February 05, 2019 2 min read
Hello, my name is Alex and I brew beer for Bishop Nick. The wonderful team here thought it would be a good idea for me to step out of the cold brewery once in a while and write a brewer's blog in my nice new warm office! So here goes...
It's been exactly one year since I started at Bishop Nick, after 17 years or so at Mighty Oak Brewery in Maldon. So rather than cycle up Market Hill in the morning to get to work, I now pedal from Maldon to Braintree every day. It keeps me fit and warms me up nicely at this time of year so I'm ready for a day brewing, racking, cask cleaning or indeed writing blogs.
I hope the customers have enjoyed the beers over the last 12 months. It took only a short while to adapt my taste buds to the new beers I was tasked with brewing, but now they're like good friends, especially on a Friday afternoon when a pint of Ridley's Rite, 1555 or Heresy aids my recovery from digging out the hot mash tun and copper! The monthly specials seem to have been popular and we like to keep them varied to cater for all tastes, from the fruity, hoppy golden/amber ales (Revelry 2018, Brazen, Wiseman and Virtue), through to the complex rich maltiness of Respect and Festive, and the darker, roastier stouts, porters and milds (Black Cloak, Joust, Witch Hunt and Dark Mild).
Yesterday we racked one of the darker types called "Dark Times". It's a milk stout and is back by popular demand. I brewed it 10 days ago and because it's a style of beer I've never had the opportunity to brew, I was both excited and slightly nervous, but everything seems to have worked out. To put it simply, a milk stout is a sweeter, fuller bodied type of stout, with the addition of unfermentable lactose sugar to the boiling sweet wort. This milk sugar balances the harsher characteristics of the roasted malts and makes it appealing to both stout and non-stout drinkers - a perfect pint for the cold winter evenings, and at only 4.5% and being easy drinking, you may be tempted to have seconds. We'll be bottling it too and should be available well into the spring when we get the first whiff of warmth and lighter times.
That's all for today, time to get back into the brewery where I'm brewing Ridley's Rite today.
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