When you take several boxes of ripe figs and a good quantity of rosemary sprigs and put them in the hands of three creative brewers, what do you get? With the addition of some speciality Belgian and German malts, carefully selected hops and, of course, water, the answer is Elephant School Brewing’s latest invention, in collaboration with the Solvay Society, a brewery focusing on Belgian-style beers, which is based in Ilford.
Tying together a mixture of styles from Belgium and Great Britain, Cheru Kol 4.5% ABV is a beer that celebrates ‘a glorious embellishment of flavours’. Incidentally, the beer is named after a short stick-like implement used by elephant trainers in India rather than a mis-spelling of the former Girls Aloud celebrity of a similar name.
“The honeyed sweetness of the figs wraps around the spicey, piney tang of rosemary and wafts over you like a refreshing breeze over the tundra,” said Elephant School Brewing’s head brewer Ethan.
Solvay Society head brewer, Roman Hochuli, originally from Belgium, said: “When I first saw the recipe I thought, they’re really going for it with this. It’s going to be fun.”
Offering the brewers encouragement throughout the process and documenting each brewing stage for an online article was Matt Chinnery, a keen ale enthusiast who writes beer blog, The Half Pint Gentleman.com. “It’s been great to see these two different breweries come together, learn different techniques from each other and each experiment with something that would not usually be on their traditional line up of beers,” said Matt.
The beer, for those in the know about Belgian beer styles, is an inverted single.
Some Elephant School Brewing beers are now available in bottles. They are:
Porter in a Storm 4.9% ABV, chocolate and cranberry Porter
Sombrero 4.5% ABV, chia and passionfruit Saison
Cheru Kol 4.5% ABV fig and rosemary Belgian beer (also available in Key Keg)
Plans are afoot for further Belgian-style beer collaborations with the Solvay Society. We’ll keep you posted.