (Safale WB06) yet loaded to the gunnels with American hops - at this stage we envisage Columbus and Chinook - would be a far more interesting experiment; unfined, of course.
The beer has a working title of Hopfenstraße at present, mainly because we have a photo of a roadsign in Munich of said strasse, but this may change!
So, keep in touch and see what we come up with. We're also planning to release "Brew'm 101" from the mini-kit which will be a melange of everything we hate in beer, so expect a saison wheat beer with fuggles, goldings, ginger and maybe - if we can get some - a bit of crystal malt too!
Also, a special mod of Draconian Times has found it's way into bottle (massive thanks to Jon at Arbor Ales for sorting this for us) and is now the official 25th anniversary beer of excellent record label Earache Records.... wow!
02/06/2012 : We'd love some feedback on our latest brew, Bolshevik Solution, as it's probably the maddest thing we've done thus far! The finished beer has a flavour that belies it's 2.7% and just billows hops, just as we planned it would! Look out for it, it's certainly different....
It looks as if we won't be brewing in June owing to both of us being way too busy with other things but, hopefully, we'll be back in the brewhouse (which one we're not certain yet) in early July to knock out some more of the over-hopped dross you have come to expect from us!
22/05/2012 : Bolshevik Solution is in the FV and should be one messed-up beer! Containing low-colour Maris Otter, Weyermann Carared and Melanoidin plus a touch of Roast Barley, there were no hops added to the copper until after the 10-minute boil and when the temperature had been dropped to around 80-85c which should, theoretically, have stopped almost all alpha acid isomerisation! It certainly didn't taste bitter at all but it did taste mad hoppy, probably something to do with the 10kg of Simcoe, Citra, Galaxy and Calypso we stuck into the copper! There were so many aroma hops that the lid wouldn't shut without said hops being plunged down into the wort... happy days!
So, we have no idea how this beastie will come out but, hopefully, it'll be interesting! The SG was 1029.6 so it's going to be sub-3% we think...
16/05/2012 : Brewday comes around again and, this time, it's the return leg of our collaboration with Arbor Ales and, after the madness with our 600+ IBU DCLXVI, this time we're going in totally the opposite direction - a zero IBU mild!
Well, OK, it's not really a mild, but we just like to mess around a bit and so let's just call The Bolshevik Solution, for that it it's name, a hopped-up red mild! It's our Jubilee "celebration" brew - see the clip to get an idea of our opinions on the subject - and it's a bit of an unusual beast in that it has no hops boiled to give bitterness! What it will have, though, being a Steel City / Arbor beer, is plenty of hoppage at "flame off" (or more correctly at 80°c); we are adding a big charge of green gold when the wort has been cooled to below boiling meaning no isomerisation of the hop's alpha acids can take place but we will still extract astringency and tannins from said bracts giving the impression of bitterness.... confused? You will be!
Made only with Low-colour Maris Otter and Weyermann Carared & Melanoidin, this should be one strange wee beastie...
02/05/2012 : We had a great time at Birrasana beer festival in Catalunya, making some mad new friends (Laugar, Alvinne, Popaire, Font de Diable to name just a few) and may have some collaborations lined up soon! We can confirm the Catalan beer scene is going absolutely mental at the moment with some innovative and just plain good brewing going on over there! Our keykegs worked a treat and we are now, by the looks of things, fully-fledged members of the "craft beer mafia" and therefore despised by CAMRA for making "chemical fizz"... !
Draconian Times is now in cask and came out at a whopping 5.2%! It should be pretty decent, "well tropical" was the verdict of the rackers...
18/04/2012 : "Draconian Times", our latest beer, was brewed at the weekend; it contains just Fawcett's LCMO and Wheat Malt then loads of Galaxy, Columbus, Citra, Simcoe and Motueka. We used US-05 yeast this time for a change to compare the results against our usual K-97 yeast and see if the hops come out more, less, or the same! Look out for it at, as the saying goes, better outlets near you soon...
The May brew is taking shape and, hopefully, will see the return leg of our hugely successful collaboration with Bristol-based Arbor Ales, this time at Sheffield, and we are thinking about a 700+ IBU Red half-IPA... build it and they will come, apparently.
12/04/2012 : We're brewing again on Saturday in the Heath Robinson shed, yet another "pale & hoppy" called Draconian Times. We're not sure on hops yet but it'll have plenty in, be assured of that....!
We are off to the Birrasana craft beer festival in Blanes, Catalunya, in two weeks where, transport permitting, Vane Tempest, Queen Anne's Revenge and ASCOO 11 will be in attendance - all in KEG format if we can work out how to fill our keykegs up this weekend.
19/03/2012 : Vane Tempest is in cask and only lightly fined to join the growing movement which says that proper craft beer needn't have most of it's flavour stripped out by over-fining at all stages of production but should have a haze which includes all the vitamins and hop oils your nose and tastebuds demand! It'll be hazy, then, so don't go taking it back whining that it's "cloudy" as that's flavour you are drinking!!!
13/03/2012 : Our latest brew, "Vane Tempest", is now in the fermenter and, hopefully, bubbling away to itself in a mad frenzy of sugar consumption. It was made from Low-colour Maris Otter (plus one sack of ordinary colour!) and Wheat malt plus a huge hop addition of Galaxy, Herkules, Simcoe, Citra and Sorachi ... it's going to be a whopper!!!
06/03/2012 : Our brew with Arbor went spectacularly well, so well in fact we may just have created the most mental beer ever brewed in the UK!!! 2kg of Zeus IKE extract plus around 10kg of Simcoe, Citra and Sorachi - not forgetting the sack of Weyermann Carafa Spezial 1 - yielded something particularly bizarre, mental, extreme and downright bloody tasty! A mix of S05 and the Arbor "house yeast" is busy munching away as we speak!
It was a day of firsts for us; "IKE", CO2 extracted isomerised kettle extract (which, at around 200,000IBU in it's raw state, is one thing that doesn't need more hops!), a 666-second boil, plastic (HDPE) fermenters, a lovely new brewery with drains in the right places... the list goes on, but we want to say a huge thanks to Jon and Paul at Arbor for a great day of fun (and some hard work!) and the resulting beer, called whatever 666 is in Roman numerals, may even nudge 700 IBU - and that's actual not theoretical!!
One tip, though; don't eat IKE raw. Just don't do it.... your tongue will thank you! Even after a full English and various beers I could still taste the Zeus extract; that is some BITTER gloop!
With Dave away, Gazza teams up with Dean from Devon yet again to produce a Mid-Atlantic pale ale which will contain a selection of hops which shall be finalised on the day! "Vane Tempest" is the working title, a Blyth Power song and homage to that Northern icon (they do have them down south, too, but I'm sure they wash theirs) the cooling tower.
26/02/2012 : We're brewing yet another collaboration next Saturday with Jon at Arbor Ales in Bristol! This is going to be one bizarre beer, a 666 IBU 6.6% Black IPA using CO2 hop extract alongside plenty of real hops! At present we have no idea where the resulting beer will end up - the majority will, presumably, be bottled - but we will keep you informed!
After that it's still, hopefully, our next proper brewday at Little Ale Cart the following weekend...
13/02/2012 : Queen Anne's Revenge is now in cask and, according to Dave who did the work whilst Gazza was swanning about Praha on trams whilst scooping lots of lovely cloudy keg lager, pretty good! Look for it in the usual places plus some not so usual!
Our next brew is in a month's time and, as Dave is away somewhere exotic, will be brewed by Gazza and the "Devon Donkey"... if you liked "Riot in Paradise" last year there's every chance you'll love this one!
02/02/2012 : We're brewing again tomorrow, the second time in 2 weeks, and this time it's something completely different! We thought we'd have a go at a style of beer which gets very little press or love and isn't often seen in the UK yet should be as it's an absolutely belting type of beer; Jamaican Stout, with our stab at it going under the name of "Queen Anne's Revenge" which was, fittingly, the flagship of notorious Caribbean pirate Blackbeard.
We're never ones for copying beers from a book in rote form and so we'll be having a few tweaks to the hop levels (surprise surprise!) but the essence of the beer, Muscovado sugar, will be there in shovel loads and will be giving it's rummy, treacly flavour and slight residual sweetness to the brew. We hope it'll turn out around 5.5% and should be yet another fascinating brew from us.
