On the hottest of nights at this year’s three-day Brentwood Festival it was Brentwood Beer that helped to refresh and hydrate thousands of festival-goers as well as Sunday’s headline acts, Toploader and Scouting for Girls. A bottle of Brentwood Gold was raised to toast the crowds as Scouting for Girls’ frontman Roy Stride paid tribute to the audience and the beer, having supped the ale onstage during the performance.
“It’s always wonderful to get such positive feedback about our beer. Of course, we’re very proud of what we brew and do. To get such appreciation is always very pleasing.
“Toploader and Scouting for Girls are fantastic entertainers and we all had such a great time with them at the festival on Sunday. There was a great atmosphere – a night to remember.
“The bands are a big hit with us and it’s nice to learn that our beer seems to be a hit with them too,” said Roland Kannor, MD of Brentwood Brewing Company.
Private Beer Tasting
At a private Beer Tasting backstage in the Green Room, ahead of their appearance, Roy Stride said: “I love beer. Too much! I love real ales. I love lager. I love craft lager as well. I love supporting small independent breweries especially when it’s something quite community driven. It’s really nice to know.
“I now live in a little village in Sussex and there’s a brewer there and that brewery puts on nights in the brewery. It’s got like it’s own little pub. We go and drink there.”
Scouting for Girls
Both bands were invited to their own private Beer Tasting session with Headbrewer, Ethan Kannor, who admits he was more than a little starstruck. He said: “I was a bit nervous as I’m such a big fan. I’ve seen Scouting for Girls many times and I know all the words to their songs! But I needn’t have worried as both bands were really relaxed and easy to get along with. They all seemed to like beer and chatting about it.”
Members of Toploader and Scouting for Girls each sampled small tasters of half a dozen different Brentwood and Elephant School beers, including the brewery’s luxury Champagned beer, Van Kannor. They were guided through the styles, flavours and characters of the beers by Ethan who also gave a short explanation of brewing processes.
To Chill or Not to Chill
Among the topics of conversation with Joe (Washbourn), Dan (Hipgrave) and Rob (Green) of Toploader was the debate about whether or not to chill ale before drinking it. On such a hot day, chilling was definitely the preferred option.
Frontman Joe Washbourn said: “Ale is actually on our rider. In the summer it’s nice to have it chilled.”
“If you’re going somewhere I’ll always go to the pipes and try different ones. It’s not about drinking five pints of the strongest beer anymore. It’s about the flavour and what food you’re eating.”
Lead guitarist Dan said: “The Gold is what I would choose. It’s nice and cold. I don’t know what the etiquette is with the temperature of beer is but I’ll always get a gold ale and stick it in the fridge, have it freezing cold like a lager and I think it tastes nice like that. Having said that when it’s slightly less cold, you do get a bit more flavour probably.”
Beer & Food Flavour Matching
The Toploader gang was also very knowledgeable about matching food and beer flavours, suggesting the foods they’d choose to go with each of the beers. As for beer styles, light and golden ones were favoured by Joe and Dan, whilst Rob much preferred lower ABV ales and was interested to learn about the brewery’s BBC1 at 1.5%.
So, how does Toploader normally spend the time before a gig? Drummer Rob Green said: “Not normally with somebody turning up with so many bottles of beer!
“We don’t normally arrive this early actually but we’ve just played a couple of nights, last night and the night before, so we were literally a couple of hours up the road so we thought we’d come here and we might watch the World Cup final. We’ve got a few meet and greets to do and a chance to warm up then we’ll hit the stage, running.”
Scouting for Girls
Scouting for Girls’ Roy (Stride), Pete (Ellard – drums) and Greg (Churchouse – bass guitar) agreed with their friends from Toploader that a Beer Tasting was highly unusual preparation for a gig but their pre-show schedule usually does feature ale somewhere.
Pete: ‘We do generally have a few beers.’
Roy: ‘We like a few beers. That’s it really. Yeah.’
Greg: ‘Like this. It’s lovely. You can just sit about really and listen to other bands.’
Ethan and Scouting for Girls talked about beer and brewing as well as the band’s love of life on the road and a hectic but enjoyable summer festival schedule. They found they had something in common with Ethan as they swapped experiences and anecdotes about running a full marathon for charity. Scouting for Girls for Alzheimers’ Society and Ethan for Fragile X Society. They unanimously agreed it was a tough challenge.
The brewery also confessed that, for one day only, they had cheekily changed the names of some of the regular beers for the occasion with She’s So Love-Aley and Stouting for Girls on the bar. Also, Hoploader. To the brewery’s relief the boys from Scouting for Girls were amused and approved of the temporary beer names.
Brentwood Brewery, which won the Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) Brewers in the Community 2018 national award recently, was delighted to once again sponsor the Brentwood Festival. Held in aid of Cancer Research UK with headline acts including Scouting for Girls, Toploader, Squeeze and Heather Small, the festival attracted thousands of people from across Essex and beyond to enjoy three days of music, food and drink.
Festival Director Jason Jopson said: “We want to thank everyone who gave so generously to Cancer Research UK, whose pioneering research is aiming to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”
Festival Co-ordinator Laurie Edmonds added: “It’s fantastic how the festival really pulls Brentwood together for a fun weekend.
“The crowd was so relaxed. It was lovely seeing families enjoying the music and activities on offer.”