femALE brewing day at Brewhouse & Kitchen

Happy belated International Women’s day folks! Sorry about being around to wish it to everyone identifying as female on the actual day but you see, I was busy brewing beer. This Ale Lover Extraordinaire got to put her money where her mouth was and actually get her hands (and clothes, doh) dirty.

 

 

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and acts as a reminder that we all need to work towards accelerating gender parity. It’s not about women celebrating “just being women” (although I see zero problems with that, to be honest) but more celebrating how far we’ve come since the early 1900’s when this day was envisaged, and to remind us how far we’ve still got to go.

 

 

I have spoken about women and real ale before, so when I found an invitation to an “extra special female brewery experience day” in Brewhouse & Kitchen in my inbox I was nothing short from hyperventilating with excitement. I mean yeah, I love beer but I’ve never actually had a hand in making it. Which is pretty odd, considering my best friend is a brewer and I’ve been to more breweries than I care to count. Maybe I’ve been lazy, I don’t know. Point is, now was my chance. And not only my chance to actually get down and dirty with the brewing process, I was able to do it with some ladies, on International Women’s Day, with the proceeds of this brew going to charity.

 

 

So on Wednesday Polly and I headed over to the brewery pub with our mind very firmly on all things ale. But first things first. The itinerary promised us some brekkie and a cuppa to kick off our day and boy did they deliver. Some tasty bacon butties and coffees later we were ready to meet Matthew Lloyd, the head brewer in B&K Chester, our guide for the day. We mused over some malts and hops and talked about the different varieties… and that’s when the ladies got to work.

 

 

Let me tell you, brewing is very physical and whatever calories I consumed during the day are well and truly worked off after just a few minutes of manual mashing. For those who are yet to be indoctrinated to beer or brewing, mashing is a step in the brewing process that combines crushed malts with hot water in a mash tun to convert complex starches into simple sugars that are more readily fermented. And after the mashing comes the cleaning of the mash tun and that my friends is rather laborious as well.

 

 

I now feel like I understand the chemical process going on in the mash tun and I’ve also had a hand in measuring hops and yeast and yeah – there’s a lot more that goes into brewing than I never really appreciated. I think I have to start being nicer to my brewer friends now. I’ll let you know how that goes later though.

 

 

Anyway. It wasn’t all hard work. We were fed with one of the best mac n’ cheeses I have had in a long while, all the while sampling some beers brewed at the premises (“here’s one I made earlier”). They were all well rounded and balanced beers, from the DevaVictrix (single hopped pale ale), Golden Boy (blonde ale), Sunset Curfew (IPA) to the Twisted Chimney (Black IPA). The one I was somewhat wary of was the Preceding Judge, a rye beer that once made me actually leave a half unfinished.

 

I’ll put that into perspective: I never leave beer. If I pay for it, I’ll drink it. And I left this beer at the table. Don’t get me wrong, I love rye beers – they’re in the top five beers I most enjoy, but something terrible had happened to this one. Maybe it was the last of the barrel, I don’t know, and yeah I probably should have mentioned it to someone but in a truly (in my case adopted) British fashion I just left the beer and thought “that’s a shame” instead of having a calm and reasonable conversation about it with someone. That’ll learn me.

 

 

You’ll be happy to know that this half of Presiding Judge was on top form though.

 

 

But I digress. Point is, I had a lovely time. From what I gather, so did everyone else too. As someone who advocates more women to drink beer, seeing all the lovely ladies work hard to brew one, sample several and, I suppose, come together all because of the top tipple in the world was really gratifying.

 

 

And we all get to go back in a few weeks to sample our beer. It’ll be a nice pale ale with a touch of fruit cordial sourced from a local farm, and the proceeds of the beer are donated to Cancer Research UK so make sure you pop in to sample it and get some good karma.

 

 

I’m super proud of all the femALE’s I was with on this #InternationalWomensDay, we did a top job. And thanks B&K Chester for giving us the opportunity to come along. What a great idea this “extra special female brewery experience day” was. Let’s do it again next year, yeah?

 

P.S International Men’s Day is on 19th November. You’re welcome.

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  • This looks like an amazing place to visit. I have never been into a brewery or bar for that matter.

  • this seems like a really fun thing to do. I am not much of a beer fan, but when I do drink, I like it smooth. I’d love to brew a smooth beer.

  • I’d love to visit this brewery sometime. It sounds like a great place to explore with my husband.

  • What a lovely brewery tour. Looks like you had a great time. Happy International Women’s Day!

  • Looks like a fun time! And a great post for women’s day – I love how you stayed true to your niche!
    | diaryofasouthernmillennial.com

  • Se manifique!! Awesome photo journal and description. would love to try this out

  • I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a tour like this before in a brewery. It would be nice to go through the process of making beer or ale! It sounds like a ton of work but it’s also quite fun.

  • Elizabeth O.

    This is one fun experience! It’s nice to get to experience the process on how to make the perfect beer. I’m sure you all had a great time there.

  • This is awesome. I wish there were more female brewmasters around sine I spend so much time in craft breweries with my hubby.

  • That brewery was really nice and the beer looked so good. Very neat atmosphere and I really liked the bottle cap endtable.

  • Interesting place! Love the “tunnel” looking area!! So much character 🙂

  • I laughed at your last sentences! :p
    Not many men know that, indeed.

  • Maikel

    Thank you so much Kat for again showing us such a great place.

  • This might be one of the coolest meetup things that I have ever seen. 1. You don’t get many woman brewers (I brew and have been to competitions where there are only one or two of us) 2. It’s exciting to do something like this with a bunch of other like-minded women 3. Happy International (belated) women’s day!

  • What a nice treat. Your beer tour was such a fun and no doubt that you enjoyed it so much, it was clearly shown in your photos.

  • It sounded like you had a great experience doing something you love and although I don’t drink beer, ale and such but loved the photos they really are impactful 🙂

  • Sounds like you had an amazing time, it looks a really nice place to go for food too. You just be looking forward to going back to sample your own ale as not many people can say that they have done that.

  • What an amazing experience. Honestly, I am not a huge beer drinker myself but I do think it would be awesome to see how it is made.

  • Whaaat you’re so lucky! My boyfriend would love something like this. He’s such a beer fan! Gonna show this to him.

  • Oh that must’ve been so much fun! Or at least, sounds like you had a great time 🙂 that was perfect event for you 😀

  • Such an amazing place to visit and to enjoy! You sure had good time here!

  • Brewing seems like an interesting process! I can see how much fun you had, and the bear afterwards is like cherry on the top!
    BS, xx | https://queenbsdiary.com/

  • Looks like you had an amazing time. I’m still trying to get an understanding of all the incredible beers out there myself. It’s good to have friends who help me learn.

  • I like this place! I am sure you had a fantastic time! Happy Women’s day dear!

  • This looks like such a fun experience!!! Would be a great thing to do with friends.

  • What a fun experience! Especially to take part in on International Women’s Day. Looks like you had a blast! And love that you get to go back in a few weeks to sample. 🙂 Bet it will be delish!

  • Looks like an awesome place! Loved all your pics 🙂

  • Happy International Women’s day to you! I just hope that I can soon appreciate the taste of beers. huhu! I am not that fond of drinking beers but I love the scent they produce specially when they are brewed! I also am a fan of going to pubs. I just don’t like to drink beer. See the irony? Great post! I can see how you enjoyed our day!