For anyone familiar with Leeds you will already be aware of the growing homebrewing scene, so much so that we now have a homebrew forum and meet to taste and discuss our craft. The group is organised and have a great meeting place in Mr Foleys Cask Ales House. Dean, the manager, also brews and has made us welcome in a back room which is more familiar with Meet the Brewer events for commercial breweries. I mention this because I have attended a couple of these events and take inspiration from their association with the venue and the encouragement and knowledge from the guest speakers. The first meeting in October 2011 was a huge success, well attended and supported by the Summer Wine Brewery. The second meeting is scheduled for January where we will be joined by Dominic from Thornbridge Brewery.
One of the beers we tasted at the first meet-up was from Dean’s Blue Suede Brews, his Mackem Mild, a beer he told us would not normally be his first choice for brewing purposes, but he had brewed it with a particular family member in mind. A strategic brew, and very tasty too! This evening I tried another of Dean’s creations, brewed in collaboration with Neil from Eating isn’t Cheating. The beer is a 5.8% Red Rye Ale, brewed using Maris Otter Crystal, Cara Red and rye malts (not sure if malted or flaked rye). They hopped with Riwaka (bittering), Amarillo and Galaxy (aroma) and dry hopped with Amarillo. The yeast was US-05. You can read the write-up from the brew day here.
It opened with a promising fizz and there was immediate hop aroma from the bottle. It poured a hazy, deep berry red colour and a small head formed and stayed throughout, nicely conditioned. It had a fruity aroma with a pleasant pepperyness. First taste had some of the fruit but much more pepper coming through, the bitterness was there but all at the front of my tongue which I’ve not experienced from many beers I’ve tried. The aftertaste was again the pepper and a nutty crispness, most definitely all from the rye. I don’t know what percentage of the grain bill was rye, but I’d say that it’s character won through.
As I’ve mentioned before, there is also some fun to be had with the outside of the bottle too, and the spiral label on this bottle was designed by Neil. I’m guessing they were a total bitch to cut out, but they add another element of interest and certainly give the bottle a great look.
Nice work guys and I look froward to swapping some more homebrew soon. Cheers!