Oh, and it uses mainly English hops, although we're using the superb Bramling Cross variety in a show of solidarity with growers who persist with this out-of-favour and increasingly rare hop which is criminally neglected by brewers for it's delicious brambly, leafy "blackberry bush" aromatics.
29/01/2012 : This "Meet the Brewer" lark is easy.... ! Well, our unrehearsed stand-up show went down pretty well (we still think they were applauding out of sympathy rather than agreeing with our disjointed gibbering) but we enjoyed it - probably something to do with the free food and beer - and, as DILLIGAF ran out at 21:30, so did the 100 or so CAMRA people who turned up to see us! Cheers to everyone, especially to Steve Westby for persuading us to do it and also to Castle Rock's superb Poppy & Pint for having us! We've been invited to do another one, this time in a pub, which will hopefully happen in summer at some point... more news when we confirm things!
Xiberia is now in-cask and tasting bloody lovely, too, and should be out and about on it's travels shortly! We got a very good yield from the FV, 24 9's and a pin, so there's enough to fulfil our commitments although we could have sold it all twice over; the next brew, our as-yet unnamed West Indian Stout, is already sold out and we're not brewing it for a week!
Cheers to Gazza's old mate and homebrewing collaborator all those years back at Polytechnic, Peter Mead, for being chief mashtun digger and copper shoveller...
25/01/2012 : Rather implausibly we've been invited to do our first-ever "Meet the Brewer" for Nottingham CAMRA tomorrow night at the Poppy and Pint, Nottingham, where we'll be ranting on about stuff for hours to whoever will listen. Dilligaf and Dark Funeral should be on sale so, even if you don't want to hear us whining on about crystal malt and British hops, come down and drink some beer!!!
23/01/2012 : 2012 gets off to a hoppy start! Xiberia is now in the FV and should be just the thing for a cold winter's day; a very pale and very hoppy brew! Balls to Crystal malt and spices, hops are what you need to keep warm! The mash contained Weyermann Premium Pilsner, Muntons Wheat and Low-Colour Maris Otter malts atop which we used Crystal and Citra for first-wort, Herkules for bittering then Citra and Galaxy for flavour and aroma. It'll be dry-hopped in the FV with Super Alpha then in cask with a 50/50 mix of Citra and Galaxy for extra tropical fruitiness!
Next up, in only a few weeks, will be our as-yet unnamed West Indian Stout, brewed with all the usual malts you'd expect (chocolate and roast barley plus low-colour Maris Otter) plus a whole 25kg sack of Muscovado sugar from Mauritius for a lovely rummy, treacly edge. We're using 100% English hops for only the second time (I think...!) with a whole 5kg of Bramling Cross set to vanish into the copper to provide a fruity, hedgerowy juiciness.
09/01/2012 : Our first brew of 2012 is due on the 21st and will be "Xiberia", an extra-pale, extra hoppy beer which is the antidote to all these rancid crystal malty, spicy "beers" that lesser brewers force upon us at this time of the year...
31/12/2011 : A happy new year to all our customers, drinkers and other associates... you keep drinking it, we'll keep making it!!!
19/12/2011 : Apologies for the lack of updates recently, we've been busy... we do other stuff besides this brewing lark!
Anyhow, our current brew is Dark Funeral which is being racked this week and is a Black IPA... or is it? You decide, we know what we think it is! Whatever, it's a huge explosion of flavours with a whole sack of Weyermann Carafa Spezial No.1 plus loads of our beloved Sorachi Ace hops in addition to Citra and Motueka; look out for it at the usual places, although it's a slightly smaller brew than usual in order to get the strength up!
28/11/2011 : DILLIGAF is now in cask and, hopefully, behaving itself better than Trees did... look out for it at the usual places! Gazza's collaboration at the Bull, Highgate went very well and it should come out around 5%. With no Motueka available we used Columbus, Herkules and Green Bullet - and plenty of 'em - and we're all looking forwards to seeing what comes out of the FV in a week or so!
19/11/2011 : Two brews on the same day! On Saturday 12th Dave brewed DILLIGAF at our usual home, Little Ale Cart in Sheffield, whilst Gazza travelled to Fortiverd in Barcelona to brew, in collaboration with Pep and Kevin of Cervesas Marina, the first Black IPA in Catalunya and thus, by default, in Iberia! This necessitated taking 3kg of hops in his suitcase - Brendan Dobbin style - and, after a long day's brewing, drinking beer and cafe solo and chatting about beer to visiting brewers, the result should be something pretty special! Fermentation allowing we're getting some shipped back to the UK along with some bottles and it should - Bacchus willing - be around in December...
Trees Come Down continues to blow keystones owing to continued fermentation in the cask so apologies if you didn't get to try it but it wasn't our fault (well, not anything we could do about it although we did try our best to fix it...)
Gazza is off down to London this week for a collaboration with one of the newest brewpubs there, the Bull at Highgate, where with brewer Steve he'll be cooking up a 4.5-5% pale ale with Fawcetts LCMO and Columbus, Motueka and Herkules hops... should be interesting!
07/11/2011 : "Trees come down" has been causing us a huge headache as, for some reason we're not entirely sure of (although we suspect the chiller didn't crash it enough when casking) it has been generating a lot of CO2 in cask and has blown a couple of shives already... and we thought we were over all that! Hopefully we've remedied the situation and it should be getting out to pubs this week.
Dave is brewing this weekend - and training Dan yet again! - with a pale'n'hoppy number called DILLIGAF (work it out...) and, if time permits, a mini-kit to honour the passing of Jimmy Saville with a suitably Savilleish name. Gazza is in final negotiations to go and brew at one of London's newest brewpubs, the Bull at Highgate, where with brewer Steve he will be crafting - you guessed it - a pale'n'hoppy Mid-Atlantic ale with lashings of lovely hops!
Speaking of collaborations, we are also finalising one with Arbor Ales of Bristol, yet another hop-loving outfit, where we hope to create a 666 IBU Black IPA which should be rather special, if a little extreme!
31/10/2011 : "Trees come down" is now in cask and tasting absolutely hoptastic! The Galaxy hops really seem to have imparted a bizarre flavour akin to pineapple, melon, citrus and tropical fruits and we look forwards to sampling it in a pub! Dave is brewing again in two weeks with, going back to our roots, Fawcett's malt and a load of hops, and we should then be brewing up a Black IPA for the festive season at the beginning of December with the new crop of US hops... oh yes!
Our stock of t-shirts (printed by the superb Banned Merch) is almost exhausted so, if you want a piece of history which you can laugh at in a few years time, drop us an email and we'll see if we can sort you one out; £6 in person or £8 via post is the meagre amount we ask.
23/10/2011 : Gazza's first ever solo brew went far better than even his optimistic dreams could have predicted and, despite a 90 minute run-off due to a clogged copper filter, "Trees come down" is now in FV2 with the US05 doing it's stuff. The target SG of 1047 was almost hit and so we should see a 4.5% (very) pale ale (low-colour Maris Otter, Wheat malt and a touch of Cara) full of Aussie Stella and Galaxy hops which smelt bloody lovely when the packs were opened!
20/10/2011 : October's brew reverts back to our normal style - call it pale'n'oppy, Mid-Atlantic, Trans-Atlantic, whatever - although we are trying out the much-hyped new Australian hops, Galaxy, which apparently smell and taste like a bizarre Citra/Cascade/Nelson hybrid; we'll see, but from the limited tasting of beers made with them thus far we have some high hopes for them! So, "Trees Come Down", named after the classic Fields of the Nephilim track, should come into being on Saturday as long as Gazza can fit 175kg of malt into the company Insignia along with 15kg hops and various other brewing paraphernalia... keep tuned to Twitter (@steelcitybrew) for up-to-the-minute relaying of swearing, cussing, things going wrong and general whining about Heath Robinson equipment such as and pumps which don't work, pipes which leak, couplers which don't and suchlike...
30/09/2011 : "Escafeld" Red ale was brewed last weekend with David from Raw of Staveley and should be a very unusual brew indeed; pale, Vienna and Weyermann Melanoidin malts were used, along with a whole host of different sugars - Demerera, golden cane, light Muscovado and fairtrade cane - with a big bittering charge of Warrior and Herkules. The flavour and aroma hops were Citra, Nelson Sauvin and Sorachi Ace (and plenty of 'em!) and the yeast was Safale US-05... all this should, hopefully, come together to produce a gloriously hoppy brew with plenty of biscuity malt character to back it up.
