Prospect Brewery

Prospect Brewery is a classic example of how to realise your dreams, and in a tough environment which could have gone either way. Patsy Slevin began her dream during her days in the child care industry way back in 2007 and caught the bug of being a brewer after volunteering at Bolton based Bank Top Brewery. Using Patsy’s mother-in-laws garage as their base, they acquired the equipment needed to produce 6000 gallons in their first 12 months of production, with Pioneer their first brew. These days they produce 50,000 gallons a year, with a range of around 17 beers brewed.

But how does Patsy produce her award-winning beer?

First she has to decide how strong her beer will be i.e. the more grain in a set volume of water, the stronger the end result will be. Most of the grain used in Prospect Brewery is pale ale malt, which is added together with coloured malts (for example, chocolate malt which is present in their Big John). This gives the beer its desire colour and flavour. Once it enters the mash tun, combined with hot liqueour (water), it is left for an hour and half, the optimum time to get the best out of the ingredients used. At the end of the hour and half, she starts to draw off the liquid (wort or sweet water), which is then sprayed with more hot liqueour for two reasons. The first is to have as much sugar as possible being produced, and secondly to raise the temperature so that she can get different enzymes  from different sugars, a process that takes an hour and half to two hours.
It is then pumped into a copper kettle and boiled, after which hops are added to both sterilise the wort and extract the bitterness from the hops. Yeast is then added and the resulting liquid is cooled down quickly by being pumped through a heat exchanger. It is then transferred to a fermenter. Fresh yeast is pitched at this point starting the fermentation process where it produces CO2 and alcohol. At the end of fermentation, determined by it’s specific gravity, is then chilled down and then barrelled in stainless steel casks and stored for one week.

So after all this, what does Patsy’s Prospect Brewery range offer? Well i’ve been lucky enough to try three on my last visit, so below i give to you my tasting notes –

Silver Tally

Silver Tally – 3.7%

Their best selling beer, caramel and grassy hops on the nose, short but fresh and light on the palate with lemon, barley and hints of pine. Dry and slight bitter finish.

Big John – 4.8%

Lots of liquorice and smoke on the nose with a smooth, rich bitter aftertaste.

Blinding Light – 4.2%

Won bronze at the Wigan Beer Festival 2008. On the nose theres soft, light hop aromas, with a light and refreshing flavour of citrus on the palate. Slightly dry but long.

As mentioned, Prospect Brewery has one many awards in its short history including Whatever! winning silver medal at SIBA North beer competition 2011,  Nutty Slack won Gold SIBA North reginal beer competition 2010 and Big John won the ‘best beer and cider’ category at Fine Foods North West competition 2010. They were also the main sponsors of Wigan Beer Festival last year and have only recently opened their very own pub named The Silver Tally in Shevington Moor, Standish. Prospect and Patsy have also been TV stars when back in 2008, James May and Oz Clarke visited the original site on their ‘Drink to Britain’ tour (click here to see the clip). Not bad for 5 years of production!

Who said dreams were hopeless?

Check out more photos from Prospect Brewery via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Manchester Food & Drink Festival

Friday the 7th was the start of the annual Manchester Food & Drink Festival which was centred around the town halls Albert Square as well as a variety of bars and restaurants in the city centre. To start the festival off, the Greater Manchester Real Ale and Veltins Oktoberfest had their tents ready to promote a good range of local and international ales, cider and even a hog roast on a rainy morning! So with all this in mind, myself and a friend of mine made our way there to experience the best the North West has to offer!

First up for me was the Stockport based Robinsons and their Double Hop (5%) which was rich, with a good balance of hops bitterness and flavour. A citric yet malty finish lingered around with a slight dryness. This was a great starter ale and an easy drinker!
My friend enjoyed a Ginger and Cinnamon Warm Cider which went down very well. Not too sure what the recipe was but I imagine it was the simplicity of mixing ginger, cinnamon and apple cider together! Crazy I know but it works well on a rainy Friday!

Next up for me was Prospect Breweries ‘Nutty Slack’ (3.9%). A dark and very malty mild ale that had subtle hints of liquorice. A slight bitterness ended this rather smooth brew. Robinson’s Ginger Ale was the next port of call for my friend after I’ve raved about it ever since I first tried it! You can check out the tasting notes for the ginger variety here – https://drinksenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/old-tom-range-of-strong-ales-tasting-notes/

Whilst she was finishing off the ginger ale, I tried Chorlton’s Marble Brewery ‘Manchester Bitter’ (4.2%). A very light ale with fruity aromas with a slight sweetness on the palate. Great for my sweet-tooth!

We decided to have a walk around what else the festival had to offer and made our way to the main marquee called the ‘Gastro Room’ which held the Chilli Lovers fair. Local producers mixed with Manchester restaurants to showcase exciting dishes as well as samples of various chilli sauces. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of chilli so I’m unable to tell you how this part of the day went, but I can tell you that Kro bar (a Danish venture based in Manchester) had themselves a stall and were creating cocktails involving chilli! Ever one to try something new, we both bought two chilli based drinks – La Vida Loca and Absolut Redhead.

La Vida Loca

The La Vida Loca had pineapple juice shaken with Sailor Jerry and chopped chillies whilst the Absolut Redhead had Absolut Pepper, freshly squeezed lime topped with lemonade and grenadine. Both two very fiery cocktails, especially the Absolut Redhead with its good dose of pepper vodka!

Absolut Redhead

With fire in our mouths we wandered down to St Anne’s Square where there were pop-up stalls selling everything from pastries, fudge, curry and chocolate. One stall that caught my eye was hosted by the Snowdonia Cheese Company, with a rather interesting product named Amber Mist. Why was it interesting? Its whisky cheese! I’m yet to fully try this, but expect a review as soon as I do!

This capped off a great day at the festival, with thumbs up from both myself and my friend!

I’ll be writing up reviews on two trails organised by The Liquorists that were conducted as part of the Food and Drink Festival so stay tuned!
Check out the following sites for more information on the brands mentioned –

Manchester Food & Drink Festival – http://foodanddrinkfestival.com/

Robinson’s Brewery – http://www.frederic-robinson.co.uk/

Prospect Brewery – http://prospectbrewery.org.uk/

Marble Brewery – http://www.marblebeers.co.uk/

Kro Bar – http://www.kro.co.uk/

Snowdonia Cheese Company – http://www.snowdoniacheese.co.uk/

The Liquorists – http://www.wearetheliquorists.com/

 

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.