What a weekend!!!
A first for Melwood, the Summer Shakedown planning started months ago. At the time I don’t think we appreciated just how much work was involved in getting ready for it. It taught us a major lesson – be prepared!
So just what was involved? Well we are a small, independent brewery, pretty much doing everything by ourselves so when we approached The Baltic Social with our idea for a music and beer day we didn’t really know if they would ‘go’ for it. We knew they had hosted a beer party before with our friends from Mad Hatter but this event was on a different scale. So when they said yes and we booked the date we didn’t have a clue that it was on the same day as England’s first World Cup game! However, when we found out we embraced it and incorporated the showing of the match into the Shakedown.
As for the beer we had to ‘drop it bright’ which involves transferring the beer from the cask into a new ‘clean’ cask so that there is no yeast floating around. This helps because the beer needs to be transported to the venue with the best chance of being clear when pulled on the handpulls in a short space of time.
Shakedown Street Liverpool is the band. Consisting of Tom Traynor on drums, Tim Doyle on Bass guitar, Bill Stoddart on lead guitar, Jason Parr on rhythm guitar and vocals and our own Mr Melwood, John Marsden, on Hammond Organ. Originally started off as an exclusive Grateful Dead covers band, these Deadheads were brought together due to a mutual love of the American 60s psychedelic band, The Grateful Dead. John had been in varying bands with Tim and Jason over the years but Shakedown Street has been the one with longevity with the bandmates doing it just for the love of it. They are a great band and they meet every week to rehearse, playing gigs as and when their various time schedules allow. How cool was it that they were able to play Melwood’s Summer Shakedown?!
Melwood Beer, of course! We wanted to showcase a selection of our range of beers to compliment the music and the food at The Baltic Social and the whole vibe we wanted to create. We ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhhed’ about the selection at first but decided on six beers that we thought gave a picture of The Melwood Beer Company:
Melwood’s Flagship beer. It was the first one we brewed only 15 months ago – A light pale ale single hopped with American Citra hops giving the classic grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas this hop is famous for.
Another of first brewed beers this beer was called Deadhead for obvious reasons! 4.1%ABV – A hazy lazy hoppy beer full of cascade and amarillo with just the slightest hint of citra and the very end gives it a robust yet fruity flavour and aroma.
Brewed a year ago for the first time on MrsMelwood’s belated dad’s birthday, there’s only one name we could call it! Named after Ted Doyle, the pump clip bears his image as a seventeen year old submariner who ‘joined up’ in 1942 and an image of his submarine ‘The Votary’ – 4.2 ABVAll English hops: Challenger, Pilgrim and a shot of Fuggles
Named after our fabulous surroundings in Knowsley Park and a little bit of a nod to MrsMelwoodbeer, the only ‘Blonde’ brewing beer in Knowsley! 4.3 ABV – Crisp, refreshing pale ale using only Atlas hops – a hybrid of Brewers Gold and Slovenian Wild Hop. This beer has a fresh hoppy aroma with a pleasant bitter taste.
Stan’s inaugural brew with Melwood, this beer was his first in the ‘Derby’ range – for obvious reasons again, Stan has strong connections with the Knowsley Estate and lives two minutes away – perfect! 3.7 abv Triple hopped using three hop varieties from the USA and the UK. Expertly blended to create a pale ale with depth and character, this ale has subtle IPA undertones and a pungent spicy aroma.
No6 in our Icons of Rock Series of beers Kaleidoscope Eyes is the strongest beer we have brewed – 5.5 ABV – Pale IPA style beer with Pioneer & Amarillo hops “picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine dreams and marmalade skies……”
The Baltic Social brings together quality food, boss music and belter drinks to provide a unique experience in the heart of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle so their website says – and it’s true! When we first went there to suss the venue out we were VERY impressed with the ambience of the place and the great music that was being played. And the food! Great menu to choose from; from breakfast through to dinner there’s definitely something on the menu to tempt everyone!
We arrived at The Baltic Social at 9am on Saturday morning with our bar, five hand pulls, six casks, loads of piping, taps and bar paraphernalia. John and Julie carried the bar and casks into the Baltic themselves and began setting it up ready for a 12pm start. The bar was set up by 12pm but the beer wasn’t quite ready for roughly another half hour later. It had such a short time on stillage that it needed a bit more time to settle from the journey but it improved very quickly and was being drunk pretty soon afterwards.
Our first customers were our loyal followers Ruth & Paul Hoyte and ‘Wirralerob’-Rob Shaw and it was very nice to meet them all!