Our next beer should, hopefully, be a more "normal" beer for us, a very pale one with loads of hops! Dave is away so Gazza will be brewing this one with a as yet to be announced companion... and Galaxy hops will definitely be featuring in this one!
We still have some t-shirts left, they cost a mere £6 direct from us or £8 if we post one out to you! See this picture here to get an impression of what Mussolini would look like if he wore one...
Our "featured brewer" at the Sheffield Tap went extremely well with the beers getting a mixed (as is to be expected) and, generally, positive response with Biscotti Porter and S.H.I.T the stand-outs. Cheers to everyone at the Tap, let's do it again sometime!
12/09/2011 : Our next brew is due to take place in a couple of weeks with, hopefully, the return leg of our collaboration with David from Raw Brewing of Staveley! We have a Red IPA planned using Weyermann Melanoidin and Carared malts along with an as-yet undecided hop blast, although our pack of Galaxy are looking rather tempting at the moment! More news as we have it...
August was a record month for us, the first time we've done two full brews, and it's all gone! Thanks to everyone who bought it and we hope you enjoyed Darkthrone and S.H.I.T as much as we did.
We still have a few T-Shirts left which cost a mere £6 direct from us or £8 if we post one out to you! See this picture here to get an impression of what Mussolini would look like if he wore one...
30/08/2011 : Well, that was an exhausting racking day...! The most we've ever had out of a batch of beer, 25 9's (well, 24 9's a pin and a keg) is now either sat maturing away to itself in the LAC cold store or already at a pub maturing away to itself in the cellar. Preliminary tastings from the FV show a huge amount of promise and the 40g per cask of Sorachi Ace hops will only add to this; think bitter chocolate with some lovely aromatic Sorachi and you'll be 90% of the way there... coming soon, as they say, to a pub near you!
We went a bit overboard with the specials for this brew with honey, coconut and Biscotti (coffee, vanilla and almond) versions all concocted! We also indulged in a teeny experiment with one of our kegs and produced 20 litres of "Knackerneck" marzipan porter just to see what happens!
Next up might be a Red IPA, it might not, we've not decided yet... although that 5 kilos of Galaxy hops are staring to look very appealing...
19/08/2011 : Steel City don't do press releases. But if we did, they'd be the hoppiest in the world... or something. Anyhow, here's the gen for our upcoming (Wednesday 21st September to Saturday 24th September) takeover of the pumps at the Sheffield Tap.
"13 Steel City beers coming to a pub near you!* A variety of offerings from Sheffield's most hop-obsessed brewers, many of them exclusive to the Sheffield Tap and some even brewed in collaboration with the Tap. Try our first ever keg beer on dry land, or the world's first Imperial Kolsch, or simply gorge yourself on hops! If dark beer is your thing, there's porter, coconut porter, biscotti porter with almonds, vanilla and coffee, or Imperial Porter. Hops come diluted with between 3.2% and 7.8% alcohol. Got a favourite hop? tell us what it is and we'll tell you which of our beers have it (unless it's fuggles, in which case the answer is none). There's something for everyone, except maybe Roger Protz, as we're allergic to crystal malt. No mild though, 'cos we're more interested in brewing beer we like than brewing with brewery floor sweepings to win dodgy Beard And Gut Society awards. Unless you want to call the Blanes a light mild just because it's only 3.2%.
If you like the beers, you might want to buy one of our t-shirts for the bargain price of £6. One size fits all (for a given value of the word 'fit'. By which I mean, they're XL, so will fit like a tent on some and like a very stretchy glove on others)
You can even meet the brewers, though you probably won't want to 'cos they're a pair of opinionated, cantankerous old(ish) gits.
Beer list: + = exclusive variant for Tap, ++ = exclusive brew from 10 gallon brew plant
* subject to being in the vicinity of Sheffield station. Actual proximity may vary. Journey times may go up as well as down."
13/08/2011 : Dave and Dan brewed last weekend and the resulting beer "Sheffield Hop Infusion Team" is due for racking this weekend; it used a cocktail of aromatic hops including Galena, Chinook, Simcoe and Nelson Sauvin so should be up to our normal standard!. We are still planning to brew again next weekend, and this Sorachi Porter (name as yet undecided) should be a right cracker if our Sorachi Mild is anything to go by!
Our stock of t-shirts (printed by the superb Banned Merch) are dwindling fast so, if you still want one, let us know by email and we'll either arrange to meet up somewhere or send you one out via post (and extra £2 for p&p needs to be added, sadly...). At the bargain price of £6 when bought from us (or £8 via mail) these are a total bargain!
02/08/2011 : For the first time ever, there may be two brews in a month from us! First off should be the "Sheffield Hop Infusion Team" (featuring Dan and maybe Gee of Little Ale Cart too) next weekend and then, a few weeks later, the "normal" monthly brew which will be a Sorachi Porter!
27/07/2011 : We now have merchandise! If you want to tell your crystal-malt loving friends how much you like our beer then there's only one thing to do... buy a t-shirt from us!! Owing to a particularly atrocious lack of foresight on our part they are only available in XL but, hey, most beer drinkers should fit into them easily (well, we do!) and your colour choice is black or nowt (there are other colours?). They cost a measly £6 when bought directly from us or £8.00 if we post one out to you.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to meet up with us and buy one direct or, if you'd like to order one via mail, do the same and we'll see what we can sort out. See this picture here for a rather tasteful model wearing one.
25/07/2011 : Our collaboration at Raw went really well (some photos will appear soon...) and "Raw Steel" is now in FV1 where it will hopefully reach 6.2% and, more importantly, be dry-hopped with plenty of Nelson Sauvin T90 pellets! Big thanks to David at Raw for a great day's brewing and driving us around and here's to the return leg... !!!
Blanes Half IPA came out at 3.2% thanks to the ludicrous efficiency of the K-97 Kölsch yeast (I could make some efficiency / German joke but I'm just not like that) which brought the wort down to 1005°! This is now in cask - along with a dose of CTZ and Citra for good measure - and, after drinking the drop tests, we think you'll remember it when and if you get to try it !!!
18/07/2011 : "Blanes Half IPA" is now going mental in FV2 at Little Ale Cart after a stonking brewday with Kevin and Pep from Cervesa Marina! It came out at 1030.6 (so should be 2.8 - 2.9%) and is a whopping 162 IBUs! Columbus, Warrior, Simcoe, Citra and Sorachi all went into the copper (and FV, and casks...) and, from initial tastings of the wort from the paraflow, it should raise a few eyebrows!!! We also knocked up a single-hopped Sorachi double IPA on the mini-kit which is, for us, fairly dark with a very attractive copper colour from and Caramalt and Vienna we used in the mash.
Some of this beer should be off to Catalunya in a few weeks and then we will hopefully be going out there to brew at the beginning of September when we will create an Imperial Stout at the Bleder brewery, some of which will come back to the UK in a first-ever importation of Catalan cask craft beer into the UK!
We are also brewing "Raw Steel" at Raw brewing, Staveley, next Saturday... more about this soon!
05/07/2011 : Well, we've got a world-first lined up for next weekend!!!
With the increasingly experimental and impressive craft beer scene in Catalunya gaining a deservedly wider audience, it's with great pleasure that we announce our next brew, a sub-3% half / summer IPA, will be brewed in collaboration with Kevin and Pep from Cervesa Marina in Blanes! What is really strange about this collaboration is that neither of us have our own brewery with Marina brewing cuckoo at Bleder near Barcelona!
Gazza met the guys in Barcelona during the mental "Mare di Birra" cruise last month in the superb 2D2Dspuma bar (which really is a magnificent scooping bar / shop, one of the best in Europe!) and we arranged over a few huge scoops - and much talk of hops - to do a 2-way collaboration in the future, little knowing how soon the "home leg" would come around!
Emails have been flying back and forth with the upshot being the "Brewing Brothers" will be in Sheffield next Friday for a tour around the parish to experience some cask ales, brewing Saturday, and flying back home Sunday! Some of the resulting beer will be making it's way out to Catalunya and, when the return leg is arranged, that beer (maybe a Black IPA) will be coming back to Sheffield!
