Published on September 4, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


Small measures

SACRE BLEU: French agricultural ministry experts say this summer’s scorching weather boosted grape growth and allowed an early harvest in northern regions in particular such as Champagne and Alsace. Wine output for 2018 is estimated at 46.1 million hectolitres – up 25% on the weather-ravaged harvest of 2017 when hailstones fell in June and a late frost lingered. A hectolitre represents 133 standard bottles of wine. You do les mathématiques.

BRONZE BEAUTY: Durham Magus has been selected for a bronze medal in the speciality beer category of the 2018 International Beer Challenge in partnership with Drinks Retailing News. Magus (3.8% abv) is straw-coloured and aromatically hoppy with a clean, bitter mouthfeel and lingering citrus-dry finish. In other words, it’s a bit special.

SHARP INTAKE: Europe’s first student-run microbrewery is recruiting brewers for the new university term. More than 500 students have been involved with Stu Brew since its launch in August 2013 – in leadership roles to guide and deliver the microbrewery enterprise, in practical volunteering to develop recipes, brew and cask beers, and through linked market research and academic projects.

Profits are invested into training, development and overall sustainability, such as hops grown on student allotments and hot water recovery systems to make the process more energy efficient. Spent malt is sent to a local farmer for animal feed and hop residue gets composted on the allotments.

Stu Brew has won international awards for enterprise and sustainability, including this year’s silver in the sustainability category of the prestigious Reimagine Education Awards in the US. Beers can usually be found around Newcastle pubs – the Crows’ Nest and Town Mouse among them.

PURPOSE HAZE: Do you like your beer to be crystal clear or do you enjoy an unfiltered haze through your pint? Either way, haze is here to stay, according to trade group the US Brewers Association.

Three juicy and hazy style have made it into the organisation’s beer style guidelines for this month’s Great American Beer Festival, with 706 entries in the categories Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale, Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale and Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double India Pale Ale – ousting American-style IPA which has historically enjoyed the highest number of entries. Results are announced on September 22 (visit

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Alastair Gilmour

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