A couple of years ago, God’s blue-eyed and bearded gift to women Paul Hollywood visited The Verulam Arms as part of his BREAD series. The theme was “Local” – he visited a nearby, organic grain-growing farm, then the Redbournbury Watermill, just down the road from the pub, then arrived at the pub to dine on bread baked with flour from the mill, washed down with beer from our friends at Tring who were also supplied with barley from the farm. All very local and resourceful, but this month we’ve gone one better – homegrown hop beer and brewery grain bread.
It started with autumn’s hop harvest. Most of the hops from this year’s growth were used in our Oktoberfest beer. Here’s a video of us bringing in the crops.
There were some left over, though.
and we used them in our latest brew: Mediocria Firma. This dark ruby-coloured bitter has a tingly, powerful hop bitterness, combined with a dry, roasty finish from generous amounts of chocolate malt added to the mash.
Mash: brewing process, the steeping of malted grains in hot water, in order to convert starches to fermentable sugar.
The Mash is an integral part of brewing – it’s what creates the sugars which are later converted to alcohol. It leaves behind a lot of waste though – all the “spent grains” are usually thrown away after the liquid is drained off.
We at The Foragers hate waste, so we’ve resurrected a traditional use for spent brewery grains. They’re baked into “brewers’ bread” in our kitchen. This adds a nice wholegrain texture to bread, and helps the rise, as yeast loves the residual brewing sugars which cling to the husks.
So take that, Paul Hollywood! You can enjoy a pint of our house-brewed, home-hopped beer, while eating a slice of home-baked brewers’ bread, all from within a 10 meter radius.