Real Ale

Real ales are brewed all over the UK by a vast number of Microbreweries which all have their own distinctive tastes and smells.

We are lucky in Shopshire that we have a number of microbreweries that produce a fine range of Real Ales.

The Cock Hotel always has Hobson’s Mild and Best Bitter on tap. We also have the following local beers from time to time to name but a few.

  • Hobson’s Town Crier
  • Salopian Golden Thread
  • Wood’s Shropshire Lad
  • Ironbridge Gold
  • Ironbridge ISB
  • Ludlow Boiling Well
  • Ludlow Gold

Over the past twelve months we have had over 300 different beers on in the pub.

Brewing Real Ale

The brewing process has not changed in reality for thousands of years; admittedly the equipment has changed but the basic principles remain the same

Malting

Malting is the process wherein the starch contained in the barley seeds turns into sugar.
This is done on malting floors, where the barley is wetted down and warmed up to encourage germination. As the barley germinates it converts the startches in the seeds to natural sugars. Once it has germinated, it is heated to halt the germination process. The temperature the germinated barley is halted at will affect the flavour and the colour of the finished beer. The hotter the malt is cooked the darker malt will be.

Mashing

When the malt is ready to use the brewer mixes it with water in a mash tun to release the sugars into the liquid. After several hours this liquid, which is now called wort, is strained out into a “Copper” which is used to heat the wort, as the hops are added to give the beer its flavour. The wort and the hops are boiled together until the hops have imparted the desired flavour.

The liquid is now strained: traditionally this is through a bed of hops, into the fermentation bin

Fermentation

Fermentation is the natural process where yeast multiplies, consuming the natural sugars and creating Alcohol and Co2 as by-products. Different brewers use different yeasts and the type of yeasts can and will help to give the desired flavour of the beer. During the fermentation process the hopped wort is kept at around 70degrees C to encourage the yeast to work.

Conditioning

After the yeast has finished fermenting, the new beer is strained into conditioning tanks. Here it is left for a few days to completely stop fermenting. Once the beer has stopped it is now ready for putting into casks.