Curiouser & Curiouser, Curious Brewery
Added: Wednesday, August 1st 2018
Curious Brewery Curiouser & Curiouser Chapter 2, 7.3%
Curious Brewery is the beer-making division of Chapeldown Wines, one of the leading English wine makers at Tenterden in Kent. The company is currently building a new brewery costing £1.3 million at Ashford, close to the international train station on the Eurostar line: the brewery, on a 1.6 acre site, is due to open in January 2019. As well as the brewhouse, it will feature a bar, restaurant and shop, and tours will be available.
As well as its regular beers, Curious is producing some small batch brews in collaboration with other like-minded craft brewers, using the generic title of Curiouser & Curiouser. No 1 in the series was brewed with Wild Beer in Somerset and was an English take on the Belgian lambic and gueuze style of spontaneous fermentation.
No 2, now available, has been brewed in collaboration with Brew By Numbers in London and uses the expertise of Chapeldown’s head wine maker Josh Donaghay-Spire, who makes sparkling as well as still wines. Again, the inspiration is Belgian, this time the saison or farmhouse style. Two yeast strains have been used to produce the beer: Brew By Number’s saison culture and Chapeldown’s Bacchus wine culture. Elderflower and grapefruit peel are added to the grain with two German hop varieties, Hallertau Blanc and Huell Melon.
The beer has a hazy pale colour with a big attack of elderflower on the nose along with earthy, acidic and fruit notes, and lightly toasted malt. Tart, vinous fruit builds on the palate with continuing elderflower, spicy hops and biscuit malt. The finish is dry, fruity and spicy, with continuing notes of acidity and elderflower.
The beer is bottle conditioned and the brewing team recommends it should be chilled for two to three hours, stood upright to allow the yeast to settle. The team also suggests some simple farmhouse fare would go well with the beer: a fresh, crusty baguette with tomatoes, olive oil, herbes de Provence and cream cheese.
£8, 75cl. www.curiousbrewery.com
The beer is also available from selected Fuller’s and Barworks outlets.