Steel City Brewing

After a relatively quiet year for obvious reasons, Steel City had a late resurgence in activity starting with the latest iteration of the Megacollab. This year’s concept had been kicking around for a while between Dave, Niall off of the Wellington, and McGregor off of various facey beer groups, and was brewed with Lost Industry, Bexar County, Neepsend, Doomed, Top Rope and Ramsbury, plus Lewy off of Lewis Ryan Art, who designed the epic label. Sour was the aim of the game, with a three day double pitch lacto steep and the addition of grapefruit, redcurrant and an unholy quantity of citric acid. A limited edition spin-off, Drop Acid Not Bombs, was brewed with Lemondrop hops in place of the fruit, with just one keg for the Welly and a few cans produced. Brewday was great fun though rain put paid to the usual barbecue and cricket so instead it was a big pot of curry and a nerf gun battle…

Also release in the autumn was the long-awaited Sour Wars first trilogy, with a keg launch at the Crow followed by cans at selected dealers – Hop Hideout may have a few left though maybe not by time you read this! The variants are: Episode 1 The Cranachan Menace – raspberry, mead and a touch of vanilla in a highland whisky barrel; Episode 2 Attack of the Stones – cherries in a red wine barrel; Episode 3 Orange of the Sith – hurricane sour with passion fruit, lemon, lime and orange in a rum barrel. Planning is now underway for the second trilogy to be brewed shortly and released autumn 2022. A few kegs of the first trilogy remain for future events planned in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

The latest in the frankly ridiculous series of one-off brews with Lucienne off of the Shakespeare surpassed even the previous brews (barbecue stout and hoi sin stout) for silliness, being a Branston Pickle porter! After ‘deconstructing’ the ingredients of the pickle, Dave and Lucienne procured a load of dates, apples, tamarind, mustard seeds, molasses, brown sugar… even they drew the line at pickled onions though! It was certainly, erm, interesting! Opinion was certainly divided, as expected some low Untappd scores but also some decent scores from those who rated it for what it is – nobody could deny it tasted of pickle! Dave and Lucienne certainly proved that they could, but not necessarily that they should…

The first brews of 2022 are due for release in Sheffield Beer Week, after a twin brewday in February. On the main kit comes Astral Mariner, a first for Steel City in two ways, firstly as a music collaboration, being brewed with Sheffield black metal outfit Ethereal Shroud, and more surprisingly it’s a lager! Well, in the technical sense if not in spirit… Dave is no fan of ‘damp air’ but sees Baltic Porter as the acceptable face of lager – brewed with Pilsner malt, Carafa Spezial for darkness, and Saaz hops (plus a modern twist with some Azacca hops) and fermented cold with a bottom-fermenting yeast. Meanwhile on the minikit a stout was produced for the 200th ‘Wind Up North’, a Thursday drinking club who gather at a different pub each week, a spin-off from the original ‘Wind Up’ which has been going in the south-east for over 40 years. The venue for WUN200 is the Pangolin, and the brew ‘Rule 6’ (one for Monty Python fans…) will be available there from 10th March.

Plans are afoot for the rest of 2022 including a tonka stout I’ve Had My Fun And That’s All That Matters (and a BA version I’ve Had My Rum And That’s All That Matters), a sour NEIPA Exercises in Futility, and no doubt more crazy stuff for the Shakey…

Dave Szwejkowski

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