We were calling ourselves a craft brewery here at the Stowey Brewery, brewing craft beers ten years ago and we’re still brewing interesting beers to date.
For the past few years we have been producing beer from the abundance of fruits, flowers and herbs growing naturally in the Quantock Hills, in Somerset and our latest craft ale is a nettle and dandelion beer.
On Saint George’s Day (23 April), which is the traditional day for picking dandelions, we harvest the nettles (carefully) and the pis-en-lit flowers and added the, dare I say it, ‘weeds’? to the final part of the boil – the earlier part of the boiling process using a few of our own, home-grown hops.
Quantities are important when brewing beer so we used a Sainsbury’s carrier bag full of nettles and medium freezer bag of dandelion flowers!
The result – well just watch the video … the beer is slightly more vegetal than a normal English bitter and perhaps has an earthy aroma – but extremely drinkable and you can imagine a serf in Medieval times drinking the same brew.
Beer being served at Pebbles Tavern, Watchet
And don’t forget, we run fun brewing courses throughout the autumn, winter and early spring – see www.4ale.co.uk