Monday, 6 May 2013

Durham Brewery Tour

I recently made the most of a great Christmas present, which was two tickets for a tour of Durham brewery. The car stayed at home for this one and we got the train up to Durham, visiting the town for a spot of lunch and a look around some of the outdoor shops. The brewery is a short bus ride outside of Durham, in Bowburn and we arrived just in time for the 2pm tour.

I won't give away too much, but the tour itself was really interesting. Our educated tour guide and master brewer Steve was very entertaining and we learnt a lot about the history of brewing as well as the start of the Durham brewery itself. For example I didn't know that the British traditionally brewed ale which which preceded the introduction of hops - and subsequently brewing beer rather than ale. Dutch migrant workers introduced hops, and that as they have preservative qualities, this was the essential factor that made brewing beer as an industry possible, rather than being simply brewed for private consumption.

And of course the star attraction was the beer samples, and these were plentiful and generous! No thimble of beer here and here, we got full pints to try and with each one we learnt about the brewing process and what makes each beer unique. The only exception was the Russian stout which came in a wine glass, and at 10% that's probably just as well!

I picked up a couple of bottles too, all I need now is a special occasion to get these opened and sampled!

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