University students get a lesson in brewing

University of Sussex students at Goldtone Brewery in Ditching SUS-141218-121547001
University of Sussex students at Goldtone Brewery in Ditching SUS-141218-121547001

A microbrewery in Ditchling has started working with the University of Sussex to create unique beers for the students.

The Goldstone Brewery which started brewing from an old Forge in the South Downs at the beginning of the year, have now teamed up with the University ‘Real Ale Society’ to create a new beer specifically for them.

Mark Francis, the owner says: “We were glad to help and were only too happy to show some students how to brew.

“At first we asked a number of students which types of Ale they liked and adapted a beer to accommodate their tastes. In the end after plenty of discussions over a few pints of Goldstone Beer we opted for an easy drinking Golden Ale which was not too strong.”

Matt Billing, the brewer says: “The Uni Ale was a great beer for us to make. We feel it is a perfect transition for Lager drinkers getting into real ale.

“The beer we created has a similar bitterness and refreshing character that is similar to lager but different enough to make it intriguing. We’re not on a campaign to tell people to stop drinking lager, we just want people to give ‘real ale’ a try, they might be pleasantly surprised!”

After a successful launch of this new beer, the University students were keen to get cracking again at brewing. This time they wanted to create something for Christmas.

Again after a few more pints with the brewers at Goldstone Brewery everybody thought a spicy Ginger Beer would be an interesting proposition.

The students again came over for a brewday and threw in some Chillies, Juniper Berries, Cinnamon sticks, Root Ginger and Lemons into the boiling ‘wort’ (the name of beer before alcohol is created I am invariably informed).

After much fun and hard work the Ginger Beer was created and left to ferment for a week and then put in kegs. It has just had it’s first showing at the University and has been a great hit with the Students who even created a mini-beer festival to launch the new ale now called ‘Ginger Beard’.

Matt says: “We always have a good time at the Brewery but it’s even better when more people are involved and we can pass on some of our enthusiasm and passion to other people.

“I think the students were quite surprised how natural and organic the products we use. There is literally only four ingredients, water from the south downs, the finest malt, hops and yeast. There is nothing in our beers which isn’t natural.”

As well as these two beers at Sussex University, Goldstone has four other ales in production which they sell to a number of Freehouse pubs in Sussex and have just received a premises licence so will be selling bottles from their brewery shop in the next month.

Look out for this ‘scholarly’ Local Brewery coming your way soon.

Report and pictures contributed by Goldstone Brewery.