Bet you didn’t expect to open this email and see a picture of slabs of Carling did you? No, it isn’t the latest new arrival but the subject of an interesting episode of BBC’s Inside The Factory which aired earlier this week and is currently available on iPlayer. I am a big fan of Inside the Factory (I don’t get out much) so when I saw that this week was focussed mainly on the brewing of Carling plus sub-stories about other aspects of beer, well, it was even more of a must watch.
The numbers behind the Molson Coors Brewery in Burton Upon Trent where Carling is brewed are staggering, it can produce 3 million pints a day and has the ability to fill 165 cans every 5.5 seconds. Say what you like about Carling as a beer itself but the feat of producing such quantity consistently is an achievement.
Oddly though the programme never mentioned any actual lagering, the process which lager got its name from. It went from brewing to fermentation then filtering followed by packaging. Surely Carling is lagered for 4-6 weeks which is the minimum time most brewer’s would cold store their lager before packaging? I mean Molson Coors wouldn’t cut this procedure to try and save time and money would they? Would they!?
Another interesting fact that really got my beer geek antennae twitching is the following: 21kg of hops are used in the brewing of a batch consisting of 190,000 pints. In itself that might not mean much but bear with me.
190,000 pints multiplied by 0.568L (the metric equivalent of a pint) equals 107,920 litres of beer.
21,000 grams of hops divided by 107,920 litres of beer equals 0.19 grams of hops per litre of beer.
Now the interesting comparison bit
Cloudwater Small Pale (2.9%) has 6 grams of dry hopping per litre. That’s roughly 31 times the amount of hops in the dry hopping alone.
The current Cloudwater DIPA (8.5%) has a dry hop intensity of 24 grams per litre. That’s approximately 126 times more hops just in the dry hopping alone than a litre of Carling has in the entire brew!
Please note I am not having a pop a Carling here, it is a very different type of beer to a Cloudwater DIPA and both have their place in the beer world. Also dry hopping rates aren’t an indication of quality nor is high rates of dry hopping required to make a tasty beer. What I am trying to highlight though is the difference in quantity of hops used and how this plays a part in the difference in cost between the two. Hops are expensive, especially the sought after varieties that many smaller brewers like to play with. Sure Carling also has the advantages of massive economies of scale but it is interesting to reflect on the materials going into the brew.
So a little ammunition for the next time someone questions you spending what they consider a stupid amount on a can of beer. Now this is the moment when I double check my figures and cross my fingers to make sure I have it all correct, maths never was my strong suite at school. No questions now about what was my strong suite at school. There is no competition this week!
Speaking of competitions thanks to all that took part in last week’s mystery box challenge, amazingly I received the correct answer within 3 minutes of the email going out. Well done Stuart on guessing it was a box of Buxton / Omnipollo Yellow Belly. Hope your beer tastes extra good out of your very own Hop Stop glass. Next month look out for another competition, an idea for one is fermenting (haha) in my mind.
Following some painful dental work earlier in the week I have been off the beer so consequently I haven’t had any of the new arrivals. What follows are descriptions from the breweries themselves:
Verdant Marylou 5.5%
Pale with Mandarina Bavaria, Citra, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops. The can has an extract from Jack Kerouac’s On The Road which while poetic doesn’t really help describe the beer much.
Burnt Mill Heliacal Rising 2.8%
‘Aroma’s of citrus and soft fruits that meld with the peachy yeast esters’
Magic Rock / Yakima Chief Hops 6%
Collab between Magic Rock and Yakima Chief, a global supplier of hops. ‘A super fruity IPA which showcases the amazing new season’s hops’
Cloudwater / The Veil Chubbles Triple IPA 10%
‘Huge Triple IPA with notes of all of the classic stone fruits, particularly over-ripe mango’
And finally, a beer that I have tried
Moor Old Freddy Walker 7.3%
Deep and dark with rich fruity notes, as the can says it is ‘Reminiscent of liquid Christmas pudding’ One to enjoy after a meal or as a fireside sipper, just don’t serve it too cold, if it is straight out of the fridge give it time to warm to experience the full aroma and flavour.
Available Draught Beers
Big weekend coming up with super Saturday of the Six Nations to enjoy on well, Saturday. We will be kicking things off on Friday with Hawkshead Bitter and the Fruity Nine 2 Five from Dark Revolution on cask. There will probably be keg changes as well since the two we have on now are nearing the end.
Roosters Highway 51 3.7% (cask) Dry hopped sessionable Pale.
Moor Revival 3.8% (keg) Light and fruity with a bitter finish
Wild Beer Nebula 5% (keg) Juicy, low bitterness IPA
Hawkshead Bitter 3.7% (cask) Hoppy Bitter
Dark Revolution Nine 2 Five 4.3% (cask) Pale hopped with Citra and Manderina Bavaria
Roosters Buckeye 3.5% (cask) Easy drinking Pale
Northern Monk Faith 5.4% (keg) Modern Pale
Gipsy Hill Beatnik 3.8% (keg) Light and hoppy
Ruth and Mike