We are a group of enthusiastic and sociable home beer makers. Our aim is to share our beers, knowledge and experiences and we welcome new home brewers, whether experienced or novice. If you are starting out on brewing your own beer, we can advise you on equipment and help you with your first brew(s).
We meet monthly at a venue in Luton. Our format is to have a nominated style of beer for each month, sometimes with a standard recipe. The dates are flexible and agreed on a month to month basis to fit in with holidays and other commitments so that we can maximise attendance. Most of us compete regularly at shows, both local club and Federation shows and at major events such as the Wales and West, the National. (NAWB), the Homebrew Festival and the UK National Homebrew Competition.
We went one better at the National this year winning 34 awards up from last year’s 33. This again included four first places, two won by Peter L, with one each for Chris and Martin. Our Federation entry came 2nd in the 3 bottle class and Ware were 3rd and Luton 5th in the club 3 bottle class.
At the Wales and West this year Luton won the club with most points in beer for the eleventh year in a row, but Ware were only one point behind them. The Master Brewer title stayed in Ware however, with Kevin taking over from Peter R. Kevin and Peter L won two first places each and between us we won at total of 30 awards across the thirteen beer classes. Our porter recipe for this year was obviously good as we took five places in the class (2nd-6th).
Kevin also won the Master Brewer’s Cup at the Middlesex Festival in the face of strong competition from Durden Park, this year’s NAWB Master Charles Hill and of course the rest of us. Peter L was runner-up in most points in the beer classes at Central Counties.
Pride of place however goes to Sam for gaining second place overall at the National Homebrew Competition for his extinct smoked Polish wheat beer entered in the Historic and Specialty Beers category. Unfortunately, this entry used up his last bottle so he had to produce a new brew utilising Thai herbs and spices for his entry to the European competition (the Champions League of brewing). This beer reached the final stage, a very creditable effort indeed.
Our 2016 brewery visit was to the Ampthill Brewhouse. Fourteen of us attended one of their Friday evening tour and tasting sessions. They have only been going for just over a year, with a community buyout of the previous brewery on the site. We were given a talk on the early days of the brewery and the process they follow by the brewer, Mary, accompanied by generous tastings of four of their beers. We also visited the Garden City brewery in Letchworth for our summer outing. They serve a good range of guest ales as well as their own and all within a short walk of the station.
We also have access to a supply of very reasonably priced pale malt and English hops and have our own commercial brewer within the group - Mick who modestly claims his Mix Brewery to be probably the smallest commercial brewery in Hertfordshire.
If you are interested in joining us, you are very welcome to come along to one of our meetings. You don’t need to bring a bottle, just some glasses! As space is a bit limited at our current venue and we meet at one of our member’s homes, please drop us an email in order to find out when and where we meet. Meetings are normally held on a midweek evening starting at 8.00 p.m.
We look forward to seeing you.
Email to: Peter Robinson at BedsandHertsHomeBeermakers
Date last updated 05 December 2016
THE COST OF A PINT
I am often asked how much it costs to brew your own beer and frankly we don’t tend to think about it. I am indebted therefore to Quentin who is shall we say careful with money, for putting together a comprehensive cost analysis for our September 2015 recipe for Chelmsford bitter.