Our now-traditional international brewers’ visits continue, as we welcome five overseas award-winning brewers to Britain, each brewing their festival beer at a host brewery right here in the UK.
An idea first started for the festival a decade ago, these collaborations support both the international brewers and the British brewing industry, offering our customers the very best on the world beer scene. Thanks, once again, to all of our friends at Adnams (Suffolk), Banks’s (West Midlands), Wychwood (Oxfordshire), Caledonian (Edinburgh) and Shepherd Neame (Kent) for hosting our visitors this time. Richard Adamson from Young Henrys Brewery (NSW, Australia) has brewed Newtowner (4.8% ABV), Tim Suprise from Arcadia Ales (USA) brings Autumn Wheat (6.0% ABV), Richard Chennells of Zululand Brewery (South Africa) offers his Pale Ale (4.2% ABV), Eduardo Martinez from Cervecería Fort Brewery (Spain) has brewed Fort Oatmeal Porter (5.5% ABV) and Jessica Heidrich from St Eriks Brewery (Sweden) is showcasing Midnight Sun (4.5% ABV).
Brewing for the first time for the Wetherspoon real-ale festival is Jessica Heidrich, from St Eriks Brewery, in Stockholm, Sweden. Jessica is showcasing her golden beer Midnight Sun (4.5% ABV), brewed at Shepherd Neame, in Kent, exclusively for the event. Jessica said: “The beer we are brewing, in collaboration with Shepherd Neame, is a tribute to the Swedish summer and our bright velvety warm summer nights. “One of the things I always liked about British beer is the lower ABV. So, in honour of that tradition, it’s going to be a highly sessionable beer at 4.5% ABV.
“Since I’m also very fond of adding fruity flavours and I’m a hop addict (I’m a hop-hearted woman!), we’re adding some bloodorange juice and, of course, dry hopping with some modern hops like Azzaca and Citra.” Microbiologist, sommelier and researcher Jessica began her career in beer as a student an hobby brewer, in Uppsala, Sweden, in the 1990s.
Today, she is a well-established name in the industry, with four Swedish brewing championship titles, and is a popular lecturer and beer judge with assignments around the world. She has worked at St Eriks since 2009. Jessica has also been influential in organisations such as the Swedish Home Brewing Association, The Swedish Beer Consumers’ Association and the Swedish Association of Small Breweries.
She said: “I’ve never brewed for Wetherspoon before, but I’ve heard about this festival and the previous festival brews, since a few good friends – Stue (one of The Yeasty Boys), Alex (Lost & Grounded) and Jayne (one of Two Birds) – have had the honour before.
“I’m really excited to have the honour of adding my name to that list. They are not only friends, but brewers whom I respect.”
Jessica concludes: “The UK is going through a brewing revolution at the moment, and I wish that I had more time on this trip to visit some of the hot spots like Bristol, Manchester and Leeds… the list goes on. I’ll have a couple of days in London, but that’s far from enough, with so many new breweries and brewing friends I would like to visit, have a pint or two with – not to mention grabbing a really good curry!”