The first Cheltenham Beer Week will run from September 16th to 25th and will feature around 80 events at 27 venues across the town. Of course thirsty people will need something to drink, and what better than a local collaboration beer?
Three breweries: DEYA Brewing Company, Prescott Ales and Gloucester Brewery were commissioned by Favourite Beers to brew up something a little bit special to mark Cheltenham Beer Week.
The brewers got their heads together in July and decided to brew a strong (7.5%) American-style, Double IPA (or DIPA), utilising lots of flavourful American hops. This style was chosen for a number of reasons – firstly it is very unusual for this area, with none of the local breweries having yet brewed a beer of this style. It is also one of the styles of beer that is becoming very popular across the country with just about every one of the upcoming ‘new wave’ of craft breweries having produced outstanding DIPAs in the last 12 months.
Having drawn up a recipe and obtained the ingredients, two brewers from each of the breweries met together on Friday 5th August at DEYA’s impressive new brewery (near to Cheltenham Railway Station) for a very enjoyable brew-day. The grain bill was ‘Mashed-in’, the boil had the requisite amount of hops added both for bitterness and aroma/taste and the hot wort was cooled and transferred to the fermentation vessel where the Prescott Ales yeast was added to perform that magical transformation that creates beer. Several iterations of dry hopping will follow to boost the aroma and flavour profile, before the beer is transferred to a conditioning tank to develop further.
The beer, around 1,000 litres, will be packaged in three different formats – cask, keg and 330ml can – at least one of these formats (sometimes all three) should be available from the majority of beer week venues. All of the collaboration beer has already been sold to participating venues.
Warning: this is very much a one off, limited quantity beer, when it is gone – it is gone! So make sure you get to try it and join in our celebration of Cheltenham as a beer town.
For the technically minded the DIPA recipe is:
156 kg Extra Pale
104 kg Marris Otter
16 kg Wheat
16 kg Oat
12 kg Munich
+ 45 kg Dextrose Sugar
Chinook, Simcoe, Amarrillo and Mosaic.
The beer will ferment for 6-7 days. This will be followed by 8 days of secondary dry hopping, then 15 days of further conditioning.