Also, a little less exotic but just as interesting, is a forthcoming collaboration with Raw brewing of Staveley where we will be cooking up something rather hoppy on yet another brewplant... things are looking interesting at the moment!!!
04/07/2011 : Gazza had a top day down in dat dere Laaardan brewing with the totally top bloke that is James Brodie; the resulting brew should come out around 6.5% and had a staggering amount of hops go into the kettle with a spade being required to physically stuff the "flame off" addition into the copper which was so full of wort and hops it was a struggle to get all the lovely Motueka and Super Alpha in there... but, obviously, we persevered and the task was completed with only minor injuries from scalding wort! "Mental Hop Bastard" is the beer you need to look out for in 3 weeks or so, don't say we didn't warn you though...
We are 99% certain to be brewing again on Saturday 16th July when we will be creating a summer IPA / half IPA (delete as necessary) or, to describe it more literally, a sub-3% mental bitter and hoppy monster, just right for summer supping!
27/06/2011 : "Ersatz Kölsch" is now in cask with extra Spalt hops which smelt lovely in a "refreshing change" way from the more usual American and New Zealand hops we use!
20/06/2011 : Apologies for the lack of updates but Gazza has been away on a beer cruise in the Med drinking some of the finest beers in Europe for nowt... you can't turn that down, can you? Anyhow, our latest beer, "Ersatz Kölsch", is now in FV2 at Little Ale Cart and the K97 yeast was bubbling away to itself nicely on Sunday morning as was the mini-kit which contains "Szwejkowski Crystal Imperial Kölsch" and will have consumed almost a kilo of Crystal hops by the time it makes it into cask!
Speaking of yeast, we apologise to anyone who's bought our beer recently and been unable to get it to clear properly or at all; this has been caused by overpitching of yeast (along with a suspect batch of finings) and, hopefully, we should be on our way to resolving this issue very shortly.
05/06/2011 : We have just arranged a trip down to London (looks like it's becoming a regular summer occurrence, brewing down in London!) to brew with James at Brodies! We are chuffed to have been invited to brew at must be London's most innovative brewery at the moment and can't wait to get down there and mashed in! The beer, which will be brewed on the first Saturday of July, has been tentatively named "Mental Hop Bastard" and will - probably - be a New Zealand IPA! More info as we get it...
Hopefully we'll be brewing in Sheffield before that, on the 18th June, when we'll be creating our interpretation of the classic Köln beer style Kölsch. As the style has it's own protection under European law, much in the same way as Balsamic Vinegar and West Country Cheddar, we'll be using the name ErsatzKölsch (replacement Kölsch) to show that it's not a real one... and, anyhow, when you taste it you'll be under no impressions that it is as there will be way more hops than is normal for the style being thrown into the copper!
Riot in Paradise is casked up and beginning to get out into the world so, if you see it, let us know what you think... comments are always welcome on anything you feel like telling us!
26/05/2011 : The pumpclips for the latest brew are now up... when Dave checked it last night it had already come down to 1011° with a few days left to run before the chillers go on; it'll be very dry then, just as we like them, with minimum malt to overshadow the hops.
24/05/2011 : Well, we finally squeezed a brew into May! "Riot in Paradise" and the variant "The Rapture" is now in FV2 and hopefully being transformed from massively hoppy wort to massively hoppy beer by yet another pack of US-05 - lent to us, yet again, at very short notice - by long-time collaborator Pete Roberts at the Brew Company... cheers Pete!!! Gazza and guest brewer Dean slaved away all day and used a whole load of lovely hops including Galena, Green Bullet, Citra, Sorachi Ace, Simcoe and Nelson Sauvin to produce what we hope will be one mixed-up hop monster! The mini-kit was also in action to create "Spanner in the Works" (so named as someone who shall remain nameless but who wears fantastic trousers managed to drop the only spanner into a near brim-full mashtun...!) which is a 100% Simcoe IPA and began life at 1071.7°...!
We now have our Spalt hops and German Safale K-97 yeast in preparation for next month's Kölsch-style brew for which we will use real German Pilsner malt from Weyermann of Bamberg! It won't be totally true-to-style, however, and we will add our own little twist to proceedings... but that's us!
17/05/2011 : We have managed to slot a brewday in and it will happen (Bacchus permitting) this Saturday! As Dave is away Gazza will be manning the brewplant in collaboration with old scooping mate and soon to be Cuckoo himself, Dean from Newton Abbot, and as they both love their hops this should bring about something pretty special! We'll be using dried yeast again owing to none of the LAC strain being available so US05 will step into the breach yet again to excrete alcohol into our hop infusion...
So, as per usual, expect something pale and very hoppy with a right old mix of hops being used in this one...! We're doing a Kölsch-style brew next, hopefully, as long as we can secure the Weyermann pilsener malt and Spalt hops plus some K97 yeast... oh Ja!
05/05/2011 : Unfortunately, owing to matters beyond our control (again...) it looks like we're not able to brew this month at all! We're both a little miffed but that's the joys of cuckoo brewing I suppose... we are looking into options to stop this happening but, for now, it's looking like no brew in May...
29/04/2011 : I've finally managed to get into our kegs and remove the spears so, once washed and sterilised, we can put some beer into them! Let's just say it's not as easy as opening casks.... and I needed the help of a couple of 10p pieces to get into them! But that's another story.
22/04/2011 : Well, we've joined the "Nu-Keg" revolution! Never ones to listen to what Fuggle-n-Brown people tell us we've invested in some new Brewery Plastics 20-litre kegs (and some expensive tools to open 'em up) mainly for a potentially large "export" market (some are off to Italy for the Sea of Beer cruise in June) but, also, for use in the UK where cask isn't an option. Rest assured the beer going into these won't be any different from that going into our casks (i.e. no force carbonation) and, hopefully, we can prove that keg beer - when done right - is just as good as cask!
18/04/2011 : Although there was a distinct lack of beardy Fuggle-lovers on Saturday we still managed to knock up our 13th brew at Little Ale Cart, "Weapons of Mouth Destruction", which should be a right old riot of contrasting hop flavours with all manner of lupulous goodness finding it's way into the copper and, later this week, FV2.
We are already planning the next few month's brewdates with Dave (plus special guest brewer Dan again) creating "Szwejkowski Crystal" at the start of May (as Gazza is off to America for a week of beer scooping) and then we should be back in the brick shed again in June to brew... something, we've not decided yet, but it may be our long-threatened Altbier! We shall see...
On the plus side, our stocks of hops have reached satisfactory levels with a good choice available to us and, as you'd expect, we're dying to inflict these on you at the nearest opportunity!
14/04/2011 : We are definitely brewing Saturday - smack in the middle of the CAMRA AGM! - and it's going to be business as usual with yet another very pale ale stacked full of lovely hops! "Weapons of Mouth Destruction" will utilise hops such as (but not limited to!) Green Bullet, Pacific Jade, Citra and Crystal to give a full-on collision between the two "New World" hop growing countries and, hopefully, produce something very tasty indeed... if you are in town, call in and see us and if you're very lucky we'll let you dig the mashtun out!
08/04/2011 : The latest brew is now beginning to get out and about and from initial tastings it's going to be a right belter... make sure you hunt it out if you like the gloriously fruity Citra hop! Our next brewdate is pencilled in for the 16th April, co-incidentally the weekend the CAMRA AGM is being held in Sheffield, so we fully expect hordes of confused-looking fat blokes with beards looking in asking us where the Crystal malt and Fuggles are... !!!
This next beer will be yet another Mid-Atlantic / New World pale ale with (maybe as we've not finalised the recipe yet) Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin and Sorachi Ace all making an appearance at some point during the brewing.
Breaking news is that cows don't like hops... Dave mash-hopped our last brew but, when the farmer took the grain to his cows, they refused to eat it and he left a note on our gate saying no more hops in the mash please! Ah well, more in the fermenter then...
29/03/2011 : Dave brewed our latest brew, "Decadent and Desperate" on Sunday which will be around 5.2% and stuffed with lovely Citra, Columbus and Chinook hops, whilst Gazza mixed it up in Wales on Monday to produce, in collaboration with Matt Otley, what should be a stunning Black IPA (yes, another one...) using Citra, Sorachi, Chinook, Columbus and Galena... It's not got a name yet but there will be no mistaking it when it comes out! News on both these as we get it!
