In The World: Geeves Brewery Pump Clips

Fully LadenAs some of you may or may not know my partner Harry or H as he has come to be know owns a brewery with his father, Pete, and though i am completely biased i really love their pumpclip designs. Harry designs all of them to display their tasyt beers. He even won an award for best new pumpclip designs of the year from the Pumpclip museum and i am so proud of him.Bow Hauler

Harry’s family use to live on a narrowboat and as such all the beers they produce are named around a canal theme with their pumpclips reflecting this.. Harry uses photographs and digital drawing to make the designs and he took all the photos while sailing up and down the waterways of Britain. However he does tinker with them a little to get the right effect. For example Bow Hauler. Though H has pulled many a boat he doesn’t normally do it bare chested in a harness. Shame. He was infact strapped to his dads back gate. But it looks good.

I love some of the designs for their simple use of colour, well matching tones with simple backgrounds seem to be the most appealing to me like in Clear Cut. Te ones i like the most are ales with a story behind them and with the ones featuring the real people behind the brewery. Tiller Girl has my sister-in-law Verity on the front with the addition of my saucey lips on the banner. ;) and locked up feature both Harry and Pete. Next with need one with mum, Sue and the family dog, Heidi.

I think they really draw people in because they have real people behind them and they are colourful and fun. Perfect when we are trying get people to sup our beer. Plus as H will tell you i just loved themes. Happy Drinking.

Lorna

X xxx

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The Real Thing

pint of the real stuffI am a big beer fan if you hadn’t guessed already or havent seen any aley posts from me and this is down to first my dad taking us on a beer tour in Belgium before uni, secondly, joining the Real ale society at uni, thirdly, meeting my future hubby at said society, fourthly, he is now a brewer with his father and we’ve just opened a pub together serving lots of tasty beers. Yet i wasn’t always a ale lover, i use to drink lager and supped carling and stella (oh the shame). For me it’s not only the taste thats better but the whole process and industry of real ale that continues to have me drinking it, which may seem strange to some but let me explain.

Whats wrong with my Carlsberg or any other lager for that matter?

-Well for a start off it tastes like pants but i suppose that’s a matter of taste

-Most lagers in the UK are owned by massive corporations who own many more brands of beer then you think and have their fingers in many pies too including hotels, restaurants and pubs to name a few. All the money they make is going to a handful of shareholders while they put smaller competitors out of business with unfair pricing and forced product ties

– Lagers have additives and preservatives added to them which although has not proved adverse to health I would rather have a natural product that only has pure ingredients in it

– Many of the big brands are produced in one huge factory or in another country adding to their carbon footprint as the beer it has to be transported to pubs or shops across the country

Buy small and localI didn’t realise  any of this,  i just drink it! So is real ale better?

-Personally i think the taste is better and there are so many styles and flavours to choose from.

-It has been studied that real ale is the healthy choice as it only contains, water, barley, hops and yeast, and has a higher number of antioxidants then lager. Plus real ale drinks tend to drink less then lager drinks and obviously the main health issue is too much alcohol.

-There are many large corporations who produce real ale as well so go for your local small brewery when your choosing ales, that way your supporting the little guy and it won’t have been transported hundreds of miles. If your pub doesn’t have a local ale, ask them why and get them to join CAMRA’s Locale Scheme (link opens a PDF) which means your pub serves beer brewed from within 50 miles

– You could also choose to buy organic ales which don’t use pesticides on their barley or hops. Some brilliant organic breweries include Black Isle, scotland, Stroud Brewery, Gloustershire and Little Valley in Hebden Bridge

lovely German LagerBut i love my lager?

-Not all Lagers are bad, the traditionally brewed ones on the continent are their version of real ale but they use a different yeast. You can find some great shops and bars that stock mainly German and Belgium varieties.

-There are also several British breweries that make Lager and they are incredibly tasty. I love Freedom Brewery’s Freedom Four lager, tis gorgeous

I could talk forever on this topic (i did my uni dissertation on it) so it’s hard to explain all the angles and ideas in a short post so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. You can also visit CAMRA for more info on real ale and the pub industry.

Right, off for a pint!

Lorna

x xxx

A Malt Sack Journey

Upcycling is such an important part of my life, both for Maker’s Meadow as a shop and within my home life. ‘Going green’ is a journey for me that will continue for the rest of my life and it makes me so happy to be able to reuse and remake items for another use. Today i will show you the journey of the malt sacks i use to create our shop items from origin to product, including a little bit of info on malt and brewing. I use any waste materials the Geeves brewery supply me with and any new item always brings on a spur of inspiration and imagination as to what i could use it for.malt bags

As i have said the malt sacks i use come from our local brewery but before that they come from Fawcett & sons Maltsters, in Castleford, West Yorkshire. A maltster prepares the grains/malt for brewing, they do this by first soaking the grains and then drying them out using hot air, this changes starch in the grain in to sugars which in the brewing process will be turned into alcohol. The grains are then packed into sacks and delivered to the brewerymashing in

When brewing a mixture of grains are used to give different characteristics to the beer. The grains are added to what looks like a giant pot called a mash tun, they are slowly added to it along with very hot water, this is called mashing in. They are left in there for an hour+ till the sugars are extracted into the water (now called liquor) and this is transferred to the next part of the brewing process.Once the mashtun is empty of liquor and the grains have been washed to get out the remaining sugars, the malt is put back in to sacks. Our brewery gives these sacks to a local farming college for composting and to a local venison farmer who feeds his deer with it, making sure there is nothing going to the landfill. They then collect the malt sacks and give them to me at Maker’s Meadow, reducing their waste further.

malt in bag

The first step before making a product is the worse and that is cleaning it.Soapy hot water and alot of elbow grease generally does the job. I then cut out pattern pieces from the sacking, using it just like i would a piece of material, as well as any other fabric pieces i need for the design. I then construct the product using mainly my sewing and overlocking machine, as well as some glue and hand stitching. Each product can be completely different, depending on the sacking design position, color and any warping so each piece is unique.

sew sew sewing

I then photography each product and list my items on Etsy or Folksy. Once a customer orders an item i package it in recycled brown packing paper , sewing together the edges after inserting my business cards, a few freebies and special offers. I then trot down to the post office and send it off, happy that some one has brought from me a handmade and eco friendly product. Its not just malt sacks that i reuse though, i also use the packets that their hops come in for my cool bags, plastic wrap for packaging, and i get oodles of string which i will be using i a new project ( i’ll keep you posted). If you want to know more about brewing check out CAMRA for a guide and to see the rest of our products check out our Etsy or Folksy shops.

green geeves

Don’t forget to give us a tweet on Twitter if your over that way!

Lorna

X xxx