Local Somerset Breweries
The Taunton Tourist Information Visitors Centre, at Market House in the town centre have full details of Somerset Branch Breweries and Cider & Perry Producers.
Pints of View (whilst stock lasts)
Copy of GBG 2018 to give full details for any enquiry whether in Somerset Branch or beyond.
Click this link to download the listing as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file: Somerset Breweries October 2017
SOMERSET GREEN HOPS
Below is an article written by Ian Pearson of Stowey Brewery
Somerset is not known for its hop growing, on the whole, people associate Somerset with cider orchards and perhaps cave aged Cheddar. However at the end of a secluded garden in the village of Nether Stowey, in the Quantock Hills, grow probably the county’s only semi-commercial hop crop. Originally three hop rhizomes were planted. Now, whilst hops grow like weeds, they can be a little temperamental to start with and only one took, the only problem is that no one is quite sure which one did so and the plant is either an East Kent Goldings or Fuggles. Whatever, it’s a Kentish hop and perfect for making a green hopped beer in the early autumn. The time of the hop harvest came. Ian of Somerset’s smallest brewery, the Stowey Brewery, waited for white vans full of Slovenian gypsies to turn up to help him out, but in vain. So the entire crop of four Sainsbury’s carrier bags had to be harvested by hand with only Steve Wright on Radio 2 to keep him company. With the harvest gathered it was time to make the beer. The decision was made to make two small batches of beer, a classic English Bitter and American style pale ale. When designing a recipe, great care is usually taken to get the right balance of malt and hops and to ensure that it has the precise degree of bitterness. This involves taking the ‘alpha acid’ measurement of the hops to get the perfect number of Europeans Bitterness Units (EBUs) and this is usually measured to the gram. These beers were measured in carrier bags! And it was one carrier bag per brew. The bitter contained pale and crystal malts and a classic ale yeast, the pale had maize and wheat added to the barley malt with an American West Coast yeast. The former was made at a higher temperature than the US style one to create slightly more complex beer. And the end result – well who better to try it than the local CAMRA branch members. So, a charabanc was organised from Watchet and half a dozen beer aficionados came along to taste the beers. And their verdict? ‘It was generally accepted that the beer was of high quality’. Praise indeed! To sample these small batch ales have a look at www.stoweybrewery.co.uk for details of the ales in production and where to find them.