"D&D" is already pre-sold, as it's sibling "Beards and Guts Society", and there may even be a surprise special edition to "celebrate" an event in April...
19/03/2011 : We were planning to brew today, but unforeseen circumstances have prevented that, meaning it might be next weekend instead! We are trying out some different malt this time to see how it compares to Fawcett's so even though the beer will be a "business as usual" pale one the malt base won't be...!
08/03/2011 : Our latest brew, CTZ and it's variant "Crystal Malt : Just say no" are now in-cask and about to go out and about on their travels; this is probably the most extreme brew we've done to date and we'd love to hear what you think of it... good or bad, we really do like to know!!!
Another brew is planned on the 19th March, this time Gazza will be manning the brewery by himself as Dave is away so the beer - as usual a pale ale with shed-loads of hops, probably Citra and Pacific Jade - has the provisional name of "Whilst the Accountant's away..."
We're now planning to brew a maximum size batch every time we brew owing to the increasing demand for our beer and, hopefully, we'll be able to announce our permanent entrance to the London market at some point soon! Watch this space...
On another point, we apologise to any licensees who had a cask of St Brendan blow it's keystone or shive... we're gutted at the waste of beer but, hopefully, we know why this happened and it won't happen again...
28/02/2011 : Apologies for the lack of updates but trips abroad and... well, nothing really going on... has meant a lack of postings here! Well, now we're all back in the UK we've wasted no time in brewing our latest beer, CTZ, which you can read more about in the Our Beers section; suffice it to say, if you can't be bothered to read that, it's going to be around 4.2% with a whole shed-load of Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus in there with a grand total of 7kg of hops going into the copper - it should be good! We're racking next weekend so CTZ will be out and about shortly after that, then we may or may not be brewing in March depending on yet more trips away... watch this space!
03/02/2011 : Dave racked "Ha Ha!" our all-Nelson Sauvin IPA tonight... there's only a single 9 of it, going to the Rutland Arms in Sheffield in a month's time when it's matured a bit, and it was the test for our latest contraption... a fish tank heater in the mini-kit to keep the yeast going during the depths of a Yorkshire Winter! The bloody thing's done us proud, taking it from 1063.1 to a mere 1013.1 giving 6.55%, and with 131.5 IBU's in there it should be about as good a hit of Nelsons as you're ever likely to have! We'll tweet when it's on the bar... we can't wait!
30/01/2011 : Our next brewdate should be the end of February but, in the meantime, Saint Brendan is doing the rounds and has been getting some great reviews so far! Let us know what you think if you try it, we really do want to know!
28/01/2011 : We raised £558.56 from the sales of our award-winning brew "Master of the Spooniverse" which we have donated to St Giles Hospice, the charity chosen by Chris' wife Claire; thanks to everyone who drank it... you all made a difference; cheers.
17/01/2011 : "Saint Brendan" is now safely in cask and maturing away; It's all been pre-sold so, if you want any, you're too late and you'll need to wait until our next brew in late February! The beer should be a right old hop monster with loads of luscious NZ hops used in it's brewing although as it's our first time with these hops, it may not come out as well balanced as our previous beers... sorry, bit of a joke there, balance? What's that, then?
The main brew is dry-hopped with a hop we both love, Nelson Sauvin, whilst the variant uses Green Bullet in homage to a certain Mr Dobbin; let's hope both beers live up to his high standards! There's also the customary cask of "Bez 7", this time a full 9 rather than the usual pin, plus a very special variant which is Dave's baby and we'll announce details later... there's only a pin of this, mind.
We won't be brewing again until late February when we'll be doing a brew with Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus hops... after that, who knows? We've loads of ideas in the pot so you can guarantee it'll be something interesting whatever happens! We're also in discussions with a highly-regarded brewery with regards to doing a collaboration brew on their plant at some point and, if this happens, it should be an absolute riot!
07/01/2011 : We're brewing tomorrow and, joy of lupulicious joys, opening our first ever packs of New Zealand hops! We've got Green Bullet, Pacific Jade and Nelson Sauvin to play with so something pretty decent should come out at the end of it! We're also whipping up the mini-kit again for a 100% Nelson Sauvin strong pale ale... what else when we've got Nelsons gagging to be used?!? This is new territory for us but we are confident that we can brew something extra-special with these fantastic hops.
20/12/2010 : Not content with starring in Phil Parkin's excellent "Beertickers" film, we’re now the subject of a new documentary film about "nano-brewing" (whatever that is) from a young American filmmaker who was studying in Germany; apparently De Molen were his first choice but he couldn’t sort it out in time so we came of the bench as super-subs! I think he’s done a pretty decent job of capturing the essence of brewing and why we do it... see it here. (the password is redstar).
So, happy new year to everyone and here's hoping next year is a big one for us and we carry on brewing the kind of beer we both want to drink... and you lot keep buying it! Cheers.
20/12/2010 : Racking took place on Sunday and we now have a big pile of our new casks full of Black IPA! Shadowplay and Dead Souls will be trickling out between now and new year and, from first tasters out of the FV, it should be a right beast... We've upped the dry-hopping rates to cope with the beer's big flavours so you should get a right proper blast of hops in all departments!
We also racked our customary pin of "Bez" for the Cask & Welly plus "Martin's Fearless Sorachi Mild" will soon be on it's way to the Wenlock for Martin the Mildman's birthday. Yes, a mild, you hear right... let's just say it's mild for us!
13/12/2010 : Shadowplay was brewed on Saturday and tasted glorious from the paraflow; it should be around 5.7% and is very black indeed...! The hop count is also rather excessive with 7kg of US hops packed into it plus more to follow in cask coming in at 120 IBU or so. We also used the mini-kit to produce, in a reversal of usual formation, a weaker beer than the base brew in the form of "Fearless Sorachi Mild" which, as the name suggests, is a dark mild brewed with Magnum and Sorachi hops and which also tasted rather promising!
This Saturday should see several of our beers on offer at the annual Sheffield Scooper's Piss-up in the Rutland Arms and Cask & Welly; we're not entirely sure which ones will be around but we hope to see This Corrosion, Red Star, Dominion, Mother Russia, Number of the Beast and maybe Červený Bez too!
04/12/2010 : "Number of the Beast" was racked this week and the only 9 of it should be at the Rutland in Sheffield for the Scooper's Xmas Piss-up weekend on 18th December (along with a few others!). We're hopefully brewing again next weekend, this time our first attempt at the achingly trendy beer style "Black IPA", but that's what we bought that Weyermann malt for so we're going to use it! Plus there are loads of hops which we need to finish off... expect something around 6% and pretty damn hoppy!
24/11/2010 : Racking at the weekend went well and there are now 19 casks of the latest brew ready to go out on their travels... and some already have! We also created a chilli special to test the theory that chillies and hops don't go together and there's a pin of our customary Bez, too. The "mini-kit" special was struggling a bit due to the cold so we heated it up and wrapped it in central heating boiler insulation so, hopefully, it'll be ready to rack some time soon.
16/11/2010 : "This Corrosion" was successfully brewed on Saturday and, despite some last-minute recipe amendments, is now in FV2 and hopefully still fermenting despite the Arctic blast currently prevailing in Yorkshire. The Simcoes smelt absolutely gorgeous, so much so we got carried away with the hopping (as we do), with the predictable result that the brew will have 96 IBU's of bitterness! We also pressed the "mini-kit" into operation and produced what we hope will be a stunner of a Red IPA (yes, Red IPA!) hopped almost exclusively with Chinook and weighing in around 6.6% ABV and over 130 IBU's... The Weyermann Carafa seems to have worked it's magic as both had no acrid burnt malt flavours but instead a smooth toffeeish maltiness which is just the thing to overlay with masses of US hops!
Despite having packs of hops building up to scary proportions we've bought some more as we couldn't really refuse the superb Sorachi Ace plus another pack of Simcoes! Despite our huge stash of US hops, however, we really must get our New Zealand hops opened in the new year...