Mr Greg McFarlane and his wife had travelled all the way from just outside Edinburgh for the event because he loves the Grateful Dead and Shakedown Street and Melwood Beer! So he was our next customer and he stayed for the afternoon whilst his wife went shopping in Liverpool. What a nice way to spend the afternoon for him! They both returned for the evening session later on.
Following them were the Liverpool CAMRA guys who lingered a while, left to sample other local’s wares and came back because they couldn’t find any other cask ales in the area! Keg is not their thing apparently! Hurrah for that! because we only had cask on our bar And the very friendly @PedroCotzier and his lady came and went twice. Very nice to me you too Pedro!
Then approaching late afternoon the ‘punters’ really started to roll in! Our star of a son, John junior came along to help Mrsmelwood behind the bar. John is a footballer, recovering from foot surgery and has a few short weeks before he’s away again on pre-season training so we were lucky to have the help for the day. And what a sterling job he did! Most of the day it was him who pulled most of the beers whilst mrsmelwood did a bit of mingling with our guests! We surely couldn’t have done it without John’s help! You are a trooper, son and we are very grateful!
Shakedown Street members Jason, Bill and Tim did a mellow acoustic set during the afternoon to set the vibe for the evening session and Jason did an acoustic set of his own and was accompanied for a song with former band mate Steve Cox.
Fabulous food was consumed from the Baltic Social’s great kitchen and much beer was served from the Melwood bar.
Knowsley Blonde was the first beer to go by early evening so we were able to put our flagship beer, Citradelic, on then. Well that sure pleased the Deadheads and by the time Shakedown Street took the stage at 9pm, the beer was flowing and queues were forming at the Melwood Bar.
The Baltic’s bar was heaving too! So good all-round for everyone!
Shakedown Street really rocked the place! And thanks to the Sound Man Lee, they sounded better than we had ever heard them before! It was a nice warm up for them as they will be head lining the Sol Party in Kent on 5th July. Mr Melwood will be taking a few casks of Melwood’s Deadhead down with him so they’re sure to have a good time!
Stan the man made an appearance early evening to check we were serving our beer correctly and of course he stayed and got a bit tipsy too! Yay Stan!!!! and he LOVED Shakedown Street!!! describing them as ‘great with a capital F’ and that’s praise indeed from our mentor and dear friend, Stan.
And so just after 10.30pm Shakedown Street said their goodbyes and down came the screen for the England Match.
Probably the less said about that the better! But The Baltic filled up even more because the venue around the corner wouldn’t let anymore people in to see the match as they were full. Beers still flowed and we were all having a great time anyway!
Finally at the end of the match The Baltic Social closed their emptied bar, Melwood closed their emptied bar and we all packed up and went home. Hey it was 2am!!!
We had the most brilliant time! The Baltic Social is the best venue in Liverpool for this type of event and we couldn’t have been more happy to serve our beer in such fine company. They want us back too so look out for more ‘shakedowns’ where you can get fab food, fine ales and marvellous music all under one roof.
We had a blast but now we could sleep for days…..zzzzz It’s been so tiring but hard work hurt no-one so we’ll be back bright eyed and bushy tailed brewing more super ales for you all to enjoy. Look out for our beers in the usual brilliant places: The Caledonia, The Belvedere, The Grapes, Liverpool One Bridewell and the Pilgrim and coming to a pub near you soon!
Salut and keep drinking real ale and supporting local pubs and breweries!Read More
Melwood will be sending three beers to the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo on 5th-8th June:
Tickets are only available for Thursday night and Sunday Afternoon sessions I’m afraid.
Head to http://www.liverpoolcraftbeerexpo.com/tickets/ to get your tickets now!
Melwood’s John & Julie will be there at the Saturday evening session so if you see us don’t be afraid to say hello!
Would you like to chat about beer? Would you like to chat about The Melwood Beer Company? Well you have your chance on Saturday 24th May 4-6pm> at The Cricketers Arms, Peter Street, St Helens when John, Julie and Stan will be in attendance! The Cricketers Arms has recently been named St Helens CAMRA Pub of the Year and they will have two of our beers on for the event – Citradelic 5.1 & Derby Stout 5.0
Do come along and chat with us about beer, The Melwood Beer Company and how we started our business or anything else you’d like to know – within reason of course! ;-)
John and Julie will be joined by Stan Shaw, Melwood’s newest brewer, so if there is anything you are just desperate to know about brewing – Stan’s your man!
