I was very lucky to attend an IMechE technical tour on Saturday afternoon – to a brewery!
Wychwood Brewery in Witney is famous for Hobgoblin & it was great to get a tour around the brewery.
Firstly, I love factories (I know, I can hear you shout geek at the screen!) so it was amazing to see all the industrial scale pots & pans that are used to brew beer. We got an informal, fun tour guide who told us about the history of the company and the site, which was interesting. He also told us alot about the technique behind brewing beer, I didn’t realise that the basic ingredients (hops, barley, water & yeast) are generally the same for every beer, it’s ratio of these ingredients & ratio of how roasted the grains are, that changes the flavour. We even got to taste some of the grains – lightly roasted barley that was quite sweet as well as a very dark roast which tasted like burnt toast or coffee! No surprise that I liked the sweet lightly roasted barley!
Secondly, the actual beer! We got plenty to try, from a half pint (at least, they weren’t stingy with pouring the beer but I was driving!) of Oxford Gold whilst we were waiting to start the tour, to shots of beer at the end. We got to try a range of their beers, from the lightest Wychcraft (my favourite) to the very dark Hobgoblin (both cask & bottled as a comparison). Scarecrow was also quite nice.
I think the tour costs about £6 per person & you definitely get your money’s worth!