Squawk v The Brink : A Beer is Born

It started with a bizarre tweet (to me at least). For 10kg of Nelson Sauvin T90. (Pelletised hops) Obviously Gareth was up to something beery, but asking for 10kg of Nelson is akin to asking a brewer to unhitch their right arm and hand it over. 

You see – to those unaware – the phrases “Rocking Horse Shit” and “Rare as….” apply to Nelson.

Because it is gorgeously aromatic. Sharp. Tasty. And in demand.

Unsurprisingly – when I recovered my composure enough to stop laughing – I asked one or two brewing friends. Once THEY stopped laughing…..

Somewhat later, I got a slightly fuller picture.

Squawk. My favourite brewery of 2016. Collabing with my favourite bar. The Brink. I wanted some of that. So, “BOSS! Can I have Monday off?”

So it was that I arrived at Squawk, to the smiling faces (mostly) of Kate, Ste, Pete and Gareth (not forgetting our  brewmaster for today, Graham!) and the heavenly smells of hot mashing. It’s like breakfast for the soul.

The plan? A Red (Coughs “2-1”…….) Ale, something Gareth wanted (bloody United fan that he is) and that Squawk had never done.

Maris, Crystal, Cara and other sundry malts were steeping away upon my arrival as I watched – with no small amount of envy – as Ste plunged his hands into a bag of Wai-Iti to break the leaf up for bittering. His hands resembling those of Shrek upon removal – if somewhat more aromatic…..

A brewday (for those who aren’t the actual brewer) is essentially a lot of standing around, listening, with intermittent bursts of activity. Fun for the inner beer nerd, but hardly Pulitzer material. So, we short cut…..

Where the late flavour hops usually – to me anyway – go into the copper (avoiding the joys of steam burns!), these went into Oli’s latest acquisition. His hop rocket. With the wort circulation extracting maximum juicy goodness from those tart Southern Hemisphere beauties.

With copious amounts of Nelson going in dry hop, what are we to expect?

Tartness – it IS Nelson Sauvin after all! – fruitiness, with a distinct red hue. Full bodied with a very slight residual sweetness from the Cara and Crystal.

And – at 5.1% abv – drinkability. It’s Squawk after all, under praised for me. Massively so.

Looks like it might be on on Thursday. Maybe about 3pm. And guess who’s in Manchester that night?

Oh yes! Wouldn’t miss this for all the tea in…..