04/11/2010 : "Nightmare on Henry Street" is on it's travels at the moment and is due to make appearances at the Bury beer festival, St Austell Celtic beer festival, Amber Ales IPA festival, as well as the Hunter's Arms in Kilburn, the Cask & Welly and Rutland in Sheffield plus loads more... we're hopefully brewing again a week Saturday - our hoppy red brew "This Corrosion" - when we will finally get to crack open our pack of Simcoes! In the meantime, look out for NoHs and, as always, let us know what you think... we really do want to know!
25/10/2010 : Our sack of Carafa Special 1 is now back from it's Cornish trip and we're all ready to create our next whopper in three weeks or so which will be a hoppy red ale called "This Corrosion". This will be a slightly unusual brew - mashed slightly hotter than usual at 66-67c - with a dose of the speciality Weyermann carafa special (which is essentially dehusked chocolate malt, this process means there are no burnt grain husks to give an astringent taste) malt for colour and flavour, Caramalt for body and a right old mixture of hops including - but not limited to as we've not finalised the recipe yet - Bramling Cross, Simcoe and Citra... sounds interesting? You bloody bet it does, the day we brew a 3.7% brown bitter with Fuggles and Goldings will be the day you can fling mouldy vegetables at us!
Any brewers reading this note that you can order any of Weyermann's malts from Farams and they will arrive the following month.
23/10/2010 : "Nightmare on Henry Street" is all in cask and maturing in the cold store at present before going out to pubs. It ended up at 5.2% and has been dry-hopped with the A-list combination of Citra and Amarillo... can't wait! "Mother Russia", our first strong beer, has also been casked up; that finished at 8.2% and tasted pretty hellfire if I say so myself.
The Weyermann Carafa-Spezial I we ordered for "This Corrosion" has, apparently, been erroneously sent on holiday down to Cornwall (where 5kg will be used by Mr Ryman at St Austell) but, with luck, it will return in time for us brew the beer next month!
We have also set up a Twitter account to let you know where our beers will be plus any up-to-the-minute stuff; Steelcitybrew is the hashtag you need to follow.
12/10/2010 : The 7th beer we've made at Little Ale Cart, our 9th overall, is now in FV2 and, with an eye to the lucrative Halloween market, we've shamelessly cashed in on the orgy of cheap pumpkins, gaining money by extortion on the doorstep and shoddily-painted (and probably toxic) plastic witch masks with a 5.3% (or thereabouts) brew named "Nightmare on Henry Street" in honour of our brewing location (well, the brewery is actually on Roscoe Road but Henry Street - where the Cask & Welly is - sounds much better...).
In our by now predictable style it will be a very pale and excessively hoppy little number with over 90 IBU's and packed full of lovely Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade, Magnum and Citra... we can't wait to try it as the runnings from the shiny new paraflow (which cooled 216 gallons of wort in 30 minutes...) tasted absolutely sublime.
"Mother Russia" is still in our mini-fermenter and will be racked on the coming Sunday; at last count it had reached 8%...
05/10/2010 : Our brewdate this month has been fixed for Saturday 9th October as a supply of yeast has been specially acquired for us by Mr Appleton! We're still beavering away on the recipe and clip for this one but, rest assured, it should be something pretty hoppy... after all, we've got all those hops to use up we didn't have the chance to fling into Marduk and an ever-growing stash of 5kg hop packets we're dying to open... Call it a "clear the decks" brew or whatever, we're hoping for something special.
03/10/2010 : Some of you may have had Marduk by now but we're already turning our attention to our next brew which will be happening on Sunday 10th when we'll be clearing out the hop cupboards in preparation for the new stock (which is already building up to scary levels) so expect something around 4.5% and even more hoppy than usual... we shall also be getting the "Mini-kit" fired up again for what should be a double IPA!
21/09/2010 : Marduk oatmeal stout now exists and should be happily bubbling away to itself in FV2. We think it will be between 4.8% and 5% and tasted pretty damn good from the paraflow! Our mini-kit also did a sterling job on it's first outing and we hope to have created a 9% Imperial Russian Stout (called Mother Russia) which was already fermenting like mad as we left for the night with the airlock popping away furiously...
17/09/2010 : Our next brewdate is Sunday 17th and we'll be filling the brewery with delicious aromas from roast barley, chocolate malt, caramalt and malted oats to create Marduk... plus, hopefully, a 9 of something a little stronger...
09/09/2010 : Our brewing day this month is either going to be put back a week or postponed until next month owing to circumstances beyond our control but, whatever happens, Marduk Oatmeal Stout will be the next beer out along with a coffee version in a very small number of outlets.
06/09/2010 : We're back in the "little brick shed" this weekend crafting our second stout following the hugely positive feedback from Black No.1 although, this time, we'll be pressing our brand-new, just-out-of-the-boxes "first-runnings" kit into use to create an Imperial Russian Stout from the first wort out of the mashtun. These are interesting times for us and, as long as we can get all the pipes connected up and functioning right, we're hopeful that in the future we'll be making some very interesting creations from these vessels and may even bottle some of it...
30/08/2010 : Spooniverse will be 4.2% and ready for delivery next week; it tasted gloriously grapefruity (thanks to 1.5kg of Chinooks!) from the fermenter during it's "drop test" and should be on bars around the country soon.
28/08/2010 : Master of the Spooniverse is going into cask this weekend at some point and will be away on it's travels shortly; it will be around 4.2% and full of Chinooks giving a grapefruity, citrussy bite. The beer we brewed with Phil Lowry at Brewwharf, Hopsession, is also now in cask after having been dry-hopped with Amarillo and will be on sale in London (and possibly elsewhere) shortly. Our next brew, Marduk Stout, will be done in a couple of weeks, and we have re-done our Beer Map to make it easier to understand what the bloody hell it's on about...
17/08/2010 : Our brewing session at Brewwharf went fantastically well and, hopefully, we're now the proud parents of a 6% whopper of a beer which will be called "Hopsession". We squeezed 6.5kg of hops into the kettle namely Apollo, Bravo, Centennial, Chinook and Amarillo and it will be dry-hopped with more Amarillo in the conditioner! Huge thanks to Phil who was a willing collaborator in the murder of so many innocent hopflowers and here's to doing it all again one day! We're brewing again in Sheffield this weekend, this time our tribute to Chris Fudge called, appropriately, "Master of the Spooniverse", so look out for that in a few weeks and raise you glasses to Fudgey.
06/08/2010 : A load of photos of us racking LAC3 are now on the site; in fact, each brew has a load of totally superfluous phots linked to it, just click on the "Brewday Photos" at the top of the brew's section on the "Our Beers" page.
04/08/2010 : You'll have to be quick to get any of our new brew as most of it is going to Peterborough! There will be a limited amount available elsewhere at some of the usual suspects but, as Mr Daniels says, "Not a lot...". Tasted from the fermenter, this may well be the hoppiest beer we've brewed to date and may well be too much for some but, in our defence, Bram did ask for a very hoppy beer...! We're in Brewwharf in London on the 14th trying to use up all Phil's hops then brewing again the following weekend in Sheffield - it's all go at the moment.
28/07/2010 : LAC4 is being racked this weekend, Bacchus willing, and is coming out as a "Double A-side" in the form of "Western Bram" and "New World Disorder" plus there will be a single 9 of "Bez 4". It sounds like most of the production is off to the Peterborough Area although there will be some elsewhere. We're off to London in a couple of weeks then brewing again on the 21st August, this time our tribute beer to Chris Fudge, provisionally named "Master of the Spooniverse" - if you knew Fudge you'll know why!
18/07/2010 : We're brewing again in the "brick shed" next weekend, this time a 5.2% pale ale for Bram's Birthday and Peterborough Beer Festival, which will contain - in addition to the usual Fawcett's LCMO and Wheat malt - over 5kg of hops including Columbus, Magnum, Amarillo, Citra and Centennial; expect something very hoppy and bitter yet again with a whopping 100+ IBU's! Our next stout, Marduk, is in the planning stages as are several more traditional (for us, anyhow) pale and hoppy little numbers.
27/06/2010 : We're going down to London in August to be "guest brewers" at Brewwharf where Phil Lowry's Saints and Sinners setup is brewing some excellent beers; we're chuffed to be invited to brew "daaahn saaarf" and hope the beer will be as good as our usual Northern ones are! We're not 100% sure on details yet but it should be around 5%, very pale and rammed full of lots of lovely hops! Business as usual, then,..
