The growing attraction of craft brewed beers is generating more interest amongst women than ever before. So much so, that there is now a dedicated ‘FEM.ALE’ festival which forms part of the Norwich City of Ale festival which took place in May this year, with beers specifically brewed by the fairer sex.
This year the ‘FEM.ALE’ festival was held at the Plasterers Arms in Norwich. Celebrated Brewsters (the correct title for women brewers) and women in the brewing industry, contributed to the occasion by offering a list of beers on tap brewed exclusively by women. This year Muntons, the Stowmarket based maltster, was invited to contribute by developing and creating a unique beer specifically for the occasion.
During the four day festival there were 31 brewsters’ beers available, with Muntons Spiced Honey Pale selling out first! Also a number of talks from brewsters in the industry and plenty of tastings.
Sophie De Ronde, NPD Brewing Technologist and resident Brewster in charge of the Muntons pilot brewery at their ‘Centre for Excellence’ commented: “I assist customers with the development of exciting and innovative new beers and so was in an ideal position to be able to rise to the challenge.” The Muntons pilot brewery is also used to create new malt extracts used in the development of homebrew recipes for Muntons world renowned ranges of beer making kits.
Sophie started the process by asking pub landlord of the Plasterer’s arms Ben Thompson which style of beer would complement his festival and after much head scratching a Spiced Honey beer was selected. Spiced Honey Pale was the first publicly available beer from Muntons, as their trial beers are usually reserved for commercial evaluation only. The beer was made using honey, ginger and coriander seeds, Vienna malt as a backdrop with a hint of caramalt, toasted wheat and rye for a rich golden, toasted maltiness.
The proceeds from the sale of the cask of ale were donated to the Pink Boots and East Anglian Air Ambulance charities.
In the picture: Sophie De Ronde (on the right), Muntons NPD Brewing Technologist pictured here with Ben Thompson the Plasterers Arms pub landlord and Erica Horton the ‘FEM.ALE’ festival organiser.