When brewers get together there’s nothing they like doing more than talking shop. Once the woes of hop contracting, equipment reliability and footwear longevity have been dealt with the conversation will quickly turn to brew recipes. As the beers flow the ideas get more wild and in the haze most are forgotten and few will ever see the light of day, but not all..
After one such summit with our friends at First & Last we brewed up the idea of a saison. After missing spruce tip season (let’s face it, it’s happened to all of us right?) we turned our attentions to that familiar delight of the allotment garden, rhubarb. So we set about gathering the tart, pink and tender stems from every corner of Northumberland.
Wet and nettle stung we returned to the brewery where we sorted, washed, trimmed and laid the stems in waiting while we mashed a strong yet simple malt bill to provide the back bone to the beer.
A very small amount of traditional Hallertau hops hit the boil but then we began adding the rhubarb which when steeped in the wort gave us wonderfully sweet and jammy aromas, resisting the urge to simply top it with crumble and custard we transferred the wort to the fermentor.
Here it met yet more rhubarb and the Belgian ale yeast that would bring the beer to life, fermenting at a warmer temperature to release its fruity esters that would compliment the fresh tart flavour of the rhubarb.
Once the fermentation had finished we all tasted the results, unanimously it was decided ‘let’s add more rhubarb’. So a final addition of fresh rhubarb for was dutifully made.
The fruit of our labour is light, tart and zesty. Fresh rhubarb flavours from start to finish with the Belgian yeast adding a delicious layer of intrigue.
We had a blast brewing with First & Last, and we hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoyed making it. Cheers!