Chipping Chirper

When Ongar Dads got together ahead of this year’s annual school fete they thought long and hard about novel ways to raise funds for Chipping Ongar Primary School Association (COPSA). The solution? Selflessly, they decided ‘Let’s drink beer’. ‘Not just any beer, our own beer.’

So we were delighted when they approached us at Brentwood Brewery to ask for our help in their quest. After some discussion a plan was hatched and a new collaboration brew, Chipping Chirper, was borne.

“Ongar Dads are really excited about this. We wanted to do something that was a bit different this year. We love beer and we thought it would be a win, win for everyone,” said Stephen Reynolds of Ongar Dads.

Three of the Ongar Dads group, Stephen Reynolds, Chris Eyre and Mark Sassoon, recently came along to the brewery to carry out some ‘research’ (beer sampling ) as well as assist head brewer Ethan Kannor in brewing this new collaboration, fund raising beer. The trio rolled up their sleeves with great enthusiasm, helping with mashing-in the first batch of Chipping Chirper. Then sparging, or rinsing grain to maximise sugar extraction, important because sugars later turn into alcohol.

Mark said: “I like beer a lot, my wife would probably say too much!

“It’s great to come along and see the brewing process from start to finish.

“Brewing our own beer for the fete also gives us an opportunity to socialise and recruit more Ongar Dads, or family members, to get involved with supporting the school.”

After the rigours of sparging, our guest brewers enjoyed a well-earned break in the sunshine with a pint of Brentwood beer, whilst preparing hops for the brew.

Like other Ongar Dads, these three novice brewers have children who attend Chipping Ongar Primary School. The Chipping Chirper pump clip design was determined by a school-wide competition for parents to get busy with paints, colouring pencils and felt-tipped pens to create a suitable design, paying a modest fee to enter the competition. Congratulations to Mum of three, Jessica Ashford-Green, who produced the winning design – a singing bird on a branch above a castle.

Chipping Chirper approximately 5% ABV (tbc) will be officially launched on Friday 23rd June at The Kings Head Inn, Ongar High Street, at 8pm, where it will be on sale for one month. A joint donation from the pub and Brentwood Brewery of 10p per pint will be going to Ongar Dad’s fund raising pot for COPSA.

This special, thirst quenching brew will also be available to buy from the bar at Chipping Ongar School Fete on Sunday 25th June from 1 – 4pm, straight after the town’s annual carnival. The Carnival, which starts at noon, is organised by Ongar Round Table. Again, a donation from every pint sold goes to the school fund.

“I enjoy a pint at the school fete and this year it’ll be good to have a beer we’ve had involvement in brewing.

“I’m looking forward to tasting the final product. We can thank Steve for the beer idea and Mark for the name.

“There is a good sense of community in Ongar and everyone comes out for these sort of events, so to have our beer involved in that, one we’ve had influence on, is great,” said Chris, who has twin boys at the school.

Brentwood Brewery MD Roland Kannor said: “As ever, it is always good to work with local groups, supporting local causes, like Ongar Dads raising money for Chipping Ongar Primary School Association.

“It was a pleasure to host Stephen, Chris and Mark’s visit to the brewery where they got a snapshot of what it’s like to be a brewer for the day.

“If you’re an adult, off to the school fete after Ongar Carnival why not treat yourself to a pint? Or if you’re in The Kings Head Inn from June 23rd June onwards, do drink Chipping Chirper generously! It’s all in a good cause.”

Love Beer, Love Brentwood

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