Welsh beer company that faced throwing thousands of litres away during pandemic turns it into vinegar
A Welsh beer company that faced throwing thousands of liters away during the pandemic has turned it into vinegar.
Simon Turner of Bluestone Brewing, based near Newport, Pembrokeshire, faced pouring away 3,500 litres of beer last year when Covid-19 forced pubs and restaurants to close in March 2020.
“We were gearing up for a really busy Easter and had just filled our cold store up with a huge amount of Cask Beer,” the director and founder of Bluestone Brewing said.
“When the first lockdown happened, we lost our market overnight. All of a sudden we had nowhere for all of that beer to go and it was a really worrying time for us as a business. Cask Beer has a short date life and so we had to come up with a plan quickly to save it from going down the drain.”
However, Alex Jungmayr, director of the nearby In the Welsh Wind Distillery near Cardigan, came up with a novel solution – turning the beer into a Welsh cask-aged vinegar.
“I was dismayed at the prospect of all this hard work – and beautiful beer – going to waste and was determined to see if there was something we could do to help,” said Alex Jungmayr.
“Fortunately, I like a challenge, and after I had done some research, vinegar seemed like the clear solution.”
To ensure the final product would be top quality, Alex reached out to the team at Orkney Craft Vinegar in Scotland, who were pleased to help and provided expertise and vinegar ‘mother’ to get production underway.
The Welsh Wind Distillery sourced oak casks from another Welsh whisky distillery to house the beer as the ‘mother’ worked its magic and transformed the beer into vinegar.
Unlike industrially produced vinegar, Welsh Cask Vinegar is softer and more complex on the palette, allowing uses in both the kitchen and cocktails, Welsh Wind Distillery said.
In the kitchen, the vinegar works well in salad dressings and can be used in a variety of other ways, including to bring out flavours in fruit. When making cocktails, the vinegar can be used as an ingredient in its own right, or to create a ‘shrub’ syrup, they added.