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We were ecstatic when Abbeydale Brewery asked us to become their brewing partner for their SunFest beer festival brew.

One of our newest members, Laura Rangeley works for Abbeydale and knows how much some of our contingent love a good beer so she suggested we pair up and create our own beer which would be Abbeydale’s special beer for their ever-popular SunFest beer festival. Not only did it mean mucking in and making our own beer – they were going to give us 10p from every pint sold to our charity of the year – Light Sheffield. Plus they wanted us to sell our ever-popular homemade bakes at the festival for the charity. How could we refuse such a generous offer?

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take part in the brew day as it fell on the Saturday when many of us were at Eroica festival in Bakewell with another charity cake stall. But 8 of our gang went along to help brew the beer with Laura. We weren’t left to our own devices – Baxter, Brewer at Abbeydale, was there to show us the ropes.

Laura Rangeley and Baxter

Laura had decided in advance (with suggestions from the rest of our group) that a lemon and earl gray pale ale fit the bill for our own special beer. Different enough to intrigue but safe enough to please real ale fans!

Laura B-H, Jules and Di get zesting

The brew gang got stuck in – zesting 100 lemons by hand. Tea was supplied by Sheffield tea-makers extraordinaire Birdhouse Tea Company and added to our brew.

By all accounts, a fun day was had by our SHWI brewers. Many can’t actually remember the whole day – I wonder if the samples beers during the process have anything to do with that…

Baxter shows SHWI the ropes

A month later and the beer was ready for the festival at the Rising Sun pub. And it was delicious – so delicious in fact, it was the first beer to sell out!

We planned to keep things simple for our bake stall as we wasn’t sure how popular we would be at the beer festival. Would real ale drinkers fancy homemade cake over the professional bbq stand? Bex and the gang thought a good amount of savouries would go down a treat and they were right – sausage rolls, savoury muffins and cheese straws were sold quicker than hot cakes. Friends of SHWI, Smo-Fo donated some of their delicious bar snacks which we sold to soak up the beer. And Di’s SHWI lived up to it’s legendary status and was all gone in less than an hour.

On both Friday and Saturday, we sold out of all our baked goods and raised an amazing £800 over both days.

Laura R, VPM, LBH and Kirsty

A big thank you to Laura Rangeley and Abbeydale Brewery for inviting us to the festival and allowing us to have our own beer. The beer is heading to pubs across the country in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for ‘Not Just Jam’.

Also, big thanks to Laura B, Bex, Grace, Anna T, Laura K, Cat De L, Anna P who helped on the stall and all our other amazing SHWI-ers who made or bought bakes for the weekend.

Kirsty Bowen SHWI President


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