The most recent of these was a visit to the Rough Old Wife cidery in Old Wives Lees just outside Canterbury. They make their cider the traditional way with a long slow fermentation in old whisky barrels which certainly leaves its stamp on the cider.
I've never been the greatest fan of cider but what I drank yesterday, including Blushing Old Wife made with 10% raspberries was fantastic. It has certainly given me ideas for what to do with my demijons in the winter.
Tomorrow I'll be starting my third all grain brew, a beer in the style of Brentwood Brewing Company's Best Bitter. I've now moved the brewery permanently into the shed and bought a small pump to transfer the sweet wort from the collecting vessel back up to the boiler. While it is mashing and boiling away I'll also be bottling my Black Rock Cider (made from a kit) and my "Gone for a Burton" which should both be ready in time for my brother in law's birthday in three weeks time (I made an 35 litre batch, of which about 27 litres were kegged last week and the rest racked and further dry hopped for bottling tomorrow). All of this is good news as my kegs and bottles took rather a hammering at last week's party; two (admittedly already half empty) kegs and a good 60 bottles went which I take as a sign that my beer wasn't all that bad.
In the meantime I'll be knocking up another summer ale recipe using Northern Brewer as a bittering hop and Cascade for the flavour (no prizes for guessing where I got that idea from). Hopefully I'll post a couple of pictures of the new brewing in action tomorrow.