The first test batch Tim and Simon made was apparently dominated too much by the sitka, so for batch two Simon added the tips later in the brewing process, thereby releasing slightly less of their flavour. It has done the trick. I tried a glass of the second batch and the result is a highly refreshing and really drinkable lager-like ale. The sitka adds a very subtle and unique fragrant dryness. It’s the perfect summer drop, and I recommend you seek Stamford Spruce-ter out. It should be available at Peterborough Beer Festival (22–26 August) and The Jolly Brewer Beer Festival (31 August–3 September). The question is: which unusual ingredient will Stoney Ford brew with next?
Get the 2017 Handbook The Great Food Club Handbook 2017 is out now. With over 100 pages, the new Handbook is a handbagor glovebox-sized publication with one simple aim: to guide you to some of the best independent restaurants, pubs, farm shops, breweries, food producers, delis and cafes. It is available to buy now for £4.95 including postage. Go to www. greatfoodclub.co.uk, scroll to the bottom of the home page and click ‘Buy the Handbook’.
Other Stamford brews St Mary’s Sundowner and Meadows Moondance are two more recent Stoney Ford brews that have been going down well. Another on the horizon is their Commemoration Ale, a brown porter that Tim and Simon are brewing specially for the “Stamford 50” celebrations. These are to mark Stamford’s designation as the UK’s first conservation town in 1967 and will tie in with Stamford Georgian Festival 2017 (21–24 September). Tim and Simon also tell me they have been picking blackberries ready for their next batch of Broad Street Blackout Stout.
The quest for ancient Stamford yeast Back in January Stoney Ford appealed for old bottles of Stamford ale in a quest to reactivate ancient yeast strains. They received three old bottles: two old Melbourns IPA bottles with lids and contents intact, and one very old almost empty bottle of Lowe, Son and Cobbold “A.K. Stamford Ale”, which could be over 100 years old. They delivered the bottles to the laboratories of Nottingham’s Murphy & Son, who provide ingredients and testing services for the brewing industry. However, none of the yeast turned out to be salvageable. The quest continues…
A few places where you can try Stoney Ford beers (A–Z) Blackstones Sports & Social Club, Stamford The Blue Bell, Easton on the Hill The Bluebell, Helpston The Bull & Swan, Stamford The Cellar Bar, Stamford The Coach House Inn, South Luffenham Empingham Cricket Club The Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill The Fox, North Luffenham The George, Stamford The Golden Pheasant, Etton The Green Dragon, Ryhall The Green Man, Stamford The Hare and Hounds, Greatford The Jolly Brewer, Stamford Kings Head, Stamford The London Inn, Stamford The Lord Burghley, Stamford
The Lord Nelson, Oakham Mama Liz’s, Stamford The Olive Branch, Clipsham The Red Lion, Bourne The Six Bells, Witham
Smith’s of Bourne The Tobie Norris, Stamford Stamford Shakespeare Company, Tolethorpe The White Horse, Baston
Join Great Food Club With its new editing team, Great Food Club is on a mission to unearth brilliant food and drink gems in your area and beyond. We currently recommend around 320 pubs, restaurants, producers and food shops, and around 200 of them run exclusive offers for Great Food Club members. Offers include 10% off at Stamford Cheese Cellar, 10% off at The Tobie Norris, a complimentary cocktail when you dine from the a la carte menu at The Olive Branch, 10% off at The King’s Arms in Wing, and 25% off at The Fox & Hounds in Exton. It is completely free to join and get a membership card – no catches – and we never share your data – sign up at www.greatfoodclub.co.uk
About the writer Matt Wright founded and runs Greatfoodclub.co.uk, a Leicestershire-based website that celebrates and promotes local food and drink. His Great Food Club Handbook 2017 is out now
RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017