Tag Archives: women

Beer and chocolate… what’s not to like?!

29 Feb

Details are now confirmed for the Dea Latis Beer & Chocolate tasting. This is now in its third year, making it an annual tradition for anyone wanting to break two Lenten abstinences in one afternoon!

We will, once again, be tasting a selection of beer and chocolate matches suggested by brewers, who will be on hand to explain their choices and answer questions.  So please join us:

Date:     Tuesday 27th March


Time:    2.00 – 4.00 pm


Venue: Draft House Tower Bridge, 206-208 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP

A Dream Come Brew

26 Jan

Have you ever dreamed of brewing your own beer in a proper brewery as opposed to a bucket in the airing cupboard?  I have.  Many times.  Then last year I met Sara Barton, founder of Brewsters Brewery at the launch of Project Venus’s brewing collaboration – Venus Jade.  I confessed my aspiration and Sara responded with an emphatic ‘Do it!’

the-dream-team1Turns out that I was not the only DeaLatis member harbouring the brewing fantasy because when I mentioned it to Marverine Cole (@BeerBeauty) and Shea Luke (@RealAleGirlShea) they also had that ambition. We discussed our ideal recipe and decided on a dark spicy winter ale. So on a very auspicious date 21/1/12 (it’s a palindrome) the three of us accepted Sara’s invitation to ‘do it’ and we travelled up to Brewsters Brewery in Grantham and did it!

And as I write this, a wonderful yeast that smells of green apples is bubbling away and turning our 30 barrel brew into delicious beer.  What an incredible thought. But who knew what hard physical work it is to brew beer?  Hauling the malts around, hoisting buckets up high, pouring the contents into mash tuns and coppers, and then the cleaning afterwards.  Oh the cleaning – raking out the mash tun, poking around in the hot copper to extract the thousands of whole hops, washing out vessels and leaving the brewery as we found it.  But what satisfaction!And what fun.  All three of us virgin brewers felt as though we were in the best toy shop imaginable – and one in which lunch was served with Brewsters Pale Ale, and Brewsters’ brand new Black IPA (called Cruella) decanted straight from the conditioning tanks.  Heaven.

In a couple of weeks Brewsters will cask and bottle condition the beer for sale through their ‘Wicked Women’ range. We’re waiting to mention the beer’s name until the launch party in late February or early March – most likely at London’s Tap East with its incredible range of beers (thanks Glyn!) so hopefully you’ll come and taste the difference.

Huge thanks to Sara, Sean, and Richard at Brewsters for making our dream come brew.  I’m even more in love with beer than I was before and my maiden voyage on the brew boat has made me even more obsessed with brewing.  We’ve done a winter brew, but there are three more seasons in a year.  So how’s about it BrewsterSara, Beer Beauty, and RealAleGirlShea?

By Jane Peyton, Principal of the School of Booze

Duchesse de Bourgogne – a beer that’s impossible not to like?

13 Jan

We’re halfway through our Dea Diets – our quest to swap wine for beer during January to prove to the world that beer is lower in calories.

And our pal Jane Peyton at the wonderful School of Booze has written this review of the beer, Duchesse de Bourgogne, exclusively for Dea Latis. Why not give it a go this weekend and let us know what you think of it?

Try this experiment.  Choose a female friend who professes not to like beer.  Discreetly open a bottle of Duchesse de Bourgogne from Belgium and decant into a wine glass.  Don’t tell her that it is beer and watch her reaction as she sips it. And then wait for the ‘Get Away!’ response when you ‘fess up that it is not an unusual type of red wine, rather, one of the most amazing examples of our beloved malt & hops brews.

Duchesse de Bourgogne (6.2% ABV) is a superb example of a lambic beer.  This means the yeast gives the beer a sour tangy sweetness and some unexpected flavours.  I included it in a tutored beer tasting last night and the group suggested wood, lemon, spice, must, Balsamic vinegar (usually a sign of stale beer but welcome with this exceptional ale).

