FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE CONCRETE JUNGLE
The Concrete Cow Brewery was esablished in August 2007 to supply pubs, shops and thirsty people with locally produced, hand crafted micro-brewery beer and to establish itself as the leading micro-brewery within the Milton Keynes area. The name of the brewery is taken from the locally famous, possibly world renouned, concrete cows that were created for Milton Keynes by artist and sculptress Liz Leyh in 1978.
The 5.5BBL plant is big enough (or small enough, you might say!) to produce around 1580 pints per brew using brand new, modern brewing equipment that supports traditional methods to allow the quality of each brew to be influenced by the skill and knowledge of the brewer.
Brewer and proprietor Dan Bonner already had extensive training and experience gained through hours of producing around five or six home brew kits before setting up the business (remember that bit about the skill and knowledge of the brewer!) … what you might call a baptism of beer. However, the reputation of the beer quickly grew and is now highly regarded and enjoyed by very many local people and those further afield through beer festivals and wholesaling networks.
Only the finest ingredients are used for making the beer … the best floor malted barley, finest whole hops and quality brewing yeast. These are the only ingredients for the beers unless we decide to treat you to something a little special like the spiced-up ‘Winter Ale’ with cloves and cinnamon or the brand new ‘Cloven Hoof’ … a stout with natural vanilla.
The Mash The malted barley is mixed with hot water to create a ‘porridge’ at 66-68 degrees centigrade. This allows the sugars within the malted barley to be dissolved out and the water then becomes a high sugar content liquid the colour of which reflects the different malts that were used. Pale malts are the primary ingredient base while dark, roasted malts are added to some brews to produce a darker beer. Darker and caramalised malts can also be added to give a beer a distinctive coffee, toffee or chocolate hint.
The Boil when the wort (as it is now called) leaves the mash it is pumped into the ‘copper’ or ‘kettle’ to be boiled up to 100 degrees centigrade. This is about the time the smaller kettle is switched on for a different type of brew. During the boil, the bigger one that is, the hops are added to the mix to obtain the bittering aspect of the beer. Generally, hops that are added early in the boil are for this bitterness but hops that are added very late in the boil or right at the end are to impart a beer with aroma. The essential oils within the late hops are not boiled away so leaving them in the liquid to be enjoyed by the thirsty customer as the aroma of the beer. All Concrete Cow beers have early, middle and late hops for good all round flavour and aroma.