23/06/2010 : Even though we knew it was going to happen it's still hard to accept... we were both long-time mates of Chris Fudge of Tamworth who passed away way before his time yesterday; the beer world (and world in general) has lost a great bloke and we're gutted for everyone involved. Consequently, we shall be dedicating one of our forthcoming brews to Chris and donating the proceeds to an appropriate cause.
RIP Fudgey; we had some good times and you made a lot of people very happy which isn't something a lot of people can say.
13/06/2010 : We've now been given the go-ahead to brew by HMRC and have our own brewing license! Our first brew under our own license using our own malt (Fawcett's LCMO, naturally) and own hops (Columbus, Magnum, Centennial, Cascade, Chinook and Citra) was brewed at Little Ale Cart in the "brick shed" on Saturday 12th and is, hopefully, now fermenting away furiously. It will be called "Independence Day Pale Ale" to coincide with Yorkshire Day and as a celebration of our first brew under our own license and should turn out at 4.7% and a whopping 101 IBU's! Initial tastings from the paraflow suggest it'll be a right beast of a beer with a kilo of Citra having been added at flame-off! We'll be doing two "mods", our by now customary un-dry hopped variant "Bez Suchého Chmele - Tři" and a festival special for our friends down at Merton Beer Festival which will be dry-hopped with Citra... that should be interesting! Full details on the "Our Beers" page...
31/05/2010 : For those lucky enough to live in - or near - Sheffield, two of our beers will be on in the Wellington over the next few days. One is a slightly different version of D-Generation XX (our Doncaster festival double award-winner, this cask has less dry-hops) and the other the first in our "A Slight case of Overhopping" series, this one being a variant of 51st State with plenty of Nelson Sauvin and Centennial for the dry-hopping. As soon as our brewing license appears, hopefully within the next couple of weeks, we aim to start regular production, monthly at first, and there are plenty of beers waiting to be brewed...
26/05/2010 : A piece by Gazza about our favourite beer style, what we call "Mid-Atlantic" Pale Ale, is here...
24/05/2010 : Sadly we didn't end up brewing last weekend but are planning to do so as soon as is possible, June at some point sounds a good bet.
20/05/2010 : Due to a delay in the various paperwork sides to setting up our company (why are things so difficult? why?) there's a chance we will be brewing again this weekend (22nd) under the Little Ale Cart license so as to keep our name in people's memory before you all forget we existed. It's not 100% confirmed yet but, if we do, expect something 4.5% - 5% and hoppy... usual story, then.
18/04/2010 : Whilst we sort out our malt supply, brewing license and suchlike we'll not be brewing again until everything is sorted; we hope to brew again in mid-to-late May by which time we'll be ready to unleash some of the hop-monsters we have up our sleeves upon the world and, hopefully, add to our medal tally at more festivals... So, thanks for the support so far, and keep an eye on the site for more updates! See you soon, cheers...
10/04/2010 : We've just been informed that our variant of 51st State for Doncaster Beer Festival, "D-Generaton XX", has won two awards at the festival namely Best Golden beer and, even more amazingly, Overall Beer of the Festival! We're absolutely chuffed to bits with this as it vindicates our hop usage policy and shows that other people agree with us that UK beer needs more hops! It was also the first cask to run out at around 13:00 on Friday...
As we're not a "proper" brewing company as such yet, this beer was obviously brewed with lots of help and so we thank Richard Appleton and Gee of Little Ale Cart for their guidance, help and above all patience (!) over the last few months plus Gary from White Rose has been a constant source of advice and help from day one so, from all of the brewing team in the "Little Brick Shed", thanks a lot; these awards mean a huge amount to us!
One bit of bad news is that the single cask of "A Slight Case of Overhopping" blew it's keystone last week so that won't now be making an appearance, although we liked the name so much we'll use it again on another beer later in the year!
51st State will be at Frodsham Beer Festival this weekend, it's already been on at the Wenlock Arms (they also have a cask of Bez) plus Danny at the Strathmore Arms has a cask of Bez which should be on in the near future.
24/03/2010 : 51st State is now in cask - our nice and shiny Cypherco Black 'n' Purple ones! Owing to a slight miscalculation by the dry-hopping department (!) we have another variant with yet another "proper" music-related name; see the Our Beers page for more info!
16/03/2010 : Well, we must be proper brewers now - we've become the proud owners of 50kg of hops; should be good for the next brew or two...! We now have an 'in' with Charles Faram and have taken full advantage to secure the Simcoes, Chinooks and Citras we know and love - among others! Now we know we can get all the lupulus leaves we want, we can get on with planning more hop monsters. We're waiting to see how 51st State turns out, but if the wort is anything to go by it's gonna be a whopper - it tastes like bitter lemon at the moment, so once the sweetness has gone we should have a bitter, lemony citrus bomb. We'll be racking it into our brand new casks on Tuesday with any luck, bunging a couple of ounces of Amarillo in each one for good measure.
14/03/2010 : 51st state has been brewed and came out at 1047° (11.6 Plato), 75.7IBU and 5.2EBC; we used almost 4 kilos of hops (plus more to be added as dry-hops when casking) and, from the initial post-copper tasting, it should be an absolute belter; the Columbus, Centennial and Citra hops should combine to produce something rather special.
06/03/2010 : Our next beer now has a name! It will be called "51st State" in a homage to New Model Army, continuing our theme of "proper" music-related beer names, but also in recognition that it will contain plenty of West Coast USA hops! See the pumpclip on the "Our Beers" page...
01/03/2010 : We have a provisional date for our next brew! With a fair wind it will take place on Saturday 13th March at Little Ale Cart and will herald a return to normality in that it'll be pale and hoppy! Expect something 5% or so with Columbus, Centennial and Citra and plenty of Fawcett's LCMO. Further details - such as a name - when we know!
08/02/2010 : Steel City Brewery Ltd now exists as a company and our very own casks are on order. After the success of our first beers we decided that it's all systems go owing to the large amount of positive feedback thus far, so although we'll still only be brewing on an occasional basis we'll hopefully be making better beer with every brew produced. Black No.1 has had some excellent comments from drinkers - not all of whom we know! - on it's first few outings and if you've missed it so far it's due to appear at both Fleetwood and Liverpool beer festivals with Douro Negative accompanying at Liverpool.
01/02/2010 : The photos from Black No.1's brewing day are now online!
28/01/2010 : Black No.1 (which Dave reports tasted gorgeous from the fermenter!) is now casked up and, after a short conditioning period, will be off on it's travels. We've decided to produce another variant, "Czarna Kawa" (Strong coffee in Polish), which has been infused with the liquor used to steep 1lb of crushed beans for 36 hours, although there will only be a single 9 of this in the Wellington, Sheffield!
18/01/2010 : After a good day's brewing we are pleased to announce that Black No.1 now exists subject to the Little Ale Cart yeast strain doing it's business. We tasted it straight from the copper during gravity testing and it had a massively complex coffee and chocolate flavour to it, so we're very hopeful that this will be a stout to remember!
One surprising bit of news is that - gasp - it has crystal malt in the recipe! Despite ranting about how much we hate the stuff we're not total idiots and, although we still maintain it ruins pale ale, we both feel it adds body and a touch of sweetness which we wanted in No.1, so that's our excuse! The full grain bill included no less than seven types of Fawcett's finest including LCMO, caramalt, wheat malt, roast barley, chocolate malt, crystal 380 and malted oats, plus 2 kilos of Admiral hops for bittering and flavour.
06/01/2010 : Latest news is that we're brewing again on Saturday 16th January, but this time at Little Ale Cart as our usual host, Pete at BrewCo, is too busy this month!
Here's the low-down; "Despite being out-and-out Hopheads we appreciate other styles too, and certainly don't want to get typecast just yet! We're both stout drinkers (in both senses!) so are pleased to reveal that our third brew will be the first of a new 'Black Metal' series, appropriately enough called 'Black No.1' (after a song written, coincidentally, by Pete Steele of Brooklyn's Type O Negative), it will be a full-bodied, traditional (very) dry stout, weighing in at 5% abv. As usual, there will be the limited release of a variant, this time with a mystery ingredient and called "Douro Negative". Since our first two brews elicited comments from unsuspecting normals along the lines of 'this is too bitter' we fully expect to hear comments like 'yuk, this is nothing like Guinness'. Yes, that's the point, this is proper stout! We will be brewing this beer at Little Ale Cart due to lack of capacity at our usual hosts The Brew Company; both breweries are likely to feature in our future productions, rest assured that we will always declare the origin both on our website and on the pumpclips".