This is a Flanders red ale made by blending younger and older beers that have been aged in oak barrels. It has a highly perfumed nose of sweet-sour cherries and vinegar.  On the palate it has a mousse-y mouth filling texture with intense cherry fruit and sour-sweet characters.  I find it more-ish and a real delight to drink.  Perhaps part of my delight is the anticipation of subverting the attitudes of women who assume that beer is all bitter, bulky, and blokey.  Not this one!

Dea Diets has arrived!

3 Jan

Brush away those January blues by taking part in Dea Diets!

January can be bad enough without the dreaded ‘D’ word (detox, diet, depressing….you choose!) so here at Dea Latis, we have vowed to attempt to shift those extra Christmas pounds by not giving up alcohol completely, but by swapping wine for beer!

Did you know, a 175ml glass of white wine at 12% abv contains 131 calories whereas a half pint of standard beer at 3.8% abv contains only 85 calories. Beer has a lower alcohol by volume – typically between 4-5% ABV – compared to wine, at between 12-14% ABV.

So let us know if you’re joining in by commenting on this post below. And if you are, keep a note of your weight now, and let us know how much you’ve lost!

For more information, click here:

Are you up for the challenge? Swap wine for beer this January!

9 Dec
Pictured l-r: Cathy Price; Lucy Bostock, Vital PR; Kimberley Owen, Vital; Liz Slee, Vital; Dr Alex Kenyon, Leeds Metropolitan University; Joanna Dring, Carlsberg UK; Lisa Harlow; Michelle Perrett; Jo Kreckler, Greene King; Ros Shiel; Annabel Smith, Cask Marque

Pictured l-r: Cathy Price; Lucy Bostock, Vital PR; Kimberley Owen, Vital; Liz Slee, Vital; Dr Alex Kenyon, Leeds Metropolitan University; Joanna Dring, Carlsberg UK; Lisa Harlow; Michelle Perrett; Jo Kreckler, Greene King; Ros Shiel; Annabel Smith, Cask Marque

A group of female beer fans have vowed to switch from wine to beer during January as a way of cutting back on alcohol intake and shifting the extra pounds from Christmas.

In their bid to show women everywhere that beer is not as calorific as wine, members of the Dea Latis women and beer group plan to swap their glasses of wine for a glass of beer. They aim to dispel the widely-held views that beer is calorific, gassy and gives drinkers a ‘beer belly’.

Dea Latis member Annabel Smith said, “For many women, beer’s supposedly high calorie content is the main reason why they don’t drink it. In fact, beer is lower in alcohol content and therefore in calories, than wine – so for anyone who wants to reduce their alcohol content during January, but can’t face complete abstinence, beer’s a great option.”

A 175ml glass of white wine at 12% abv contains 131 calories whereas a half pint of standard beer at 3.8% abv contains only 85 calories. Beer has a lower alcohol by volume – typically between 4-5% ABV – compared to wine, at between 12-14% ABV.

Will you be taking part? Let us know!

Choosing beers: Dea Latis’s tips

  1.  Keep an eye on the abv – the higher it is, the more calories it will have
  2. Beers on the traditional handpulls tend to be less fizzy
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a taster glass as many pubs will oblige
  4. Try drinking beer from different glasses – in fact, it’s great in a wine glass
  5. If you’re eating as well, remember that darker beers tend to go better with strong flavours (pies and beef) and lighter beers with more delicate flavours (fish and chicken). For spicy foods and curries, lagers have the carbon dioxide ‘bite’ to cut through the strong flavours.

Invent a beer recipe – and you could get the chance to brew it!

28 Oct

Dea Latis members Jane Peyton, Principle at the School of Booze and Brewster’s Brewery head brewer, Sara Barton, have launched a brand new competition to inspire more women to drink beer by encouraging them to come up with their very own recipe!

If your entry wins you will have chance to brew it at Brewster’s Brewery alongsideBrewsters Brewery Sara Barton.  And it may even go on sale through Brewster’s outlets.

And to make this competition even tastier, they are asking entrants to take inspiration from Britain’s leading producer of Fairtrade chocolate, Divine and devise a recipe inspired by one of their brands. You may also win a stash of Divine’s delicious chocolate. If you have never tried beer and chocolate together then now’s the time – it’s amazing!

