#ISBF4 – Collab Brewday No.1: Five Towns Brewery

To facilitate the return of The Independent Salford Beer Festival some things had to change. Primarily my (Jim) attitude to delegation. I’m rubbish at it. But – for the greater good – I’m letting go of some of the tasks that are essential for any beer celebration.

And that IS what ISBF is. A celebration of all that is great in beer.

But there are some things that I hold close to my chest. Close to my heart. And one of those is the chance to brew with Malcolm Bastow of Five Towns Brewery – a great brewer and a top bloke. And, for my money, one of the best small batch brewers in the country.

So good, we get two brewdays.

So. Last Thursday evening, I got a text. The special yeast had arrived. And needed using. “When can you get over?” I’d have dropped everything then, if I could have!

I mean. Come ON. ISBF Beer of the Festival winner in the first 2 years?

Those who have been to all ISBFs, will remember that we have been lucky enough to have 2 of Five Towns’ Belgian style Tripels (Grounds For Divorce & More Grounds….). Both of these beauties being fermented with fresh yeast from Brasserie Orval in SE Belgium. An iconic Abbey, brewing an iconic beer.

And I get to pitch that yeast. To help make another Belgian style Tripel. But with a distinct Yorkshire twist.

I love brewing on Malcolm’s kit. Being only 2.5bbl it feels tiny. And it’s so simple to work with.

Mashing in with 90 kg of dry goods – Maris Otter Pale and wheat – filled the mash tun to the brim, releasing beautiful biscuit aromas. If you don’t like the smell of a brewery mashing in, you haven’t got a soul. It’s a guaranteed uplift of the spirit. *Breathes Deeply*

This is small batch brewing. Right here.

Bittered with a chunk of Kazbek and late hopped with Nelson Sauvin – there’s a reason for that – there isn’t going to be much of this beer in the wild, possibly 3 or 4 casks. With maybe a smattering of bottles available.

But the beer that comes to ISBF will be unique on draught. And it’s the reason that we late hopped with aromatic Nelson…..

The cask that we get will be different. With that distinctive Yorkshire twist.

You see, I had an idea. Rhubarb. What, with Wakefield being right in the heart of the legendary Rhubarb Triangle, it made sense, no? And here we come to that late Nelson, to accentuate the tartness of the Rhubarb? So the beer that we get will have a chunk of rhubarb in secondary.

Did I mention 8.6% abv?

Meet “Always Crashing In The Same Car”

I can’t wait to taste this.

And the only place you’ll get to try this?


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