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Venerable Reed

A couple of years ago I was involved in a Medieval re-enactment and so I brewed a 5.6% beer based on a fourteenth century Welsh recipe. With just Maris Otter Pale malt in the grist and a bit of crystal to give it a bit of colour.

I had deliberately aged some Goldings hops for a year which I put in the copper with a whole load of nettles (there is an art to picking nettles ... get your son to do it for you!). Eight different spices are then thrown in and boiled for two hours. When this beer is racked it is unpalatable but after four months in the cask all of the flavours mellow out nicely.

Brewed in the quiet of February, a few casks go out to Festivals (order well in advance) and the rest is bottled. Available from November onwards, this is a Christmas best seller. It improves with age. I have a few bottles of the original left and after three years the flavours are magnificent. Next year I am going to try and age in oak barrels to give an extra dimension.

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