Unfortunately there are lots of myths about beer which often put women off drinking it – such as that beer will make you fat. Click here so we can dispel some of those fables. Not only is beer delicious, convivial and fun, but consumed moderately it has myriad health benefits too!  Want to know more?  Then click here.

Are you ready to become a 21st century goddess of beer and enter the competition to brew Ninkasi’s Nectar?

For a chance to brew your very own beer, we invite you to devise a recipe inspired by Divine chocolate.  Take a look at our description of popular beer styles and Jane Peyton’s suggestions for matching beer with Divine’s brands. Click here and then open the file under the box headed Divine & Beer.

So for instance, if you like the sound of Divine’s Dark Chocolate with Raspberries then maybe your beer recipe will be for a Porter or Stout containing rose-hips or some other tangy fruit. Or if Divine’s Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange is your choice, then ale containing citrus hops, and something spicy like lemongrass might be your suggestion for your unique creation.

When your beer-licious brainwave hits, think of a snappy name for the brew, and then send your recipe idea to us explaining why you want to brew beer. You don’t need to suggest hop varieties or specific malts, just the general beer style as inspired by Divine chocolate, and any extras such as fruit or spices. Please include contact details and send your entry to:ninkasi@school-of-booze.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Sara Barton will choose a winner to brew the beer at Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Later on the winning beer will be bottled and the winner will receive two cases to impress their friends and family with. The winner and four runners up will also receive 5 bars of the Divine chocolate brand that inspired their beer recipe.

Good luck!

Terms & Conditions

• With your entry, please include  mobile phone, postal address, and email address.

• The competition closes on December 31st 2011. No entries received after that date will be considered

•  Short-listed entrants will be asked to submit a photograph.

• The winner will be invited to brew the beer at Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK on a date to be decided by Brewster’s.

• Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world but travel costs to Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham are the responsibility of the winner.

• Sorry but we cannot accept entries from professional brewers.

• The cost of brewing ingredients will be covered by Brewster’s.

• Sara Barton will decide whether to include the beer in the Brewster’s range of ales for sale.

• The winner will permit her image (photograph and video) to be used in publicity material.

• The winner will receive two cases of  bottles of the beer she brewed.

• The winner and four runners up will each receive five bars of the Divine chocolate that inspired her recipe.

Thanks to the School of Booze for this information.

Project Venus Reloaded

19 Sep

Venus RogueA beer brewed for women, by women, is being officially launched today.

Project Venus, the collaborative brewing project of women brewers (or brewsters as they are properly called) is back in action.Project Venus, the collaborative brewing project of women brewers are launching Venus Rouge which was brewed at Oldershaw Brewery in Granthan.

The brewsters from across the country collaborated on the recipe via Facebook to devise a deep red beer with an ABV of 4.2%.  Venus Rouge uses a complex blend of malts largely sourced locally to Oldershaws brewery but combined with some exciting German, Weyermann coloured malts.  The malt character will be balanced by three aromatic hop varieties.

Project Venus was originally conceived by Grantham brewer, Sara Barton from Brewster’s Brewery.   The aim is simply to show off female brewing at its best.

The first beer, Venus Jade, was brewed at Brewsters Brewery in Grantham and subsequently launched at The Rake bar in London at which two firkins were polished off in two hours!

For this second incarnation, the brewday will be hosted by Kathy Britton, of Oldershaw Brewery (coincidentally also in Grantham).  The Venus brewing team will be made up of Kathy, Sara, Michelle Kelsall from Offbeat Brewery in Cheshire, Sophie de Ronde from Brentwood Brewing Company and Sue Hayward from The Waen Brewery in Montgomeryshire.

The brewsters will also be joined on the day by renowned beer blogger Marverine Cole (Beerbeauty).

The day will also be filmed for BBC2.

The beer will be on sale by most of the breweries involved.  If the previous Project Venus incarnation is anything to go by, best get your pre-orders in fast!

Sara Barton said “I’m so pleased that the project has some momentum, there are not that many women in the beer industry and to have something like this taking off is great news for all of us”

Kathy Britton said “We are delighted to welcome the Venus crew to Oldershaws.  I know we will have a great day, create a brilliant beer and share some tips and experience along the way.”

Have you tried the beer?  Tell us what you think below.

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