During the COVID pandemic and the lockdowns, lots of people have turned their hands to a wide range of additional skills and pastimes, be it baking, gardening and in my instance, I turned my hand again to homebrewing. Ive been on and off brewing at home for a good number of years and the pandemic gave me a huge boost to get going again.
This passion for brewing ale has subsequently flourished and a number of recipes have been repeated time and time again. One recipe in particular is a pale/ blonde ale hopped with Nelson Sauvin I call “Lawnmower”. It started life as a brew to sip in the garden during lockdowns where there was so little to do other than mow the lawn.
At a recent CAMRA meeting, the upcoming Sheffield Beer Festival was mentioned and a gem of an idea was formed. Would Sheffield Beer Festival like a cask of “Lawnmower”. As a homebrewer this is a real test of brewing skills, to be judged amongst professional brewers and the ego boost of seeing a pump clip on a bar was just too tempting to miss out from.
I had met the brewer at Collyfobble, Ash Linnett at a previous CAMRA meeting and after a few phone conversations a date was set to brew a batch of Lawnmower on a full size brewery. Collyfobble Brewery is based at the recently redeveloped Peacock Pub in Barlow. The brewery itself is a beautiful showpiece example of a small scale commercial brewery, housed in an impressive building at the side of what is arguably one of the most picturesque landscapes in the region. The brewery supplies the pub with great core range beers; in recent months this range is being extended to supply other venues.
The brew itself went through the brewery and transferred to the fermenter without a hitch, Ash showing his depth of brewing experience at key points in the journey. As the hops were added, the brewhouse was filled with delicious fruit aromas of grapes, passionfruit and gooseberries exactly as it does at my home. I am proud to say that the beer is fermenting well and initial samples are nearly identical to previous batches brewed at home. I cannot wait to see it at Sheffield Beer Festival on an actual bar.
Sheffield’s 46th Steel City Beer & Cider Festival takes place from 19 to 22 October at Kelham Island Museum. All the details are here.