Friday, 10 June 2011

Vale Brewery - Grumpling Ale

No Grumpling from me about this great Old Ale from Vale Brewery in Buckinghamshire. A mahogany, chestnut ale with a full flavour Grumpling is a little on the heavy side with a 4.6% ABV and molasses. Bitter rather than sweet there's citrus and pear in this ale, however it remains traditional in flavour and is extremely moreish.

Historical connections:

Witchert is the local name for mud walling, a crude but effective method of building which has continued in use for thousands of years in all parts of the world. The method of construction varies from place to place according to the properties of the local earth, as does the name; pise de terre in France, mass cob, clom or korb in central England, clay lump in Norfolk.

First a foundation of rough stone was laid, wider below ground than above, and continued up for about a foot to an even course. This upstand was called the "grumpling". When the grumpling is completed, the witchert, is laid down in courses. Each course is then called a 'berry'. One berry must be left to dry before another is put onto it. When the berry is about 'two-thirds' dry the sides are trimmed straight with a flat spade, and each must be so trimmed before the next is put on to it.

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