This Trumps Any Tour
Prepare to get your feet wet, your hands dirty, and - if you are like me - wake up with malts in your hair and hops in your pockets.
On September 2nd I left my apartment at 6:15 for Walthamstow Central in order to attend Brew a Beer Day at Wild Card Brewery. Having reached the end of the line I arrived not really knowing what to expect but let me tell you Brew A Beer Day is so much more than your basic brewery tour, it is hands on down and dirty brewing.
I was immediately offered coffee or tea and greeted by Head Brewer Jaega Wise and Wild Card’s tour guide/sommelier (and my Beer Boutique co-worker) Francesca Slattery but the pleasantries did not dawdle as we had a beer to brew.
Essentially our day looked like the advertised prompt
“Participate in a full brew with our head brewer - starting at 7:30am with tea and pastry, the day is spent mashing, sparging and boiling up the perfect brew. Remember to wear warm clothes and wellies / non slip shoes as it can get wet!At lunch there is a bacon sandwich & once the day is done enjoy a 1/3 pint of each of our beers to taste with the brewing team. All participants get two bottles and a t-shirt and branded glass to take away.”
However, I cannot stress how it felt like so much more. We did not help Jaega Brew, in fact it felt much more as if Jaega was helping us brew; from mashing, measuring hops, calculating the alcohol percentage, and cleaning we were following Wild Card’s normal schedule and brewing one of their actual beers to be sold in cask. This was intermittently dotted with tasting sessions, breakfast, lunch, and discussions about beer in general.
To make the experience even better the staff are not strangers to being hounded by questions. Jaega, who holds a degree in Chemical Engineering, is not protective over her knowledge and techniques and can literally answer any questions you have and even those you did not realize you had.
Meanwhile Francesca offers a deep insight into the individual beers of Wild Card from their contents to their history and perfect food parings. If you’re lucky you will even meet the two original masterminds behind the brewery William John Harris and Andrew Birkby who began Wild Card in their living room brewing only their Jack of Clubs Ruby Ale for a whole year –but as I said we were working on the Brewery’s schedule so idle chatter is left to lunch time and then it is straight on to the business of brewing.
Getting to brew hands on was the most informative event I have experienced in a long time. The £89 for the day seems like a steep price at face level but believe me it feels more like an investment in your own knowledge than a ticket – not to mention the included breakfast, lunch, beer tasting, brewing, bottles, t-shirt, and unlimited coffee at 7:30am. Jaega measuring beer/alcohol to the right
Brew a Beer day is definitely worth attending no matter the level of your beer knowledge and if your not sold yet come into the Beer Boutique and buy some of Wild Card’s bottles first – although we are selling out very fast.
For more information about Wild Card and all of their opportunities follow these links!
Adjö from me and
Peace and yeast
from all of us at The Beer Boutique