But have you ever wondered where your pint is coming from?
Well, now you can see the very beginning of the journey just by looking over the bar!
Here in Acton we are blessed with two of our very own Microbreweries, both the George and Dragon and Acton’s newly refurbished Aeronaut both have Microbreweries on site.
Micro brewing (or craft brewing) was a movement that began in the 70’s in which a pub or restaurant brews and sells its own beer. With the emphasis on flavours and brewing technique, as opposed to mass production like many larger branded beers, micro-brewing focuses on producing traditional cask ale for a better quality of brew.
Traditionally beer is made from water, malted barley, hops and yeast. The barley is malted, heated in large kilns and dried helping to allow germination. The natural sugars are then pulled out of the barley and boiled to make sterile. Malt is then added and depending on what sort of flavour and bitterness is required, it is then seasoned by the hop flowers and finally fermented with the yeast.
|The on-site microbrewery at The Aeronaught can be seen from the bar|
Water makes up most of the ingredients of beer, and in London we are used to harder water than somewhere like Dublin for example, where a traditional stout would be the local drink of choice.
The correlation between the softer water areas brewing Stout and those brewing a lighter Pale Ale, are a working example of what the different water and brewing techniques can achieve.
|Brewer Henry Kirk, mashes the Malt|
With wonderful welcoming family atmospheres and an iconic circus theme “The Aeronaut has come a long way from its ‘Redback*’ days” boasts brewer Henry Kirk, who has been manning the barrels since it opened in November last year. The popular Acton Ale (3.7%) is a favourite amongst locals, who enjoy all aspects of the process from the smells experienced while brewing to quality of flavour and down to the last drop in the glass.
* former public house before The Aeronaut took over
The Aeronaut now it hosts a whole range of quality bitters from light ales to stouts and flirting with the taste buds, uses many different malts and hops, some imported from the USA which introduce interesting palettes from honey and other fruity aromas (flavours associated with the Americans and their sweet tooth influence) to a more ashy, roasted palette for that of the darker malts.
So if you haven’t already seen it happening, come and experience it for yourself, and if you enjoy this - CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) is holding its very own festival on Worple Park from the 2nd -5th July, where you can find out more and get involved.
NB: The legal drinking age in the U.K. is 18 years old, enjoy and please drink sensibly.
For more information and a detailed events schedule please visit the website:
All images © Crewe-Read Photography 2014
(Article written for the Churchfield Community Association Newsletter Spring 2014)