First meeting of the people in Bath who are interested in home brewing but we don’t yet have a cool name

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The gentleman of the house is a home brewer, and I like to put fruit in gins. My friend Chris (a purveyor of fine spirits and beers in Bath) realised that through his work he has met a lot of local home brewers but we haven’t yet met each other   And so the first meeting was devised, all we need to think of now is a good name.

The idea is meet similar minded people, share knowledge and of course try beers.

The first meeting was held in Independent Spirit (on Terrace Walk, otherwise known as Bog Island) and there was really quite a good turn out. I don’t know a lot about brewing (that being the gentleman of the house’s department) but I did get to have a nice chat with a lady about my plan to make parsnip wine.

We had a beer tasting session. This was mostly some Canadian beers but there was also some home brew to comment on. I tried to write down some tasting notes, so here they are (i really no expert so I hope you get the gist of what i’m trying to convey). I have added some comments from other people in quotes.

1) Highlander Brew co. Twisted Spruce (6%)

Tangy refreshing summer taste on the roof of the mouth followed by a warm winter aftertaste on the back of the tongue. Some people thought it was odd but I thought it was really yum (oh such technical language ha)

2) Nickel Brook. Maple Porter (6%)

A bit too carbonated for the style and smelled rather antiseptic. It was definitely a winter beer. Some of us left it to go flat to taste later and it was much much nicer sort of like drinking pudding.

3) Bush Pilot Brewing Company. Stormy Monday, Barley Wine aged in Calvados barrels (11%)

Smelled of mince pies, spiced baked apple and vinegary. This is definitely a winter drink to sip slowly on a winter evening, and more like a sherry than a beer. “Somewhere between Christmas and cough mixture”

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4) Paul’s Unnamed Belgian Triple (Homebrew!)

Brewed at 8degC, Fruity smell and refreshing – apologies I didn’t write much down of the discussion but people were enjoying this and the next one.

5) Paul’s Belgian Dubbel (Homebrew!)

Very fizzy caramely and malty

6) Johnny’s Use Up Experimental Leftover Brew (8%) (Homebrew!)

Fruity, Tasted like beer. “Tastes like its fermented in it’s own juices”

7) Johnny’s Green Beer (Homebrew!)

This beer was not ready but we tried a bit anyway. It left a dry aftertaste and someone suggested “socks”

8) Nickel Brook. Old Kentucky Bastard (10%) Aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels

This smelled like a very dark sticky and vinegary apple chutney i once made. It was sour and smelled like a musty old cupboard. It was certainly interesting but personally I didn’t want more than a few sips.

Everyone had a really good time and got very excited about possible future plans. You can find out more on the Independent Spirit’s Facebook page and i quote…

“Not so much a tasting as a get together for like minded people. Want to brew at home but don’t know how, perhaps you want to take the next step and move from kits to full mash brews.
(this is starting to sound like an ad for match.com)

We still use the event as an opportunity to introduce a few of our customers with similar hobbies to each other so that we can all benefit from experience and perhaps get the tips we need to move on with our brewing and create a little homebrew community here in bath.

We shall use these events to settle into our little community as we work out a plan for upcoming events whether we specialize in particular methods or indeed organize full brewdays as a community to learn skills and swop beer.”

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