01/01/2010 : Happy new year all! We're hoping to brew in January but owing to some changes in our setup we're not yet sure if this will happen, although we're doing everything to make it so! Hopefully we'll be set up as a company in our own right this year and, owing to the aforementioned changes, hope to have far more control over our brewing. More news as it happens...
11/12/2009 : We're on a rest period at the moment and plan to brew again in January once we've analysed how our first brews have gone. Suffice it to say that we're pleased with the feedback from our first two brews thus far and have learnt plenty (about brewing and the industry) along the way so far and have big ideas for next year including bottling limited runs of beers along with making more hoppy, interesting yet drinkable brews; cheers! We're also trying out a map which will show where our beers got to!
01/12/2009 : If you get down to Pig's Ear beer festival this week you should be amongst the first to try Wheel Ale, a version of Worcestershire Sourced dry-hopped with the same Worcestershire Cascades it was brewed with. Worcestershire Sourced will be out and about from this week, so all comments welcome to the brewing team!
25/11/2009 : Worcestershire Sourced is now casked up and maturing ready for it's distribution. A very last-minute change of plan (reasons withheld!) has resulted in the beer NOT being dry-hopped as planned, although there will be a beer dry-hopped with the UK Cascades for Pig's Ear beer festival and also another single cask for the Harlequin dry-hopped with American Cascades to jointly celebrate Dave's 15,000th scoop and, at the same time, Gazza's 20,000th winner.
16/11/2009 : By the time you read this Worcestershire Sourced should be, hopefully, happily bubbling away in it's fermenter at Brewco and we're delighted to report all went fantastically well on the day. We had a sudden last-minute change of plan and upped the strength from 4% to 4.6% on the basis that we're going to bottle some and stronger beers keep better, plus the planned "low-colour" Maris Otter wasn't available so we used standard Fawcett's Maris Otter instead. In an attempt to see what difference in colour "standard" malt makes, we decided that a brew of similar strength to Hop Manifesto was a good idea for comparative reasons. 5.5BBL were produced which used 7.1kg of hops... this should be a good 'un!
11/11/2009 : We've uploaded the pumpclip for "Worcestershire Sourced" for all those who like to see such things!
09/11/2009 : So, brew date two is almost upon us so I suppose it's about time we told you what's going on. Our "special hops" are now safely in the house, oozing their gorgeous smell into every nook and cranny, and will be used to produce a 4% pale ale with the name of "Worcestershire Sourced" as a nod to their provenance. A few early photos are online now... We've also added a section titled, somewhat pretentiously, "In the News" where you can see what people think about us in the press (and online).
03/11/2009 : We've got a date for our second brew at the Brew Company! Saturday 14th will be the day we hopfully (okay, hopefully) produce something to build on the good start we made with Hop Manifesto, a beer we're both rather proud of despite it's many flaws! We don't have a definite name or recipe yet but we can say that it will be a 4% pale ale with plenty of hops in it, hopefully some rather special ones. More information as we get it... Thanks for all the comments, support, suggestions and insults we've received, it's all appreciated!
19/10/2009 : Thanks to all who have responded with regards to Hop Manifesto; okay, we had an issue with over-sparging and the wrong yeast - both of which diminished hop character and bitterness - but overall it seems as if most people thought it a good starting point for our adventure. Rest assured lessons will be learned within the brewing team and the next beer will be a whole different ball game! Keep in touch for news about this next one, it might be interesting...
14/10/2009 : Well, what did you think? We tried all three beers last night and concluded that, for a first attempt with some over-sparging issues, we've done a pretty passable job! Rest assured that we'll be learning lessons and trying to make the next beer much better but, still, we're proud of Hop Manifesto and think it's a good start! Let us know your opinions... we do want to know!
12/10/2009 : Some extra photos of the racking are now here and the launch is confirmed at the Harlequin, Sheffield, for 19:00 on Wednesday 14th where Dave will answer all your questions about the beer! Gazza will be preparing to fly to Poland for some scoops so, sadly, can't be there.
07/10/2009 : 7 days 'til lift off! Last night, 22 shiny (and not so shiny) casks were filled with Hop Manifesto. In the name of quality control (and curiosity, admittedly), I tried the very first pint, straight from the fermenter; it was clouded with yeast, and chilled, but still the bitterness came through. As yet, the 2kgs of late citrus hops haven't fully come through, partly due to the coldness and lack of condition. Just to be safe though, each firkin of Hop Manifesto and Life of Brian has two double handfuls of fresh Amarillos in the cask, the latter also having the zest of 5 lemons in each cask as well. As an experiment, 4 casks were left without dry hop, or Bez Suchého Chmele as they would (probably) say in Czech. So, that's it now until next Wednesday (well, actually myself and Gazza are having a sneak preview on Tuesday), when Steel City Brewing will finally be unleashed upon the world... well, a couple of dozen pubs anyway.
04/10/2009 : Hop Manifesto will be racked tomorrow so we'll soon know if our efforts have been worthwhile. The official launch will be at the Harlequin, 108 Nursery Street, Sheffield, on Wednesday 14th October at 19:00 with three versions available for you to try; we've done a non dry-hopped version, "Bez Suchého Chmele" as a test to see how much difference the Amarillo dry-hops make, and also another for Brian Moore's 70th Birthday called "Life of Brian"; we really do want to hear your comments on the beers so drop us an email! All three beers should then be on sale at Oxford beer festival which starts the following day in the City's town hall.
28/09/2009 : Have a look at the pictorial story of our brewday here plus I'm currently working on a short video which may or may not appear depending on my editorial skills... (it didn't!) We're already thinking about our next brew which will probably be a 4% (ish) pale and hoppy brew; surprise surprise!
27/09/2009 : Well, Hop Manifesto now exists (subject to the SO4 yeast kicking into action) and is looking like being between 4.8% and 5% with a whopping 85.8 IBU's! We'll post a load of photos from the day tomorrow as well as, hopefully, a short video of the day's highlights! Big thanks to Pete at the BrewCo for letting us run wild with his precious hop supply and let's hope it comes out as we hope: a pale, hoppy beer!
23/09/2009 : Only three days until we make our first test-brew "Hop Manifesto" at the BrewCo and we can't wait! From this first base beer we're doing a little experimentation and you may see, in addition to Hop Manifesto, "Bez Suchého Chmele Jeden" which means - in Czech, obviously - "without dry hops one". As we intend to dry-hop all our beers we will be in the unusual position of doing specials that AREN'T dry-hopped and so, with this in mind, we're trying it out from the off with this experiment! There will also be a variant called "Life of Brian" with a different adjunct for Brian Moore's birthday, although a few more will get out and about via Boggart.
If you want to order the beer then contact Dave as it's looking like we may be close to selling out already!
11/09/2009 : As our brew date rapidly approaches we've started taking orders for Hop Manifesto, see the new "Buy our Beer" section. We have also agreed with Boggart Brewery Distributions that our beer will be available through them which increases our potential sales immensely and means we can now get our beers to parts of the country which were previously inaccessible to us, so if you're not in Yorkshire, want some beer and deal with Boggart then you know what to do!
05/09/2009 : How very interesting (honestly, it is)... just been speaking to a local brewer down in Worcestershire and he's said that we can have some of the only kilning of Worcestershire-grown Cascades that will be done this year! Hopefully we'll get enough to do a single-hop brew for our second gyle and, although I've no idea what the alpha acid will be or what they will taste like, how can hop lovers like ourselves turn down an offer like that? So, with the munificence of Bacchus and a bit of luck, you may yet try a single-hop Cascade pale ale with hops grown in the UK! They probably won't taste like American ones do but, with the knowledge that Argentinean Cascades don't either and they are lip-smackingly gorgeous, do we care?
31/08/2009 : Well, that's the first draft of our website online! Feel free to let us know what you think about it, us, or anything else... We will try and update this blog as often as possible and will definitely be uploading lots of photos of our first brewday which is scheduled for the 26th September. In the meantime, check back to see what we've added to the site and hopefully you'll get to taste our beer in the very near future; we think it will be worth waiting for as long as you like hops!