High hops realised for student-brewed beer!
Release Date 24 January 2014
A group of University of Reading students has gone against the grain by seeing a beer of their brewing being sold in the University's bars and in local pubs.
With students perhaps better known for drinking the odd pint or two, a group from the University's Real Ale Society has turned from consumer to producer by serving up 'Extra Curricular', believed to be one of the first student brewed beers to be sold on a UK university campus. The Society's knowledge for thirst was evident as the first cask (72 pints) of ‘Extra Curricular' in the main staff/student bar sold out in 90mins.
The seeds for Extra Curricular were, perhaps unsurprisingly, sewn in a Reading pub. President of the Real Ale Society Jamie Duffield was enjoying a pint with local brewer Pete Cook when they hit on the idea of working together to develop a student made beer. Six members of the Society then visited the Sherfield Village Brewery near Basingstoke and, with Pete's expert guidance, cooked up Extra Curricular.
Jamie Duffield, who is 22 from Paignton in Devon and training to be a teacher, said: "Usually it's the students lining up to buy the beer but we've turned the tables. The first pint of Extra Curricular was pulled last Friday and it was a thrill to see both staff and students enjoying its distinctive taste. In fact we estimate that the first cask was sold at a rate of nearly a pint a minute!
"Our aim was to create a beer that's not too different from current flavours of the month amongst students. So Extra Curricular is a very ‘hoppy' strong (5.4%) pale ale made with five hops from three different countries including New Zealand, America and of course England. We were delighted with the end product...and so it seems are the customers.
"We were also delighted to support local brewer Pete and I'd like to thank him on behalf of the Society. He was extremely helpful throughout the process and it's been a fantastic experience for us all."
Pete Cook, owner of the one-man-band Sherfield Village Brewery, said:
"They were a great group to work and were involved in every stage of brewing. I gave them a free hand but the students were very happy to receive advice. Hopefully they enjoyed themselves and the experience should stand them in good stead for the future. Who knows, perhaps one or two of them will be inspired to take up a brewing career."
Extra Curricular continues to sell well, both in Reading pubs the Nag's Head and the Ale House, as well as on in campus. University of Reading Bar Manager Matt Tebbit said: "It's been a terrific success. We've got another 400 pints on order."