Steel City’s first brew of the year is an away collaboration… Dave realised that he’d somehow managed to not do a single collaboration with Raw in 2014, so put this right with a visit to brew Ceremony of Opposites (name inspired by the Samael album, obviously…), an oxymoronic Black IPA with the tropical-flavoured Galaxy and Citra hops supplemented by mango and passion fruit. The second brew was just a day later at ‘home’ (Toolmakers), this time a stout. Diabolis Interium, meaning, as any scholar of Latin or fan of Dark Funeral will know, ‘Devil Within’, is the latest instalment in the Black Metal series. It’s a dry stout made with oats, dark muscovado sugar for a rummy molasses flavour, chocolate malt and roasted barley, with a big flame-out charge of Bramling Cross hops. A kegged (but still real!) version with honey will be available at the Shakespeare and the Craven Arms in Birmingham, and is called Mead From Hell (well, it has been a few months since Dave brewed an Alestorm-related beer…). The Shakey will also be getting a version with added rum. The minikit also made an appearance, for an exclusive 9-gallon brew of Funeral in Carpathia, an Imperial Stout named after a Cradle of Filth track (are you spotting a theme here…). Final ABV is not yet known, but Dave expects to be paying ‘Tramp Tax’ on this one! A pin of it will appear at the Shakespeare, while the rest will go in bottles.Recently we’ve seen quite a few cases of breweries taking legal action against other brewers over similar names – e.g. Brewsters taking on Brew Star, Camden taking on just about everybody – so when Dave saw there’s now a Black Metal brewery in Edinburgh there was only one thing to do – a collaboration! Nothing confirmed yet, but Steel City/Black Metal collabs will definitely happen this year. More collaborations are lined up for March – a long overdue away collab at not-so-silent Steel City partner Gazza’s Hopcraft brewery in Wales, then later the same weekend away to Arbor to brew a sour beer, hopefully with different fruit versions.