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Top chef helps brew a Cumbrian stout

Added: Sunday, December 17th 2023

Woodruff

Simon Rogan has raised a glass to toast a double celebration. The leading chef and restaurateur who runs L’Enclume in Cartmel in the Lake District has just launched a stout with local craft brewery Fell at the same as his restaurant has been named the best in Britain by Harden’s Guide.

Rogan and Tim Bloomer, founder of Fell Brewery, are both passionate about sustainability and aiding the environment. As well as the restaurant, Rogan also runs Our Farm where he grows many of the ingredients for his menus.

As well as the top listing from Harden’s Guide, L’Enclume – the Anvil – has two Michelin awards: a three-star rating in 2022 and a Green Star for the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability.

Bloomer, who grew up in the Lakes, uses the finest malts and hops and he also forages in the area for unusual herbs and plants for his brews. The two have combined their passions with Woodruff Stout (4.5%) that uses woodruff leaves from Our Farm as an additional flavouring.

This recalls the ancient practice before hops were in universal use of adding such plants as bog myrtle, rosemary and yarrow to balance the biscuit sweetness of malt.

Hops are also used in Woodruff Stout along with malted barley, oats and wheat. It’s the first in a range of seasonal beers that will be produced by Rogan and Bloomer.

Simon Rogan says: “Brewing beer and creating Michelin-starred menus may seem worlds away from one another, but our shared values unite us – love for our land, dedication to provenance and crafting memorable experiences. Honouring ingredients is our essence.”

He also serves beer from another Cumbrian brewery: Anvil Pale Ale from Unsworth’s Yard, also based in Cartmel.

Simon Rogan has produced artichoke and mushroom salt chips as a snack to enjoy with the beer as well as with main dishes. The beer has earthy notes on the aroma from the woodruff with chocolate and espresso coffee from dark grains, dark fruits and roasted malt.

The palate is bittersweet and is dominated by roast malt, burnt fruit, chocolate, coffee and herbal notes. The finish is dry with dark fruits, herbal notes from the woodruff and continuing chocolate and coffee contributions.

The beer is available at the restaurant and from Our Farm or from Fell’s online shop: www.fellbrewery.co.uk.

The beer is delicious with a herbal edge from the woodruff. I feel it would be better served from a bottle than a can: a bottle is more elegant and I doubt wines are served from tinnies at L’Enclume.