Just a quickie Post today. We’ve had the door updated at Melwood Office! Take a look…..
It looks like it’s been etched but it is in fact an opaque sticker with our logo cut out! Looks fab doesn’t it!
Doing deliveries today including……The Ship & Mitre! They are taking delivery of a Derby Stout and the fabulous CITRADELIC! so look out for these in one of your fave pubs – we are very happy to be in there!
The other delivery is at The Belvedere who are taking first delivery of the new batches of KNOWSLEY BLONDE & STANLEY GOLD! Hope it’s there long enough for you to try it this weekend but if not The Super Caledonia will have a delivery this weekend too so don’t fret!
Please keep supporting local pubs (and breweries too!)
Melwood has had a busy few days!!
We’ve been cask washing like there’s no tomorrow!! That’s not unusual though as Mrsmelwoodbeer usually does a lot of that. But because we’ve brewed so much lately (can’t stop Stan- he’s a Trojan!) we need to put the beer somewhere!! Added to the fact that Mrmelwoodbeer can’t lift anything just now we are hoping MrsMelwood’s back holds out!
We brewed two Core Beers last week – Knowsley Blonde & Stanley Gold so these should be going out next week for your delectation!
Father Ted went into pubs again this week – for those of you that don’t know Father Ted is a beer made in tribute to MrsMelwood’s dad, Ted Doyle RIP. Ted was an avid home brewer in his younger days (its where MrsMelwood learned to brew when she was just a little girl – helping dad bottling etc – but not drinking the stuff until she was all grown of course!). The pump clip features Ted’s photograph from when he was a Submariner ‘durin the War’ (WW2) and his submarine ‘The Votary’. He was a fabulous bloke who loved quality ale and I’m sure he would have been proud of us doing what we are doing now-only wish he had lived to see it happen :-( Who’da thought it dad? You would have loved this!
Father Ted aka John Edward (Ted) Doyle 1925-2006 and a glass of Father Ted gracing The Belvedere’s fine bar April 2014
And busy weekends are coming!!!
Just a reminder of the festivals coming up imminently:
Melwood will be at The Waterloo Beer Festival this weekend 2-4th May. Julie and John will be attending Saturday evening so if you see us, do pop over and say hello!
June will see the return of the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo on 5-8th June. This was a great event and we enjoyed it very much! Tickets can be got from: http://www.liverpoolcraftbeerexpo.com/tickets/
So get yourselves down to these festivals and support local producers because that’s what it’s all about.
There’ll be an announcement of two events coming next week so keep your eyes peeled on this site and Facebook/Twitter!!
We don’t think we’ve posted many pics of the brewery since Stan plumbed us in so here are a few photos showing Stan’s handwork:
Also an update on how The Belvedere is getting on selling Melwood beer. Well it’s fantastic news that it’s been selling so well they’ve been repeat ordering! So don’t forget that you can still partake of our beers at the Fabulous Belvedere!
Also selling well at The Caledonia, Liverpool One Bridewell, The Pilgrim and The Grapes Roscoe Street.
Please support our local pubs!
Just to let you know Melwood will be having two beers at this new festival on 25th-27th April 2014.
The inaugural ‘Republic of Liverpool Beer Festival’. Rolfest takes place in St Luke’s Parish Hall, Liverpool Road, Crosby, Liverpool.
They will have over 70 real ales and ciders, of which 50+ will be dispensed by hand pump – including two of The Melwood Beer Company’s ‘Derby’ range.
There will be a separate cider bar, and an exclusive sponsors ‘lounge’.
If the weather is fine, you will be able to enjoy your beers outside in St Luke’s ‘beer’ garden. There will be a marquee if the weather is inclement!!
Friday Evening – The Hotdogs (Dr Feelgood tribute)
Saturday Afternoon – TBC
Saturday Evening – The Swinging Bricks (rockabilly)
Sunday Afternoon – Fingers Dave (Piano and vocals)
Alongside the beer festival, within the pedestrianised area of Crosby Village, Sefton’s Crosby Town Team presents the 1st ever Crosby Festival Of The Sea 26th & 27th April featuring a Streetfood and Artisan Market, children’s entertainment and more…
An eclectic mix of music will entertain during the event, with performances to be confirmed over the next few weeks.
In keeping with the Liverpool theme, choose from Scouse, Blind Scouse or Pulled Pork barms. All supplied onsite via the kitchen.
Available through out the festival, we will be selling 2pt cartons for people to take beer home with them.